Born Andwele Gardner, Dwele released his debut “Subject” in 2003, which held the hits “Find a Way” and “Subject.” Through 2005’s “Some Kinda,” featuring “Weekend Love” and “I Think I Love U,” he earned him even more fans and collaborators, including Boney James, Big Sean, Common, Drake and a gentleman from the neighboring city of Chicago. Joining Kanye West on both the breezy “Flashing Lights” and the eccentric “Power,” Dwele’s lush vocals brought gravity to each track’s arresting rhythms.
Dwele is set to release his new album “Greater Than One” on August 28th. Notable features on “Greater Than One” are provided by Raheem DaVaughn, Monica Blaire, Black Milk, L’Renee and J Tait. Dwele wrote the majority of the songs on the album and as usual, plays keyboard, horns and drums on most of the songs.
Recently Dwele spoke to UrbanBridgez.com about his new album “Greater Than One,” his new video, artists he wants to work with, what happened with his duet with Lalah Hatheway for this album, his thoughts on the current state of R&B and much more!
UrbanBridgez: The video for “What Profit” Looks like it was fun to film, what was the best part about shooting it?
Dwele: That video right there was alot of fun. I always enjoy shooting at home in Detroit, people always come out. We was shooting in a lobby so it was kind of weird, because they wanted me to focus on the camera. But all the people in the Hotel and Casino was all behind the camera starring at me and taking pictures. So it was kind of weird and fun at the same time. I love the fact that the people could come out and be apart of the video.
UrbanBridgez: Really good! While we’re on that single, what made you select that particular track for the lead single?
Dwele: I just felt it was a feel good joint, when I worked with Mike City on it. He came in and I heard the beat and I knew from jump! I knew it was going to be that summertime banger, you know!
UrbanBridgez: Who assisted you with putting the new album together as far as collaborators?
Dwele: As far as production, I worked with Mike City on two songs. I worked with G1 on a song and Prince Damon on a song. As far as guest appearances, I worked with Raheem DaVaughn for one. Also this time around I wanted to use alot of Detroit artists, so I worked with J Tait who’s my background singer. Monica Blaire, who I used on the last album on “Detroit Sunrise” and Black Milk and L’Renee. She’s actually singing background for KEM right now, she’s a dope artist. I really wanted to put alot of Detroit artists on the forefront this time around. I feel like there is alot of talent in Detroit that doesn’t get recognized like it should.
UrbanBridgez: One of the song titles, Earth, Wind & Fire has me intrigued. Explain to us the title and what we can expect to hear?
Dwele: Unfortunately it won’t be on the album now. It’s a song I did with Lalah Hatheway and the label felt it was too much of a resemblance to an Earth, Wind & Fire song. So we couldn’t use it on the album. But I’m going to see what I can do about getting the song out there by other means.
UrbanBridgez: That’s wassup! With this being your 5th album, what’s included on this one that you’ve never done with any of the previous ones?
Dwele: I feel like this album kind of has like an 80’s feel to it. That’s something I’ve never really played with before, it wasn’t even intentional when I did it. It didn’t even hit me till I sat back and listened to like 4 songs that I did and it really had that 80s feel. But in the same, I still use those elements that make my sound. So I think it’s a nice marriage of the two.
UrbanBridgez: You’ve worked with so many artists from Boney James to Kanye West, who’s someone you would like to work with that you haven’t yet?
Dwele: There are too many, way too many. But I always say if I could work with anybody it would be Badu, I like the fact she can do what she wants and people ride to it. I feel like with her, I’ll be able to let my creative side too.
UrbanBridgez: It’s been almost a decade since you released your debut album “Subject,” what would the Dwele now tell the Dwele then coming into the game?
Dwele: I would say prepare to not sleep, that’s not going to happen. It’s either always a Monday or always a Friday. Monday is going to be good, Friday is going to be hard. Also move on being independent (laughs). I mean looking back everything happens for a reason, I think coming into the business it’s good to be with a major. You get that big push and get to create your fanbase. Off of that you can go independent because you have your built in crowd.
UrbanBridgez: What are like some of your favorite songs that you’ve recorded, top 3 you love this week?
Dwele: Man, they’re all my babies, all my babies. It’s kind of hard, I would have to say…I would have to say Subject from that album, My Lova off of Some Kinda. Off the Sketches of A Man album, I’ll say Vain. I might as well say one per album and let’s see off W.ants W.orld W.omen, I’ll say Dodgin’ Your Phone. From this new one I will say Swank, it’s the last song I made for the album. The last one is always your favorite.
UrbanBridgez: What’s your take on the current state of R&B and where some of the biggest artists have taken the direction of their music now?
Dwele: I feel like R&B is wearing alot of different hats and has been for awhile now. I love, listen to and respect all of those different genres within R&B. I think the only problem I have is when it comes to radio, they honor certain genres of R&B more than others. It’s not really a balance as far as that goes. Soulful R&B doesn’t get the same plays as Pop R&B. That’s my only complaint. As far as others veering off to do Pop, I’m cool with it, do what you do. Alot of it I like, So I’m for it, I wouldn’t want them to stop.
UrbanBridgez: What else are you working on that you want your fans to know about?
Dwele: Right now, this album has been my life for the past 4 or 5 months. I really haven’t had a chance to work on anything else really. I have a couple things in the works, but they’re pre-mature.
UrbanBridgez: Anything else you want to leave with your fans before we wrap up?
Dwele: I appreciate all of the support! Definitely get this album, it’s that soundtrack to your life and I try to do that with every album. I try to make something that you can make memories to. I think this album will do that as well and thanks again for the support!