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Toronto artist Desarae Dee tells audiences why she's passionate about music

Meet Desarae Dee, an artist from Toronto, Canada who's making waves with her music. She's passionate about her craft and takes it seriously. She's definitely an artist to keep watch for, as she's only getting started.

Keep reading to learn more about her.

What city are you from/ Where are you based now?

I am from Toronto, Canada

What is your artist name? What is your real name? How did you get your artist name?

My artist name is Desarae Dee.

My real name is Desarae D. Facey

I wanted to keep my name simple, so I used my first name and the first initial of my middle name, which starts with a “D” and added two “E’s” to it and there you have “Desarae Dee.”

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music?

I spent many years hiding my talent from my family (I would never practice or play in front of them), but also through my church upbringing and not seeing any women musicians In the church, I sought to change the stigma in the black church behind women being labeled as only being allowed “behind the microphone” and not having the opportunity/being denied the right to play an instrument. I wanted to see more women instrumentalists rise to the occasion both inside and outside of the church. I then went on to put out my first song in 2014 and from there becoming an artist became more of a reality than I realized.

Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?

My upbringing definitely has played a role in shaping who I am and my sound. Growing up, I was taught the value of hard work and doing everything in excellence in my education and in music. In terms of my sound, growing up in church and learning the gospel nuances, as well as being classically trained from a young age definitely were contributors to my overall sound. However, having “perfect pitch” and an “auditory learning style, coupled with learning Jazz music throughout university, experimenting and listening to different artists such as Robert Glasper, Alicia Keys and Oscar Peterson and studying/lifting their music enhanced my overall sound to what it is today.

How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?

My sound is a fusion – fusion meaning combining multiple genres to create something new altogether; I primarily play Jazz fusion music - I combine Jazz nuances with Gospel, Neo-Soul, RnB and Hip-Hop to create a sound that is “outside the box.” I wanted my sound to be different than other musicians/artists and so I worked behind the scenes for years to create the sound that I have today.

What ultimately inspired you to dedicate yourself to a music career?

It was my desire to see a better representation of woman instrumentalists, and black women in the Canadian Music Industry (and the industry as a whole). I also wanted to bring a new sound to Canada that has never been heard or explored before by a Black Woman (or any woman for that matter – as far as I know). I want to continue to inspire the current and next generations of Black Women instrumentalists and show them that they can be successful in this industry, by simply being who they are and being unique.

What’s one reason you are passionate about music and what inspires you?

I am so passionate about music because it is a gift that was given to me by God, as well as being part of my purpose on Earth and I have a responsibility to ensure that I use what he has given me to the best of my ability. From a young age, my parents saw the gift in me and even though I never saw it in my childhood, I started to see it as I got older and realized that it was something that I would be great at. My parents are definitely are my inspirations because of this.

Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?

Asides from music, I enjoy fitness, traveling and Netflix binge watching. I am a creative inside and outside – my brain moves a mile per minute so I always have creative ideas, which is why I also became a Content Creator in 2017. I run a series on Instagram/YouTube called “Cover Tuesdays” (circa 2017) and with the rise of Instagram REELS, I launched a series in January 2021 called, “30 Second Collabs.”

What were you doing before music?

Well, I’ve always been around music due to my upbringing so music wasn’t something I decided to do later on in life – it’s literally in my DNA, however before I decided to become an artist, I almost became a lawyer and I was a former athlete.

Who are some of your main musical influences?

I have 4 main musical influences: Robert Glasper, Alicia Keys, Oscar Peterson and Frédéric Chopin.

What are some of your music career goals for the future?

Some of my music career goals include: being nominated/winning a Juno award, hitting 1 million streams on Spotify and Apple Music, going on tour (long term goal) and hosting music workshops for women in different countries – catered to women who want to play the piano (or any other instrument) and may not have the means, resources or opportunities to do so.

Tell us the name of the project you are currently promoting? What inspired this project?

I am currently promoting my latest single, “Late Arrival (Remix)” and the music video that accompanies the song. This song is actually a re-release from my 2016 debut EP, “20” which celebrated 5 years on June 25 2021. I am someone who loves to celebrate milestones and the various wins in my life, no matter how big or small they are and I wanted to celebrate the milestone of my very first project as an instrumental artist. This song really shows the growth that I’ve gone through as an artist, musician and producer over the 5-year span after the release of that project and showing people that art is never truly finished.

Date that this project dropped or is set to drop?

The song was released on June 25 2021 and the Music Video was released on July 9 2021.

What is this project about in your own words?

“Late Arrival (Remix)" is an instrumental canvas that has “all the chords you can think of” and stays true to the spontaneous and unconventional music style that I’m widely known for. The song is a “sit in the pocket, laid back and chill” vibe that is a fusion of jazz, neo-soul, old school hip-hop and gospel nuances.

What’s one of your most proud moments of your music career so far?

One of my proudest moments of my music career so far was being able to share my gift on national television on a show entitled ‘Outside the Box with Sheldon Neil” which aired on YesTV (100 Huntley Street) in 2017. It was a huge deal to me because it aligned so well with my mission as an instrumental artist and as a Black woman navigating the industry with something unique.

What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for? Include some dates if you have them.

I do have 2 singles that will be released this fall; one this month and one in October (Dates TBD) and I will also be releasing the 2nd Movement of my Christmas EP, “Moments of Christmas” this winter (the first movement was released last year and is available everywhere).

What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from this project?

From this project, I speak specifically to the grind-a-holics, the soul lovers and those who appreciate true musicianship. I want people to have something to listen to that makes them feel good about what they do in their daily lives.

The overall goal of my career has always been to inspire others to be passionate about their talents, to re-ignite a past passion, to encourage them to step outside their comfort zones and to celebrate ALL the wins in their lives, no matter how small they are. These are all things that I myself have had to do in my own life and the messages that I portray in my instrumental canvases.

Where can we follow you on social media? Include links.

Link Website: https://beacons.ai/desaraedeemusic

Instagram: https://instagram.com/desaraedeemusic

Facebook: https://facebook.com/desaraedeemusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/desaraedeemusic

YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/DesaraeDeeMusic

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/desaraedeemusic

BandCamp: https://desaraedeemusic.bandcamp.com