Berlin based Dena is a sensation.
Adventurous R&B with a highly personal theme, her work seems intimately intertwined with her own life.
A brave, potent soul, Dena's new album 'HMU' is out now, casting her work in a fresh, extremely potent light.
Set to play a pair of ultra-rare UK shows next month, Clash caught up with this breathlessly creative talent to find out her influences.
She introduces them...
Music that has meant a lot to me in life and especially in the past years while working on my album...
Kelis - 'Good Stuff'
This song, Kelis herself and her vibe are so important to me and the way I listen to music. I was having her first three albums on eternal repeat when they came out beginning of the 00s. I love everything she and the Neptunes have ever made. Growing up dreaming to be able to make beats and write songs, I finally had a little home studio set up many years later.
When producing 'Imaginary Friends', there was definitely a moment I thought of 'Good Stuff', while programming the cowbell and playing the synth against the beat in the outro.
The Internet - 'Get Away'
The Internet are my favourite band. The summer when their album 'Ego Death' came out, a long time relationship had ended for me and I didn’t enjoy or listen to any music for many weeks. This album brought me back to life and it was the only music I was listening to. It was also the moment when I realized I need to go back to the studio and work on music.
The first song I wrote was 'Freaking Out', consisting of pianet and GarageBand preset beats, after which I went to NYC and recorded my EP 'Trust' with my friend's band. It will always remind me of the summer of heartbreak and listening to The Internet.
Chilly Gonzales - 'Gentle Threat'
I heard this tune for the first time on New Years Eve 2016. I remember the snow quietly falling down and a candle burning and feelings bouncing between a heavy heartbreak and hope for the future. I didn’t realize it back then, but now I precisely remember the moment I heard this song in and what it meant to me.
And now it almost feels like a subconscious memory of it must have hit me when I was writing 'HMU' on the piano a bit later that next year. Thanks Chilly.
King Krule - 'Ocean Bed'
King Krule is one of my favourite musicians nowadays and the mood of his voice and music go under my skin. I was listening to his debut album and especially to that song a lot in the middle of an emotional phase some time ago. I got hooked to the bass line and even googled the notes and remember jamming on repeat to it with my bass guitar, pretending I’m in the band.
Eyedress - 'Sofia Coppola'
Eyedress and I had met on the internet and had previously made a song called 'Can We Try'. Last year he had a gig in Berlin and on his day off we went to the studio together with his bandmate Rhxanders and made a song that is now on my album, called 'Things That Mean A Lot'.
I love his dreamy spaced out sound and am a big fan of his latest album and this track.
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'HMU' is out now. Catch Dena at the following shows:
18 London Old Blue Last
20 Bristol Simple Thing Festival
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