header via Instagram @hayleyy.vanessa
Vocalist, Daniel Daley, and producer, Nineteen85, joined forces to create the R&B duo, dvsn. Introduced to the world in 2015, OVO SOUND RADIO had a hand in the duo’s growing recognition after playing one of their first tracks, “With Me,” on their seventh episode. By 2016, it was announced that dvsn signed to Drake’s record label, OVO Sound. Around the time, there was little information on who dvsn was, what they looked like (Daniel at least), or any other details you’d want to know about a new artist. All fans had to go off was their minimal promotional social media presence and the lyrics, voice, & production behind the music.
Within the same year, the duo released their debut album, SEPT. 5TH, officially revealed their identity on their first tour, opened for Drake on his Summer Sixteen Tour, and was featured on the Toronto superstar’s “Faithful.” By the second quarter of 2017, dvsn released” Think About Me,” the lead single from their sophomore album, Morning After, which was released by the fourth quarter. With the perfect timeline of consistency and reveal under their belt, the duo was ready to hit the road again, this time for their Morning After Tour, filled with nearly forty dates.
In Washington, DC, dvsn’s held the show for their Morning After Tour at The Fillmore Silver Spring. The show kicked off with an hour set of R&B vibes by DJ Analyze with Aladdin Da Prince on the mic before Tyrone E! swopped in and emceed the vibes.
Momentarily following the warm-up, dvsn’s Daniel Daley appeared on stage with his mic stand while a projection of visuals displayed behind him and three female background singers stood to his right. He kicked off the show with Morning After’s opening track, “Run Away,” and quickly took fans back as he transitioned into the iconic “With Me.” Nineteen85 occupied the venue’s sound area as he worked to make sure the performance sounded as close to the record as possible. This task was executed perfectly as Daniel’s raw vocals sounded as crisp and clean as they do on the album without any question that an audio processor was used to manipulate or enhance vocal performance. It was obvious that Daniel’s gift is singing.
In between songs, clips played on the stage’s display that matched the aesthetic of Morning After’s cover art and music videos, courtesy of creative director, Bryan Brock. The visuals are a very important aspect of the show. dvsn told Pigeons and Planes that they shaped the songs on the album around the creative direction they came up with to add to the unknown imagery that fans may get from only hearing the music.
“The idea behind most of the visuals on this album came from watching foreign films. In North America, we’re exposed to so many big-budget film and TV productions that we can really appreciate the raw aspect of so many films from around the world. To be specific, Asian, European, and Latin film all had three key things that stood out to us, that made them feel different from North American movies and TV: subtitles, color, and location.
Subtitles: In shows like Narcos, the subtitles become a major part of the character of the show, pulling you even deeper into the dialogue.
Color: This is one of the quickest ways to visually set a mood and of some of the most memorable details someone will remember when watching something.
Location: For us, the location aspect of foreign films is so important because that’s what makes them so raw. There’s nothing “Hollywood” about going into a real neighborhood and shooting exactly what you see. No props, no set, just on-location, documentary style.”
dvsn has no openers for their Morning After Tour, but, does have a commendable element in their show that makes the lack thereof understanding. To the right of Daniel are his three female background singers, all women of color who look like they range in age. Throughout the show, Daniel pauses during some of his songs and allows the crowd to hear the rifts of the background singers, which always receive a positive crowd reaction; though, the shine doesn’t stop there. Midway through his set, Daniel allows one of his background singers, Shantel May, a chance at front stage to show the crowd what she can do. She performs Beyoncé’s “1+1” and after, gives Daniel gives the floor to perform her latest single, “Back N Forth.”
To keep the crowd’s momentum running, Daniel performed covers of tracks that were either sampled on one of their records, influenced them to create a track or just songs everyone knows and loves. The covers he performed include Ginuwine’s “So Anxious,” the sample used in “Too Deep,” Usher’s “U Got It Bad,” Rihanna’s “Kiss It Better,” Childish Gambino’s “Redbone,” and Miguel’s “Adorn.”
Overall, seeing dvsn live was a lovely experience. As new artists in the game with an admirable backing, the duo didn’t overdo it and kept the important aspects at the forefront: the music and the visuals. dvsn is known for creating relatable love songs and it was amazing to see that purpose come to fruition as the crowd passionately sung along to each song. Daniel Daley and Nineteen85 created an R&B force that has the potential to take the genre to the next level.
Watch the video below for more footage of dvsn’s Morning After Tour set in DC! (Setlist in description):