Dawn Richard Sounds Off On Brandy Comparisons

Published: Monday 14th Sep 2015 by David

The sky is blue.

The square root of 64 is 8.

That Grape Juice.net is the best website of all time.

For many, if not everyone, the statements above are simply facts of life.

Unfortunately, Dawn Richard seems to have been partial to a little fiction recently when she claimed that she didn’t understand why so many “black people” compare her vocal stylings to those of her R&B sibling Brandy.

In an interview with British journalist Sope Soetan Dawn had this to say about Ms. Norwood:

 I grew up loving Imogen Heap and Bjork. And one of my favourite female voices to this day is Alanis Morissette. Those voices really did something for me, growing up to me they sounded like cognac and cigar smoke, they had these cool tones that worked well with rock and alternative music.  As far as what I do organically, I just go in and whatever feels good, feels good I don’t force it. Leads and adlibs are cool but my favourite thing to do when I’m in the studio is backgrounds. I can go on and on for days, there’s this sense of peace and chanting. Like an army of bad motherfuckers always behind me, like a 1000 people in believing me and 1000 people behind me every time doing these counter chants which are so African, so Creole and so New Orleans.

People want so badly for there to be Brandy-isms. I didn’t know about Brandy until college, I didn’t grow up on Brandy, I grew up on Bjork and Imogen Heap.  So there was no influence but I respect her. I think she’s one of the dopest singers we’ve ever had in our time. When I found out about her through my brother, I was like this girls voice is on a whole other level so the respect of Brandy is definitely there. She to me is the vocal bible, but I don’t necessarily take her style or influence into my music. I don’t think of Brandy when I think of the formatting of my music and I think it’s funny that only black people think that.

Though we aren’t completely buying Richard’s attempts to distance herself from Norwood it is possible that their similarities are merely coincidental.


After all, fans of the late Karen Carpenter were just as surprised when her vocal doppelganger Rumer emerged on the scene and (like Dawn has done to Brandy) downplayed her obvious “borrowing” of the  ‘Solitaire’ singer’s work.

It makes sense. Indeed, unlike a number of her contemporaries, Richard offers something unique and personal to fans with her music and would rain on her credibility’s parade if she admitted that it was Brandy (who she shares a number of similarities with) and not Bjork who inspired her sound.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Sherry September 14, 2015

    Uhhhh you can do a quick YouTube search and hear her Stan out for Brandy. If you listen to Brandys music, you can clearly hear the influence. Same with Chris brown and so many others. Dawn is such a b**** and a liar.

    • 2bad2bme September 14, 2015


    • You tried September 14, 2015

      I can’t with TGJ and its delusional follows! Lol this girl admitted that ahe loves Brandy but ever since I can remember she’s always kept the same story about her introduction to brandy the “Singer” yes they have similarities but Brandys human and its not like other people don’t coincidentally sound the same! Damn let her entertain F** who she sounds like! This is a job! Get money DAWN!

  2. Sherry September 14, 2015

    And total death @ the black people comment as if anyone else listens to her music with maybe the exception of Latino gays. Girl bye! I don’t like her!!!

    • candysw33ts September 14, 2015

      DAWN!!! I can’t with her loolloolll I tried to can, but I can’t. Lmbooooooooo I’m dying laughing at this comment cus it’s the whole truth and nothing, but the truth.

  3. 2bad2bme September 14, 2015

    She is starting to pinch a nerve now because she think she is something she is not. Obviously you knew brandy way before college girl stop fronting! Every time you saw her back in your Danity Kane days you were up her a*** like a piece of tissue.

  4. What now September 14, 2015

    If the girl said she’s not influenced by Brandy, then she’s not. I didn’t even know Brandy did music myself until 04 (I was about 15/16), even though her biggest peak waz b4 hand, so it makes sense if Dawn didn’t know Brandy until college. Brandy’s runs were a duplicate from Whitney’s anyway, so I don’t c y she wouldn’t cut out the middle man anyway (Brandy).

    • Sherry September 14, 2015

      Brandy hasn’t sounded like Whitney since 95.

    • Royalkev September 14, 2015

      Yea, Bran hasn’t sounded like Whitney since her first album. Whit’s her biggest musical inspiration, but Brandy’s music have a totally different feel to it.

      • toohotfortv September 14, 2015

        Very true. Actually, brandys most lasting influence has been that of Kim Burrell. It was after hearing kims album that the vocal production on full moon took a different turn.

  5. Stephy. September 14, 2015

    She betta speak ha truth. Brandy is overrated to me. Calling her “The Vocal Bible” is crazy. Not when, Motha Aretha been laying down Biblical vocals since the 1950s. And, Brandy is NOT a legend, period.

    • What now September 14, 2015

      Say that! Aretha big a** put all of these singers on! She’s the most influential of them all.

      • Ariel September 14, 2015

        Your comment was so shady, but it made me LMBO!!

    • BE YOURSELF September 14, 2015

      You are ALWAYS speaking nothing but the truth.

      • BE YOURSELF September 14, 2015

        @ Stephy.

    • Sherry September 14, 2015

      I said the same thing until I actually started listening to Brandy post 2000. Her vocal stylings, arrangements, runs and harmonies are some of the most duplicated amongst R&B singers of today. The Full Moon album started it ALL. To be fair, if you haven’t dived into her discography you cannot call her overrated.

      • candysw33ts September 14, 2015

        I totally agree. I’m so mad that the full moon album didn’t get the recognition that it deserved. There are still artists til this day that study the full moon album for technique.

      • Scorpion 75 September 15, 2015

        Preach baby

    • Muse September 14, 2015

      Lmao I always wondered why they call Brandy ‘the vocal Bible’. That is so disrespectful to some legends. So Whitney Houston never existed? Wtf.

      • Credits September 14, 2015

        No. Whitney’s title is “the voice” and brandy’s is the “the vocal bible.” Different titles.

      • ran September 14, 2015

        Brandy became the vocal bible when she merge Janet like melodies, and harmonies with Whitney like runs and ad libs

      • Royalkev September 14, 2015

        Here’s the thing, “the voice” and “vocal bible” are paying two totally different kinds of compliments. Being labelled “the voice” pretty much says it all, Whit’s amazing voice is second to none. Praising someone for being the vocal bible has a lot more to do with styling and technique. I don’t feel like that there’s an implication being made there Bran’s the best singer that ever lived. I just think someone was paying close to all of Bran’s unique vocal talents (including harmonies, riffs, inflections and vocal swiftness, etc). Bran does a variety of different things that are interesting.

      • Royalkev September 14, 2015

        *I don’t feel like there’s an implication being made there to claim Bran as the best singer that ever lived. I just think someone was paying close attention to all of Bran’s unique vocal talents …

    • Eddie September 14, 2015

      Well to give you a little history, Brandy is pretty much a legend.. First African American Teen to have a barbie doll, First AA to have her own tv show (the last 3 seasons were produced by her) The first AA Teen Cover Girl, First AA Cinderella, Highest selling R&B ALBUM since Whitney Houston BG with 17Mil copies (Never say Never) so trust me Dawn knew of brandy..

  6. What now September 14, 2015

    Also, if you don’t know Imogen’s sound, u need 2 slap tf outta urself. U can totally hear her sound/influence in Dawn’s solo music/vocal stylings.

    • XX September 14, 2015

      You can also hear a lot of bjork, and even some crystal castles.It’s easy to delude yourself into thinking she only sounds like brandy, if all your using for references is urban music.Brandy would have never put out an album like “Black Heart.” I love brandy too, for her complete domination over her voice, but many others,outside of urban music, have done the same. Bjork is amazing, and because she never had the constraints that urban music puts on it artist, she was able to do so much more. Its obvious Dawn has freed herself of all constraints,because “black heart” broke so many musical barriers.

  7. Gee September 14, 2015

    Dawn has a right to her opinion while I hear similarities to Brandy in some respects tone wise I do feel that Dawn experiments her sound and voice to make her sound and style her own.

  8. WRTW? September 14, 2015

    Calling bullsh*t , God forbid someone compare her to another black person! If you have so much respect for her you would consider it an honor, when people think of Dawn they don’t think of Alanis or Bjork sorry, try again. Honey got a nose job,and ran with it. *sips tea*

  9. Muse September 14, 2015

    Tbqh, Dawn’s music does not remind me of Brandy. Her image and the ways she presents her music couldn’t be more different from Brandy.

    There is no way Blackheart was influenced by Brandy.
    Dawn’s music, content and image are too different from Brandy for any comparisons to be made during this era.

    • Dev September 14, 2015

      Dawn was an artist of sorts prior to Danity Kane and the stuff you know her for now, even in the early days she was making r&b music, so why not stay with the sound of her idols from the start?

  10. Kee September 14, 2015

    Oh Dawn have a damn seat next to your original face

  11. Muse September 14, 2015

    Funny Sam said Dawn shares a number of similarities with Brandy but he could not name one. LMAO. Outside of their similar tone of voice there is nothing they have in common besides their skin color. Nothing.

  12. pat September 14, 2015

    Lies! just like she does about her plastic surgery… I try to like her but own up to your shyt. anyway around the time Dawn was in College and discovered her was around the time Brandy’s sound changed to this more Kim burrell influenced sound that Dawn copied from her so she gave herself away…..earlier childhood Bran was more Whitney influenced

    • Muse September 14, 2015

      But you are missing the point. No one said Dawn doesn’t sound like Brandy because she does. And there’s no way she can’t control the way she sings, like what she’s suppose to do, change the voice God gave her????? This is not Mariah vs Ariana Grande or Mariah vs Leona Lewis because Dawn style musically, her videos, her fashion style and her image is too far removed from Brandy. Too eccentric. Too experimental to be called Brandy’s clone. Until these comparisons between Dawn and Brandy are brought forth besides the way they sing imma believe you guys are just making a big deal because they are both black women.

      • pat September 14, 2015

        No, I’m not missing the point. No one can control the tone of their voice, but her rifts, runs, and note CHOICES are all Brandy. I do agree that comparing anything else about them is silly, but a lot of her vocal STYLINGS are obviously Influenced by Brandy just as much or more than these other singers she is crediting.

      • Muse September 14, 2015

        Dawn is not copying Brandy riffs and runs. They have the same tone therefore their riffs and runs will sound the same. Please understand that another singer singing the same runs and riffs with a different tone of voice would not sound similar. There are some reviews comparing Blackheart to Bjork, there were none comparing it to anything Brandy has done. Why do you think that is?

      • pat September 14, 2015

        There riffs n runs sound the same because she does Brandy riffs n runs lol….she realizes she has a similar tone so that’s who she emulates easiest….

      • Muse September 14, 2015

        If a singer’s riffs and runs was so easily duplicated I would be sounding like Celine Dion or Whitney… She’s not emulating Brandy riffs and runs, her riffs and runs sounds like Brandy because their tone of voice is the same.

      • Muse September 14, 2015

        Then my non singing b*** can become a recording artist and sing like Whitney. Let me go get my recording contract and emulate those powerful vocals.

      • Dev September 14, 2015

        Not always, the Dawn’s music and styling you see now is not how she always was

  13. justa September 14, 2015


  14. Casual-T September 14, 2015

    Am I the only one who thinks Dawn looks like Joseline Hernandez in this pic?

  15. junior September 14, 2015

    Dawn sit down! geez! your sooo danm annoying! hello your black! so ignorant! this is why black people don’t buy your music!

  16. Credits September 14, 2015

    Interesting because I once read something about the stacking of brandy’s voice being similar to the way Imogen Heap does it.

    • Dev September 14, 2015

      Where! Where did you read this tit bit of information?

  17. broman September 14, 2015

    I don’t understand why people have to think in boxes.
    Brandy is Brandy and Dawn is Dawn let them be!

    They are totally not in each others lane

  18. Bitchpleeeeeeeeaaaseeeee September 14, 2015

    Dawn is 32 and Brandy is 36. Dawn is an American born and bred but never heard about Moesha, Cinderella, Double Platinum, I know what you did last summer or Cover Girl till she was in the college. Catch the shade yall and in my Nene’s voice #Girlbye. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  19. Akeem September 14, 2015

    Her old YouTube videos say different but whatever helps her sleep at night…

  20. Adovian September 14, 2015

    I’ve been a fan of Dawn’s solo career since Bombs, she has a pretty well rounded catalogue, down to Faith, Titans etc.

    But it seems like she’s indirectly implying that her music is “too smart” for “basic black people” to like without noting her, in my opinion obvious influences.

    New nose, new Dawn.
    Again, love the music, the attitude as of late, not so much.

    • XX September 14, 2015

      where did you even come up with that?She is saying only black people compare her music to brandy because black people usually stay tuned into urban music.If you only listen to urban music your never going to hear the other influence.

  21. Royalkev September 14, 2015

    Hmmm … Did she say only black people think that? I don’t think it’s a white or black opinion, I think people are just making intelligent observations. Those that have an acute ear for hearing musical intricacies can easily draw this kind of comparison.
    What I find interesting is how often black artists are denied credit for being the inspiration of newer artists that follow in their footsteps (black or white). Britney didn’t play up her likeness to Janet (especially after SB), same with Ciara (I like Ci, but she dodged the whole Janet thing for awhile until recent years), same with Ariana/Mariah, Keyshia/Mary and even among sisters Tamar/Toni (when Tay is in full alto mode). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just a black thing (Gaga did it to Madonna). This happens all the time in the industry for many different reasons.

    I believe that Dawn admires Alanis and Imogen Heap … but she didn’t know about Brandy until college? I find that interesting when Alanis biggest album (Jagged Little Pill) dominated 1995, which is one year after Brandy’s debut. Brandy and Alanis were both nominated at the Grammy’s for Best New Artists in 1996. Hootie and the Blowfish won though <<<<<< … My point is that the Brandy oversight is odd. Dawn is basically claiming that she didn't know of Bran until the Full Moon years … ok! She missed the biggest duet of all time ('Boy Is Mine'), 'Have You Ever', 'Sittin' Up in My Room' (off the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack) and 'I WANNA BE DOWN'. Bran even worked on Puffy's Press Play album, slaaaaying their song 'Though You Said' before Last Train To Paris came about (4 years later). I'll take Dawn's word though, she's not taking notes. Everything is just coincidental … Felicia!

    • Adovian September 14, 2015

      Did she not say,”black people seem to mostly think that”?
      That was her operating standpoint, therefore it was my launching pad.

      What’s funny is you actually have several, great and subsequently valid points, but they almost become nullified by your slightly condescending wording.

      “Those who have an acute ear….etc…”
      I taught myself piano at 11, so I would say I’m one of ” those” people.
      You can make your point( which you did, ironically) without being presumptuous.


      • Royalkev September 14, 2015

        ^ Umm, no! She didn’t say black people “seem” to “mostly” think anything … Dawn ended her statement in the quote above with “only black people think that”. That’s what I read and what you can do as well. What I was stressing is that if you have an ear to pick up on the small nuances in Brandy and Dawn’s singing techniques you will be able to draw comparisons. There’s nothing presumptuous or condescending about that. Now if I had said, those who can’t pick up on similarities between the two don’t have an acute ear, you’d probably have more of a point. Stating what one person is capable of doing doesn’t automatically mean another is lacking.

        …so ponder on that one, K!

        Thanks, Alicia Keys! 🙂

    • XX September 14, 2015

      It all depends on what you listen to. How many artist have been up for album of the year, and you only knew two of them? It also depends on how rounded you are in music. There are some people who never heard of the “Goo Goo Dolls,”(which is a crime) and have never Listen to a “Pink Floyd” album.There are people who know Whitney’s voice, but have never heard “Faith Hill” sing(again another crime.

  22. Royalkev September 14, 2015

    *’Thought You Said’

    • XX September 14, 2015

      btw I thought I was the only one who knew “thought you said” such a good song. Say what you want about Diddy, but he knows what he is doing. He had so many good features on that album.

      • Royalkev September 14, 2015

        ^ I had that song was on repeat! Bran breezes through that song like it’s nothing.

  23. NOTSOUH September 14, 2015


    When she was on Making The Band. She reference Brandy as her favorite. She did an interview with True Exclusives a few years ago when she was stanning the fck out for brandy and even sang Brandy (sounding a fckn mess) NOW all of a sudden, you aint listen to Brandy until College! B**** Bye

    • Case September 14, 2015

      Making the band and the interview with True exclusives were after college dummy, so it could be true she became a fan of Brandy during college. a lot people still do not know who Brandy is. Check the video of Brandy singing on a train in NY, no one recognised her. Brandy was huge back in the day but she was no Beyonce and Rihanna when it comes to mainstream and worldwide fame recognition.

  24. cocobutta September 14, 2015

    Ok Dawn. If you say so!!

  25. pon_de September 14, 2015

    Girl, bye! You never heard of Brandy until college but The Boy Is Mine came out in 1998 and was EVERYWHERE!!! You couldn’t not hear that ish if you tried!!

  26. Cotton Cuntdy September 14, 2015

    Lol lies!!! When I first heard Dawn sing I was like damn her STYLE reminds me of Brandy. Not just her tone but her whole damn vocal styling. A lot of people are inspired by her hell Chris Brown’s “Liquor” gives Brandy runs down and this is coming from a Monica fan!!

  27. K September 14, 2015

    In all honesty Brandy’s ‘sound’ with the layered harmonies is inspired by alternative artists like Enya and Imogen Heap too…so Dawn does have a point there. The riffs though in the other hand ..girl we know who you got those from…why lie?!

  28. K September 14, 2015

    In all honesty Brandy’s ‘sound’ with the layered harmonies is inspired by alternative artists like Enya and Imogen Heap too…so Dawn does have a point there. The riffs though on the other hand ..girl we know who you got those from…why lie?!

  29. Case September 14, 2015

    Where are the influences beyond some riffs and vocals? Brandy would never record a song like Calypso, or Tide, or Billie Jean. Scratch that, Brandy would never record an album like Blackheart. Dawn is Brandy’s fan, but it’s clear Brandy is not a huge influence on Dawn’s music. I am flabbergasted coming off an album like Blackheart people still think Brandy is Dawn’s number one inspiration. I do not see it and I am happy Dawn is brave enough to tell the truth, not pretend or kiss a$$.

  30. Bloop September 14, 2015

    She wants to be so deep and “I don’t didn’t grow up listening to black R&B music”… Bish please! I’m not the biggest Brandy fan but known about her since day one of her career. Dawn is a delusional b**** and will never move past her stalled career.

  31. Eddie September 14, 2015

    Well to give you a little history, Brandy is pretty much a legend.. First African American Teen to have a barbie doll, First AA to have her own tv show (the last 3 seasons were produced by her) The first AA Teen Cover Girl, First AA Cinderella, Highest selling R&B ALBUM since Whitney Houston BG with 17Mil copies (Never say Never) so trust me Dawn knew of brandy..

  32. Taivonjovonnie September 14, 2015

    Dawn stop ur fraud ass can’t lies we already knew u studied brandy vocals styles since the 98. video of you praising bran singing angel in disguise and making the band singing bran song don’t play h**

  33. King Mark111 /.\ September 14, 2015

    Hahahahahahahaha, I told y’all, these “artist” will jack the style of the OGs and then pretend they don’t know them. Ciara with Aaliyah, Taco Doughnut Licker with Mariah, Nicki with Kim, Jb with JT. Do they think we’re stupid? You never heard of the pop princess of the 90’s? (I didn’t make that up, she was called that until Brit came along), Mo to the E to the? Unless she’s 60 or she been in a cave all her life. And Black people only say that? We don’t know you, you and your poor group (overrated to the max, you hookers weren’t even on PCD’s level, or even 3LW for that matter) are nothing. The only fans you have are gays, they were the ONLY one’s excited for your and Donkey Kong’s Reunion.

  34. blinged September 14, 2015

    Bye dawn, hang it up all your music flops and your a mediocre singer at the most tbh go back and try to get dentistry Kane back together because honestly that’s your last hope for survival tbh.com

  35. Magic Monroe September 15, 2015

    I love the f@#%* out of Dawn, But if I could remember correctly from reading and watching multiple interviews where she has always spoke of emulating Ms. Brandy Rayana Norwood to an extent. Plus it’s all over youtube with her going crazy over Brandy. I respect her want in individuality and that is cool and honestly the subject is not that serious, Brandy is always great with or without emulation of others, ijs. lol. Plus it’s not like she denied Brandy’s cred. I give Dawn a C+ on her speech. ok great moving on 🙂

  36. Fan of Both September 15, 2015

    I love them both and have all of their albums (purchased). I honestly don’t think of Brandy when I hear her solo albums, but it was noticeable in the DK days. Sidenote: I don’t think it smart to assign assumptions to one particular race or group of people. You’re an independent artist sweetheart…you need everybody you can get.

  37. promote_peace November 9, 2015

    Brandy’s voice is my favorite voice of all time. I am also immensely inspired by Dawn’s voice and her creativity. It is disturbing that so many of us waste our time putting either of these beautiful queens down.
    I do hear Brandy in Dawn but that is not Dawn’s fault. It’s because I listen to Brandy on a daily basis. Shoot, I was listening the country singer Luke Bryan the other day and thought, “that’s a Brandy run!” Long story short, it shouldn’t matter. They are both lovely and talented. They are both human. Stop the hate. Totally unnecessary.

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