The mystery behind OVO Sound’s singer/producer duo dvsn feels slightly familiar. Much like The Weeknd’s enigmatic persona back in late 2010 into early 2011, dvsn was perceived to be a well-known artist disguising himself to push his new sound into the limelight. However, after the inclusion of “With Me” on Drake’s OVO Sound radio show late last year, and when news broke that the duo also had signed to the OVO Sound label, it’s difficult to stay hidden. The feathery vocalist you hear on every dvsn track is Daniel Daley. Daniel stays off of social media and out of the public eye for the most part but rumor has it that he and the other member of dvsn, Canadian Hip-hop/R&B producer Nineteen85 (pictured above), have been working together dating all the way back to 2009.
Never heard of Nineteen85? Allow me to fill you in. Paul Jeffries aka Nineteen85 is a Grammy-nominated producer from Scarborough, Ontario. (Daley derives from there as well) Jeffries is best known for the huge hits he’s made alongside Drake and Majid Jordan which include: “Hold On, We’re Going Home”; “Hotline Bling”; “Truffle Butter”; “My Love”; “Too Much”; and “0 to 100/The Catch Up”.
Dude has crazy talent. When I first saw all those hits he’s responsible for, my jaw literally dropped. No wonder he won an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award both last year and in 2014 (“0 to 100/The Catch Up” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home” respectively).
His blend of ultra smooth bass, soulful backing vocalists, and classic R&B grooves with modern Trap snares adds to the OVO Sound label’s streak of redefining contemporary R&B. How dvsn differs from other OVO-affiliated acts like The Weeknd, Roy Wood$, and soft Drizzy is that there is absolutely no grit to any of these beats. dvsn isn’t trying to follow any trends of infusing Hip-hop with their original sound. That’s one aspect I love about this album. With exclusive production from 85, SEPT. 5TH‘s ten tracks are meant to be recycled three or four times in a row.
Each song is a dream-like love story. Most of the lyrical themes are what you might expect: blunt sexual references, infatuation, passionate love, and reflection on past mistakes. But the execution heard throughout this project puts a fresh spin on traditional R&B. dvsn is the type of music you do the Chris Brown “Take You Down” air hump to when nobody is looking. Or maybe that’s just me?
The timely talk box synthesizer on “In + Out” and the intricate pitter-patter and white-noise percussion on “Hallucinations” wrap this album in a high-gloss bow. SEPT. 5TH is not only held up by its cutting edge production, though. Daley’s powerfully delicate vocal performances on “Angela”, “Hallucinations”, and “The Line” propel this album out of the monotony of today’s direction of sex-drenched pseudo love songs. Most modern R&B artists sing love songs as if they’re going through the motions. On SEPT. 5TH, Daniel Daley sounds like he is passionately in love, not only with someone special but also with each individual track.
The album title uncovers the duo’s true creative motives. September 5th, 2015 is the date in which they released their first two tracks: “The Line” and “With Me”. That could possibly be a coincidence, but I highly doubt it. I am known to connect one too many dots, but giving this album a few listens reassures the fact that these two will be spicing up the R&B game for many years down the road. If you like Usher, Trey Songz, and Majid Jordan, don’t hesitate to give dvsn a fighter’s chance. Click below to support SEPT. 5TH through iTunes and check out their SoundCloud profile while you’re at it!
SEPT. 5TH on iTunes