Healing and self-care through 5 instrumental canvases
Desarae Dee is a Canadian Instrumental Fusion Artist, Multi-Instrumentalist and Producer who has made significant waves in the Canadian music industry with her unique and unconventional playing style since 2014. Known as “Toronto’s Queen of Vibes,” her passionate and meaningful sound combines a unique mixture of faith, soul, vulnerability and divine balance. 8 years into her life as a music artist, she has established herself as a genre-bending and boundary-pushing artist. She has an extensive resume that includes an abundance of music releases, in addition to regional touring, features on Spotify’s Fresh Finds Jazz, NPR Music’s Jazz Night: On The List and Jazz Night Staff's Holiday Faves playlists, national and international media and radio coverage and a Top 100 finish in the 2022 CBC Music Searchlight competition. In addition to her numerous musical accolades, Desarae was one of five recipients of the 2022 SiriusXM Black Canadian Awards powered by the SOCAN Foundation. As someone who never saw herself represented in the entertainment industry, Desarae has blazed a trail of authenticity and genre exploration while continuing to break barriers in the industry and forge a path for current and future Black Women Musicians.
Can you share with us some pivotal moments in your journey in music? What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and what motivates you to continue creating and performing?
Not seeing myself represented in the Canadian Music Industry and my desire to see more black woman musicians was my major motivator in pursuing a music career. I have always seen myself as a go-getter, visionary and a leader and I knew the capacity of what I brought to the table with both my level of talent and skill and my determination and perseverance. I know without a shadow of doubt that music is my purpose on this earth. One of the pivotal moments in my career was realizing 4 years in that I wasn’t utilizing all the skills that I was given by God and when I made that mindset change, that’s when my music and even how I approached my career saw a huge shift and a lot of my goals started to come to fruition.
Your work is engaging and powerful. What is your creative process like as an instrumental artist, and how do you approach songwriting and production? In addition, who have been some of your influences on your music and themes?
I approach music from a “go with the flow” perspective. I like for my creative process to flow and a lot of the music that I produce comes from my mood that particular day, and various life experiences and I almost hear a soundtrack for every experience in my head. I’ll then sit at my piano and I’ll hear a melody and then everything starts coming together. The various melodies that I create, tell my personal story and I like to call my songs, “instrumental canvases.” My musical influences are Robert Glasper, Alicia Keys, Oscar Peterson and Frédéric Chopin and they definitely have shaped my unique playing style, along with my “unconventional” and “outside the box” thought process.
Your EP celebrates self-care and self-reflection, and it’s something that resonates with us at Chocolate Lemonade Headquarters. Can you tell us more about the concept behind the album? Were the songs inspired by a specific event or experience, and what message do you hope to convey to your audience?
SELF was a word that I heard during one of my times of meditation as I was looking back at my personal journey of learning to be more kind and caring to my own self. It celebrates love, care and reflection of one’s self as it pertains to healing and growth. The EP starts with an affirmation that says, “Caring for yourself is important, Loving yourself is key and reflecting on your self helps you grow.” These three key themes are so key in the healing process and I share my healing process through these 5 instrumental canvases. This EP is not just for myself, but it’s an encouragement to others to make themselves a priority and that it’s important to love, care and reflect on yourself.
What upcoming projects can you tell us about, and what can fans expect from you in 2023?
I have a brand new single called “Chilly Timing” that will be available on March 30, 2023 as well as more music and visuals in the coming months. I also have 3 performances lined up for the month of March that I’m super excited about!
As a magazine with a strong focus on music and food, we are curious: if your music could be represented by a drink or food item, what would it be and why?
If I could describe my music using a food or drink item, I’d say a three tier layered salted caramel cake with a hint of coffee flavour. The coffee flavour gives off a boldness, which is representative of the boldness and boundary pushing nature of my music and the layered cake represents the layers of my musical journey from the obstacles, the perseverance and the success.