Interview: Donn T

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After reviewing Flight of the Donn T and being impressed with Donn Thompson Morelli’s sophomore album, Pop-Break was able to get a moment out of the Donn’s packed schedule for a scoop on her latest journey.

Flight of the Donn T was released on April 21, 2015 following somewhat of a five-year hiatus from Donn’s last album, Kaleidoscopic. While fans were waiting for more from Donn T and could only nibble on her EP Gramophonica, the songstress had a voyage filled with discovery, new love, and maneuvering around a slight hurdle she needed to overcome in order to deliver her music safe and soundly to the world.

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Kaleidoscopic was recorded and mastered in a week. The day before I made Kaleidoscopic, I didn’t know I was making it,” says Donn T. The album (which was her debut record) was composed with the UK-based French producer DJ Simbad and an international hit as it drew from London electronica and Chicago house while stained with Philly-like flare.

While opening for Marsha Ambrosius a few years ago, Donn’s guitar player Jake Morelli — now her husband — approached Donn about meeting with the president of RED Music, an artist development and distribution branch of Sony Music. She took the meeting with Bob Morelli and RED Vice President Alan Becker “and it was very successful.”

“They were visibly awed by the music … very expressive about it,” says Donn T. “Bob Morelli said in a very direct way, ‘This is incredible and we can do nothing with you.’” Donn T’s chance at finding a music transport had a flight delay.

“I left that meeting feeling kind of encouraged about my art and discouraged about what to do now. In order for me to connect with this positivity and this promise I had to to become something different.”

Donn T started her own label, D Tone Victorious in 2014 and took flight. She released her first video ever with idegosuperego Media for the popular track ‘Midnight,’ which was picked up for the Lifetime film With This Ring. The track ‘Waiting’ was sought after by Selma director Ava Duvernay for her BET film I Will Follow. The year before launching her own label, Donn wed Jake Morelli and became the “bonus mom” to Jake’s 12-year-old daughter.

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“The story is going to be the most effective when you find out what the story is. Sometimes it takes five days and sometimes it takes five years,” says Donn T.

Donn T is inspired, like most artists, by love and life experiences; “the more intense the better,” she says. She enjoys artists who “don’t mind pulling the curtain back” like Esperanza Spalding, Liann La Havas, Deqn Sue, and Fantastic Negrito.

“A lot of my message is who I am, [it is] about just doing things differently and just being fully expressive. … As an artist I can help inspire and encourage people in general. And women and young girls to embrace all of who they are.”

Now that Donn T has taken flight, she is in the busy-ness of promotion and gearing up for
shows like the Mixed Remixed festival in Los Angeles, CA on June 13 and touring.

Please get to know more about Donn T here & check her out at The Roots Picnic, May 30th at Penn’s Landing Festival Pier in Philadelphia.

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Asia Martin is a staff writer for Pop-Break covering TV shows and movies that make her laugh or cringe. She spends most of her daytime hours assisting Hurricane Sandy relief at The Children’s Home Society of NJ, yes people are still in need. In her spare time, she runs her own social media management business, Rising Dynamics, LLC and freelance writes. Asia is a graduate of Rutgers University with a major in Journalism and Media Studies. She loves superhero cartoons, films and Comic Con but continuously skips out on comic books #sorrybutnotsorry Follow Asia on Twitter: @ColoredIn
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