Inital copies of both formats come with a Drama badge. Massive pop album. A multicultural collaboration between producer Na’el Shehade and vocalist Via Rosa, the project plays to the complementary dynamics of their pairing, blurring the lines between R&B and dance-pop, heartbreak and bliss. Following their signing to Ghostly International in 2019, they realize their years-in-the-making full-length debut, aptly titled Dance Without Me, a refined collection that recasts romantic tragedy as moonlit self-acceptance. Her soulful delivery, inspired by the improvisational nature of jazz and playful patterns of hip-hop and Bossa nova, interlocks with Shehade’s chic Chicago house-infused production style.
Many of the songs on Dance Without Me began as freeform lyrical experiments. Rosa’s wistful sensibilities come unforced and amorphous; Shehade shapes the song-structures, often tinkering with them for months, abandoning and returning to each believing that music is already written inside of us, it’s just a matter of locating the outlet. He found the chorus of Years by playing the raw recording for his nephew and focusing on the words he kept singing along to. Built on an old school drum break, the track reassures from the darkness of distance and the push-pull of past infatuations. Backed by a diamond-sharp drum figure and foggy, lilting piano trills, Forever and a Day is written from the perspective of someone who feels trapped in their relationship.