‘Until now this style of music has always slipped under the radar but the UK as a whole has so many incredible artists in that vein...’
Evan Dale // July 28, 2021
A decade ago, young British soulstress, Dionne Bromfield was expanding her horizons. Having recently signed to her Godmother, Amy Winehouse’s label, Lioness, and releasing her debut project, Good For The Soul, the sky was the limit as she backed up her idol on tour. But then, tragedy struck. Now a decade since the passing of Amy Winehouse, and Bromfield again finds herself at a crossroads, albeit this time, one of opportunity, growth, and penultimate closure. Having just released a documentary on her life, friendship, and working relationship with Winehouse in collaboration with MTV, and working en route to her first solo EP since her life was forever changed in 2011, her tone is starkly positivist, and her music, markedly emotive. We spoke with the re-emerging UK figure on Neo-Soul and R&B, her past with Amy, her future with music, and what she hopes you’ll get out of the new documentary.
RNGLDR: A decade since your last project, 2011’s Good For The Soul, and you’re working towards your next. Tell us about your break from releases (which ended after a 7-year hiatus with the 2018 single, Can’t Unlove You) and what it is that such time away from sharing your music granted you personally and creatively. Who are you now personally that you weren’t in 2011, and how does that impact your creativity; your sound? And why the break from music?
Dionne: I felt that I needed to take a bit of a break from music and just experience life. I was so young when I released my first record and I really needed some time to grow. For me, it is important that my music is authentic and honest so having that time to actually go through life experiences, allowed me to grow creatively and channel this into my songwriting.
RNGLDR: 2020’s Bad Intentions is credited as the single that kickstarted the road to your new and long-awaited EP. What can you tell us about the forthcoming project? And how has the process of making a project changed for you since you were last doing so?
Dionne: I have never felt more excited about a project before. I really feel like this sets the tone for where I am today and the kind of music I want to make. It feels like a new chapter and it’s got a slightly new sound but it is still very much me.
RNGLDR: As for Bad Intentions, the single is an upbeat, soulful exhibition of your vocal prowess blended into a pop sound. Is it a good example of what to expect from your stylistic approach as you push towards the release of your new EP? Or is there a different sort of soundscape that you’d like to paint for how the project will be heard?
Dionne: Bad Intentions is probably the most upbeat track on the EP. But throughout the EP it’s definitely got that soulful sound but leans more towards R&B. Lyrically all of the tracks are about experiences that I’ve gone through so any young person will be able to relate to them.
RNGLDR: Your most recent single, Silly Love takes on a more emotionally deep-diving R&B angle that really puts on a display of just how powerful and rangy your register is. Influenced by your Godmother, Amy Winehouse, and her one-of-a-kind sound and personal influence on you, how did the challenges in writing a song inspired by someone who was so close to you shape the single’s sound?
Dionne: Naturally, people compare mine and Amy’s voices but really this single and the EP to follow is my own unique sound. This chapter is really a new one for me.
RNGLDR: On the subject, on the tenth anniversary of her tragic passing, MTV is releasing a documentary about your relationship with her. Tell us about the film, what it grants you personally in reflection and in closure, and what it grants you creatively in inspiration and in dedication.
Dionne: Making this documentary more than anything was an opportunity for me to show people the real side of Amy that I don’t think has been shown. Personally, it was a chance for me to really address feelings that I had buried very deep inside and now overcome. I really hope that as a result of watching my documentary people get an insight into the Amy I love and know so well.
RNGLDR: Let’s talk about the UK and London in particular. A fruitful playground for Neo-Soul and R&B artists, what do you think it is about your local scene that makes for such a dynamic and influential pool of soulful talent on the global stage?
Dionne: I think incredible Soul and R&B has always been around, I just don’t think it was getting the right recognition at the time, but now I think people are wanting to hear real live-sounding music which Neo-soul and R&B is. Until now this style of music has always slipped under the radar but the UK as a whole has so many incredible artists in that vein and I’m glad it’s starting to peek through.
RNGLDR: And aside from yourself, who are some fellow contemporary UK Neo-Soul and R&B artists that you feel inspired by?
Dionne: ENNY - I think she's really, really good, I love that she just does her own thing. I really like Nao she’s been killing it for quite a while now. I think her voice is really distinctive, as soon as you hear it you know it’s her and that’s what as an artist you dream for.
RNGLDR: On the subject of the modern London-centric Neo-Soul scene, as you continue to re-emerge into the limelight towards your new EP, who would be a fellow UK artist that you’d love to work with?
Dionne: There are so many great artists out there that it’s tricky to pinpoint one, but the top of my list out of UK artists would be Little Simz I think she is wicked!
RNGLDR: And how about an artist outside of the UK altogether? Why?
Dionne: Jack Harlow, I absolutely love and would be so up for working with him. I saw his tiny desk appearance and was just blown away by his creativity and performance as a whole. I also love it when rappers use live bands.
RNGLDR: Are there any prospective collaborations that you can tell us about on the new project or in the future in general?
Dionne: This EP doesn’t have any collaborations as I wanted to use this to really cement who I am as an artist but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t collaborate with someone if I thought it was right.
RNGLDR: And is there anything else you’d like to say about the project, about the documentary, and about yourself personally and creatively?
Dionne: I hope you like my most recent releases and enjoy the EP when it finally comes. My socials are @dionneoffical so keep tabs on them to stay up to date with all things me. I hope you enjoy the documentary and take nothing but positivity away from it.