Donnie first emerged out of the Atlanta Soul music scene, and with the support of Indie.Arie Donnie independently released the critically acclaimed The Colored Section (2002) on Giant Step which led to his signing with the legendary Motown record label. The idea of an artist using his or her music as a metaphoric soapbox is not new. But what separates Donnie from many of his contemporaries is the passion -bordering on religious fervor - that he brings to his music, an upbeat mixture of soul, funk, rock, hip-hop and the blues. As the son of two ministers, for which attendance in Church was a non-negotiable, Donnie learned quite a lot from the styles that emerged from the pulpit and the sounds that filled the churches. He found musical inspiration "just looking at the world...America is in bad shape. I witness human tragedy every single day. And that...don't make sense."
4 years after his debut, his sophomore album The Daily News arrives at a time when it is needed most. Tracks like "Over-the-Counter Culture," which features Phonte of the hip-hop group Little Brother, "Classifieds" and the title track "The Daily News," are clear indictments of the shortcomings and dangers of contemporary America. The Daily News is also a reminder that many of these issues are timeless, as is the case on songs like "China Doll" which tackles the difficult subject of child molestation, the very personal "Suicide," and "Impatient People," which mocks the federal government's response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Donnie's affinity toward legendary soul singers Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway has been clear, however, The Daily News reveals a Donnie much more closely aligned with the sociopolitical context of records like What's Going On? by his cousin, the late Marvin Gaye. It is Donnie's hope that his music "brings people some type of joy and it makes them think about what they are doing every single day, especially Americans."
Over-The-Counter Culture featuring Phonte
If I Were You (Radio Version)