D: Hi, this is Dondria.
R: Hi, how are you?
D: I’m good! How are you?
R: I’m doing good. Long day, but I’ll make it.
D: Yeah, I had one too.
R: I heard. How was your photo shoot?
D: It went really well; I’m really excited! I got to pick the pictures and stuff before I left, so.
R: Well cool, that’s hot! My name is Rah Willz and I’m the creator and founder of RahTalk, and actually one of my colleagues is Tiffany Terell. I’m sure you know her, but it’s a pleasure to meet you!
D: Nice to meet you too!
R: Most people aren’t familiar with where you were discovered, or how you were discovered. For those who are unfamiliar with your “rise”, can you let them know how a recording contract with So So Def came about?
D: Yes, I can. I started putting videos up on YouTube just to get an unbiased opinion on what people thought because you know your parents, your friends, people at church, school; “Girl you can sing”, and then you go on American Idol and you sound a hot mess, and Simon says you suck. So, I knew if I went on YouTube, I knew that they would be honest with me and tell me if they liked it, or if they didn’t. And that’s really the only reason I went on there! But after a year, I had reach a million views on a couple of videos and at that time, there was like 20,000 subscribers.
People started reaching out to me, wanting to work with me, and one of those people was J.D. At this time, Myspace was still kind of hot, and he was hitting me up on there, and I gave him my number, and he called me, but I don’t really do to well with numbers I don’t know so I didn’t answer. I just didn’t believe it was him; I thought it was a hoax. I just didn’t want to get my feelings hurt, but it was him, and we had a conversation, and he asked if I was ready, and I was like yeah, “Hey, I was born for this.”
D: And that’s how it started!
D: They are!
R: But YouTube though? How many videos do you have up on YouTube now?
D: Oh God, now I have over 200.
R: 200? Out of all the videos you have posted, is there one or two that you would consider a favorite?
D: “Promise” by Ciara. It was the first to reach a million views, so I guess it was my favorite because it did so well. I also really, real enjoyed doing “Diary” by Alicia Keyes. And I just put one up! This week, “Make Me Whole” by Amel La.
R: Are there any videos you would re-record?
D: Hmmm, umm let’s see. Let me think about this. I do like to think it’s ok if I crack, or run out of breath or forget the words. I like to put it up anyway because I want people to know that I’m real. I make mistakes just like anybody else. So with that being said, I guess I could pick one for interview purposes. Let’s see, Beyoncé’s… (STARTS SINGING). What’s the name of that song?
D: “Listen”. Beyoncé’s “Listen”.
R: How long have you been singing? When did you first discover your passion for music?
D: I’ve been singing my whole life, since I was like 3. Professionally, since ‘07, but I realized I wanted to be a singer in middle school. Destiny’s Child came out and I just… That was all I needed. They were so motivating. I just knew I was Beyonce and, me and my friends would sing their songs. It was like it was Barbie for me because I didn’t play with Barbies when I was younger, but when Destiny’s Child came out, I got those dolls!
R: I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but for Christmas one year, one of my gifts was the Beyoncé doll. I had that doll up until I graduated high school and everyone use to say, “Why you have a doll?”, and I would be like, “That’s Beyoncé! What are you talking about?”
D: Right, that’s not just some regular doll!
R: Are you serious? Don’t get at her like that!
R: If you had an ideal person or group to work with, who would it be?
D: Ideally, I would love to work with… Ok, number 1, Tank. I gotta have something with him.
R: Ok, I could see that Dondria!
D: Yeah, and I’m a make it happen too! Jazmine Sullivan; I love her. As for production, Timbaland, just to name a few.
R: If we were to go through your playlist right now, who are some artist we would find? Who do you listen to when you’re not working, chillin’?
D: I think it’s mainly male R&B. I mean, I’m going to have to say Tank again, because that’s just what it is. That’s my man in my head.
R: Ok Wendy Williams!
D: Right. I definitely have all his albums, even the first one that nobody knows about, and then I’m going to have to say destiny’s child. Also, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. I have like some unreleased, un-mastered music from Aretha, and it just shows how talented she is because without the studio and all, she still just sound so good, and then one curveball would be paramour.
R: Your last project was “Duets 3”. Who or what inspired that mix-tape?
D: Well, I just wanted to do something different. I mean, I had done 2 mix-tapes prior to that; of just whatever the current male songs were, but I wanted, I needed to do another mix-tape, but I didn’t want to do it the same kind of way because to me the music just kept…it wasn’t enough music, like good music to remix anymore. I mean the first one I did, Maxwell was out. It was just good R&B out. Then the second one was ok, but the third one it was mainly a lot of rap music that was on top of the charts, and I like to do duets, so I just thought why not do the 90’s. I loved that. I really wish I would have came out in the 90’s because the music was awesome; like every type of music was awesome, not just one particular genre. I knew that people could appreciate it, and they can be like “Oh, that’s my jam!”, and they would want to hear.
R: I heard rumors of an album. Are there any upcoming projects?
D: I have my single ready. It’s called “Little things”. It’s a ballad and my album is almost done. I probably have about 3 or 4 songs to do before it’s complete. And cross your fingers; we’re going to try and put it out this year, well, we are going to put it out this year!
R: I’m excited! I can’t wait!
D: Yay, it’s coming guys! I am excited too!
R: Where is Broadway?
D: Broadway lives in Atlanta now and is working, you know recording. We’re actually working on an EP together. It’ll probably be like 5 songs, nothing huge, but I know a lot of people, and want to hear us sing together, so we’re working on that right now. He’s coming, he’s coming! He’s just in grind mode right now.
R: You’re from Texas, you’re a destiny’s child fan, and you love Beyoncé. We share something in common; that’s hot! Superbowl 2013 halftime show; what were your thoughts, were you shocked to see Destiny’s Child together again?
D: Umm, I can’t say that I was shocked. I, well, ok, because a birdie was saying they was coming out and then you know how the blogs are. But, I knew that they were going to come out. I was happy to see them, very happy to see them and I’m glad that they got to do something together and I know people like us, who like destiny’s child were like, “Yay!” I really enjoyed it.
R: I lost my mind for about 13 minutes…
D: Oh no!
R: But, I made it through it!
D: That’s good! (LAUGHS)
R: What kind of advice would you give someone young who is trying to pursue a career in the same industry you’re; in the music industry?
D: I would tell them to utilize every single avenue that they can; obviously technology. The internet, all of that is probably the primary way to go. Utilize that, but don’t ignore the more traditional ways either, like still send in your demos and sign up for all that stuff, like the voice and American Idol. You never know what the outcome is, if you never try. Do everything and anything that you possibly can. Do it all because you never know which way you’re supposed to be discovered.
R: Great advice! Well thank you so much, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with RahTalk. Is there anything you would like to say?
D: I would like to say thank you and I am appreciative for all of the fans that will be reading. I love you! Music coming soon and we should make 2013, and Dondria a trending topic.
R: I agree, hash-tag Dondria!