Hailing from the hardworking, blue collar city of Pittsburgh, PA, 19 year old singer/songwriter and musician Dana Vaughns is an authentic alternative R&B artist. His birthplace and un-flashy upbringing provided him with an honest foundation for his music. Growing up, he was inspired by an eclectic array of artists spanning genres – artists like Jill Scott, Jagged Edge, New Edition, and Brian McKnight shaped his taste, style as a young kid. Now at 19, Dana cites artist like Frank Ocean, Marvin Gaye, and Coldplay as his biggest influences as he steps into this next chapter of creating original music.
On his debut original song, Feelings, Dana describes the track as his “way to convey the pain of unrequited love.” The song was inspired by his own life, and came together almost immediately. After speaking on the phone with a former crush who’s been in and out of his life since childhood, Dana went to his part time job at a clothing store and couldn’t stop humming a melody. “I was standing there folding clothes early in the morning before we were even open, and just had this melody running through my head the whole time,” said Dana. Later that day, he was in the studio and was still stuck on his earlier phone call – the emotional turmoil stemming from the fact that he was already in a relationship with another lady. It was this experience that inspired the honest and telling lyrics of Feelings, and within two hours the lyrics were written and vocals recorded. Dana even went back days later to re record the vocals, but the rawness captured in real time on that first demo couldn’t be replicated and turned into the final version.
The realness and authenticity that Dana exudes as an artist is also what inspired the simplistic visuals for Feelings. The music video which features Dana singing surrounded by all encompassing lights let’s the story of the song and Dana’s vocal ability shine. With the release of his debut music, Dana is redefining what is means to be an alt R&B artist by bringing the focus of the genre back to artistry and undeniable live performance.