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Songstress Takes Flight With New Record

After reviewing Flight of the Donn T and being impressed with Donn Thompson Morelli’s sophomore album, Pop-Break was able to get a moment out of the Donn’s packed schedule for a scoop on her latest journey.
Flight of the Donn T was released on April 21, 2015 following somewhat of a five-year hiatus from Donn’s last album, Kaleidoscopic. While fans were waiting for more from Donn T and could only nibble on her EP Gramophonica, the songstress had a voyage filled with discovery, new love, and maneuvering around a slight hurdle she needed to overcome in order to deliver her music safe and soundly to the world.
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Kaleidoscopic was recorded and mastered in a week. The day before I made Kaleidoscopic, I didn’t know I was making it,” says Donn T. The album (which was her debut record) was composed with the UK-based French producer DJ Simbad and an international hit as it drew from London electronica and Chicago house while stained with Philly-like flare.
While opening for Marsha Ambrosius a few years ago, Donn’s guitar player Jake Morelli — now her husband — approached Donn about meeting with the president of RED Music, an artist development and distribution branch of Sony Music. She took the meeting with Bob Morelli and RED Vice President Alan Becker “and it was very successful.”
“They were visibly awed by the music … very expressive about it,” says Donn T. “Bob Morelli said in a very direct way, ‘This is incredible and we can do nothing with you.’” Donn T’s chance at finding a music transport had a flight delay.
“I left that meeting feeling kind of encouraged about my art and discouraged about what to do now. In order for me to connect with this positivity and this promise I had to to become something different.”
Donn T started her own label, D Tone Victorious in 2014 and took flight. She released her first video ever with idegosuperego Media for the popular track ‘Midnight,’ which was picked up for the Lifetime film With This Ring. The track ‘Waiting’ was sought after by Selma director Ava Duvernay for her BET film I Will Follow. The year before launching her own label, Donn wed Jake Morelli and became the “bonus mom” to Jake’s 12-year-old daughter.
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“The story is going to be the most effective when you find out what the story is. Sometimes it takes five days and sometimes it takes five years,” says Donn T.
Donn T is inspired, like most artists, by love and life experiences; “the more intense the better,” she says. She enjoys artists who “don’t mind pulling the curtain back” like Esperanza Spalding, Liann La Havas, Deqn Sue, and Fantastic Negrito.
“A lot of my message is who I am, [it is] about just doing things differently and just being fully expressive. … As an artist I can help inspire and encourage people in general. And women and young girls to embrace all of who they are.”
Now that Donn T has taken flight, she is in the busy-ness of promotion and gearing up for
shows like the Mixed Remixed festival in Los Angeles, CA on June 13 and touring.

SOPHOMORE RECORD SMOLDERS IN MATURITY, LOVE


There’s a respect and delight you have for an artist and an album that lacks the smoke and mirrors and the glittering non-gold. Donn Thompson Morelli’s sophomore album, The Flight of Donn T is smoldering in maturity, love and tours through diverse sounds.
Donn T is currently known for being the sister of ?uestlove (famed drummer of The Roots), the wife of guitarist Jake Morelli, the daughter to old school doo-wopper Lee Andrews & The Hearts and the grand-daughter of gospel singer Beachy Thompson of The Dixie Hummingbirds. Music lives and thrives in Donn T.’s genetic coding. Although, she is naturally and well-connected in the music industry, her voice and ear for rhythms that authenticate who she is give her a pair of legs to stand on all her own.
Flight of the Donn T has already leaked ‘Midnight’ to the Lifetime film With This Ringfeaturing fellow musician and actress Jill Scott. The song fit the movie well and picked up some attention. The album is produced by her husband and Mike McHenry, Anthony Bell, Danophonic and Steve Mckie.
Donn T’s husky and soothing vocals lead, introduce and support rich conversations with instruments best exemplified in ‘Fly’ and ‘What’s Beautiful.’ Donn T isn’t afraid to share the spotlight with her band and that’s always a fresh treat that can preach music first and artist second.
The melodies stroll through rock, jazz and neo-soul gently and effortlessly. Donn T may finally be picking up some speed but her sound is fully developed. Her vocals are controlled, poised and yet mysterious enough to make you wonder how far is her range. I became an instant fan after being pulled in by ‘Last Breath’, ‘Waiting’ and ‘Midnight.’ She reminds me of a more settled in Res.
Flight of Donn T is worth your time and attention. It is well written, balanced and sung just right.

Rating: 9 out of 10


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