dvsn Remind That Prince & Aaliyah Are One In A Million, With A Purple Mash-Up (Video)
Toronto, Ontario R&B duo dvsn is one of the more recognized acts on Drake’s OVO roster. Daniel Daley and Nineteen85 made an impact on Views (see: “Faithful”) right around the time they began releasing albums together. The pair’s latest, Morning After recently snuck into the US charts’ Top 40.
Nineteen85 has made a name for himself as one of Drake’s go-to producers, dating back to 2013’s “Hold On, We’re Coming Home.” While Drake’s famed music video paid homage to Miami Vice, the song itself echoed vibes that could be traced to Prince (see: “Strange Relationship”). Since then, he scored a Grammy for his hand in “Hotline Bling.”
Stopping by BBC 1Xtra, it appears to be Daley’s chance to shine. As artists are regularly stepping out of their boxes on the show (JAY-Z playing “Family Feud” with a choir, Joey Bada$$ paying homage to Jay and “Dead Presidents”), dvsn went big. The group opted to cover two of music’s most sacred and beloved artists: Prince and Aaliyah. Neither artist is alive to grant symbolic permission for any covers, which has spawned many fans to do it for them, often with scrutiny. dvsn does not just simply tap into these two beloved acts; they blend them—in a live mash-up of “Purple Rain” and “One In A Million.”
With three female singers, and Nineteen85 strumming an acoustic guitar, the blend from the start. Elements from the two original songs play, but in a careful arrangement. dvsn leaves enough absence to make the moment their own, which they do. Daley joins the three females in singing Aaliyah’s chorus, slow and drawn out. Then, he breaks into Prince’s lead. The females then support his vocal at critical parts for emphasis. Daniel’s voice flies high, and then he slides back into the Aaliyah rendition. It is only appropriate that light in the BBC studio casts a purple hue.
Blending a record from 1984 and another from late 1996 is the latest reminder that Prince and Aaliyah are timeless artists, in life and in spirit.
#BonusBeat: dvsn performing Morning After single “Mood”:
The album released in October.