Shannon Bex and Aubrey O’Day aren’t letting the past get them down — instead, they’re finally able to use their amazing songwriting talents to launch their own music. Trust me, you’ll be addicted to dumblonde.
You knew Aubrey O’Day and Shannon Bex from Making the Band, then from Danity Kane. They haven’t been quiet about the drama that broke the band up — specifically the physical fight that went down with Dawn Richards, ultimately ending the band. However, now they girls have put their talents together and the dramz behind them for their new group, Dumblonde. Aubrey and Shannon stopped in to the HollywoodLife.com podcast and told us everything from why they don’t fight, what actually went down with Diddy (who they still refer to as Puffy), and of course, how why they created “dumblonde” — lowercase “d.”
“We would get to the studio [and] put our phones in a basket. We didn’t give ourselves any rules. We wanted to explore. We wanted to find Dumblonde sound and it was very organic,” Shannon said about the new music. Aubrey was excited to add that they were starting from scratch. “We didn’t want any energy pushing us toward making a radio single.”
Naturally, that led to the discussion of the days they were pushed toward a radio single, by Diddy. “We didn’t get to decide anything. We were literally handed tracks that were already referenced for us. We didn’t have any control,” Aubrey said. When the band split for the first time, “it was Puff” who caused it, she said. “It wasn’t the group’s decision; he fired me from the group and it dismantled after that.” When we asked for his reason in the firing, she said he claimed it was her “image,” but Aubrey never bought that. “I think it was just an excuse to end what he was doing with us in order to move onto his next project, which he already had underway with one of our group members in it,” Aubrey said.
Later, DK3 was formed with the girls and Dawn, which ended up ending in August after Dawn literally hit Aubrey in the back of the head in the studio. They girls broke down the complications that led to the physical fight — a lot of “group meetings” and communication issues. “I think a lot of fears and insecurities of her own were getting played out across on us, and we were having to tip-toe around all of her issues,” Aubrey explained. “I’m not a girly girl, so I was always like, ‘Oh my gosh, another f-cking meeting.’ But I wanted to keep the lines of communication open because she’s one of those [people who] shut down and create movies, and get lost in a lot of fantasy that is not based in reality, so we didn’t want things to get delusional.”
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Could & Should DK Reunite?
So, could they ever make up again? “We couldn’t recover from physical violence,” she said. “I’ve only experienced physical abuse in my childhood, so experiencing that as an adult immediately brought me back to that feeling. But I mean I’ve worked in a lot of tough rooms . . . so I’m used to standing up and fighting, not physically, but I’m used to the business side of it. But when it becomes what it did, it’s so toxic, and it was already verbally abusive toward Shannon and I, incredibly abusive, but we had each other.” Naturally, we asked if Dawn did call her to squash the beef, would she forgive her? “She will never do that,” she answered. “I really know who she is now, and I don’t think a phone call would change that. I’m very happy with Shannon. We made the best music we’ve ever made. This album is better than any Danity Kane album we’ve ever made. And this is an album we’d actually play. I’ve never listened to any of the Danity Kane albums in my car. And I love our albums and I love our work. It’s not to discredit anything we ever did, but for me personally as a music lover — I did not listen to those albums when I had the chance to listen to anything I ever wanted.”
This time around, there’s no fighting and no drama, just Shannon and Aubrey calling all the shots. They’re involved with every step of their music now — and it’s not about making a “radio hit.” “All that gets someone a gold or platinum record is money and backing. If you want to get your song played on the radio, it’s about 30 grand in urban radio and 50 grand in pop and that’s for the lowest level of radio push,” Aubrey said. “This is all run by money. Everyone thinks it’s run by what is really a hit and what really is the best song. Everything on the radio sucks to me and it’s played over and over again and it’s the same six artists. There are some that are really great. Like don’t get it twisted, a Bruno Mars comes along and murders it. Taylor Swift can come along and murder it with something really phenomenal with great songwriting, with great production, but there is also a lot of crap being played too.”
At the end of the day, “the trade off would be to sell out and we would lose ownership of our project and right now we own our project and we own our music,” she said. And their music is really good guys. Listen here!
— Emily Longeretta