After Atlanta-based journalist, poet and novelist Collin Kelley did a reading for an event I'd assembled at The Tank performing art space which was later blogged about by Vanessa Daou, a name I've known from Danny Tenaglia DJ sets, Collin approached me about doing an interview with her for soldout. Here it is: "Welcome To The Daouhaus".
Welcome to the Daouhaus: A Conversation with Vanessa Daou
Jazz. Pop. Trip-hop. House. Spoken word. Vanessa Daou has put her unmistakable voice to all these genres, but many clubbers also know her as a dance icon thanks to floor-fillers like “Surrender Yourself,” “Near the Black Forest,” “Two to Tango” and “A Little Bit of Pain.” From the beginning of her career with former husband/producer Peter Daou as part of The Daou to her solo success in the ‘90s, Daou has been a favorite with DJs and remixers, especially Danny Tenaglia.
Coming off the success of her latest album, Joe Sent Me, Twisted Records has just released a compilation called Daouhaus: The Classic Remixes. Seven of Tenaglia’s reinventions are here, alongside deep grooves by David Morales, Olive and Mood II Swing. The album opens with the 1992, fourteen-minute opus that is “Surrender Yourself,” which rocketed to the top of the Billboard Dance chart and heralded a new direction for club music, bringing it from the underground to the mainstream. Olive (you remember them from the massive hit “You’re Not Alone”) turns the slinky “Near the Black Forest” (from Zipless, Daou’s solo debut based on the poetry of Erica Jong) and turns it into a heavy house groove with hints of drum-and-bass. Tenaglia’s Twilo Mix of “Two to Tango” is midnight rave-tastic.
In this exclusive interview, Daou offers up a history of her early foray into the club scene and how handing over her songs to DJs for reinterpretation is an intoxicating kind of freedom.