Songs

Dior Ashley Brown Wants You to Speak Her Vernacular on New Single

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Dior Ashley Brown’s funky new single “Vernacular” is a hard-hitting personal manifesto, and like Frank Ocean, she has two versions.

Released as a pair of sister songs, “Vernacular (Red)” and “Vernacular (Blue),” they both serve as commentaries on perspective. The synthesized “Vernacular (Red)” and the analog “Vernacular (Blue)” play on the red pill-blue pill metaphor popularized by The Matrix. Do you want to wake up, or not?

“I wanted the dual track to create its own semantics with two different but similar vibes, raising questions and conversation over synthesized sounds versus live instrumentation,” Brown said. “A blue feel versus a red feel, creating its own language. Vernacular.”

There’s a lot to like on each song. “Vernacular (Red),” produced by King Kai, complements Brown’s vocal vibrancy with booming kicks and an energetic vocal sample. On “Vernacular (Blue),” Brown relaxes her delivery to meet the warm organs and lazy guitar.

Narratively, the songs are the same mixture of politics. While she makes an overt reference to the exasperation many felt in the days before the 2016 presidential election, Brown is quick to note that politics in America didn’t become personal overnight.

“For me, the climate never changed. It has always been political,” says Brown. “I’m highly affected by politics being a full-time creative in the DMV, dealing with artist displacement, consumers of art not valuing art, being black and a woman in America.”

Brown has a few projects currently in the works. “Vernacular” is attached to an upcoming album titled Uptown Ashley Brown, and she’s also working on a live album with her group, The dAb Band. Aside from recording music, Brown is gearing up to present a theatrical production at H Street’s Atlas Performing Arts Center, which will take place on March 2.