D.S. Sense takes hip hop and R&B on a ‘Space Audissey’
By Steve Furay
Special to the Michigan Citizen
“Nobody has to take interest in what I’m putting out, how I feel or how I present it,” says D.S. Sense, sitting comfortably outside on a fall afternoon in Detroit. “But the fact there is an audience who appreciates it is priceless.”
If the timing were not right, D. S. Sense would not accept the crown. Detroit is not a city that requires one queen upon the throne of their hip hop community, too many women hold regal positions in their own right. That is a title she may be qualified to accept, but she knows only time can truly proves one’s greatness.
“You can promote, get people in venues, they’ll be there for whatever reason,” she says. “Drinks, food, maybe their network, but to have them there solely for your music and they appreciate what you do, it thrills me.”
From live shows to her new album “Space Audissey,” Deidre “D.S. Sense” Smith has proven to be one of the city’s most dynamic performers. Her raps are complex rhythmic testimonials of her life — mature and confident — and her singing places well in today’s neo-soul soundscape. After several years of recording and performing, she feels ready to step further into the world as a professional musician.
“As an artist, that is so gratifying, because when we sit alone in our rooms and something crosses our mind and we compose and we write and it’s for us initially,” says D.S. Sense. “And then we allow them to come into our world and they connect. They say, not only do I get what you were saying, but you said exactly what I wanted to say, the way I wanted to say it. It’s mindblowing. I’m still wrapping my mind around my impact with hip hop, music in general, and the impact that I’m having in Detroit and abroad. I sit in awe.
“The gratitude I feel, that keeps me going as an artist.”
Today’s Detroit is in need of great new music to represent it, and “Space Audissey” is one album that could comfortably fill that void. D.S.Sense took her time putting the album together, co-executive produced by herself and Planet Da Majustic, having collected the songs over the years, which represent her at this point in her life.
“Timing is everything. I feel like I’m more polished, a little more groomed for what comes with this art. Not as sensitive, a little more accepting of criticism. I let things roll off me a little better. I just think that comes with age and experience.”
She has released two studio projects prior to “Space Audissey” — the 2008 self-titled album and “Start Up Money” in 2006. She is hoping those songs also continue to be heard.
“People don’t know about those songs,” she says. “I’m usually doing new material on stage, I’m never really reciting the same songs over. It’s just time — I think I’m little more seasoned and a little more aware of what the audience wants to hear.”
D.S.Sense stays aware of herself and the trappings of the music industry, knowing that chasing a dream of money and fame can lead a person down the wrong path. Patience and growth over the years have allowed her to slowly introduce herself to audiences in the city and abroad.
“This art that I give is so personal. I won’t give you all of me in one song or I won’t give you all of me in one meeting. But whatever it is you haven’t understood about me, you’ll find it in songs, in four bar increments, little increments.
“You’ll find sensitivity if you thought I was a little harder, you’ll find strength there if you thought I was a little softer, you’ll find a little sensuality there if you thought ‘no, she doesn’t touch on that.’ When you hear a song, I’m gifting to you a part of my personality that you might not have known,” she said.
She began singing at three years old, and a few years later her cousin introduced her to hip hop with a J.J. Fad 45 record. The electrifying beats and energy of the women on the microphone gave her a new direction.
“And he put it on my little Sesame Street player, and he spun it. I said ‘oh, I’m going to be a part of this.’ It was new to my ears, new to my house, it was a new energy, and I felt like I could really relate to it. I didn’t know what it was, I just knew that ‘oh ok, yeah I love jazz and I love soul, but this is my voice. I’m going to find my voice in this hip hop.’”
Throughout her evolution as a person and an artist, D.S. Sense has remained loving, humble, grateful, sincere and honest. She has much to offer listeners worldwide, and she is sure to be patient in reaching them. Whether through rap or R&B, her voice in hip hop is delivered direct from her soul.
“I started as a vocalist,” says D.S. Sense. “On every album, I’ll do a little neo-soul, R&B, then I’ll just take it raw hip hop, real gritty.” She says people fear that might mess up the flow of an album, but it’s all about placement, and timing.
“It’s all because I want to give you all of me,” she says.