DAM Dutchess / DAM Good Girls (Netherlands)

Published On April 29, 2013 | By Greg | Features, Interviews, Netherlands, Women in Hip Hop

“Dutchess” is a derivative of the words “Dutch” and “Duchess”.  “Dam” represents the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where “Dam Dutchess” was created.  Studio West, in New West, Amsterdam, is the base of collaboration for the collective.  During its successful 7 year existence, Studio West has become a celebrated catalyst for artistic creation in New West, Amsterdam, offering tools, professional guidance and peer support to help develop the raw talents of young people interested in theater, music, dance and media.  The inspiration for creating the Dam Dutchess platform was an abundance of young talented females within the community of Studio West, and the acknowledgement  that if given the tools, education and support they need to succeed, they would become better equipped to balance a male-dominated industry.

DAMdutchessalbumcoverBy Dj LaJedi (for World Hip Hop Market)

The much respected MC Melodee has taken the lead as Coach of  Dam Dutchess.  Her dedication to her music career in Holland and beyond has earned an honorable status as a Leading Lady in Hip Hop, ready and able to guide aspiring females to greatness within themselves and for the benefit of their audience and communities.  Melodee has been active in the music industry for over 14 years.  While being writer, performer and leader of her band, La Melodia, (with producer I.N.T.) she put in work for Fatbeats Records Store, Kindred Records Amsterdam, and and founded Future Vintage Radio, a weekly radio show she hosted from 2007-2010.  Melodee has extensive work available with La Melodia as well as with Spain’s production duo, Cookin’ Soul.  Get ready for her upcoming album, “Check Out Melodee”.  The single of the same name is featured in Dam Dutchess EP, “The Dam Good EP”, as well as is “Give It Up”, her work with I.N.T.

Free Download of “Dam Good EP
http://www.damdutchess.com/#!music

“Check Out Melodee” (Prod. Cookin’ Soul).  If you don’t know, you soon will. MC Melodee + Cookin’ Soul = some of the juiciest revisions of Hip Hop Past  you ever heard.  Cookin’ Soul production duo took Rakim’s undeniable classic to new levels of sonic boom for Melodee to lace with her smooth, tell-you-what-it-is style, giving respect to The R’s legendary flow.

“Give It Up” (Prod. I.N.T.)  This one here… Love Detroit Hip Hop/ Neo-Soul, A.K.A. J. Dilla, Slum Village, 5 ELA, Dwele?  I.N.T. echoes the spirit of that era in this instrumental…smart, sexy and street, Melodee spits a fresh perspective on the best topic- love…”…life can be a hassle, livin’ it with you, but then again, it takes 2…yeah, I know you feel it too…some say born alone die alone too, but I know my soul ain’t whole without you…and I know my goal is to make it through…”

http://www.mcmelodee.com/

http://www.datpiff.com/MC-Melodee-Cookin-Soul-Check-Out-Melodee-mixtape.353364.html

MC Melodee’s sound is sexy/hip hop soul, and the rest of Dam Dutchess crew expresses just about any other possibility of urban music genre; quite beautifully obvious to anyone who hears their recent release, “The Dam Good EP”

D-Luzion: songwriter, composer, producer and vocalist.  She describes herself as “Neohiphop”, finding inspiration in 90’s Hip Hop and R&B, computergames, orchestral arrangements and “offbeat progressios”.  She was a finalist in competition for the Music Matters Award in 2010, and soon after joined Hip Hop/ Funk/Soul band Ron-Le-Bass as lead vocalist.  D-Luzion is at ease both singing and rapping in English as well as Dutch.  Her contribution to “The Dam Good EP”…

“Danke Bitch” is candy sweet and sassy in tone, catchy and infectious whether or not you understand Dutch language.  Expect D-Luzion to push the boundaries of Hip Hop sound and achieve unprecedented levels of success for a female in the game.

http://d-luzion.com/

Shedney Ruffin:  Nashedy Licey, MC, was born in Amsterdam to a musical family.  Her mother was hip to Motown, exposing young Nashedy to Soul music, which inspired her to engage her vocal skills.  At the age of 12, Shedney performed in O.T.C.,  a crew of 12 (MC’s, DJ’s, B-Boys, B-Girls, and Graffiti writers), lasting 2 years.  Shedney has since performed internationally and has a project called Skillz4Breakfast with MC Antoine Fischer and Dj Estobe.

“Bami In Your Face” (Prod. Estobe)  is testament to her early Motown influence and Hip Hop presence.  An ultra energetic chop up of the hook from the classic “Backstabbers” sets Shedney up for a matter of fact “bami in the face” of the haters and perpetrators. She spits with speed and precision bouncing from bars to hooks, running through familiar cadence and  fresh sets.

http://www.ShedneyRuffin.tumblr.com/

Azahlee means ‘she who sings’ in Swahili.  She is East African descendant residing in Amsterdam.  Azahlee credits Billy Holiday, Coltrane, Maya Angelou, Gil Scott Heron, Public Enemy, Slum Village and J. Dilla as inspirations for her expression- a soulful, eclectic mix of words, rhythm, images and ideas.  Active in Amsterdam, she is a member of the poetry theatre collective, “Poetry Circle Nowhere”, while preparing the release of her first promo mixtape that will offer a mix of poetry, floetry and melodic hooks.

“The Same Shit” (Prod. Claudius DK) “The world could be yours, little brother…all you’ve gotta do is take it…that dream could come true, little sister…all you gotta do is chase it…”, she sings over an irregular beat, in a beautifully free, melodically fresh style that is uniquely Azahlee.  “…You don’t need millions to be happy…you don’t need to justify, even pacify what you might feel is right…”

http://azahlee.tumblr.com/

RBBP= Jennifer Muntslag, a.k.a. JNM the Naked+MC Tieka Masfar, a.k.a. Bambi Peeks.  JNM the Naked, born in 1983 of Surinamese descent, has embodied her stardom from youth.  A born performer, she will likely be the host/MC of the party you find her at.  80’s and 90’s R&B style lyrical flow had a major influence on JNM’s writing early in her career, leading to increasingly more rap verses.  Since gracing her first open mic at age 15, she has been performing her art steadily, and is now well known in Holland’s poetry scene.  Bambi Peeks, born in Amsterdam to a Filipino mother and Indonesian father, world traveller, multilingual poet and MC.  MC Tieka took cues from TLC’s liggy-liggy Left Eye to explore herself through rap lyricism.  At the same time, she challenged herself to push boundaries of her poetic style, resulting in a unique collection of writing published as “Made From Scrap”.  The acclaim MC Tieka received as a result enabled her to explore spoken word performance and filmmaking.  Jennifer and Tieka joined forces in 2010 over a collaboration with producer Rusted Braces and RBBP was created.

“Grenade Girl” (Prod. Rusted Braces) Unapologetically hype, clever, loud.  Rusted Braces provides a cutting edge dance/anthem production style, and these explosive MC’s are all over it like a fireworks show.  Fo Real.  “Grenade Girl” is so high energy you could call it sugar rush, but we’ll say honey high, because it is not over-produced, just sweet.  You will probably be on you feel by the end of the track.  That is all.

“…Hey girl, walk it off, no money can buy you love…all that s*%# you got to say, you don’t even look our way…”

http://www.rbbp.net/

Donna Lugassy, born in Holland April 29, 1994.  Her future as a singer has been her focus since age 7.  Aaliyah, Alicia Keys, India.Arie have nurtured her love for music, which includes but is not limited to her favorite genres: R&B, Soul, Jazz and Hip Hop.  Donna has been recording and performing for video since 10 years young. She has excelled in the high school for Music and Dance in Rotterdam, and upon graduation has decided to dedicate herself to her music career.

“Roll One Up” (Prod. Donna Lugassi)  Via the title, you know what it is – laid back, dreamy, smooth.  What you may not know is this skilled young woman can produce a quality of R&B/Neo-Soul-ish music that is simply beautiful.  Next to that, her vocal skills are tender and thorough.  The themes are well known and blown, but this sexy song is created in classic style and does not burn out.

http://soundcloud.com/DonnaLugassy%20

Raverty, Rachel Verulina Manniesing, born June 6, 1991, started rapping in English/Dutch in 2005.  By 2008 she was focused on making music her carer, appearing at the NewSkoolRules Conference to audition for a record deal.  Within a week, Raverty was contacted by Def Jam, Disturbin Tha Peace, Grand Hustle and Interscope!  Around that time, Raverty recorded “Big Trouble” with Rock City Songwriters.  While developing herself as an emerging artist, all-confident in her future as an international rapper, family issues caled Raverty to assist her loved ones and put her artistic work on hold. Now in 2012, Raverty is ready to unleash her best on all of Earth.  Expect “The Unexpected” EP very soon.

“So Sick” (Prod. Astronutz)  Truly accessible to the Global Urban dance floor.  Raverty’s flow is fluid over the energy of the track.  Edgy and Pop, but still Hip Hop; the whole track is bars and hooks about how ILL she is.  “…Now put your hands in the air, if y’all got the flu, and we can show Dam(Dem?) how sick people do, said I’m so sick tonight, so I’m on a roll, people getting wild, they lose control, so sick”

http://www.facebook.com/Raverty91

Lady Art “Picture Perfect” (Produced by Goblin Habits)  Entirely sexy from the texture of her voice, to the imagery, to the heart-flutter-stutter beat by Goblin Habits.  “Love is the reaction, my heart keeps dancin’, romance and all the passion, sexin’ and relaxin’, we smoke that remedy cuz baby we be flexin’”

http://soundcloud.com/lady-art

…And the Dam Dutchess DJ’s!

Whose Mixes can be downloaded here:

http://www.damdutchess.com/#!music

Dj Shug La Sheeda, The Feelgood Dj,  new on the scene and amped to be behind the decks.  Up until now, Shug has mainly worked behind the scenes to organize events and cultural projects in the New Media field.  Now she brings the sounds to facilitate the party.   “I am an out of the box DJ, I spin what I like to hear, but most important, I spin what sets the mood for the party.”, Dj Shug La Sheeda.  R&B/   Hip Hop/ Swingbeat/ Classics and Caribbean is what you are likely to hear when Shug is on the 1’s and 2’s.  She has rocked Holland at clubs such as Paradiso, Off-Corso, Club-Rain, Jimmy Woo, Tivali, Pakhuis 15, Escape Studio and Club Thirty-Seven.

http://rasheedah.tumblr.com/

Dj Dahlilah a.k.a. Empress Dee born in Magadishu, Somalie.  At 16 years young, Dahlilah was selecting music for FM radio(MOSA FM).  Her reputation as an event-making/ headlining DJ was realized through a monthly Reggae-Dancehall festival in the Melkweg, a top venue in Amsterdam.  Since that breakout monthly, she has graced many of Holland’s premier spots including: Paradiso, Escape, Sugar Factory, Bitterzoet, Hotel Arena, Outland, Powerzone ad Off-Corso.  Dj Dahlilah founded a youth project called The Elements Of HIp Hop.  She demonstrates this effort as a social committment to ensure that women are recognized in the music world.

http://www.facebook.com/dj.dahlila

Dj Mixturess, Falinda Tengku Khuzim, started her career after attending a DJ workshop in 2007.  Most of her life has been dedicated to music, from early discipline in guitar, to many other expressions of musicianship.  Dj Mixturess’ sonic influence is diverse and she is known for cross-genral mash-ups.  Se has developed a respected identity as a Hip Hop/Urban DJ, showing her skills at diverse events such as: Fashion on the Maas, Def Enter, Female Desire, Burma Beats Rotterdam, Chickenwings, Solar Festival, Donuts, Can I Kick It and Street Science.

http://soundcloud.com/djmixturess

72930_540491682650638_72298598_n

And in their own words, Dam Dutchess

World Hip Hop Market: Dam Dutchess is a collaborative effort for the purpose of providing resources and support for leading and emerging Female Dutch Artists to give the world access to their sound. What does your individual artistry contribute to Dam Dutchess collective, and what do you envision as the value of such a collaboration within the music business?

MELODEE:
As the leader of the project my role is to guide these skillfull young ladies in hiphop. Together with Studio West I try to generate more exposure for these talents, learn them what it takes to be an entrepreneur within the hiphop scene, and we try to get them bookings to make sure they can develop their skills onstage as well. The strength of collaborating is that it gives a better perspective of the female vision in hiphop. Next to that we combine forces and make sure people only have to go to one place, one online platform to find out whats up with the Dutch females in hiphop.

RASHIDA (dj Shug la Sheedah)
I am one of the dj’s. My main discipline is my love for music and sharing this with an audience.
My artistry is not alone my knowledge about the music that I provide too those who interested, but also my thought on how to profile yourself in the ‘Urban’ scene. It is not only about being musically creative, marketing is very important too. I envision a better perspective for artist coming up after us in the HipHop SceneGiving them a positive sight on collaboration. And also agree with Melodee. Make the female hiphop scene central.

WHHM: Please introduce the world to Studio West, Amsterdam, Holland.

WENDY
Studio West is the hotspot for young creative people in Amsterdam. We give young people the opportunity to evolve to a successful creative person we do this through innovative workshops and coaching methods. The art disciplines that Studio West focuses on are: theatre, music, dance and media. Studio West helps young people to realize their ideas/projects by offering workshops, masterclasses and other creative projects.

Studio West has evolved over its seven year existence, managed to build up a meeting place for young people from different backgrounds and economic status and their subcultures. Young people say that they feel at home in Studio West, because everyone is welcome and they are taken seriously. They get trained in a professional setting of inspiring artists and teachers. They have an ownership in the productions, are held accountable for their dedication, creativity and ability to work together.

Studio West is a large urban project in a special district, Amsterdam New West. Thanks to Studio West the cultural life of the city of Amsterdam gets more color. New groups of young people participate and contribute to the diversity of the arts in Amsterdam. Studio West provides for the enhancement of cultural participation in a district where it still doesn’t happen that much.

WHHM: What is the value of collaboration in the business of music, specifically for female artists?

RASHIDA (Shug la Sheedah)
Collaboration in the music business is important. You share creative knowledge, but you can also share your thought on the marketing and  business sight. And we as females are sometimes mistaken for just being pretty face, whom can spit/spin ‘a lil sum sum’. But in reality we work harder, and think more creative, because we have to proof ourselves. So if you can combine the work, you can make a stronger thoughtful  game plan. What is very important in the business of music to survive.
WHHM: Dam Dutchess is a multi-genral music collective of a predominately “urban” flavor, with artists representing hip hop, spoken word, brag and boast, pop, reggae and r&b. Studio West recently released the “Dam Good E.P.” to showcase the Dam Dutchess crew. Naturally, the “Dam Good E.P.” features fresh sounds from all these genres. What challenges, if any, do you approach when defining the collective sound to the public? What is the defining sonic aesthetic of the Dam Dutchess experience?

RASHIDA (Shug la Sheedah)
There will always be challenges. Every artist is unique. Yet that is what we want to share out there. You can be as an individual different, yet as group fresh and renewed.
Defining it: Combine strength, and show creative diversity.

WHHM: World-class MC Melodee is the front woman and “Coach” of Dam Dutchess Crew. Her presence in Holland and throughout the world has asserted her position. Dam Dutchess the collective provides a platform for apprenticeship and experiential communal education between the artists involved. How does Melodee’s coaching inspire the group?

RASHIDA (Shug la Sheedah)
Melodee inspires the Dam Dutchess crew because she is a pioneer. She  was a female going hard, in a dominated man’s world. But she was talented, good, intelligent and had something to say. She match up the big stars, and she did that with her group without the mainstream commercials ways.
By being independent , she shows us a way, to stay close to yourself but still taking care of business.

WHHM: Does Dam Dutchess have a long term vision for expansion and development?

RASHIDA (Shug la Sheedah)
Our long term vision,is to go international. Maybe to get involved in exchange project with other female hiphop crew’s. But most important is to develop our skillz, and get recognition voor our talent en professionalism.

WHHM: Any showcases or future projects we should know of?

WENDY
This year Dam Dutchess will release a new DJ Mixtape and a 2nd EP. Next to that all the Dam Dutchess members will perform/DJ a lot the next few months. New projects and performances will be announced on our  facebook page -> http://www.facebook.com/damdutchess?ref=ts&fref=ts

RASHIDA (Shug la Sheedah)
DJ Mixturess & DJ Shug La Sheedah are working on new mixtapes. Such a strictly Funk, a special Valentine and a tribute to Whitney Houston. DJ Dahlila is working on events for 2013
Every artist works individual on projects. So here are some:

D-Luzion, will release some strictly beats EP.
Raverty was just chosen for the exchange project from www.newskoolrules.com [Editor’s Note: and as part of New Skool Rules, Raverty was featured on World Hip Hop Market’s Planet Hip Hop showcase at the A3C Hip Hop Festival in October 2013], and will work with international Grammy award producer Needlez, to be release in 2013
Donna Lugassy  and Shedney Ruffin are  working on new material.
Muna is going strong with her Poetry Circle Events.
RBBP are going to release their third single and video ‘LIKE’ in January, and working on tour.

Just stay updated—– New projects and performances will be announced on our  Facebook page -> http://www.facebook.com/damdutchess?ref=ts&fref=ts

DAMDutchessLogo