Dalvin Degrate Biography
Last updated: 08/10/2011 12:00:00 PM
It's a new time in my life and this record is the beginning of a new chapter in my career. Known the world over as "Mr. Dalvin" of Jodeci, the group that exemplified hip-hop soul and helped define an entire hip-hop and R&B lovin' generation, Dalvin DeGrate is back with a mind-blowing solo debut that offers up a potent mix of fierce harmonies, driving rhythms and sublime vocal performances. The man with the easy smile and playboy charm to match proudly calls his long-awaited, highly anticipated project, MET.A.MOR.PHIC, "because it represents the transformation from 'Mr. Dalvin' to Dalvin DeGrate." MET.A.MOR.PHIC harnesses Dalvin's maturity, confidence and sex appeal into one fantastic album.
From the baby soft piano intro of Long Day to the bumping rhythms of the debut single, Why Can't We listeners will be awakened to Dalvin's musical versatility. MET.A.MOR.PHIC spotlights Dalvin's talent as a producer, songwriter, musician and vocalist over 11 blazing tracks with a unique new sound that he terms "Hip-Pop" - a contemporary groove that combines hip-hop, rock, R&B and pop -. Joined by an all-star production team that includes Stevie J., Tim & Bob and brother DeVante (also of Jodeci fame), there is no doubt that MET.A.MOR.PHIC heralds the coming of a hot new direction.
In 1997 Dalvin DeGrate boarded a plane from New York to Los Angeles leaving behind everything he had accomplished in Jodeci to quench his overwhelming desire and personal dream of creating music as a solo artist. Shortly after meeting industry veteran Cassandra Mills, the two began to strategize and create a game plan for the launch of his solo career. Together they landed in the offices of Maverick's Guy Oseary who saw Dalvin as the perfect act to usher Maverick and the new Millennium into the bustling hip-hop youth market.
Reflecting on both his past and future, Dalvin speaks about his love of music, "I know that Jodeci was known for its hip-hop R&B sound, but I wanted to push the envelope and expand. I wanted to design a solo record that would include multiple musical styles that range from hip-hop to rock and everything in between." On MET.A.MOR.PHIC, Dalvin takes full advantage of the creative freedom that Maverick allows.
Born in Hampton, Virginia and reared in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dalvin developed an early interest in music. Raised in the church by his Minister father, at the age of two he began performing for friends and family. By the age of nine he had matured into a professional drummer, touring and recording with his father's gospel group, the DeGrate Delegation. Dalvin fondly recalls, "It was a trip for people to see this little kid behind a big drum set!"
Like many R&B acts, Jodeci met one another and honed their vocal skills in church. It wasn't long however before Dalvin's interest in music went beyond gospel. He cheekily admits, "I used to borrow popular albums from the guys and hide them in the jackets of gospel records so my parents wouldn't find out!" At merely 16 and the youngest member of the group of brothers, Dalvin and DeVante DeGrate and K-Ci and JoJo Hailey struck out for New York City where, at the time, Andre Harrell's Uptown Entertainment was a mecca of urban music and the early training ground of the quintessential Bad Boy, Sean "Puffy" Combs.
The group performed acapella for Harrell who, impressed with their rich gospel-influenced sound, immediately signed Jodeci to Uptown and began working on the group's debut album, Forever My Lady. With its fusion of urban bad boy soul and raw R&B rhythms, Forever My Lady sold a mind blowing three million copies. Multi-platinum singles and albums from the follow-up releases - Diary of a Mad Band and the third album, The Show, The After-Party, The Hotel - quickly began to establish Jodeci as the definitive hip-hop R&B act of the 90's. While raking in sales in excess of ten million units, Jodeci also became the early standard bearers for the culture and style celebrated as 'ghetto fabulous'.
From the fresh pop sounds of Til U Get Enough to the straight up hip-hop track, I Got That, Dalvin's producing and vocal talent both take center stage in his emotion packed cover of the Def Leppard cult classic, Love Bites. This masterful blend of passion fused harmonies and unnerving guitar riffs clearly bear witness to belief that classic rock and rhythm and blues share a common birthright. Dalvin's love and respect for old school soul is alive and well on the DeVante produced track Dangerous. This brotherly presentation unveils the heart of a man caught up in the brutal honesty of new love. More Than Friends bares a piece of Dalvin's soul over the rhythmic beats of an unforgettably modern R&B track.
With such a strong focus on creating "good music" no matter the genre, Dalvin DeGrate offers up a musical package in MET.A.MOR.PHIC than can only be described as a new beginning and direction for Dalvin. Jodeci fans and new inductees alike will find that the album's production and effortless sound speak well for a detailed and accomplished musician, who lives for "pushing the envelope." MET.A.MOR.PHIC promises to be the cornerstone of what is guaranteed to be, a long and prolific career for Dalvin DeGrate!