Chicago-based singer Dante Hall has been a backup singer for the likes of Donald Lawrence and Yolanda Adams. On June 20, he will take the spotlight and share his gift at the Promontory in Hyde Park. Rolling out spoke with Hall about his career and why Black Music is so powerful.
Talk about who you are as an artist. What do you represent?
I represent feel-good music. Often[times], we have relegated this type of music to dusties or things that can only be played on 8-track [tapes]. Feel-good music should be readily accessible with more current platforms and be experienced in a live music setting and not just a reminiscent era of the past.
When was the moment that you realized that music would be your path?
I used to be the drummer for my grandfather’s church on the north side of Chicago. When I went away Purdue University for college and listened to D’Angelo’s “Brown Sugar,” I knew I was going to put the sticks down and start singing for real.
Of all the songs you have written or performed which one is your favorite and why?
My favorite to perform is definitely “What About My Love” which is truly a testament of a guy asking his lady to not leave. It’s about all the love they shared and for her to ultimately just change her mind.
What is it about Black music that is so powerful?
The rhythm, the bass, the keys, the mood in Black music is experienced in all music. Music is a mood changer. People are drawn to it like moths to a flame. It’s important to make sure to wield that power in the best way and affect the most people in a positive way.
How important do you think it is to bring the soul back to the music?
Having soul in music is crucial as it is the glue that will bind all the listeners to a great listening experience. Songs with soul tend to be timeless and transcend race, age and socioeconomic lines. Who doesn’t love “Yesterday” by the Beatles, “Dancing in September” by Earth Wind & Fire or “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green? There is soul in all of those songs, which is why they have stood the test of time.
Who are your top two biggest musical influences and why?
Stevie Wonder and D’Angelo. They have beautiful melodies, great songs and both carved out a lane in music when seemingly there were no more lanes. They both play many instruments, [and] produce and write their own wonderful songs as well. They also have written great songs for others.
What projects and shows do you have coming up?
Me and my producer, Isaiah Sharkey, and [the] team are cooking up something that I’m very proud of and, of course, the show that I have coming up with the amazing Tweet and Samoht at The Promontory this Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.