Groove, sensuality and sincerity
That’s Desmond Myers’ take on r&b-tinged singer-songwriter pop in 2021.
Desmond was born on a farm in North Carolina, the last of four boys. Everything about his young life revolved around tending to the family’s bull farm, but Desmond discovered a passion for music at a young age, picking up a guitar at age 11 and quickly writing his first few songs. Throughout his high school years, Desmond could often be found gigging most nights in neighbouring Charlottesville bars, playing with musicians and bands many years his elder. This fruitful, early experience led him to meet producer Nicholas Balachandran, a German native who invited Desmond to follow him to Germany and check out the music scene there. At just 17 years of age, the opportunity was too good for Desmond to pass up.
Upon arriving in Germany Desmond quickly logged in hundreds of solo acoustic shows across the country. It was a particularly rewarding, formative experience that eventually led him to the city of Paris, a place Desmond now calls his “musical home” after signing to French label LVCO Production in 2020. Upon arriving in Paris, Desmond soon met Victor Solf, then one half of the French music duo Her, who involved him in correcting and editing the band’s lyrics and later inaugurated him as a guitarist in their live shows. That same year, Desmond released his debut EP Brothers and Fathers. The EP was born out of a love of hip-hop and dusty 70s r&b and rock, equally influenced by the likes of Neil Young and Frank Ocean.
Her’s untimely demise due to the tragic passing of lead singer Simon Carpentier became the impetus for Desmond to return to the states, now settling in Atlanta, and building a small studio in the southern capital. Despite the return to his homeland, Desmond and Her drummer Mathieu Gramoli decided to continue collaborating long-distance. Often found in the tour bus together geeking over Questlove, or D’angelo records, Mathieu and Desmond’s similar appreciation for live, band-based R&B records like Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” or BADBADNOTGOOD’s “IV”, was a natural catalyst for the pair to create music together.
Mathieu, a true veteran of the French music scene, had long been harbouring a desire to start a record label and chose Desmond as his first signature. In 2020 they inked, just before the pandemic. COVID, notwithstanding they pursued and their first collaboration “Playing with Fire” was released and earned Desmond his first million streams for a single song.
The Line of Best Fit praised the song and “sensual and assured pop..” and praised the track’s “self-guided” originality. The two following singles “Chinatown” and “Real Man” were released to acclaim, earning playlist spots on French national radio station FIP and featured in publications like Rolling Stone, and Canal +. The fourth single “Shadows” is the centrepiece of Desmond’s album “Shadowdancer” out now.