story courtesy of Rolling Stone

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Sounds like: Sugary pop with a liberal helping of Miami bad-girl

For Fans Of: Iggy Azalea, Rihanna, “Leave (Get Out)”-era JoJo

Why You Should Pay Attention: The feisty Dahlia left her hometown of Miami after high school to search for a record deal in New York. Two shitty waitressing jobs and an even worse boyfriend helped her craft personal tracks with biting edges, but her songwriting still wasn’t paying the bills. She was about to pack it all up when a chance encounter at a friend’s studio changed everything. “I guess they were playing my music at the studio where I was chilling in a corner and I see this redheaded girl staring me down,” says Dahlia. “I didn’t know if she wanted to fight me or fuck me.” Neither, as it turned out: The redhead was, Amanda Berkowitz, the head A&R rep for Vested in Culture Records, the label started by current Epic president Sylvia Rhone. The next day, the then-21 year-old Dahlia had a contract.

What She Says: The reason I make [music] is because it’s my therapy. Like I literally will just get in the booth and then, you know, I’ll feel better. Like “Gangsta,” I got in a fight with my manager at the restaurant I was working at the day before, and I was so fed up with just like everything, everything, everything. I went to work the next day to do the morning shift and I sat at the bar and I wrote the record. And that’s kind of how I want my music to be. I want it to be soulful, emotional, uh…eye-catching or ear-catching, I guess…Something that brings people together, united in a sense. ‘Hey, you’re not alone.'”

Hear For Yourself: Dahlia’s debut, My Garden, is slated for a September release. In the meantime, hear the hip-hop-inflected first single, “Crazy.”

By Cady Drell