The point of any R&B show, and this is especially true for the 106.1 KMEL Holiday House of Soul, is to get an entire room full of people collectively in their feels. It also helps when the artist onstage is deep in their feels too. Tonight's headliner achieves this goal before they've even walked out onstage.
The slow, sensual bass of "Too Deep" pulses through the venue and has people singing the background vocals. Their logo, a division sign, flashes a neon purple on the big screen as Daniel Daley walks out to thunderous applause. There's something mystic about dvsn. It could be the fact that only one half is out on stage and the other half, the brains behind the production Nineteen85 (Paul Jefferies), sits behind the soundboard above and away from the crowd.
Throughout the set, Daley shows off his wide vocal range and proves that he might be one of the best male vocalists of his generation. His falsetto on "With Me," "Nuh Time/Tek Time," and "Think About Me" elicit an audible reaction from the crowd. His velvety voice emphasizes the unapologetically sexual songs. But they're never vulgar. As one Morning After review illuminates, "The kind of sex he [Daley] depicts is what you'd expect to see in a gallery, not Pornhub."
Similar to Layton Greene, who warmed up the stage for them, the duo caught the attention of a taste making label, Drake's OVO Sound. By the beginning of 2016, after releasing two impressive singles in 2015, dvsn had been signed and were gearing up to release their debut album Sept. 5th. In an unexpected turn, Daley takes it back to a time before the success and when he too was simply a fan of soulful R&B music. He guides the crowd through a singalong of classics like "U Got It Bad" by Usher, "If I Ain't Got You," by Alicia Keys, "Bed" by J Holiday, and "Until The End of Time," by Justin Timberlake. Connecting those influences to their own music, Daley goes into one of their latest singles "Miss Me?" that features a glistening 90s R&B keyboard.
Their dedication to R&B music, honoring the ones that came before them and adding their own modern creations to the cannon, makes them the perfect headliners for a night of soul.