Editor’s Note: It was a great conversation with Summer Dennis of Summer Dennis & Rhymes with Madness To Creation. They have recently released a new single entitled “Circles” via Spotify and Soundcloud and they are also very passionate about the Washington D.C. music scene. Their album “Second Summer” is out now and they combine elements of rock, latin, R&B, pop and reggae. Fans can find Summer Dennis & Rhymes at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Hi Summer! Thank you for taking the time to talk with us for Madness To Creation. I read in your bio that you’re a classically trained vocalist. Take us into the importance of music education in public schools.
Summer: I think music education is super important, and here’s why. I went to public schools but I also went to TAG and Magnet schools, where they basically accept you into the program if you’re smart, I took a lot of piano lessons, but a lot of my vocal instruction came at a public school. My parents had me in a whole bunch of activities, and there were a lot of things musically that I got to do, and those elementary, middle and high school music teachers were my favorite people. I got to do a lot because of music education, and also because I was taking really tough classes. I was always taking classes two grades above my grade, it was stressful, but music class, you have your choir class and your general music class, music class was the best part of the day. I think kids need it to exercise their minds, and I think they need it for a switch-up too because not every kid is a science kid, and that doesn’t mean that they’re not smart. It’s really important for some people because that’s what they need to be learning, because that’s who they are, I think it’s super-duper important.
Madness To Creation: I have a fan question for you: Cooper asks what helped get to where you are today?
Summer: I would say just consistency. My mom made sure that I was surrounded by music as a child. I used to go to praise team rehearsal with her at church, even before she started teaching me, I was already around it, and just up through the years, just consistently getting lessons, and now with the process, just going and rehearsing consistently and writing consistently. My partner is not here to talk, but he’s always like, “I wrote this song for the fifth album” and I’m like, “we just released our second album”, so we have work to do for that, he’s nonstop songwriting all the time, and that’s super important for any project to just finish it, to just start something and finish it, to keep at it consistently, that’s super important and then also just be seen, we do shows but we also do little gigs to give back to the community and stuff. It’s just really important to just share your art and have passion about your art, cause while you can make money off of it, your art should always be your passion or else it’s not going to be good, so just keep doing it no matter what, you know?
Madness To Creation: What’s the best gig that you have ever done?
Summer: I would say opening up for Black Eyed Peas in college, that was like the coolest experience ever. I have two, we opened up for Black Eyed Peas, not we as in me and my partner, but it was when I was singing by myself, the people who I was associated with at the time, we opened up for them, and it was just the craziest thing because they were like really cool as people, they’re really nice people, they’re just so live and so much fun, and they treat it like we were equals to them and it was just the biggest show that I have ever done, and then we do these weekly shows all the time at this restaurant here, and one time we were up there and people started singing my songs along with me and I was just like, “oh my gosh, you guys actually listen to it”, so that was a really great feeling too when people know your songs, it’s like the coolest thing.
Madness To Creation: Can you elaborate on that feeling?
Summer: It’s really encouraging, I think all of us musicians, especially singers and artists, we’re all super-sensitive about our art, and it’s typically something that we love to do, I know some people sing because this is what I’m good at for money, but I feel like when the artist is flowing that’s when it’s the best, that’s what I love the most is just when you’re in that zone and you’re doing your art and everybody is enjoying it, and you can feel the energy of the room, there’s songs that I do where people will pause for a second at the end before they clap, and I told my partner, why they weren’t clapping at first and he said, “they’re marinating in the song right now” and it made you applaud and think, “okay, they like this”, sometimes that will happen and the bass player will look up and be like, “uh oh, what’s wrong”, it’s actually just the energy in the room is so crazy where it is. Those feelings and those emotions make it the best when everybody is with you, you know?
Madness To Creation: You released the music video for “Circles”, take us into the music video and the song.
Summer: So the music video, it’s so crazy, we actually went to this castle an Air BNB castle, and we shot the video and it was actually like a movie kind of, but I’m a really creative person and I always have these really crazy ideas that I want to try, so I’m really thankful that our company Rhymes Enterprises can help us do these things, so we did this whole story and we started getting the edits back to the videographer and it wasn’t translating properly, so we actually started painting this music video from this story to actually showing the progress from when we did our first release up until now, so the music video is kind of like a montage of our experiences, so that was really fun for me to see, and what’s really cool is that we are still working on the extended version, so we are going to be releasing that soon, that’s going to be really cool, I’m really proud of it.
Madness To Creation: Do you have a release date for it?
Summer: We don’t have a release date for it, we can let you guys know when we do, it’s probably going to be in February but I don’t have the exact date, but we did release the video for “When It’s This Good” off of “Second Summer” on January 17th.
Madness To Creation: What can fans expect from that music video?
Summer: We have a lot of hard-hitting, really fun party songs. This song is one of those emotional songs, and I think people just want to hear it from the singing, or when it’s cold outside, to have a cup of coffee, and to reminisce on life, that’s what this song is about, and the video is just really nice fall with imagery. You know how people cling to Anita Baker music, I hope people get that kind of effect, where people just turn it on while they’re cleaning the kitchen and have a latte.
Madness To Creation: So are you a big coffee drinker then?
Summer: I do have a Keurig here, my mom drinks a lot of coffee, my guitarist and business partner is really into coffee, so we like to do coffee for rehearsals, I’m actually making my mom a chai latte right now.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add?
Summer: We are going to be releasing our third album this year. Our first single is going to be released on May 22nd, we’re going to be pushing and keep pushing really hard, for any listeners that might be in D.C., so we’re up for seven Wammie awards right now, so those happen in March, so I’m really excited about that too. Keep an eye out for us, we’ve got some festivals coming up for our next album coming up, and we’re releasing a video off of this album so we got a lot of stuff, keep an eye out and we want to entertain everybody.
And there you have it! Go pick up a copy of their album “Second Summer” via Amazon and all digital streaming platforms! Follow Summer Dennis & Rhymes on their socials to keep up with the latest news and happenings regarding the duo.