From the words of the late Aaliyah “If first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” You can say that Donnie Klang has modeled his resilient character to those exact words. After many tries to have his music heard, Donnie not only made the Band, but has a new solo album due to drop September 2, titled “Just a Rolling Stone.” Through international and domestic traveling, look to hear music that is new and fresh. Learn more about Donnie’s style, Making the Band experience and of course his new album.
Singersroom: How has the ride been after Making the Band 4?
Donnie: I really have to sit back and pinch myself sometimes. When I was filming the video in Hollywood, I was like, wait a minute I’m side by side with Diddy and I’m thinking not so long ago I was watching his videos and here I am filming a video with him. I’m from New York, grew up in Brooklyn but I live in Long Island and was just in Hollywood. It’s been crazy.
Singersroom: If I may add you were getting your pimp game on!
Donnie: You know I was doing a little sumthin sumthin (laughs)
Singersroom: So when will your album drop?
Donnie: It will drop September 2nd, and it’s called ‘Just a Rolling Stone’
Singersroom: What are your favorite songs on the album and why?
Donnie: My favorite songs on the album are between “Pick it Up” and “Catch my Breath.” “Pick it Up” is the song that will crush the radio and it’s a good song for the ladies. It’s about picking up a girl who just had her heart broken, what else could a girl ask for? and “Catch my Breath” is like a timeless track. So those are my two favorites.
Singersroom: You know many people are going to compare you to Justin Timberlake, how are you going to make yourself standout and make people remember Donnie?
Donnie: First and foremost, I’m taking the comparisons as a blessing. I’m getting compared to a guy who is so talented with multi-platinum albums. Immediately, I take that as a compliment, it’s awesome to me. Once my album is out and you hear it front to back people will see the whole picture and brand that I am trying to create. I think people will see the differences and start to respect me for my craft.
Singersroom: You mentioned that your beginning to create a brand, how would you sum up your sense of fashion?
Donnie: It’s a pretty crazy because I have developed so much over the past year from rocking a hoody and sweat pants. Now I am more high fashion not only am I taking my style from New York but I am traveling internationally. I am even putting this into my music as far as trying to be innovative, staying fresh and staying a step ahead of what’s out there now. For example, the song “Stereo” will represent that.
Singersroom: What influenced you to pursue a music career?
Donnie: It was the early 90’s music groups like Boyz II Men, Dru Hill, Jodeci and then listening to Usher, Nsync and the whole boy band movement. I was a huge fan of groups that sung accapella. Seeing the videos and DVD’s of these groups going on tour and how crazy the crowds were and the sold out arenas. That for me gave me goose bumps and makes me continue music. I can’t wait for my moment.
Singersroom: Though you were on the show to make the band you came out as a solo artist, what individual artists have influenced you and your music?
Donnie: Usher, Justin Timberlake. I was a huge fan of Brian McKnight growing up, Michael Jackson, and James Brown. I was just a huge fan of music in general.
Singersroom: What is it like working with Diddy?
Donnie: It’s crazy, definitely a tough job. He is picky and a perfectionist but at the end of the day he get’s the best out of his artist. After all, it’s his label and reputation on the line so he has to push us to be the best we can be. You don’t become celebrities just because you got a deal. You can’t just sit back and chill especially working with Diddy; he keeps you on your toes. He’s been in the music industry for 25 years and still working hard. I’ve been in it for less than a year so I have to work 10 times harder.
Singersroom: What kind of collaborations can we expect on your album?
Donnie: Well Diddy is featured on the debut single “Take You There.” I’ve worked with The Dream who is killing the radio; we worked on “Work That Body” possibly the next single. I worked with Mario Winans, Brian Cox, Soul Diggaz and a bunch of A-list producers. The idea was to introduce me and not be covered up with features.
Singersroom: Did you get a chance to write on your album?
Donnie: I wrote on almost every track. Day 26 and Danity Kane were both working on albums so I got the short end of the stick. However it gave me room to start writing and putting in a lot of creative input so when I got to work with these big producers and they wanted to hear where I was coming from so it was an awesome experience.
Singersroom: Where do you see your career in 5 years?
Donnie: The one person I look up to in the entertainment business is Will Smith. I feel like not only did he do great music he made films and television shows but he always stayed positive in the media. He never really got caught up in scandals and his career is the career that I idolized. If I can have a movie under my belt and some Grammy Awards, multi-platinum albums and maybe a television showâ¦I’m just dreaming big.
Singersroom: Do you feel any pressure for your album to be successful since Day 26 and Danity Kane has already gone platinum?
Donnie: Between the let downs with my old groups and empty label deals. I even tried out for American Idol. There is definitely pressure but more so anxiety. I just can’t wait for this album to come out. My family, friends back at home and the fans I’ve had since day one have always supported me. So I am more anxious, it’s finally going to happen and I can’t believe it.
Singersroom: How is your relationship with Danity Kane and Day 26?
Donnie: We have gotten closer at this point. We went from a more competitive thing. I still want to top them in album sales because we are all from Making the Band (laughs). We are like a family now, it gives me the feeling of how the Bad Boy used to be back in the day with Faith, Biggie, Puffy, Mase and 112.
Singersroom: Now I do have to meddle in your business just a bit. Whatever happened with you and Aubrey?
Donnie: Let me plead my case real quick. Anybody who saw the show and thinks that I was double dipping, I was not on a second date. Me and Aubrey went out to eat and she wasn’t my girlfriend. Me and the guys went out to a lounge afterwards and hung out with other girls. I wasn’t on another date or anything. Aubrey just took it and ran with it and made it a moment. Me and Aubrey at this point, we are close now. Like I said it feels more like the Bad Boy movement from ten years ago. So we are more supportive of each other. We actually did a track together, it might be released on a bonus track. We are all close, it’s like we are all brothers and sisters.
Singersroom: On the show you portray yourself as a musician but you are doing more pop records. Do you feel that you are out of your realm or are you stepping out to do something different?
Donnie: Well it’s back and forth. The finale last year was actually the first time I ever played piano live in my life. We were just messing around a bit, I never had any lessons. I have a good ear so I was able to pick up chords. We were just messing around earlier in the day and I was playing the chords and the producer of the show said that Diddy likes it and wanted us to do it live. I just want to have a good overall show.
Singersroom: Why do you love R&B?
Donnie: Wow, I love R&B because it is what I remember growing up before I could even walk or talk. My parents used to put on 107.5 WBLS and they played all the oldies so it was in my blood. So for me, it has more meaning and history. I want to be able to affect someone’s life and years from now they will be able to remember me and say that Donnie Klang inspired them. —— By: Interview By Tiffanie Simone