TIDAL’s RISING docus-eries is a popular platform introducing fans to up and coming artists in R&B, Hip-Hop and more. Artists like 21 Savage, Chloe x Halle and A Boogie with the Hoodie are just a few notable names from RISING’s alumni, and now the platform’s newest addition is Chicago-based indie rock band Dehd. And yes, it’s pronounced exactly how it’s spelt.
But the group’s name isn’t the most fascinating thing about them. It’s their relationship. And we get a special, intimate look at the inner-workings of the trio in their new documentary that releases on Wednesday, exclusively on TIDAL.
It follows Emily Kempf, Jason Balla and Eric McGrady as they navigate performing and creating together as a group. As three very different people with different personalities, they seem to blend together seamlessly and it shows throughout the documentary.
Emily is the risk-taker. She’s fearless and brave and we see it the most when she’s providing vocals and bass to their songs. Her style is unconventional, figuratively and literally. Her body is covered in bold tattoos and she sports a teal and gold grill in her mouth as she talks about the personalities of each band member.
Regardless of their differences, Emily assures that majority rules in this group. “If it’s two against one, then it’s like ‘alright, no questions asked’… that’s it. It’s not happening” she explains, while sitting on a couch next to her bandmate Jason Balla.
Jason plays the guitar and is pretty expressive about how he likes things done. Both him and Emily have a vision that they try their best to execute in the studio and on stage.
Something common amongst their audiences, is that no matter where the trio performs the audience always seems to be having a great time. Like during their set at The Hideout in Chicago there are no awkward bystanders just looking on, only genuine music lovers enjoying the contagious rhythms of the drums, guitar and lyrics. They sing along to the songs together and the energy is infectious. Everyone is there for the same reason: to have a great time.
But the heartbeat of the group is Eric and his unique style of playing drums. Eric isn’t a man of many words. In fact, throughout the 15-minute documentary, he doesn’t say one word. Jason describes him as being “terrified” of performing. But his presence is felt nonetheless, and it’s strong. Especially on the group’s latest album Blue Skies, which they describe as “the biggest statement that we’ve had.” Jason and Emily made it a priority to make Eric’s drums the focal point of this project.
Regardless, being on one accord doesn’t seem to be much of an issue for them. The group can’t help but blend together. For Dehd, there’s no such thing as an odd one out. Their connection with each other comes so naturally that they are constantly creating together, even when they aren’t trying to. The complement each other well despite their individual quirks.
In the documentary, the band notes the uncanny synergy.
“In a band you come together as one for your music, but we also try to let each of our individualities shine through the different elements we bring to Dehd. It’s a balance that evolves with each new song we write and performance we do” says Dehd.
You can catch Dehd’s latest episode of RISING here.