01/06/2021 Step Inside This House, Track review , 'Song Of The Day: Dawn Drake – “Corona King”'

Here’s something out of left field.

Dawn Drake is a native Virginian who now makes her home in New York City. She’s a percussionist, a bass player and front woman for ZapOte, a Latin pop and salsa funk ensemble. That description for ZapOte is also a good introduction to her musical output as well.

What makes her worth remembering is her credentials. She studied percussion in Ghana, Cuba, Brazil and finally New York City. She has degrees in ethnomusicology, musical composition as well as musical performance. She’s also a professor at New York City’s John Jay College and had her 2019 album Nightshade considered for a Grammy nomination for Best Global Music Album. Not exactly a coffeehouse Joe singer-songwriter. And maybe that’s the point.

Her latest single “Corona King” is a Latin-inspired hip-shaker that is sassy, brassy and ultimately quite fun. With a final time of nine-plus minutes it isn’t a quick hit either. But hey, we’re all locked inside anyways. Might as well shake what the Good Lord gave you while you’re at it. “Corona King” is a pandemic and Zoom-inspired breakup yarn with lots of horns, rhythmic percussion and a pretty decent hook. Being that she has a full-time job as an academic, Drake is making music just for the fun of it, and with a song as energetic as “Corona King” we’re quite fond of the fun she’s having.

Maybe the Recording Academy should reconsider that Grammy nomination.