Summer Dennis is the featured vocalist of Rhymes and started singing at the age of 2. She is a classically trained “musical chameleon” who is able to sing all genres. She lives by the motto that “Music is feeling, music is life, music is redemption, and music is unifying”, which allows her to use her high energy to impact listeners across the country.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Founding members: Summer- Lead singer, manages branding and content, songwriter, vocal producer
Bill- Guitar, Music director, songwriter, producer, live arrangements
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Rhymes ft. Summer Dennis? How long has the band been around?
We were in Bill’s old band “Rhythm Method”. The Rhymes band is about a year old but Summer and Bill have been working together musically for about three years.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The name came from a combination of coming together out of Rhythm Method and wanting a simple name that would have some stickiness. The “featuring Summer Dennis” was important because we build the persona and sound around Summer’s remarkable voice and energy.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Bill and Summer write the songs. The band was always intended to be a vehicle for Summer and Bill’s works. Virtually all the songs are built on combinations of their musical contributions to each other’s ideas. Over time, they have developed a very effective method of developing and complementing musical and vocal ideas into full songs. We try to tell stories about relationships, life, people’s desire to improve their lives and loves and the times we’re in. We don’t know that these topic areas will change because we think people will always want to hear songs that relate to their lives. As well, we find our inspiration in the experiences of our lives.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Right now we are inspired more by styles than individuals. Today’s urban contemporary music is heavily influenced by beats, repetitiveness and danceability. Sampling also brings influences cross-generationally from other musical periods. We try to tell stories about relationships, life, success and the times we’re in using the musical tools of today combined with the artistic performance abilities of Summer and the band.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Beyonce for Summer and George Clinton for Bill. Both of these artists have been ground-breaking forces in the music industry. Both have built on the successes of those that came before them and have used that inspiration to imagine music that never existed before. They have inspired us to look at new sounds
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
Summer- I usually work out the day before and try to eat a lot of fruit.
Bill – I try to imagine the flow of the set and where there will be opportunities for creativity.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Earth Fest was super fun and turning Faith and Proof (our first album) into a real product was a real learning experience and motivator.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Summer: Earth Wind and Fire- the music live is so incredible. It makes me cry
Bill: Anderson Paak
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for the opportunity to discuss our journey.