Most musicians move to Nashville searching for success. Denitia Odigie found it by moving away.
The Tennessee native did get her start in Music City, recording and performing what she described as a “rootsier indie-psych-folk kind of thing.” But in 2010, she pulled up roots headed to Brooklyn.
“I realized I have nothing tying me down,” Odigie said. “So, when I was on a tour that stopped here, I left my amp with a friend and told her, ‘I’ll be back for this.’ ”
Not long after, the Flatbush resident connected with Brian Marc, a budding rapper and producer who records under the name Sene, who asked her if she would sing on a track he was working on. The two musicians clicked instantly, they said.
“It was so natural and so awesome,” Marc said. “The natural chemistry just kept going from there.”
The pair formed a modern R&B outfit together called Denitia and Sene, creating songs that sound like a smoky after-hours nightclub, with Odigie’s soothing vocals pushing you towards sleep and Marc’s shuffling, crackling beats shaking you awake.
The duo self-released its first full-length album in 2013, which made it to number 11 on the iTunes R&B charts, and the momentum has not slowed down since — the band has subsequently been played on MTV, featured in Interview magazine, and gigged around the East Coast.
And on Aug. 23, Denitia and Sene will step up to one of its biggest stages yet — the famed Afropunk Fest at Commodore Barry Park, where it will appear alongside huge names including Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Body Count, and Bad Brains.
The pair already have a new EP ready for release next month, and will spend much of the early fall on the road, bringing their sounds to new audiences around the U.S.
“We’re just going to keep on traveling and keep on pushing in a forward direction,” said Marc. “We’ll just take it as it comes as keep doing it as long as we can keep our head on straight while we do it.”
Denitia and Sene plays Afropunk Fest at Commodore Barry Park (Navy Street between Flushing and Park Avenues in Fort Greene, www.afropu