Chicagoans Via Rosa and Na’el Shehade revel in all the queasy feelings of romantic love as Drama | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Chicagoans Via Rosa and Na’el Shehade revel in all the queasy feelings of romantic love as Drama

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Singer, producer, and chef Via Rosa moved to Chicago in 2010 to help take care of her grandmother and work with local production collective ThemPeople. As she told culture site Chicago Creatives last year, outside of family obligations, she spent the vast majority of her time during her first five years in the city working out of their space: “Literally the night that I landed, I went to their studio.” Through ThemPeople she met singer Jean Deaux, formerly of the local collective the Village, and soon Deaux introduced Rosa to the musician who’d become one of her most important creative partners: producer Na’el Shehade. As Drama, Rosa and Shehade make pristine, otherworldly pop entrenched in the gray areas of romantic love. On their second EP, May’s Lies After Love (self-released), Shehade’s spartan dance percussion and gossamer synths magnify the emotion in Rosa’s cool, resonant vocals; when she sings about facing a torrent of memories at the end of a relationship on “Majid,” her poised performance and Shehade’s gently ascending instrumentals fill a song about heartache with a sense of hope.   v

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