"Give me a pair of heels, and I’m ready to go," Richie Bee said to me before strutting onto stage to perform at the Mercury Lounge in the Lowest East Side. That’s the type of man Richie is: ambitious, playful, and ready to grab the bull by the horns.
He is the lead singer of the up-and-coming Brooklyn band Deitre, whose musical inspirations draw from various eras and genres, including '70s hard rock, '80s dance and glam, '90s grunge, and '00s pop.
"I would say we have a new wave [and] glam rock sound, with splashes of pop," Richie told PRIDE of Deitre's sound.
Pete, Deitre’s guitarist who co-writes every song with Richie, added, "[The] music lends itself to a wide variety of emotions that mainstream music is lacking."
But the fact that Deitre draws from multiple genres isn’t what makes the band’s music so emotional (after all, most talented musicians draw from various genres). It’s Richie’s powerful falsetto. Singing just a few notes, he can ignite a fire within you, inspiring you to take on the world, or make you burst into tears. He has the range: seamlessly shifting from chest to head voice, all the while controlling his robust vibrato.
Still, the sound is only part of what makes Deitre’s music evocative. The topics in Deitre’s recently released, self-titled EP speak to various aspects of the human experience. Aspects that not only relate to Richie’s identity as a more feminine gay man, but to all of us. Somehow, his lyrics manage to be both universal yet personal.
"Dirty River" details the feelings we’ve had when in an unhealthy, abusive relationship. "Possibilities," the rush you get from feeling like the sky’s the limit. "November" evokes feelings of loss as time mercilessly marches on.
Richie told PRIDE that the first song on his album, "Feeling Good" speaks to his experience of "really embracing [his identity] as a more feminine, androgynous, queer male."
"It's the first song off the album," he said. "[It] was intentionally placed there to throw it all on the table. This is who I am, and you're going to love me for who I am because I fuckin’ love me for who I am. Other than that, most of the stories that I choose to tell are stories that everyone—gay or straight—can relate to. Love and sex is universal. Following your dream is universal. Experiencing the death of a loved one is universal."
At the end of the day, Deitre can be summed up by why Pete and Richie chose the band’s name in the first place.
"Deitre is based on the name of a powerful spirit guide," Pete told PRIDE. "Her mission is to help people achieve their life’s purpose and experience their deepest desires."
That’s what Deitre is about. Creating music that encourages you to feel lost emotions, experience deep desires, and help you figure out the reason you were put on this planet.