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Dwele 2.jpg
Gardner in 2006
Background information
Birth nameAndwele Gardner
Also known asElleuud
Born (1978-02-14) February 14, 1978 (age 42)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
GenresR&B, soul, neo soul, jazz
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboards, trumpet, bass guitar, drums, percussion, flugelhorn, flute
Years active2000–present
Associated acts

Andwele Gardner (born February 14, 1978),[1] better known by his stage name Dwele, is an American soul singer, songwriter and record producer from Detroit, Michigan.


Gardner was raised on the west side of Detroit in a musical family. He played piano from the age of six, later taking up trumpet, bass and guitar.[2][3][4] He was deeply affected by the fatal shooting of his father outside his home when he was age ten, later stating "I learned to put my emotions into music; it was my therapy."[2][5] He cites Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Roy Ayers, Miles Davis, and Freddie Hubbard as favorite artists, and took inspiration from hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, becoming an MC, and working with Slum Village.[2]

Gardner recorded a demo in his bedroom, called, The Rize, and sold it out of the trunk of his car.[2] He had about 100 copies, which sold out within a week. He caught the ears of local heroes Slum Village and more specifically their world-renowned producer J Dilla.[4] Slum Village invited Dwele to sing the hook of the song "Tainted" for their album Trinity (Past, Present and Future). It became an instant classic and led to more high-profile work with rapper Bahamadia, the all-star group Lucy Pearl and London's New Sector Movement.[4] Dwele signed to Virgin Records in 2003, and the label released his debut album, Subject, which mixed neo soul and hip hop.[2]

In a 2005 review in The Independent, his style was summed up: "Dwele's rooted in vintage soul but isn't stuck in the past, overly reverential or an exercise in pastiche - there's a major hip-hop edge which betrays his original incarnation as a rapper."[6] A second album, Some Kinda..., followed in 2005.[2] He then later signed with RT Music Group and KOCH records in March, 2008[7] He released his fourth album titled, W.ants W.orld W.omen on June 29, 2010.

Dwele was featured on the first single from Kanye West's fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The song is entitled "Power".[8]

Dwele released the first single, "What Profit", from his fifth studio album Greater Than One. The song was written and produced by Mike City[9] - the same producer behind his other singles "I Think I Love U" and "What's Not To Love". The song was sent to radio on May 22, 2012.



Year Album Chart positions
US[10] US Ind[10]

2000 Rize (Self-released) - - -
2003 Subject 108 - 20
2005 Some Kinda... 54 - 10
2008 Sketches of a Man 35 4 7
2010 W.ants W.orld W.omen 28 3 9
2012 Greater Than One 30 6 9


Year Title Chart positions Album
US US R&B[11]

2003 "Find a Way" 93 42 Subject
2004 "Hold On" 53
2005 "I Think I Love U" 53 Some Kinda...
2006 "Weekend Love" 116
2007 "The People" (with Common) 111 56 Finding Forever
"Flashing Lights" (with Kanye West) 29 12 Graduation
2008 "I'm Cheatin" 29 Sketches of a Man
"A Few Reasons (Truth Pt.2)" 75
2010 "What's Not to Love" 43 W.ants W.orld W.omen
2012 "What Profit" 38 Greater Than One
2013 "Drive the Future" TBA

Featured on[edit]

Year Information
2002 Trinity (Past, Present and Future) (Slum Village)
2003 New Awakening (DJ MITSU The Beats)
2004 Pure (Boney James)
Detroit Deli (Slum Village)
The Undeniable (Phat Kat)
2006 Shine (Boney James)
SOULidified (Hil St. Soul)
The Shining (J Dilla) "Dime Piece (Remix)"
Dirty District Vol.3 (Brucie B.)
Witness My Growth (Elzhi)
2007 Desire (Pharoahe Monch album)
Nu-Mixx Klazzics Vol. 2 (2Pac) "Straight Through My Rear View"
Interpretations: Celebrating The Music Of Earth, Wind & Fire
"Flashing Lights" (with Kanye West) from Graduation
2008 Brooklyn's Don Diva (Foxy Brown) "Never Heard This Before"
Of All The Things (Jazzanova album) (Jazzanova)
The Dresden Soul Symphony
Tronic (Black Milk) "Long Story Short" (flugelhorn solo)
Man vs. Many (Nefew)
2009 Death of a Man Rebirth of a King (Pryslezz)
2010 "Lay It On The Line" & "Mad At Me" (with Marv Won) from Wayne Fontes Music
"Power" (with Kanye West) from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2011 "Flower Girl" (with Maysa) from Motions Of Love
"Celebrity" (with Big Sean) from Finally Famous
"Time Stands Still" (with DJ Quik) from The Book of David
"All I Know" (with Ro Spit) from The Glass Ceiling Project
2014 "Bad Boys" (with Hush) from Danny Boy: The Life & Times Of A Kid In The D


  1. ^ "Drawing on His Roots", The Detroit News, 25 June 2008
  2. ^ a b c d e f Larkin, Colin (2006) The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4
  3. ^ "Mellow & mature: Dwele unveils 'sketches' of life, love.(Andwele Gardner)". Jet. September 15, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  4. ^ a b c Koch Records: Dwele
  5. ^ Rennie, Andrew (2008) "Dwele", Format, 29 June 2008
  6. ^ Verma, Rahul (2005) "Dwele, Jazz Café, London", The Independent, 22 February 2005
  7. ^ "KOCH Records Announces New Deal With RT Music Group and Soul Sensation Dwele". Internet Wire. March 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  8. ^ Kanye West - "Power" (feat. Dwele). thatsthatish.com
  9. ^ "New Music: Dwele - What Profit". ThisIsRnB. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
  10. ^ a b c "Billboard.com -Dwele". Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  11. ^ "Billboard.com Top 100 Dwele Singles". Retrieved 2009-05-13.

External links[edit]