More than a “Weather Girl”: Dorrey Lyles makes (her) wishes come true

She released an album this crazy year, had a tough time in the hospital and is now looking forward to the next year with joy. Hopefully with many appearances, as tells in an interview.

Mit der Ballade “I Believe In Us” (currently running in ntv weather) Weather Girl Dorrey Lyles wants to encourage her fans – something she really could use herself this year. And her version of the Bill Withers classic “Lean On Me” also provides consolation. Since Withers passed away this year, the song has almost more power now. Both tracks are on her album “My Realized Dream” – her personal gift to yourself this year: The realized dream of an album.

She turned 50 this year, a reason to celebrate, right? “Definitely! Even if everything didn’t turn out as I dreamed it would – a big party wasn’t possible – I really appreciate my age!” This year, however, has not left her without a trace. “I’m used to performing, having gigs, singing in front of people. This forced passivity has already bothered me.” But Dorrey is not one to curl up. She has had (open air) performances again and again, albeit smaller than usual. “Being able to perform at all, at the end of summer, made me happy.”


The video for “My Realized Dream” is funny, although – or because – it was made during the first lockdown? “The message is,” Even though we are apart, we are still together. That has power, “says Lyles. She was also powerful – until the moment when fate struck and made her bedridden. An allergy made her face swell up, she had to go to the hospital, and initially nobody could tell her what was going on But Dorrey doesn’t give up that easily: “What doesn’t kill you toughens you up” is her motto, and she pulls it off. Her tip when it is really hard to bear in the here and now – and that was it For many people from the music scene this year there is no doubt: “Talk to your future self.” Dorrey is then no longer afraid. In the time when she could barely look out of her eyes, she was never afraid. Because there is their belief in God and their unshakable confidence: “I don’t mind my scars, they belong to me.”

What she suffered from, however, was not being “systemically relevant”: “You apparently still think that musicians live on air and love – unfortunately that’s not true. I know that it was – and is – an extraordinary situation – and that not for everyone could be helped immediately, but there have been scary moments for me. ” And she adds: “They still exist.”

Nobody thinks about their problems when they dance

Nevertheless, Dorrey Lyles records the year 2020 under “went well”, because the fact that her album was released is of course a reason for her to celebrate. Her favorite cover on the album – besides her own songs – is “Lean On Me”. “That’s what we all need,” said Dorrey. “This song touches my soul. Everyone should have a person they can trust, lean on. That applies to so many situations in life, whether you are in lockdown or issues how racism or discrimination goes, whether you’re lovesick or just having such a hard time. If you can lean on someone, everything is easier to bear. ” Then Bill Withers’ words from 1972 still apply almost 50 years later? “However,” she laughs, “this song never loses its message!”


My Realized Dream

For Dorrey Lylles, music is a kind of world language, it “usually connects people who otherwise would never get to know each other. Music can overcome borders. Nobody thinks about their problems or differences when they dance.” In the first lockdown in the spring, Dorrey was in New York: “It was very exhausting, nobody was allowed out.” And when everyone was finally allowed out again, George Floyd was killed by a police officer. “Everyone was already frustrated anyway. And then that,” she says in a husky voice. Because even if she herself has never encountered brutal open racism, she knows that this is only a snapshot. “If you are a Person of Color, you have definitely had experiences of racism in your life. I knock on wood, but luckily nothing really bad has ever happened to me.” In Dorrey’s opinion, the person who puts another person down has a problem, not them: “I always remember who I am! And that no one can presume to put someone down.”

A room in my house


To be part of the Weather Girls is a great honor for them.

(Foto: David Beecroft)

What no one will put them down for is “My Realized Dream”. She laughs: “The album really took a while – difficult birth. But too often I thought ‘that’s not me’ and then always had to change something.” She knows what people want from a Weather Girl, “but that’s not all I am. I can make a Weather Girls song mine, even if it’s not mine,” she says. Since 2012 she has been part of the legendary Weather Girls – the band who made history with “It’s Raining Men”, a dance classic. Lyles performs worldwide with Dynelle Rhodes, the daughter of the late founding member Izora Armstead.

But she has even more to offer: “To have my own album now – that’s incredible for me.” Does she have to shake off the Weather Girls sometimes? “Not quite. I would say it’s a room in my house. A room that I sometimes go to (laughs) but it’s not my living room Let’s put it this way: being part of the Weather Girls is a great honor, and I’m eternally grateful for that! The Weather Girls made so much possible for me, it was because of them that I saw half the world. “

However, the foundation of her expressive voice is and remains gospel. As the daughter of a pastor, the New Jersey-born Berliner by choice was literally born into the gospel scene and sang in various gospel choirs at an early age. She later toured with the Harlem Gospel Singers in the US and Europe. In her song “Child of Soul” she tells her story: “Sunday was my classroom,” it says. What is meant, of course, is that she has been singing in church on this day since childhood. You can still tell in her style. She sang in Carnegie Hall with greats such as James Ingram, who died far too early, and soul grenade Oleta Adams, and as a background singer, she enriched the appearances of Barry Manilow and Natalie Cole. “My Realized Dream” is of course her favorite now. It’s nice when dreams come true – your own and those of others.

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