Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” was one of my favorite songs of 1994, and after it popped up in the shuffle, I played it a second time, and started wondering whatever happened to her: she definitely had the songwriting chops, and she was certifiably photogenic, so where the heck is she?
The answer, apparently, is “In Canada, without a recording contract”; Sony dropped her after her 2003 album Dream Soldier failed to make any waves.
One single was issued from Dream Soldier: “It’s Okay,” which barely charted in Britain and never made any headway in the States. It deserved better:
Most of her catalogue is on YouTube from, um, unofficial sources, though she did upload a video of her appearance at cd:uk, which was live in the same way American Bandstand was live. I’m guessing this was taped in 1999, after Ford used “You Gotta Be” in a commercial for the Focus, prompting Sony to reissue the single:
Despite dumping Des’ree, Sony subsequently issued an album called Endangered Species: The Best of Des’ree, which includes some alternate versions from the vault and a selection of live tracks.