D’Nations, formerly known as Determination, is a duo of Dervin Dawes and Donald Marshall, who grew up in the Olympic Garden and Cockburn Pen neighborhoods in Kingston, Jamaica.
Their musical journey started back in 1979 when Dervin and Donald would hang out after school. Dervin attended Haile Selassie High School and Donald attended Denham Town High School/ Edna Manly School of Visual and Performing Arts. In 1979/1980s Dervin and Donald would meet up with the Meditations and they would learn a lot from them as they were an already established group. Ansel Cridland of the Meditations had them meet with Anthony Hill (Ringo Paul) who was a singer with the same vision for reggae music. On July 26th, 1979 Donald Marshall, Dervin Dawes, and Anthony Hill officially formed and named the group Determination. Ansel Cridland, Danny Clark and Winston Watson (the original lineup of the Meditations) tutored them in vocals and harmonization until they developed a more cohesive vocal sound with two musicians, Donald Dennis (guitar and keyboards) and Nathan Notice (lead guitar and bass), backing the group.
A producer named Bunny Hylton was impressed by the quality of Determination’s lead vocal and harmony sound and recorded 2 songs with them “I’m Not Proposing” and “See Me In The Park”. They released their first single “Just Say No” on Bunny Hylton’s King Jam label. After this, Determination started working on their first album “Come Let Us Join Hands” on their own Play Music label with the legendary Firehouse Crew providing the riddim. They initially released some singles from this album, “Just Say No”, “She Is My Girl”, “Say No To Drugs” and “Settle Bad Boy”. The track that really brought their name to the forefront was “Level De Vibes”. They knew, while making the album, that this song was special so they spent a long time on the track.
In 1984 Determination linked up with dub poet Oku Onuora and worked with him on his debut album “Pressure Drop”, recorded at Tuff Gong Studio, 56 Hope Road, and this subsequently led to them touring Jamaica with him on his “Pressure Drop” promotional tour. This opened many doors for them. During this time they were still working on their own album.
In 1989, Bunny Hylton suggested the group change their name as there were several groups and bands with the same or similar name. They decided on the name D’Nations.
D’Nations’ first album “Come Let Us Join Hands” was finally released in 2012, this was the only album that featured Anthony Hill on lead vocals. He had gone his own way by the time it was released. This album was followed by “Agony” in 2014. “Agony” was produced by Erik Gripenholm from Sweden, co-produced by Viktorious (Viktor Lindstrom), Donald Marshall and Dervin Dawes.
Several remixes of their tracks were released during these years using various producers from all over the world.
The next big break came when D’Nations was linked with French-based record company Idlers Corner Records owned by Marshall Neeko. With Marshall Neeko they released some remixes and original singles and finally in 2015 their 3rd album “Hardcore Reggae”. The album was a collaboration of musicians and producers around the world, produced by Donald Marshall and Devin Dawes and co-produced by Marshall Neeko, DJ Kullar, Doctors B, and Simon Ozenne (Simon Nyabinghi).
D’Nations latest album, “Music Is The Voice”, was released in November 2018.