Andwele Gardner (born February 14, 1978),[3] known professionally as Dwele, is an American R&B singer, rapper, songwriter and record producer from Detroit, Michigan. He is best known for his guest appearance on Kanye West's 2007 single "Flashing Lights" as well as his often-uncredited performance on West's 2010 single "Power", both of which peaked within the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100. Gardner's 2003 debut single, "Find a Way" narrowly entered the chart and led his debut studio album, Subject (2003), released by Virgin Records.[4]

Dwele in 2006
Dwele in 2006
Background information
Birth nameAndwele Gardner
Also known asElleuud
Born (1978-02-14) February 14, 1978 (age 46)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
  • Singer
  • rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2000–present
Formerly of



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.[5][6][7] 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."[5][8] 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.[5]

Gardner recorded a demo in his bedroom, called, The Rize, and sold it out of the trunk of his car.[5] He had about 100 copies, which sold out within a week. He caught the ears of local hip hop group Slum Village and their producer J Dilla.[7] Slum Village invited Dwele to sing the hook of the song "Tainted" for their album Trinity (Past, Present and Future). It was successful and led to more high-profile work with rapper Bahamadia, the group Lucy Pearl and London's New Sector Movement.[7] Dwele signed to Virgin Records in 2001, and the label released his debut album, Subject in spring 2003, which mixed neo soul and hip hop.[5]

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."[9] A second album, Some Kinda..., followed in 2005.[5] He then later signed with RT Music Group and KOCH records in March, 2008[10] 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".[11] He is also featured on "Flashing Lights" from West's 2007 album Graduation.

Dwele released the first single, "What Profit", from his fifth studio album Greater Than One. The song was written and produced by Mike City[12] - 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 Ind

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
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


Year Title Chart positions Album
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"
2017 "Wanna Dance" (feat. Phife Dawg and Mike City)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.
Year Information
2000 BB Queen (Bahamadia)
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
"The People" (with Common) from Finding Forever
"Flashing Lights" (with Kanye West) from Graduation
"Who'd of Thought" (with BrassMunk) from FEWturistic
2008 Brooklyn's Don Diva (Foxy Brown) "Never Heard This Before"
Of All the Things (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
2013 "Worries" (with Robert Glasper) from Black Radio 2
2014 "Bad Boys" (with Hush) from Danny Boy: The Life & Times of a Kid in the D
2018 "2 Would Try" (with Black Milk) from Fever
2020 "Everything That's Missing" (with Big Sean) from Detroit 2
2022 "God Send" (with Phife Dawg) from Forever


  1. ^ Bush, John (n.d.). "Dwele: Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  2. ^ Lindsey, Craig D. (February 25, 2013). "Bilal's New A Love Surreal Was Inspired by Salvador Dali". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  3. ^ "Drawing on His Roots". The Detroit News. June 25, 2008.
  4. ^ Richard, Jason (2005). "NOW Magazine - Music in Toronto, OCTOBER 27 - NOVEMBER 2, 2005". Archived from the original on July 18, 2006. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4.
  6. ^ "Mellow & mature: Dwele unveils 'sketches' of life, love.(Andwele Gardner)". Jet. September 15, 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
  7. ^ a b c "Koch Records: Dwele". Archived from the original on July 8, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  8. ^ Rennie, Andrew (June 29, 2008). "Dwele". Format.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  9. ^ Verma, Rahul (February 22, 2005). "Dwele, Jazz Café, London". The Independent.[dead link]
  10. ^ "KOCH Records Announces New Deal With RT Music Group and Soul Sensation Dwele". Internet Wire. March 20, 2008. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved May 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "Kanye West - "Power" (feat. Dwele)".
  12. ^ "New Music: Dwele - What Profit". ThisIsRnB. May 21, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  13. ^ a b c " -Dwele". Retrieved May 13, 2009.
  14. ^ " Top 100 Dwele Singles". Retrieved May 13, 2009.