As many commemorate the day that the world lost Aaliyah twenty years ago in a tragic accident, the impact of her life and career has constantly in the minds of many who knew and loved her – with Damon Dash being foremost among them.
The Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder and creative producer reflected about the late singer and his relationship with her in an interview with Kevin Frazier of Entertainment Tonight. “I was reflecting [that] there hasn’t been one day since she’s passed, not one in the 20 years, that I haven’t either heard her name, heard her record, or seen a picture of her,” he said. “Every single day she’s present in my life and I feel lucky for that.”
Dash and Aaliyah met each other and were together from late 2000 until her death in 2001. He spoke about how they met that summer at a basketball game and a photo shoot, but they really clicked when talking about a book they both read at the behest of a mutual friend. Their shared interest in it brought them closer. “From then on, we were sort of inseparable,” he said.
There was a time where the pain of losing her weighed on him to the point where he went out just to escape his feelings, and would ask clubs he appeared at to not play her music. But now that her catalog is available to stream due to the deal between her uncle’s label and music distribution company Empire, Dash sees it as a time to “pop bottles” and “just appreciate the fact that I am here and that I had the time with her.” Ultimately, he wants to do a project “on his own terms” about Aaliyah through his DD172 media collective. “It would be about our relationship and the love that we had,” he says. “It would be about our experience.”