Saturday, February 13, 2010


theDOLLDAZE is one who goes against the grain to be true to herself and her music. The self taught singer musician was born and raised in Atlanta, GA and has a natural southern charm and the accent to match. Her vision for her music is clear and distinctive to her sound, which is surely to delight anyone looking to feed their ears with something new. She is an artist that describes her music as Indie/Rock/Soul, although would prefer not to put a label on the music at all. Instead she would love for you to just buy into the sound that you enjoy and listen to the music in a more honest way.

Her latest EP entitled "Acid Report: the missing peace" has slowly made it's way to the ears of audiences in Atlanta and beyond. One of the fan favorites "Let It Blow" has a tinge of Latin influence and the tempo changes throw you into a place that catches you off guard at first, but then makes you smile after you follow it. The six song EP is available for free download from her site Here's a little of the interview I recently did with theDOLLDAZE.

DC: Thank you so much for this interview and saying yes to your participation in thedocumentary.

tDD: It's my pleasure and I'm glad that you are doing this. It will give a voice to what we go through as women in this industry and that's something that I haven't seen addressed as of yet.

DC: So what's the scene like in Atlanta?

tDD: Atlanta is a classroom. The people that you see on the way up are the same people you will see on the way down and everything in between. It's a small network even though people come here and think that it's a music mecca, but it's really like that in my opinion for like hip hop/rap, you know like snap and trap rap. Even the R&B artist have a difficult time here because Atlanta is so predominantly wrapped up in the hip hop/rap scene. That's what Atlanta is known for and that's what the radio stations play. All music has it's place and I'm not downing that, but there are other variations of music waiting to present themselves.

DC: Perception is that Atlanta is a music mecca and that the radio stations support all. Do you find that to be true when it comes to alternative music?

tDD: It would be great if mainstream radio stations played alternative music, but the fact of the matter is that you will only hear that on the college radio stations who are willing to take the chance of playing the music. Radio stations are a business, who are tied in with the record labels. With that said, you will hear the same top 40 songs played over and over in rotation because that's the deal that's been made. Whoever the "It" person is for the moment that's who gets played.

I mean they aren't thinking about playing theDOLLDAZE, lol, and even if they were, their program directors aren't thinking about that. It's all politics and they have their rules to follow.

DC: You would think that radio stations could find even just an hour in the day to break and play new artist.

tDD: You would think that. When you think back in the past when dj's took pride in breaking an artist first and creating the hype and buzz that made an artist great. That doesn't exist anymore on a mainstream level. It's so far away from that. Now with the digital age, it helps us as Indie artist to get our music out there. Now we have outlets to promote our own music like, Pandora, Last FM, and the Live 365.

tDD: There are so many things that we can do to market ourselves especially when we have our Bandcamp, Myspace, and Facebook to promote ourselves. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing compared to what a label can do to market an artist, but at this stage of the game when the labels are falling apart, it works well for those of us who are truly in the Indie scene. And now you have Satellite stations who are willing to take a chance on Indie artist. So it comes down to are you going to put time into your self to market your music, so that you are building an audience and being heard.

DC: How did you make the decision that you wanted to be more of an alternative artist instead of taking the path of an R&B artist?

tDD: I started out trying to do an alternative style of R&B music. I was writing for other R&B artist, and writing hooks for rappers, but I always had a desire to do something slightly left and off centered anyway. So even though I was doing the R&B thing I always wanted to be different, and have my music be different.

tDD: It was really, really hard trying to get someone to understand my vision for the music that I wanted to create. Finally I ran into a producer 78 Elements and we started doing more of like a pop rock project. We started doing the pop rock project and the name of that project was called "Watching Carousels". We put that out in 2005 - 2006 and that was cool, but it was a lot of production work to it. It didn't really capture the essence of what I was trying to do, so that's when I decided to pick up a guitar.

DC: So you are a self taught musician?

tDD: Yes, I decided to pick up a guitar and teach myself, because that was the only way that I would be able to communicate to anyone exactly what I was going for in terms of my music. It allowed me to show people and tell them that this is how the song should go, as opposed to them thinking on what I wanted and it be wrong. learning the guitar gave me more lead way to express what my vision was. R&B was like this tiny little square that keeps you confined. i had a bigger, broader vision for my music.

DC: So how does your look play into all of this?

tDD: When you look at it from a marketing perspective, I don't fit in the R&B world. I have a very unique look when I perform. I like theatrics and costumes and bringing my music to life. With R&B they were like you're cute, but we want you to look like this, we want you to dance, etc. That just wasn't me. I need to be free with my music. If you see me perform you will see that I'm a wild woman and I need to be able to roam free lol! for that reason R&B just wasn't for me.

tDD: I really wanted to make sure that my look was mine. So many times you have artist who come to the label with their own look, and the label changes the look to fit how they want to market them. They have them cut their hair, weave their hair, wear this, do this, talk like this, act like this, and when they are done with you, you are left wondering what happened. That's a more difficult road to try and re-create yourself after someone has stripped you of what you were before. R&B is about the "It" girl, and the "It" girl only lasts as long as the next "It" girl arrives and takes her place. I think with alternative styling you have more longevity because I control my look and any changes that I make to it.

tDD: The other thing that comes into play is ageism. With R&B the women become younger and younger as the "It" girl. There are so many fantastic women who are out there doing their thing who get left to the side because they are slightly older. Take someone like Ledisi who can sing her ass off, who doesn't get the same love and marketing as say a Keri Hilson. What's that about? I'm not trying to compare them, but at the same time where is the balance that comes with just being a great singer?

DC: What do you define your music to be?

tDD: The only reason why I even try and put a name to my music is because when I get this question I have to answer it LOL! I call it Indie/Rock/Soul. The difficulty in labeling music is the backlash that happens when you want to change it up. To declare yourself as a rocker, when the label "Rocker" has no true market out their for Black women is a tough road. That's why I believe that some women don't know what to label their music. My next album will have some classical music and vocal styling that may not be considered rock, but it is definitely more indie rock and doesn't fit within the labeling of R&B.

tDD: I mean I just like to write a good song. If no one wants to sing along to something on your CD, then that's a problem LOL . I mean I want you too hum along with something LOL.

DC: Tell me about how you came up with the songs on your EP "Acid Report: the missing peace"?

tDD: "Acid Report: the missing peace", came about because I was going through sort of a musical change and shifting from trying to shop myself to different producers and labels in Atlanta. It was like they were interested and they were saying things like "she's a Black girl doing pop rock stuff, but then she's talking about Black girl stuff, and we just don't understand it". Then when I was in the studio with those same people they would say things like "well maybe you should sing the song like Averil Lavigne". I can't do that, I have to just be me and sing and perform my songs the way that they come to me. I can't be a people pleaser. That EP was a lot about me.

tDD: Like the song "I Know". I know what I feel, and I know what I want to write, and want to do. Even in life experiences, I realized that I started off trying to be a people pleaser, or a yes girl, and it's hard to do that because no one is ever going to be pleased with everything. Then I realized sometimes you just have to please yourself. That's how "I Know" came about.

DC: What was your process for that EP?

tDD: I had it all in my head and I needed to get it out. I got my guitar and started from scratch writing all of the songs. Then I hooked up with Andrew Warren and we knocked it out. We got together, worked out the arrangements and recorded that album live. That's how it all came together.

DC: What is your biggest struggle?

tDD: Because I'm an indie artist money is a factor. The thing about doing something that you love, is that you may not make the money neccesary to keep it going. That's the one thing that mainstream record labels have. They have the money to distribute, market and tour an artist. When it's just you, it becomes difficult because it's all you, and you still have to maintain your personal life of a job, bills, eating LOL. Then add the business of marketing yourself as an artist and it's a lot. I mean when you have to decide between keeping your job or going to a gig out of state for a few days, that's a big decision. That's a struggle, cause you want to do your craft and let others hear you outside of where you live, but you still have to know that when you get back you can still survive. Life is real, and although the we sell the fantasy, real life is just what it is . . . real life. That's what I'm striving for, away to make money with my music full time and be able to take care of myself that way.

DC: On your site you have your music up for a free download. Why is that?

tDD: You have to look at it as a way to market yourself and get your music out there. There are so many artist willing to give a free download because you want your music to be heard. When you have huge artist like Cold Play giving away music to be heard, how can I go and ask someone to pay for mine?

DC:: So how are you getting your gigs?

tDD: I have a great manager in Karen Mason, from Honor Music Group, who gets me booked. But sometimes I get paid and sometimes I don't. That's just the nature of the game. You have gigs that pay, and then you have gigs that you do just to be seen and to get your name out there. That makes the money inconsistent and I can't depend on that because bills still come at the end of the day. It's a challenge but I just keep moving forward because this is what I love.

DC: Can you tell us a little about your new project?

tDD: I don't want to give too much of it away, but the new album is tentatively called "Mystic Novel" and it's basically a psychotic love story. It's hard to talk about, but if you come to my shows you would understand.

tDD: I love costumes and theatrics. When I go to see someone perform I'm looking at the whole picture along with the music. I mean I love a costume. I loved looking at Parliament, Labelle, Jimi Hendryx because their look added to the music. If you get to know me you will see that I like the Renaissance Period and Pirates. This album will be a nice journey and I'm thinking of releasing it in chapters. It's a musical novel similar to like an opera. So I'm excited to let the people judge how they like it when it come out.

DC: How did you come up with the concept for this album?

tDD: It came out of us talking about the Mystique of a person. When you first meet someone you really don't know anything about that person except for what they present to you at that moment. It's not until your two or three years down the road that you start really seeing who that person is. That's when it all comes out and you see their true colors. So it started from there.

DC: What do you think needs to happen within the industry to help open doors for Black women of alternative music to be able to succeed?

tDD: I think the biggest thing is giving the music a platform. if it's good music then it's just good music regardless of the label. We have to get back to knowing that there is no harm in breaking a new artist. On the other hand we as artist have to take ownership in ourselves and help create those platforms as well. If he music is on point then there is no denying the success of the music, but the challenge is getting it out there for the fan base to say that the music is on point. We have to be accountable for what we put out as well.

I hope to have a the full conversation available via podcast soon. In the meantime, please go and check out theDOLLDAZE at her site If you're in the ATL please go and check her out live.

Here's a video of theDOLLDAZE singing "Let I Blow"

Even though it's not Christmas I thought this was a beautiful song that theDOLLDAZE wrote for the troops entitled "Unwrap You".

To a musical journey worth sharing,


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