November 6th, 2007 09:53 EST
Chase Von Interviews, Singing Sensation, Dozie!!!
Interview on behalf of the Student Operated Press with...
Dozie, (pronounced Doh-zee-ay); Nigerian Soul /R&B Singer Sensation!
Chase von: Dozie, I really want to thank you for taking out the time to do this interview! I first learned of you on My Space and I have to tell you, I fell in love instantly with the song "Gabriel's Lounge!" I love the way everything is so perfectly orchestrated in that song! Each instrument completely compliments the others and your voice is one to be reckoned with! I ordered your CD and to my surprise every song on it is fantastic! In the past, like many others, I've bought CD's because I liked a particular song, only to find out that I wished they would just make a CD of that song by itself because the rest was well, I think you know where I'm going with this. How much time do you devote to the creation of each of your songs, because people are certainly getting more then their money's worth!
Dozie: Thanks Chase. It actually takes me a long time to write songs....usually months. I have several songs in the works at a time because I try to perfect them, if there is such a thing. I just think it's important to be creative and different. Plus I do a lot of the production/playing/singing by myself so it takes time. I'm starting to change that though - bringing other people early into the creative process.
Chase von: You've lived in England as well as Nigeria, I myself use to live in England. I also know you're a huge fan of Football! Although here we call it soccer. Although your obviously a world class musician, how far along did you get in the game? And is it true I hear you still play against the wishes of those that want you to be healthy and unhurt so you can perform? Also, when we lived in England, we use to do what we called 'Knee ers!" Meaning you bounced the ball with head, knees, feet and any part of the body other than the hands. Each time the ball made contact it was counted. What's the most Knee er's or what ever you use to refer to it as, have you done? One time my brother went over a thousand! Me? I'm asking the questions here! (Smile).
Dozie: Lol...I love football. I just played a couple of days ago. I've had five knee surgeries from it and I still play. It's better than sex!! lol...just kidding. But I really love football. I'm a pretty good player though - not premiership level obviously, but decent. But I've been slowed down by injuries....maybe I'll think about retiring soon. As far as juggling, I make past a hundred but I never really count ;-). You?
Chase von: Changing the subject, (Smile). Your debut CD "Redemption" is quite frankly, off the charts! I can already say now, that if people are reading this and they know that person that has everything and they don't know what to get them for Christmas, if that individual doesn't have your CD yet,they couldn't go wrong giving it as a gift! You are being compared for you intricate music and smooth vocals to the likes of Sade, Seal and Maxwell, all verifiable legends in music! For you to be rated in that class of singers with your very first release must be amazing even to yourself! Who are some of the people you most admire in the industry and how long before you're sharing the stage with the people I've just mentioned? And in the song Uwa Ke, is that you speaking African?
Dozie: Thank you. Obviously Sade and Seal are big influences. They are also Nigerian/British so there's an intrinsic link. But I like lots of people - Fela, Isley Brothers, Tori Amos, and the Cure, are some of my favorites. And I'm really into Mindy Smith and Raheem Devaughn right now. As far as comparisons go, I'm flattered that people would mention me in the same breath as other great artists. I really just try to be myself though. Which is why I speak a little Igbo or Pidgin in my songs every now and then. I grew up in Nigeria after all and it is who I am.
Chase von: I read some where that you began singing at first in church, and also that you taught yourself how to play the guitar and the piano. And also that you use to sneak into the church after hours to hone your skills. Are you still sneaking in churches to play and keep on top of your game? (Smile)
Dozie: Lol....the church doesn't see much of me these days unfortunately. Probably should go more. But yeah I started singing in church when I was in Class 1 (7th grade), and then sang in gospel choirs when I came stateside. I started playing piano when I was 19 or 20. Because I started late, I figured I needed to practice more, so I would go and play at night in the local church when nobody was around.
Chase von: Any one that has heard you sing, knows that you are incredibly gifted, but your band is also made up of top notch performers. You call the sound you produce AfriSoul or Soul with an African twist. How did you go about gathering members for your band, that would be able to bring into the real world, the vision and music you feel in your soul? And what are some of the actual "African" instruments that are part of your music?
Dozie: Hmmm...I've been lucky to have some great musicians who like my music and want to play with me. I found them through word of mouth and we just all clicked. For instance Joel Jaffe, who worked with everyone from Aretha to Santana to Bonnie Raitt, plays guitar with me. He's fantastic. And Jamie Brewer, who is currently on tour with the Whispers, plays bass. It's just a cool group of people. Old-soul folks, if you will. I also try to mix in some African instruments to give my music a little down-home feeling - I'm not sure what the English names are but udu, igba, shekere, stuff like that.
Chase von: Not trying to reveal my age but, when I lived in England, one of the things I really loved was the Fish and Chips, and back then they would wrap them in newspaper. Did you like them as well and have you found any places here in the states that's comparable? Because I sure haven't!
Dozie: No, it's really hard to find a good chippy here in the States. It's a little easier in San Francisco because we are right next to the ocean and there are quite a few British expats out here. But still, there's nothing like the real thing.
Chase von: You write all the lyrics for your music as well as arrange it and all the lyrics are very deep and thought provoking! A while ago someone by the name of Maxwell released a CD called 'Urban Suite', and the music that was on it had a feeling to it, that if it had of been released in the 70's, it would have fit perfectly with that time, but it was also a block buster hit in more recent times because every song on it was truly worth listening to! I know you're a relatively young man, but I think if there is a CD that is out right now that is comparable in quality to Maxwell's "Urban Suite", it is yours! Every song on your CD is fantastic as well but what I want to know, is do you some times get asked if you are in possession of a very OLD soul?
Dozie: Lol...yes well I grew up in the 70's and 80's, and as you know music was a little different then. I wouldn't say that I focus on music from that era, but I think it's natural that one is influenced by the music one hears growing up and I think it's evident in my music that I grew up in that era.
Chase von: Needless to say, your music is fantastic! Your obviously a rising star and also becoming because of your sensual sound, a sex symbol of sorts:) How difficult is it dealing with your rising popularity and all the fans that are becoming enamored with the man that goes by simply, Dozie?
Dozie: Thank you so much. Well it's still early stages but I'm touched that people like my music. After all, that's what it's really about at the end of the day.
Chase von: How important is family to you, and what is your take on the state of our current world?
Dozie: Family is extremely important. I do everything for my family. And mine is a fairly large and extended one. As far as the state of the world, lol....I don't know that I can talk about my political views in public ;-). Let's just say that the world would be different if I had my way.
Chase von: What would you say, if you were standing in front of a microphone that could be heard by every child on the planet and regardless of what language it was they spoke, they would understand you? What positive advice would you give the children, if that were possible?
Dozie: Never be afraid to dream. Doesn't matter how hard it is or how old you are. You can be whatever you want to be. Just look at me as an example. There is ALWAYS a way forward. Always. It's up to you to seize the opportunity.
Chase von: How can our readers find you and your music and more about you? And are there any future projects you are working on you care to share with our readers? Or any shows that you will be doing in the near future?
Dozie: Just visit www.dozie.com. I'm playing in Oakland next week and then I'm off to Africa for a couple of months. But starting in January I should be playing a lot more. I've got lots of new material and I'll be hitting the studio in January too so expect more music from me in 2008.
Chase von: On behalf of The Student Operated Press and myself Dozie, it's been a pleasure to interview a truly multi talented individual and a veritable rising star! Thank you so much for finding the time to do this, it's greatly appreciated!
Dozie: Much appreciated bro. One love.
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