Hi Dolo, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been doing very well! Getting used to the new ways to create during the time we are in. I’m hyped to be having this interview.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Graduation”?
Of course! It just came out – I’ve been waiting to share this story for a long time I’m glad it gets to see the world finally! For me it was a really good intro into what my latest project is all about and gave everyone a chance to see a little bit of my range while still feeling classic.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I dropped out of music school to work full time on my artistry —even some of my professors told me to drop out and go for music full time—so it really came around full circle. Once I heard the beat the lyrics and feel of the whole story came right into my head and it was super easy to write.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
It was nuts! I had this idea that we wanted to do a “GroundHogs Day” style film where I kept getting reset. I worked on a treatment for it and wrote it out for a couple days and then we found the perfect videographer who could help it come to life. I had never worked with a full crew on set like that before so it was really unique to see everyone having their own positions from lighting to controlling focus and then the actual filming. We crunched it out in a day and we’re able to get everything we needed out of the locations and people involved — I would say it was a success and I’m looking forward to doing more creative visual work.
The single comes off your new album Back To Earth – what’s the story behind the title?
Oh man haha. Yeah — Back To Earth is my storyyyy – pretty much the story is that I wanted something that was in line with the music I was making — I usually go for spacey and out of orbit beats with hard drums and a lot of atmospheric sounds. I think after some debating Back To Earth kind of just came into my head and started to make sense. I knew the name of the project as soon as I started A&Ring the production and heard the direction I was going for. It’s about getting back to my roots as a creative and taking people through a journey sonically and putting that spacey mood on while keeping a solid delivery. The name just kind of stuck with me.
How was the recording and writing process?
It’s crazy! Most of the songs I make are freestyles in the booth with my engineer Michael Ashby — I feel really comfortable at his studio and I can be myself there with no feeling that I’m doing anything out of pocket or that I’ll be judged. I think the vulnerability in my lyrics requires a safe space like that to record with someone who knows me as well as Ashby does. Out of the songs that I did sit down and write I think those feelings just came from looking at everywhere I’ve been and what I’ve been up to on my journey. Recording wise it’s definitely a very professional process and we take it seriously —- we haveeee to get the right takes and make sure my tonality and delivery as well as melody is hitting perfectly. For some of the songs we had up to 6 recording sessions just to get the right feel.
What was it like to work with Austin Marc and how did that relationship develop?
Yo! Austin is the nicest person hahaha. I think he’s really pushed me sonically to think outside the box. He’s always prompt and definitely understands the business we are in. Most importantly his shit smacks! I believe I heard him in a beat pack from a friend as a feature and just cold reached out to him online. We ended up on a phone call where I was just pacing around in my garage telling him how hyped I was to get working. He shared a similar energy towards creating that I do. Like right after that I started going through his beats and picked a ton that I liked. We eventually narrowed it down and locked in a couple ideas and now we collaborate frequently.
How much did he get to influence the album?
Everyone on the album including Austin played a key role in helping me create this space. I feel like everyone has their thing that they’re good at and for me Austin Marc is a great storyteller and classic hit maker. When I heard “Graduation” I knew it would be a classic. Austin gives me a ton of feedback on what we can do to make the music even better and is always supporting. We help each other out wherever we can even if it’s outside of music stuff. Once you tap in with the album enough and hear who made what it’s really easy to see which producer bring their specific flavors to the tracks.
What role does LA play in your music?
HA! LA! Yo…I just moved out here. It’s kinda crazy since every time I visited I had told myself I was gonna live there. It’s something about the sun over there hahaha. I think there’s this carefree vibe that really helps me create more easily and the people are really easy to link up with. Getting in the room with people is definitely how the best music gets made and there’s a lot of that going on in LA.
What aspect of your life did you get to explore on this record?
Oh man! My life! I was thinking about how if I never dropped out of college things would be so different. I might not be here talking to you guys at all or even have this project done. “Graduation” has that feeling you get when your parents let you skip school for the first time —except in this situation I already know what it’s like to miss classes and I’m just going in depth about what that bluntness feels like when people tell you that you are expected to do certain things.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Weirdly enough I think that I had some inspiration from my high school prom hahaha. I don’t know why — maybe it’s because in New Jersey after you graduate everyone goes down to the shore and goes wild at hotels that the entire class stays at. There’s a part in the song where I’m talking about partying with my neighbor and her best friends and I swear when I was freestyling that I could picture my high school prom weekend walking from hotel room to hotel room vibing out.
What else is happening next in Dolo Tonight’s world?
Man there’s always something happening. I don’t wanna leak too much but we have a tonnnnn of original content on the way to support the story. I do some live performances, we have an animated series- I just dropped a cookbook—-and there’s a documentary coming out eventually as well! My next couple singles have their surprises as well — I won’t say to too much but we may have a Guinness World Record secured after this next single “Higher” comes out. You will see. Time will tell I guess hahaha. It’s about to get wild.