An Interview with Dodie

Embarking on a two-month European tour, British singer-songwriter Dodie Clark’s newly-released E.P Human soared to number 5 in the U.K album charts; the highest any of her records have ever reached. She’s proud of the record, evidently; audible in her voice is excitement, gratification and real love for the ability to be writing and recording the way she wants to.

On the other end of the phone, she sounds humble as she acknowledges the surreal reality and challenges of transitioning from her platform of internet fame to one of more mainstream, commercial recognition.

Hi Dodie! How are you doing?

“I’m really good, thanks! I’ve just been finishing lots of projects I’m really excited about and it’s all feeling very good. I just finished filming for Vevo, a live performance of Monster. The recording was so exciting and unlike anything I’ve ever done before. A bit daunting, too; they had me doing choreography which was something quite new. I was a bit unsure about it, so my friends had me practicing in the kitchen with them the night before.”

What was it like to be making a video like Monster? It’s so crazy and colourful.

“Yeah, Monster was kind of a weird one! I had little input for the whole process, it was mostly down to PJ (the director). I was on set for a couple of days filming and then I came back for a post-edit. I love the video a lot.”

You have a real knack of portraying love and the ugly sort of suffering of love, really creatively. Do you think your next music videos are going to explore more of that? You’ve definitely got the lyrical material for it on your E.P.

“Thank you for asking that – yeah, it’s really cool to be able to explore the darker themes surrounding love. I try to do that with all of my videos, to pull apart the ugly, sad parts of love – themes which I think all my songs really do have to some extent. Sometimes I would love to explore those themes without the sugary coating put on top, but sometimes I think that would be a bit much. I definitely hope to be able to focus on those kinds of ideas more though.”

You’re now known as Dodie the singer instead of Dodie the Youtuber. What’s that like?

“Yeah. That’s actually something I really prefer. People used to see me as an online personality, and that’s quite difficult to wrap my head around because my personality changes all the time. It’s a lot more freeing to be seen as a musician.”

You’re playing with Orla Gartland when you reach the Glasgow leg of the tour. It must be great to play with someone you have a friendship with!

“Yeah, and a band of guys called Koala! Absolutely! I mean, my band and I are incredibly close and great friends – we spend a lot of time together. But to play with someone you’ve collaborated with on Youtube is always great fun. I feel quite lucky to be able to do that.”

Speaking of collaborations what was it like to work with Lewis Watson on Not What I Meant?

“Thank you so much! People always comment on the fact I’ve worked with Tom Walker and that’s obviously amazing, but yeah, I really did love working with Lewis. He’s a good friend of mine, I’ve admired him for such a long time and the chance to do a song together was really great.”

Following on from that – you’ve also worked with Tom!

“That was a bit crazy. It’s a blending of these two worlds, I guess, from the one I’m in and the one he’s in, that kind of crazy pop world. My friends would all say “wow, you’re working with Tom, that’s crazy!” and he’s obviously been nominated for a Brit, but he’s a really lovely down-to-earth guy!”

You mentioned in a video that you were ready to put ‘She’ to bed but after playing it live you decided to give it life with an updated rendition. Do you think the songs you write evolve in their meaning over time as you collect new experiences and memories?

“Yeah. So I wrote She a while ago and found myself getting into a similar situation. I played the song live and just had this moment where I thought ‘Aaah, I really can’t leave this song behind!’. I guess the meaning for She really stayed the same over the years but there are some songs which will evolve in their meaning from my life experiences. I’m a bit of a perfectionist – nothing’s ever really done for me. Getting the chance to go back and revisit some of my older songs is perfect and suits my composition really well.”

Are there songs you think you’d like to go back to one day?
“Definitely – maybe from my first E.P that I didn’t really get a chance to finish. When is one I’m really interested in going back to! I’m really interested in going back to my older songs, updating them with new instruments and strings and that sort of thing.”

Dodie’s tour rolls into Glasgow on the 15th March and we can’t wait to see her light up the Barras!