2020 was a year for New Jersey-based artist Dolo Tonight to be himself. 2020 was also the year Dolo Tonight expressed himself more as an artist, whilst working on building a world for his fans to tap in to.
“Ehhh— I mean— I’m a musician so- I’ve been stuck inside making songs my whole life—-it just sucks not to be able to go out and meet new people and have studio sessions,” Dolo tells Eat This Music at the top of our chat about his newest single, “Graduation“. However, Dolo is at least doing his best to make it work.
“Graduation” is about Dolo dropping out of school at the advice of his professors to take on his music career full time. In fact, “Graduation” is a coming of age song that tells Dolo’s story, layered with analogies and is true to his journey as a person and young artist.
“[laughs] I’m still at the start of my creative process – I think a creative process is an ongoing thing,” Dolo reveals about his grander creative aspects. “To more fluidly answer your question though — yea I think that it’s speaking the same truth that I wanted to put into the world when we first started this project.”
“It’s deep! A lot of it starts with the beat,” Dolo reveals on initial creative and production process of his newest single. “After that I’ll get some ideas down on my phone or in a notebook and then take it to the studio to record.” Once Dolo gets to the studio, that is when the creative process really starts. Partnered with his engineer, Dolo gets deep into the process about basic things: delivery, timing, cadence, inflection, and the harmony and adlibs to top it off.
“Most of my tracks are freestyles that we just kick in the studio and then fill in the rest to make it make more sense and tell a fluid story.” — Dolo Tonight on his creative process.
“A lot of the magic happens right there [in the studio] in real time as I’m first on the mic—if we can’t make it shake there then the record has no chance,” Dolo continues in our chat. “The beats have to be inspiring enough to evoke real emotions that I can the translate in real time to the tracking environment.”
This song is Dolo’s life. In fact, this is the type of song that wouldn’t have originally been created without these real situations coming into his journey. Dolo continuues, “As an artist you have to live a little to be able to make these types of songs and keep that lens open. If I didn’t live it—you probably won’t find it in my music— that’s just about staying true to my craft and myself.”
“Ahh man — I pictured graduation and life in general to be so repetitive — it’s like — you go to school, get good grades, and try to get in a college,” Dolo tells Eat This Music. “Then you get into college – have to get good grades to get into a nice paying job — I resent all of that—for me I’m just trying to live life and have fun because I’m not going to be around for longer than 80 more years max [laughs].”
The visual representation of “Graduation” showcases this in the same way per se – it is just day after day of the same old stuff and life keeps throwing obstacles at you. It is the social pressure of having to confirm to social norms. “I think everyone should explore a side hustle or do something that makes them happy- for me the thing that makes me happy is music,” Dolo adds.
“I’m glad you asked,” Dolo emphasises on the question of ‘What do you have planned next?’. “We have a whole EP and visual project dropping as well as some animated videos and vlogs and adventures and other cool things we turned into content,” he enthusiastically expresses. “All of that is coming soon! It’s gonna be a blast and full of really original content that feels perfect for the time we are in now. It’s called Back To Earth. We definitely aren’t doing things “normally.”
Dolo Tonight’s “Graduation” is now out via Asylum Records.
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