Q&A: dodie discusses recent music, how her online presence has changed over the years
English singer-songwriter dodie will be ending her “Human Tour” at the Hollywood Palladium on Friday. While performing, she said she loves looking out into the crowd and watching people sing along with their friends. (Courtesy of Parri Thomas)
Oct. 7, 2019 10:24 p.m.
She is just a human but dodie said she knows when it’s the right time to share her art.
Originally posting song covers to her YouTube channel doddleoddle, the English singer-songwriter has since gone on to amass over a million subscribers and 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify. And while she still posts the occasional song cover, she now focuses on creating original music. Her most recent single, “Boys Like You,” explores the addictive yet unhealthy power play that can take over a relationship, she said.
She will be wrapping up her “Human Tour” at the Hollywood Palladium on Friday, and spoke with the Daily Bruin’s Kristin Snyder about touring, her creative process and the difficulties of sharing her personal life with her fanbase.
Daily Bruin: You’ve been on tour since early September. Have any particular shows stood out to you?
dodie: We played Dallas, and that was such a fun crowd. My friends were out on the balcony, so I could see all of my audience and then my friends up at the top. It just felt really good to be able to see them, and everyone’s faces were really clear. Whenever venues have a slant in the watching area, you can see everyone’s face while you play, and I really love that. You can stare into people’s eyes and sing to them. … If I’m losing energy, I’ll look into the crowd and see people singing to each other.
DB: Your new song “Boys Like You” just released. How would you describe the new song?
d: I wrote it a while ago, and I knew that I wanted to write it rhythmically. I was listening to a song by Everything Everything, and I noticed how they kind of use words as a beat. I was really inspired by that so I started writing this shuffly song. I sat with it for a while because I knew the chorus, but I didn’t know what to do with the other verses. I played around with it for a while and sat with it and rewrote it, and now I’m really happy with it.
DB: You’re really known for being open and vulnerable in your songs. Are you ever worried or apprehensive about revealing certain things?
d: Definitely. I’m coming up against that recently. I think before, I shared everything online, and I figured out that wasn’t the best idea with so many people watching with their own lives and stories to bring forward. Now, I feel safe in sharing my music because I have a strong principle that you’re allowed to be free in art. God, that sounds so wanky. But I do believe that. I think I’ve definitely been wondering whether I want to remain this vulnerable and explore a complex life in songs, but I think I will still.
DB: Is it difficult to decide where to draw the line of what you’re willing to reveal and what to keep to yourself?
d: I’ve struggled with that my whole life. I wasn’t brought up with the best boundaries. I think I’ve learned how to work with them, and I still struggle with knowing what is a boundary, what is a secret, what is hiding, what is just keeping to myself to keep me safe. I still don’t really know, so I look to my friends and the people around me to tell me what is right. But sometimes something just feels right, and you have to put it out in the world.
DB: Has growing up with such a strong online presence impacted that?
d: I think it really is a very new problem, but it’s a cause of big problems. It’s weird to go through life with so many people watching you. I think for a while I loved to share online because it didn’t feel too big to handle. But now I think it’s just gotten so out of control. In an incredible way, it’s awesome. I’m glad I had that experience because I learned so many lessons from it, but now I’m closing off and keeping to my own little world and sharing what I’m personally comfortable with online, which is not a lot.
DB: Your EP released last year and your new song just came out. Where do you hope your music goes from here?
d: I’ve collected a bunch of songs I’m writing at the moment. That’s probably what I’ll do after tour – just stick to myself and keep writing, and hopefully, I’ll have some sort of a more substantial body of work, like an album, that’s more honest and is more me and catches up to where I am in my life right now. I do think I’ve changed and so has my music.