Interview – Dahlia

Photo Credit: Lisa MacIntosh

Toronto indie-pop singer-songwriter, Dahlia recently released the video for her song, “Back To The Days”. It is a single off her 2017 EP, Shift. Since then, she is a multi-nominee and has a Toronto Independent Music Award under her belt. Want to know more about this star in the making? Check out our interview below!

Can you tell the fans about your new video for “Back To The Days”?

Absolutely! The music video was meant to be light and fun. The song’s theme is heavily rooted in childhood nostalgia and we really wanted to capture that in the visual element. The message of the video needed to be a simple reminder to continue to tap into our inner kid in our daily lives as adults. Something I think I can personally confess I am definitely guilty of doing myself is taking life a little too seriously sometimes.

What was it like filming the video?

Fun! Fun and more fun! Filmmakers Dan Slater and Adam Booth from West and Social are not only talented but have the greatest attitude and work ethic. I was fortunate to work with an amazing crew and cast. The best part was the music producer, Nick Londono of the record is actually in the video! The Dancing Trio are all really best friends and run Kreative In Dance Styles (K.I.D.S) Studio, and two kids are from that dance school, and the siblings are really brother and sister, too.

Your EP, Shift, has been out for several months now and the response from the industry and fans alike have both been very well received. What does that feel like?

I feel so blessed. I really do. It was so nerve-wracking for me to put myself out into the world for public scrutiny and criticism with the vulnerability of the lyrics on this EP. It took so much personal sacrifice to put this record out there, so the positive response to it has been so encouraging. I could not have made a record like this without the talent and love of my dear producer, Nick Londono (aka Nick Name). He played almost all of the instruments you hear on the record outside of the horns and cello and he worked on this EP for close to two years to try to really bring it all together in a bold yet delicate way! The love on this EP has only given me even more momentum to write more songs, do more collaborations and push my music further.

You have collaborated with a lot of artists including Rich Kidd, Roy Hamilton III and Stacey Kay. Can you talk a bit about your experience with these people and a bit of how it all came together?

Each of those experiences were so unique and presented a new learning for me. Rich is so centred in his vision, production and artistry – I am always in such awe of him. With Roy, the music comes so easy especially in collaborations – the lyrics and melody pour out of me even quicker! Stacey is so incredible and multi-talented. From rapping to singing, her personality oozes into her music and we bonded so instantly.

What do you mainly write songs about?

Love and Life! The strain of whatever is bothering me when I get to the piano to write is usually apparent in the lyrics of my verses, the potential resolve reveals itself in the pre-chorus and thematically hope is almost always is the message of my choruses.

What is your writing process like?

It always changes but my default is to sit at the piano and mess with different chord progressions. When I get one I like – boom! the lyrics start to flow out of me and is usually
about what is going on in my life. On the other hand, co-writing presents its own fun challenges. For instance, as I wrote with Steve D’angelo in his studio – I was so nervous and couldn’t find many lyrics initially! I just kept humming little vocal melodies till he turned around a few minutes into our session and shouted: “Sing something!”. Turns out that’s all I needed and so started the beginnings of the song “Back to the Days” off the EP.

Do you have another album in the works?

Yes I do! I have a few tunes that are so dear to my heart already written and am working on a lot more. As it currently stands its looking like the next record will be minimal and stripped. Little instrumentation and vocals in the foreground and at the centre of it all. I cannot wait to share sneak peeks of that to the world.

What can we expect from you next?

I have a lot of collaborations coming out this year which I am so excited about! I plan on being visible on more stages and online a lot more. Trying to get my music into as many ears and in front of as many eyes as I possibly can is the mission.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishments so far?

Winning the award for “Best Singer-Songwriter” at the Toronto Independent Music Awards, nomination for an IMA and performing an original composed with a group specifically for the UN Global Change Initiative at City Hall.

Do we see any touring in 2018?

I can finally spill the beans here and say yes. I am headed to India on tour for the month of March to promote the record and will also be performing some songs off the upcoming record as a teaser.

Thank you for your time and for this interview. Do you have anything else you would like to say?

I cannot end this interview without thanking my incredible team that go above and beyond simply because of how much they believe in me. From my parents and family to my producer, musician colleagues, friends, publicist, creative director and musicians who take the stage with me. To all the people who have shown nothing but love for me and my music
– I love you all. There is so much I have in store for you this year!

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