When he’s not dazzling Instagram with his art, Los Angeles-based experimental singer/songwriter Dakota Blue is in the studio, creating tracks to tantalize your eardrums. While his EP isn’t set to release quite yet, we had the opportunity to sit down and get to know him a little better. So world, here’s a look inside the life of the somehow increasingly majestic Dakota Blue.
What was the first album/song you remember hearing, and who introduced it to you?
Growing up, car rides with my folks was where I first discovered a ton of music. In kindergarten, Beck, Nirvana, and Beastie Boys were current and on the radio all the time (Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic tour at the LA Convention Center was my first concert). My dad also played Parliament’s Greatest Hits on repeat… I loved that.
Have you found that that initial musical moment influenced your sound in any way?
Yes, I think by being exposed to a wide variety of sounds early on directly influenced my sound.
In that regard, what does influence your sound?
In that regard, anything and everything can become an influence to me all for different reasons. Cocteau Twins, Chet Atkins, Gil-Scott Heron, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Elliott Smith, Brian Eno… they all hit me in different ways.
Your new EP LAVALIKE is out soon. What are you most excited about regarding this release?
I’m most excited about the last song on the release, “Shadows in Paradise.” I wrote it two years ago, and when I recorded it, it came together in a way I never would’ve expected. LAVALIKE is how I describe the sounds of the guitar at the end of the song, so that’s how the EP got its name.
Your song “Distant Disco” sounds – somehow – exactly like its title would suggest. Where did the idea for that number come from?
I had this drum track lying around that was initially supposed to be just a metronome for another song. Realizing it was too cool not to be used, I started layering guitars and messing with delays until they sounded like they were responding to each other. When my girlfriend, Priscilla, came home, I played it for her and she said it sounded like a “disco in the distance,” and shortly after she came up with the concept for the video.
We got the chance to premiere your video for “Blueprints”. Where did the video concept come from? What was production like?
I love western films and I also love film/tv about film/tv, so the idea came from that place in the middle. Our production for all of our videos is small and intimate, mostly just the two of us taking a simple concept and riffing on it once we start shooting. Priscilla and I went out to central California and shot a ton a footage of me wandering in the cowboy getup. Rather than standard adventure shots that go along with that look, its a “behind the scenes” of an actor; bored, tired, rehearsing lines, getting their hair done, messing up scenes, etc.
Do you find that the five tracks on LAVALIKE span a particular theme, or is there a different way you look at a collection of songs?
Yeah, the five tracks on LAVALIKE span the theme of feeling like a tourist in my own city. I’ve lived in LA my whole life, but for the last couple of years my day-job has required me to wake up before sunrise, so I’m experiencing my home in a way that I haven’t before. I’ve found intrigue in things that I wouldn’t have noticed before.
You have a number of artistic endeavors under your belt. How do you stay sane amidst all of it?
All of the endeavors are what keeps me sane and the only way to maintain that is to constantly be working on something.
What do you think is the most important matter at hand with civilization at large?
Speaking as an artist and not expert, during these current times far too many people are ignored, or worse. Protests and all forms of loud, nonviolent expression is so vital.
How do you think art can save us?
While art may come from a personal place, as soon as it’s shared it becomes the point of contact for others. Being able to connect, relate, and communicate over any art form is such an insane and powerful thing. Hopefully it enables others to also feel empowered.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I have a six song EP in progress for the spring, so stay tuned!
Keep up with Dakota Blue’s music here.