Today we’d like to introduce you to Dol Ikara.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was a little diva as a child, but not in the negative connotation sense of the word; I’d sing and dance around the house, and proceeded to set sail on my songwriting journey as I was learning to read and write. You know that kindergarten lined paper, with the two lines and that dotted line in the middle – essentially the training wheels for writing? I’d scribble down lyrics and delineate the melody with polygraph-esque lines; high notes would spur peaks and low notes would prompt dips. Turned out not to be a very effective notation system. One of the first songs I ever wrote was called “Over Hills and Over Valleys” and I still recall the melody. My six-year-old magnum opus.
I picked up guitar in middle school and the songwriting, of course, developed. I say I play “bedroom guitar”; I am simply proficient enough to use it as a tool to create ambiance and vocal melodies. Over these past several years, I have been collaborating with other musicians but really found my people who have so graciously been helping me bring Dol Ikara to life only within this past year. I’ve been developing the vision and sound of Dol Ikara since high school, so it’s very satisfying to observe the birth.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has inevitably been a defeating road with dead ends, disappointments and pain along the way. A path that nearly broke me several times, but I chose to use each instance as a propellant, shedding what didn’t serve me and growing stronger skin along the way. Between collaborations and/or relationships either falling short of expectations or becoming toxic, various men telling me what I should and shouldn’t do, and dealing with the tentacles of depression and panic attacks attempting to interlace themselves into my daily affairs, I navigated through dark waters for a while. Just generally finding myself was a very difficult undertaking because for much of my life I was living in a bubble and had no idea who I wanted to be… I just knew who I didn’t want to be.
I have now established mental health regimens to cope and have intimately discovered mediation and the art of mindfulness. I’ve discovered just what a rarity a beautiful, synergistic collaboration is, which has made me appreciate my creative relationships more deeply. The music industry is a frustrating and deliberately obscure industry to maneuver, so I am grateful to those who have provided light and guidance. Opening myself up to discussion and mentorship has been very valuable.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My real-life name is Claire and Dol Ikara is my divine, spooky spawn. I’m a singer-songwriter who is very visually inspired by delicate, dreamy, gothic, goddess imagery. Dol Ikara serves as a phonetically beautiful signifier to hold the dark fantasy soundscape of this project. So far, I’ve released two singles — “White Queen” and “Sparrow — and my debut EP is set to be released in August.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The first Dol Ikara show recently transpired at the Echo on June 17 for Brass Box’s residency with Crook and Deth Crux. A full moon night… which I must say was both highly on brand and an auspicious boon. For me, this show represented the culmination of several years of hard work, perseverance and obstacles that I have overcome. I was born in October, but all the love and support showering over the band that night made me feel like a real birthday queen. Also, incredibly grateful to all those involved onstage: my friend Dasha (Dari Mos) who provided stunning, haunting visual projections that looked like a silent film era piece, Max Harrison on guitar, Alex Are on keys and guitar, Zach Bilson on bass, Chris Dunn on drums.
What are your plans for the future? What are you looking forward to or planning for – any big changes?
My upcoming EP “Obsidian Ritual” will be debuting the end of August. The collection comprises six songs: Black Flower, Bon Road, Residual, Sparrow, Idyllic and Stone Towers. The sound draws stylistic inspiration from surreal dreams, untamed gardens, dark fantasy and textures of velvet and lace. The songs ebb and flow between defeat and empowerment in a ritualistic honesty, embracing both incoherency and clarity, stagnation and transmogrification. I’m really proud of it. I’m proud that it is finally coming out of its cave to bask in the light of day. A full-length album will be following in the coming year, and in the meantime, I will be headlining The Satellite on August 13th.
- Website: dolikara.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimberly Zsebe/ZB Images, Dari Mos, Sam Hodges