Today we’d like to introduce you to Dorian.
Dorian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Dorian’s Live Neosoul & Yoga – a yoga event featuring my live music you can groove to – was inspired by conscious indie artist Michael Franti’s Soulshine Tour, at which he sang live during yoga flows before his concerts. I’d just released my first indie album back in 2013 and was trying to find venues beyond bars and nightclubs to share my music with people.
I caught Michael’s performance during his yoga session at The Greek Theatre and felt like it was the perfect way to bring my love for music and my love for creating healthy spaces for people together.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest challenge has been giving myself permission to carve out a unique path for myself as an indie artist. For most indie singers, there’s a pressure to be the next big star.
So, people want to know, “Who you’re touring with?” “What label are you signed to?” So, when I tell people that I sing during yoga flows, they are kind of like, “That’s it? Wow, you’re taking a really different path!”
And, now, I say with a smile: “Yep, I sure am! I’m taking MY path!”
Dorian’s Live Neosoul & Yoga – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Basically, I put on an hour-long concert during yoga flows. I don’t use a band or play an instrument. So, I set-up a concert-style speaker system that bathes the space in surround sound while I croon to instrumental tracks of my music. The yoga teachers I collaborate with lead vinyasa-style yoga flows via headset mics. I sing my original music people can groove to, tap their toes to and sometimes break out and dance to during the flow. I also talk throughout the sessions about what inspired my songs and share insights I’ve discovered about life. It’s kind of like an MTV Unplugged session during a yoga class.
I was going through a really tough time a while back and wasn’t hearing much on the radio to help me through it. I also was taking singing lessons as a part of my acting training for my Master’s Degree at The University of California, San Diego. So, I started vocalizing songs with inspirational lyrics. It was mostly Rhythm and Blues and a genre of music called neosoul (Jill Scott, Maxwell, Erykah Badu) but it had conscious lyrics to help me get through the day in a better way (kind of like India Arie and Michael Franti). Upon moving to LA, I recorded ten of those songs for my first indie record Everyday Warrior: Acoustic – Neosoul for Your Soul and followed that up with Turn It Into Gold! A few years later.
What I do takes people beyond the regular yoga class experience and even beyond a regular concert experience to what feels like an inspirational wellness event.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The feedback that people give me is inspiring. People offer testimonies like:
“I didn’t know yoga could be like this!”
“I love your music!”
“I wanted to break out and dance during the flow, so I was glad when the yoga teacher called a for a dance break!”
“Thank you for sharing your stories behind the lyrics to your songs while we were moving through the asanas. It really deepened the practice. It almost felt like we were in church!”
It’s been great to see people who haven’t tried yoga before inspired to try it for the first time simply because they love music. What I find even more encouraging is the amazing community being created at each event.
I was looking at pictures from past events, and it hit me that my yoga teachers and I were managing to create spaces in which people of all ages, races, cultures, body types and levels of experience could participate, feel included and at home. It’s satisfying that I’ve created something that could reach all people and most importantly in this time, bring people together through the power of music.
All roads have led me to bring this event to folks. It’s allowed all facets of me to come together – the actor (I moved to LA to pursue an acting career guest-starring on the final season of ER and CSI; Las Vegas with country music group The Rascal Flats), the health care practitioner (I’m a registered pharmacist for a national retail chain) and of course, the singer/songwriter. I’m using all of my gifts to create a space for people to step away from their busy lives for a moment and heal themselves through music, yoga, and community.
- Dorian’s Live Neosoul & Yoga – $20 Earlybird/ $25 Door
- Dorian’s Live Neosoul & Yoga – The Essential Playlist – $9.99 (CD Baby.com)
- Everyday Warrior: Acoustic – Neosoul for Your Soul! – $9.99 (CD Baby.com, iTunes)
- Turn It Into Gold – $9.99 (CD Baby, iTunes)
- Dorian’s Inspirational Lyric Tank Tops – $25 (Etsy.com)
- Website: dorianneosoul.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @dorianwarrior