Get to know: DOOLIE
ICYMI late last year rising alt-pop star DOOLIE debuted her stellar single and accompanying clip for ‘Pristine’. Little did she know that this single would be a turning point for the young star, prompting her to take the 2016 Queensland Music Award for the schools category, as while all this was happening, she was busy finishing up grade 12. A fresh talent, but far from naive, she went onto share another stunning tune in ‘Exhale’, and is gearing up to take this year by storm – now that she’s graduated and all.
Doolie’s music displays and intense maturity and poise well beyond her years. We sat down to chat about the whirlwind year that was her senior year, and what it was like to become a breakthrough star.
What were some of your formative influences? Mum’s mixtapes? School socials?
I was born years later than when I should have been, as I grew up listening to a lot of early 90’s bangers! My Walkman (CD type) playlist consisted of No Doubt, Fountains of Wayne and none other than The Dandy Warhols, they didn’t have a shuffle button on Walkman’s, well at least not on the one I had and unless you dropped or bumped it, so you were stuck with their exact order.
What influences you now?
George Maple is someone who has a big influence on my performance at my shows, she’s an incredible person to look up to, starting from her music, her voice through to her ‘get up’ – just love what she wears.
Has music always played a big part of your life at home or was it something you forayed into during early adolescence?
Well neither my mum or dad sing or play an instrument but they’re creative and love music – they have pretty diverse tastes, so I guess their styles of music has rubbed off on me. My sister Madi and I seemed to have got this freak streak in the family as we are the only ones who sing!
You recently won the QLD music award, what has it been like for you since? And what does this award represent to you?
It was such an awesome thing to have won as well as being nominated in two categories. It was a real surprise when I received an email saying, “Congratulations!” because I really thought it was going to say, “Thanks but you didn’t make the cut – better luck next time.” A win like that so early in my music career is an awesome thing and it has definitely given me a better profile, people take notice, it’s something impressive that you can hold onto as an official ‘pat on the back’.
Trying to release and make music is a hard thing to do, let alone smack bang in the middle of Year 12, what was it like maintaining a balance and level head?
Like being in a cage/having my wings held tightly to my body unable to fly the way I wanted to – I actually wrote a song about that and it may even be my next release! My last year at school was not what I had hoped it to be, so it was a real chore to get through, and relieved it is over now. I really couldn’t wait to leave school because I just want to be in the industry with like-minded people, writing, recording and performing music – that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do!
I get a real nostalgic early 00s vibe from the silhouette in your clip for ‘Exhale’, was it a reference to anything?
Not particularly, if you’re talking the look, it really just evolved that way, but I guess as I was surrounded by music of that time through my parents playlists, maybe that influence has come through in a sneaky way! Shooting the video was a huge day (and all shot in one day) with four locations around the Sunny Coast, which also meant four costume changes/hair and make-up – especially the make-up since a lot of the shots were in water and underwater – there was a lot of water!! I was so cold toward the end, I wanted to cry! I’m really pleased for Brendan Williams who shot the video, as he received a Gold Award in the 2016 QLD Australasian Cinematographers Society awards and it’s in the running for the national award later this year.
Can you tell us about some of your favourite live acts, anyone you feel inspires your style?
I have to say George Maple, she’s so amazing in every way and someone not as prominent as she is but is a great performer is Sahara Beck. I loved seeing London Grammar and I have to admit this, I did go and see pop superstars, Kylie, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga!
Can you tell us a bit about what goes into a Doolie live performance?
The hard work is in the rehearsals and recording sessions which also means a lot of pizza and Chinese food, the preservatives and MSG really kicks in and boosts our energy! With all the work my band and I apply during our rehearsals to get a tight and vibey set, the performance part is easy and it’s the best thing to be sharing my music and watching people having a good time. I also try to make sure my presentation makes the right statement to match my songs and, I want the crowd to be visually engaged as well engaged into the music, making sure my get up and music reach the point where they compliment each other
What can we expect next for you?
I want to a lot more shows with the band and I have a heap of new songs that I’m working on for (hopefully) a future EP that I can’t wait to complete. I’m really keen to do collabs too. I’ll also be starting uni this year where I’ll be doing my favourite thing – just music and more music!! I’ve also been working on my brand ‘DoolieMusic’ on website, Facebook, Instagram, and a new Youtube channel (pls subscribe!!) I’d also love to do another music video this year – ‘Exhale’ is going well that I get the feeling people are waiting to see what I do next…soon!