Dom Dolla Interview: Breaking America, Favourite Artists, New Song ‘San Frandisco’

Australia’s Dom Dolla knows how to get crowds moving and he has been jetting all over the world in the past few years doing just that. This week he released his highly anticipated single ‘San Frandisco’ which he’s been teasing to crowds for a while now.

With infectiously catchy vocals and a unique punchy house instrumental, Dom has done just what we’ve come to expect – a quality release which has all the elements for underground, yet still with a commercial appeal that everyone can get around. To celebrate the release we caught up with Dom Dolla to give you some insight into what he’s up to and what’s on the horizon.

You have played at events such as Tomorrowland, EDC, Coachella and Hard Summer.  Are these bucket list events for you?

100%, definitely. I’ve been following Hard Summer since Gary Richards/Destructo started the festivals probably a decade ago. I’ve been a fan for a long time, they had all my favourite artists such as Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, Diplo, A-Trak and all those sort of guys – I grew up idolising them and that meant I really wanted to play Hard Summer. 

It’s funny, you idolise them, then you concentrate on the work, forgetting about these aspirations and then they really sneak up on you! So when I was told about Hard Summer I was shocked as I remember it being such a goal when I really thought about it. It’s the same with all the big festivals. 

What do you think the catalyst was for you to break out of the Australian scene and become known throughout Europe and America?

I think in America it was touring. I built up a little following in the States just from SoundCloud – I always had people messaging me. I was booked at EDC and that was my first ever American show back in 2016. It wasn’t until I began touring the club circuit over there, it’s such a big country and there are so many events and nooks and crannies. I’ve played everywhere from Vegas to like South Carolina – I never thought I’d end up in South Carolina! It was actually one of my favourite shows. Europe is still a work in progress but I think ‘Take It’ helped a lot, it was picked up by quite a few radio stations throughout Europe. It went crazy on Shazam in Belgium and Luxembourg. 

Seeing as you moved to Melbourne when you were 15, do you think you’d be at this point in your musical career if you hadn’t?

No way! I used to love riffs music, I played the guitar growing up. There was a real pivotal moment when I moved to Melbourne, my tastes shifted to dance music. I’m not sure if it was because I was getting older or because I moved but If I was back in the Northern Territory I might still be listening to very relaxed guitar kind of stuff. Melbourne definitely has the culture that developed my interest in dance music. 

What music are you vibing at the moment? Any particular tracks?

It’s more sounds and artists rather than tracks in particular. When it comes to including songs in my own sets, it’s hard to include a lot of the tracks I’m enjoying as lately I’ve been trying to focus on playing mostly my own music. I think artists such as Dennis Cruz, the Camelphat guys, old friends like Billy Kenny – I also remixed Hayden James – I love his stuff as well. The Aussie music industry is really small and I think there is a level of influence on my own music that comes from what other Australian artists are making. 

Do you prefer to produce remixes or originals?

I used to prefer remixes simply because I could do them a lot quicker and because there are elements there to work with. That’s how I learnt how to write music, just remixing of people’s stuff and making edits. The way I approach originals now is pretty much the same but I imagine the stems first, so I think “what’s the dream vocal for this?” and then I sit down and do my best to write it. Essentially, I approach that vocal the same way I would approach a remix. Sometimes it happens differently but the majority of the time I do it like this. Overall though it’s 50/50, I’m really loving writing originals but they take a long time to get out there as record labels are slow. So I find if I want to stay excited in the studio, sitting down and doing remixes keeps me going and motivated! 

On that note, do you have anything in the works at the moment?

I just released my new single ‘San Frandisco’, I have another one called ‘Circles’ and a few in the bank – just waiting for labels to let me do it! The label says “hey hey chill out we don’t need to release anything anytime soon” and as an artist, that drives me nuts! That’s why I’m getting out there and seeing what I can remix and keep myself busy. But I’m really excited about my new single, a lot of fans have been hitting me up about it and I’m glad it’s finally out. The vocal hook is very strong and it was a pleasure to produce and now play out! 

Listen and support Dom Dolla’s new single ‘Sanfrandisco’