Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Dotan

Dotan
Dotan
is officially back with his new autobiographical record titled 7 Layers (out now via Universal Music). Along with the release of his second album, Dotan is currently on a nationwide tour. While on his 7 Layers Tour, the Amsterdam singer-songwriter spoke with A Music Blog, Yea? to discuss the new album, being clumsy, an elevator with “Minions”, selling out venues, and playing tennis on a national level. Here’s what he had to say:

AMBY: Hello Dotan, welcome to AMBY. Please introduce yourself to our readers!

Dotan: Hello and thank you! Well.. my name is Dotan and I’m a Dutch singer-songwriter. Born in Israel, raised in Amsterdam and currently still living in Amsterdam. I just released my second studio album “7 Layers” and been playing many shows for the past 4 years mainly in Holland. Oh and I really dig a good cheesecake.

AMBY: How would you classify your sound to those unfamiliar with your music?

Dotan: That’s always such a hard question. I think people would call it folk/singer-songwriter music with lots of dynamics, acoustic guitar driven and a lot of percussion. People often compare it to current singer-songwriters such as Jose Gonzalez, Bon Iver and James Vincent Mcmorrow. Which are huge compliments!

AMBY: You are currently on your 7 Layers Tour. What have been some of the highlights so far?

Dotan: Selling out all these venues is pretty amazing already. Meeting all these incredible people that are coming out to see me is very special. The release show in an absolutely packed Paradiso was a big highlight of the tour. Playing the new songs for the first time and feeling people’s reaction for the first time was incredible.

AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you while on stage?

Dotan: I’m pretty clumsy so I can name a few things for sure. Last weekend I came to the stage and forgot my in-ear monitor set in my dressing room. I had to leave again and grab it out of the dressing room. Being back on stage after 3 minutes and people staring at me was quite awkward. I also knocked over a mic stand once and that caused some sort of domino effect.. which resulted in a very chaotic stage and crowd.

AMBY: Your new album 7 Layers is a beautiful collection of tracks. What were your biggest inspirations on the LP?

Dotan: Thank you so much. I think I didn’t try to think of any inspirations for this record to be honest. I did work with Thomas Dybdahl on a few songs, which is one of my true heroes, but I wanted to do the whole record my way. So I basically wrote, recorded and produced the whole record myself. Recorded a lot the parts just in my living room to make sure I kept my own vision and sound.

AMBY: What’s the story behind the album’s single Fall?

Dotan: Well that is a very special song to me for sure. Since I was little I always dealt with a very strong fear of failure. With my first record coming out four years ago I had difficulties dealing with that. It was so scary being on stage, having people looking at me and I was really scared of failing all the time. I wrote the chorus of Fall and started to sing it to myself as some kind of mantra before I would go on stage. I finished the whole song then and decided that I wanted to start with a clean slate with this song.. It feels really good being on stage and having a lot of fun instead of anxiety now.

AMBY: Which other artists from Amsterdam should we keep our eyes on?

Dotan: There are quite a few talented people out there. I think Yori Swart is really good. She is kind of like a young Joni Mitchell. There’s a very good music scene going on in Amsterdam!

AMBY: Who would you like to be most and least stuck in an elevator with?

Dotan: Good question. I think either my acoustic guitar or with a couple of Minions (those really funny yellow pals from the Despicable Me movie) – they really crack me up. I think the least with Poetin. I really dislike his beliefs and how he treats human rights.

AMBY: Outside of music, what do you do for fun?

Dotan: I’m busy with music 90 % of the time.. but I’m a big foodie. So I often try to combine these two things. I’m also a huge TV shows fan. Currently I enjoy House of Cards a lot and I watch a lot of animation movies. I think I’m a bit geeky yeah..

AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Dotan that nobody knows yet?

Dotan: Good question. Well I used to play tennis on a national level, 7 days a week. I quit when I was about 15 because I had an injury, but my original plan was to become a professional tennis player. I am quite happy that it didn’t work out after all ;)

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Thank you Dotan, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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