Doe Paoro

12th Annual Eclectic Song Nominee

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Record Label: Self-Released

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Home Base: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Soul

Categories Entered: Eclectic Song

Work Submitted: “Can’t Leave You”

Artists Featured: Doe Paoro

Label: Self-released

Who are your influences?: Dali Lama, Marina Abramovic, Lauryn Hill,  Lucien Freud, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen, S.N. Goenka

Describe your nominated work: I wrote this song by singing different melodic ideas into a recorder I had while traveling alone through India and Greece in 2011. I was in a creative space I had never known before because the solitude had forced me to face certain emotions and boundaries I’d been avoiding for a very long time, my whole life maybe. I was struggling with letting go. When I returned back to the states, I brought “Can’t Leave You” to my friend Yuri Hart, and he worked out this beautiful cello arrangement to it.

Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: The only instruments on this song are cello, violin and voice. We stacked layers of different cello and vocal lines to create this texture that  mirrors the chaos of nature, and our own human nature.

Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: I wouldn’t say we had any happy accidents but we did have a lot of unplanned good fortune with the song. After we recorded it, we felt it was special and wanted to find the right person to realize it in the mixing stage. I was enchanted by the Lykke Li album, so I wrote to Lasse Marten in Stockholm and asked him if he’s been interested in mixing it. His manager replied that he was booked for the next year but then I sent the song and he liked it so much, he got on board and now he and I are working together on my next album.

How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: This song is totally pure in the sense of finances. Everyone who worked on it, worked on it because they loved the song. It’s for that same reason that we offer it as a pay-what-you-want download on Bandcamp –

Why did you choose to submit this work to The 12th IMAs?: Someone reached out to me and told me they heard “Can’t Leave You” and that I should apply.

What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: Success as an artist is all about communicating some aspect of truth that resonates with  and transports people to emotional/psychological states they might otherwise not experience.  When you’ve achieved that, you know because you know 🙂

How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals?: Hopefully this will continue to help us reach more people.

Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique?: Our fans are unique because they are seekers; they had to find us to a certain extent, since we self-released everything. Also our music is very emotional and not for everyone – it asks the listener to go there with us.

What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Any close calls or mishaps while on tour?: I do a lot of yoga whenever possible. You can catch me backstage hanging like a bat upside down. Ask Elle King.

Who are your musical heroes & influences?: Bob Marley because his music is universal, sends out a positive message and has touched so many people. Lauryn Hill has been someone who I’ve listened to since I was a child and her music continues to nurture me as an adult because it’s so full of truth. I look to Leonard Cohen when thinking about lyrics.

Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why?: “Hallelujah” and “Landslide”. Those two songs feel eternal to me.

What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans?: I listen to a lot of rap because I find it the most inspiring from a lyrical perspective. Been listening to a lot of Jean Grae lately- an old favorite—and can’t get enough of the Kendrick Lamar album.

How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: I buy a lot of music but am also a fan of Spotify. I have a few friends who are always lacing me with new music to make sure I’m keeping my ears fresh.

How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free?: Play live. Keep some faith…

What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today?: I think Amanda Palmer came the closest to articulating it….the question of whether it’s worth releasing with a label in this interesting moment in music when it’s possible to do everything yourself.

Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future?: I hope digital singles aren’t the future because there is a lot of beauty in the album – in the full picture that many songs unveil about the vision of the artist at that time—and it would be shame if that became a lost art because of this crazy instant gratification culture we are in.

Finish this sentence: The music industry is…changing!

What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: I’m releasing a 7” on White Iris Records in May, as well as a new music video. Finishing up the writing on my second album, which I hope to come out late 2013/early 2014.