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10 Questions with singer songwriter Dora Gola about her music career

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Singer-songwriter Dora Gola pictured above graduated with a first-class honours degree in BA in Voice & Dance in Limerick.

10 Questions with singer-songwriter Dora Gola about her music career

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Tara Byrne

Dora Gola is a singer, dancer, songwriter, and vocal and performance coach based in Limerick, and she released her new single ‘Dark Sand’ on Friday, April 2. The music video for ‘Dark Sand’ has been officially selected for two film festivals, the Underground Cinema Film Awards in Dublin, and the International Music Video Awards in London.

Dora was born in Poland and moved to Ireland in 2008. She lived in Limerick until 3 years ago, and she now resides in the beautiful Lahinch, where she has her own singing and performance school. Her soulful sound and passionate song writing style successfully blend pop, jazz, folk, and indie styles. Through her sensuality as a dancer and strong embodiment of the music, Dora creates an intimate and personal relationship with the audience during her performances. Dora graduated with a first-class honours degree in BA in Voice & Dance in Limerick and an MA in Music Performance in Cork. In 2019 Dora was nominated by Hot Press Magazine for the Most Promising Act 2019.

Can you tell us about your childhood?

I grew up in Poland and lived there until 2008. I was very blessed because my whole family always supported my music and my drive for performing. My dad is a huge music fan, and his eclectic musical taste made me grow up around various music genres. Singing and dancing came naturally, and my parents always supported me without pressuring me to follow a particular career path. They wanted me to spend my life doing something I love, and I loved music and dance.

 

Who inspires you?

A lot of artists inspires me. A few of them are Kate Bush, Hans Zimmer, Prince, Phil Collins, Enigma, Deep Forest and Paul Simon.

 

Tell us about your debut single ‘Dark Sand.’ 

‘Dark Sand” is the first single from my debut album due to release in 2021. 

The track is inspired by an amalgamation of my earliest influences nurtured by my father’s massive eclectic music collection influences that span from Kate Bush to Jean Michelle-Jarre. ‘Dark Sand’ is a perfect concoction of avant-garde pop, world, and electronic music. The track results from experimenting with my songwriting partner (Darragh Keary) in our home studio on the West Coast of Ireland in Lahinch. 

The story of ‘Dark Sand’ reminds you that you can search for guidance in nature, and you will find comfort and reassurance once you get back to your roots. 

 

Describe your background in dance.

I started my dance journey when I was 6 when I began training Ballroom & Latin Dance. When I went to college to study for BA in Voice & Dance in Limerick, I started to train in contemporary dance, ballet, and African dance. I even got a taste of Irish Dance which you don’t want to see me do haha!

 

How have you found making music during the pandemic?

I honestly think the pandemic was a blessing for my career and writing music. There were no gigs or performance opportunities for any artists, and we were all in the same boat. It was like having a blank canvas. I felt like a child who’s been given all the crayons in the world to fill the page however I wanted. At the beginning of the pandemic, I came back to the music I listened to in the 90s. One of the big ones was Deep Forest and Enigma. It awakened the pure joy I had for music when I was a child without analysing or comparing myself to anyone out there. I started co-writing with Darragh Keary in January 2020, and I didn’t plan to release any of the music we’ve been writing. I just wanted to grow and develop as a songwriter and have fun. When we wrote ‘Dark Sand’ after the first lockdown lifted, we both knew we were up to something special, and it will be the first single out of the album. It just felt right. 

 

What is the work like that goes into making an album?

When we started working on this album, Darragh and I were drawn to specific themes musically and emotionally. These themes include the consciousness of nature, shamanism, feminine power, self-exploration, and a sense of mystery. All of these dictated what sounds we were to choose and the lyrics we were to write. We either write with the piano or set up a drum/percussion groove. In either case, we write and record on the same day in the home studio. We wrote certain songs to join musically with the core songs/singles so that there’s a musical continuation instead of pieces being separate from each other. That gives the listener an aural cinematic experience. 

singer songwriter Dora Gola - Dora just released her single 'Dark Sand'.

singer songwriter Dora Gola – Dora just released her single ‘Dark Sand’.

How would you describe your music style?

The music is stylistically very hybrid. There are multiple styles such as dark pop, trance, dance, Slavic folk, cinematic and choral music, and electro-funk. Some of the songs are bilingual as I’m writing both in Polish and English. Chinese and Japanese modes heavily influence the harmonies. We use Eastern European and Asian instruments because it sounds fresh and exciting to us.

 

Do you have any advice for any new and upcoming artists?

Go totally with your instinct, and don’t neglect any musical influences you’ve been exposed to from a very early age. All those minor elements will come together and will naturally emerge into a sound that’s totally unique to you. If you do your own thing, you will never have to compare yourself to anyone else. Create your niche, and the right audience will come. It’s about the quality, not quantity. Have the right reason to be making music. It can’t be money or fame. The music you’re making has to tingle your whole body. It has so come from your pure desire. You might have people from the industry advising you what’s good or what’s bad. Ignore them. If it doesn’t feel right for you, then it probably isn’t right. Saying that, don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from people and artists you’re looking up to. The last one is to be patient (I could take that advice from myself too)

 

What exciting projects are you working on at the moment?

Right now, I am immersed in finishing the album and putting a lot of love and care into every song. I’m a perfectionist, so every element of each track takes time. In May, I am shooting a video for the second single that will be out in June! I also run my vocal & performance school Voice Progress Lahinch where I coach 1 to1 lessons. So far, only online, but I’m hoping I’ll be back teaching in person soon! 

 

What do you love most about Limerick?

I love its energy and people. I love the edgy humour and vibrant art and music scene. There is a real sense of history. You can feel it in the air. I also love how easy and accessible nature is. And I love that you can see the sunset, which is rare in cities. 

 

To download Dora’s new single, go HERE 

For more stories about Dora, go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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