I got the opportunity to highlight indie singer Dahlak Matteos in one of our INDIE SPOTLITE series and I am fortunate to get the opportunity to get a more in depth look at what she does, how she does it and why in this interview. Her upcoming single, without a doubt, will leave you wanting more. CHECK IT OUT.
Where are u from and how long have u been making music?
I am Eritrean raised in small town Santa Rosa, Ca. A straight up Country/Eritrean. I started my music journey writing songs at the age of 7 but my first record I did was “the streets” at age 16 with a group called Dynamic Duo! The song did well made radio and stayed in top 10 for 8 weeks!
What are a few of your musical inspirations and your favorite artists?
My musical inspiration came from my family. My Mama and Baba played everything… African music like Tigrinya/Amharic/Sundanese to Asian instrumentation, Bollywood films, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson’s, soft rock, country, jazz, hip hop. I started singing church songs in Tigrinya as a toddler but as I listened to more American music my first choice was Mariah Carey!
At what age did u realize u have musical talent and in what ways did u show it at that age?
My older sisters pressured me to perform when I was in the first grade at our school talent show. I sang “I’m every woman” by Whitney Houston which was my Mama’s favorite song at the time. I felt comfortable because my sisters were on stage where I could see them, my brother was in the audience and my Mama and Baba in the back of the auditorium. Ever since then I knew I wanted to be a singer.
From where do u pull your musical inspiration?
I pulled inspiration for VIBRATO from personal experiences. I never felt like I was the same as the others around me. I always felt like an outsider but the one thing that connected me was my music. It helped me communicate clearly and efficiently. Most of all it was comforting and gave me confidence. So this why this project is very personal and real for me. I am pouring my heart out in every song, VIBRATO is an open love letter beginning to end.
Are your working on a project right now and if u are, tell me more about it.
I am!! I am wrapping up my EP VIBRATO! This project is everything to me! Every song on there is positive/uplifting and relate able. It caters to the positive hearts and souls out there that are looking to grow and nurture their peace of mind… for the lovers! VIBRATO speaks of self love and growth. I had to learn to love myself in order to attain that peace I was yearning for.
Every song on VIBRATO was produced by Mello TheProducer. We’ve been working together for a little over 6 years writing, rewriting, listening, growing. We met during transitional times in our lives. He just moved to the city I moved out of and we just never stopped working. We are both very passionate and hungry for the music industry. No matter how many times I fell off he was always right there to encourage me to keep at it. He is Phenomenal and a expert at what he does! I am beyond grateful to have him a part the journey! M.A.D.M.A.N MUSIC all day!!
What are you personal favorite genres of music?
My favorite genre is Jazz! The Saxaphone is a very sexy, freeing instrument! I also love Reggae, Gospel, pop/R&B and Amharic music.
What goals do u have in the music industry and how do u plan to achieve them?
The only goal I have is to be a well rounded artist! To reach as many people as possible and spread self love! Everything else is up to God. What he wants me to have, I will have. I just pray and work hard! But I do want to bring home a Grammy for my family and supporters!
What advice do u have for other up and coming independent musicians?
I would say believe in yourself. Practice, practice, practice and don’t let your failures consume you! Get up and work harder. Remember first they laugh at you… do what you love!
Tell me about your song YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
I wrote “You Are Beautiful” because for once in my life I finally was okay in my own skin. I wasn’t hiding, my smile was bright, I was happy and free. In life we all have things we struggle with or want to change and that’s normal. But when we can wake up with a smile every morning with love in our hearts and walk in purpose that’s beautiful. So the song is dedicated to those who walk in love and purpose, who struggle with their circumstances but don’t let it consume them. “You Are Beautiful” is for everyone.
Where can we go to hear, share and purchase your music?
You can listen to “You Are Beautiful” on soundcloud right now! The single officially drops June 5th where you can support me and purchase it on itunes/amazon.