INTRODUCING DOLAPO words Maisie Daniels - photography Meara Kallista - fashion Aisha Jimoh - make-up Lai Makeup
F Word introduces you to the spectacular singer-songwriter and North Londoner Dolapo. Coming at you with a wealth of inspirations from her love of R&B, to her faith in Christianity, right through to her Nigerian roots, Dolapo is the artist to, well and truly, plug into.
At such a young age she has already achieved admirable accolades from co-writing and singing backing vocals with the likes of Tion Wayne, MoStack and ZieZie. Right through to her debut being supported by BBCR1 Xtra’s DJ TargeT and the taste-maker blogs.
And now you can open your ears - and your heart - to Dolapo’s sensual new single ‘Blink of an Eye’. A track that depicts a beautiful love story brought to life with stunning visuals by directors Silent Tapes. It is indeed a captivating piece of work that many of its listeners can both relate to and relish in wholeheartedly.
F Word got to the chance to dig a little deeper into Dolapo’s new track, explore this young artist’s personal growth, oh, and get to know how she feels now that summer is over.
Maisie Daniels: Hey Dolapo, so tell me, at what age did you start writing and singing your own music?
Dolapo: I started writing around the age of 14. I went to a music club at a local youth club every week with one of my friends from school. We would produce, write and record for fun. I did lose touch with writing for a while but within two years I’ve picked it up again, properly.
M.D: Where are you from?
Dolapo: I have and always will be a North London girl! Tottenham to be more specific.
Dolapo wears restructured denim jacket CHARLIE McCOSKER; necklace STOOKI; earrings KVK73; sunglasses LYNDON LEONE
M.D: Nice, and who have been your biggest influences over the years?
Dolapo: Ah, my influences are from various places. Being a Christian, Nigerian girl, living in Tottenham, I would say, So Solid Crew and the Sugababes. I also love R&B in the U.S, like Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill, Jhene Aiko, Ashanti, Brandy. Some Old School Afrobeat artists. Also, I was a youth choir leader in my church when I was 15, so Gospel music has had an influence on my singing style and things like harmonies when I’m in the studio.
M.D: Your new track 'Blink of an Eye' shouts out ‘love story’. Is this track personal to you?
Dolapo: I wish it was personal to me but not yet. [laughs] I’m working on it though! I’ve always said this song is more of a fantasy for me since I have been on the unlucky side of love so far. However, I do love hearing people tell me how much it reminds them of themselves and their lovers.
M.D: I love, love, love the music video to this - Silent Tapes are amazing Directors. How did you find the whole experience of starring in your own music video?
Dolapo: It was crazy fun! I’ve never had a pretend ‘love interest’, so it required some acting, which I found nerve-wracking at first. But everyone was really helpful, Silent Tapes gave great direction and the ‘love interest’ had done it many times before, so he helped me get comfortable too.
M.D: With the song being an emotional one, did you find it was a release to, well, release the track?
Dolapo: It was a release for me, but more so because I was dying for months to get music out there and to get people used to my voice.
M.D: And where do you have to go both mentally and physically in order to write your material?
Dolapo: A lot of it is from my personal experiences, or experiences of friends and family. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling back mentally to certain situations in my life on a lot of these songs; not all of them are serious and heart-wrenching. Also, some of it just depends on my mood that day, what I’m feeling or what I want to feel that day.
M.D: Would you say that it is your heart, or your head that drives your music?
Dolapo: My heart first, my instincts when I hear a beat, and melodies just flow out - you can’t really ignore those. Once that’s all figured out, I believe some logic has to come into play, like what story of mine fits the vibe of the track, what video am I visualizing when I hear the beat. You can’t force a sad song on a happy beat, for instance, you may not be able to tell the story in full like it deserves to be told or people have to decide whether they want to dance or cry to the song. [laughs] That’s where the mind takes lead for me.
M.D: Has music helped you learn anything about yourself on a personal level?
Dolapo: Yes! Definitely.
M.D: How come?
Dolapo: I think it helped me to have more belief in myself. I hadn’t been writing for too long again when people were hitting me up to join their sessions, or help them out because they liked what I brought to the table, or even what they had heard. At first, I’d be like “You sure you want me there?” now I have tonnes more faith in myself and my writing.
Dolapo wears white bodysuit AMERICAN APPAREL; vintage fake-fur coat ATIKA; trousers SCOTCH & SODA; sneakers GUCCI; sunglasses RAYBAN; necklace STOOKI; earrings KVK73
M.D: That’s really lovely to hear and you certainly come across as a really confident young woman, which I love! However, it seems like this might have been a growing process for you?
Dolapo: Thank you! It has definitely been a growing process for me, I used to be ridiculously shy to the point where you could’ve said I was socially awkward. [laughs] I do think in the last 2 years I’ve unintentionally put myself in situations where I was forced out of my comfort zone though. Especially with working with someone new in their studio almost every day and having to (I guess) ‘direct’ the session to your taste, it leaves no room to be shy.
M.D: How would you describe your personal style?
Dolapo: I call it ‘Sexy Tomboy’. [laughs] I really prefer being comfy so baggy trousers, tracksuits etc are right up my street with tight tops etc. 100% trainers over heels but I know how to switch it up from time to time.
M.D: I like the ‘Sexy Tomboy’ reference, will have to steal that! So, outside of music, do you have any other passions?
Dolapo: Food, finding new restaurants or cooking. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel a lot in the past couple of years. Which is great!
M.D: How do you feel now summer is seemingly over?
Dolapo: I blame all of those who cried when we had our heatwave! I don’t know, I’m hoping there’s a bit more sun on the way…there has to be?! I feel like our summer started late this year.
Dolapo wears bejeweled black velvet swimsuit OCEANUS SWIM; trousers SCOTCH & SODA; white coat ALPHA INDUSTRIES
M.D: Very true! What's your favorite season and why?
Dolapo: Summer man! The BBQ’s, the vibe of the music that gets made, people just seem happier and more carefree. Plus, I was born in May so I’m a summer baby.
M.D: I’m a May baby too! What has been the highlight on this year so far?
Dolapo: Releasing music has been a highlight throughout this whole year. It’s the first year I’ve had where I’m 100% focused on music and nothing else, I got to travel and work abroad in Sweden and South of France, I made so many great and supportive friends in the industry as well.
M.D: That all sounds amazing. Do you have anything exciting that you're currently working on, such as any gigs, or new releases that we should know about?
Dolapo: I’m constantly working on new releases, so there’s that! Also, I’m just finishing up an EP, which I’m hoping to bring out at the start of the New Year.
M.D: I look forward to hearing that! And finally, what is your favorite f-word?
Dolapo: I say the ‘F’ word quite a bit, mostly when I can’t get a line right when I’m recording and I’m getting low-key annoyed with myself. [laughs]
Words: Maisie Daniels
Photography: Meara Kallista
Fashion: Aisha Jimoh
Make-up: Lai Makeup
You can also listen to Dolapo's latest single 'Down' here.
Dolapo wears jacket 1683 ATELIER; sunglasses RAYBAN; earrings KVK73
Dolapo wears bejeweled black velvet swimsuit OCEANUS SWIM; trousers SCOTCH & SODA; white coat ALPHA INDUSTRIES; platform shoes LA MODA; necklace STOOKI; earrings KVK73
Dolapo wears restructured denim jacket CHARLIE McCOSKER; trousers MISSGUIDED; chunky trainers BUFFALO; necklace STOOKI; earrings KVK73; sunglasses LYNDON LEONE