Have you ever caught a star just before it peaked in the sky? If not, here’s your chance! Brilliant, beautiful, and most becoming, Chloe Dolandis is starting to top music charts! She has been singing since she was a child, but this isn’t the only thing that she has been brought up with. Chloe, a life-long vegetarian, is an active animal activist. Learn more about her musical talents and how they intermingle with her animal interest in this starlit and Wild interview with Chloe.
GW: Chloe, you certainly have the “voice” to promote your ideals, including values of animal welfare. Finally that voice is really getting out there with the release of your new album, Bring Back the Fever. How you would describe your style of music?
CD: “Jazz/pop/soul” is my style. I have a really diverse musical background and I don’t think it would do the album justice to pigeonhole it into one category. Each song has its own flair and I’m proud that, in a way, the record as a whole bridges gaps between genres – everything from 40’s big band, to 60’s rock, to 70’s R&B/soul, and more.
GW: Apparently people are loving whatever it is you are doing because your album made it to #19 of the Top 300 iTunes Jazz Album Downloads in its FIRST WEEK! How did you accomplish that success- no small feat for an independent artist with no record label?
CD: Actually, it was a fluke that I even heard about that stat! My Mom randomly found it online. The Internet has been such an amazing tool during the process of establishing myself as an independent artist. With the support of family, friends, and new fans, the buzz has gotten around about my music. I told everyone in my social networks, and then word was passed on. As far as attracting listeners, when the music does some of the work for you, you know you’ve done something right in both the writing and recording processes. Seeing my name in between John Coltrane and Dave Koz on that list was a thrill, and confirmation that we’re off to a good start.
GW: So tell us a little bit about the writing process. How do you get started, and what magic happens after that?
CD: The way many of the songs on Bring Back The Fever came to be is a bit different than how I’m writing now. A few years back, before we even thought about doing an album, a friend had some great hooks and melodies. My mom and I reworked what was already there and my dad added some killer chords. It was a really cool way to cut my teeth songwriting-wise because I had great guidelines to work with. When we decided to do a full record, my parents and I put our heads together and came up with a few more songs, my mom and I writing the lyrics and melodies, and my dad sharing his chord genius. “Learning To Let Go” is the one track on the album that’s solely mine – and it started as a simple hook, “I’m learning to let go…”, and developed into a full song, believe it or not, over the course of nearly four years. I’ve learned to just let ideas incubate over time and develop naturally. It’s how a lot of great material is born. Writing wasn’t always easy for me, but now I write all the time and it’s definitely a skill I’ve honed.
GW: I hear you have a little “cuddle-bug” that keeps the music-making process going forward. How does he do it?
CD: My baby, Koty! Really, he’s a 17-year-old Maltese and he’s just like a brother and a friend. He keeps my family and I sane, just a wonderful little guy who loves us all so much. That alone is inspiring – often times I write about him! He’s definitely motivational. When I was younger, I sang the National Anthem at events quite often. I’d practice at home and he’d howl the high notes with me. So cute.
GW: Has your music been influenced by your vegetarian/animal-loving life-style?
CD: My music is absolutely a part of my desire to be caring and generous, which is directly related to my vegetarian/animal-loving life-style. I do my best to help both animals and people. Music, for me, is a means to heal and to celebrate. I’ve seen the effects of my songs on people and as long as listeners continue to relate to and enjoy my music, I’m going to keep on crafting and performing songs in a similar fashion.
GW: It’s wonderful to be interviewing a like-minded environmentalist. What environmental concerns do you have that you want to see changed in the future?
CD: I keep hearing about the potential effects of wireless connections on bees. It troubles me to know that so much of the world solely operates on wireless devices. Bees are an important part of our ecosystem and it would be a shame to see their piece of our eco-puzzle go missing. Hopefully more conclusions will soon be drawn and shared with the public so alternatives to traditional wireless connections can be researched and used.
GW: Have any favourite animals?
CD: Pigs! Among my circle of friends I have a pretty popular pig collection (more than 1,000 statues, figurines, stuffed animals, etc.). I got into pigs when I was 9 and got my first lead role in a play, “Piglet” in Winnie The Pooh. Friends and family members gave me little pig-themed good luck/congratulations gifts and from then on I became the “pig girl” and my collection grew exponentially! Each little pig is a reminder that someone has thought of me and I really love that. Not to mention, pigs are brilliant, friendly, and clean. I think a small pig could be a realistic pet choice for me someday.
GW: Who would you say is your greatest influence to your respect of animals?
CD: My parents have absolutely shaped who I am as an animal lover since birth. I’m a born and raised lacto-ovo vegetarian, thanks to my Mom. My Dad is infamous for saving turtles and other creatures on the side of the road and bringing them to safety. I am so grateful to have been brought up in an environment in which I was taught to respect animals and humans alike. It’s made me appreciative of how all species coexist and help each other to gain a better understanding of the world.
GW: What animal organizations would you like to help in the future once your “voice” really takes off?
CD: I’m not married to one organization or another – I’m very open as long as I know the money that’s raised will go to the cause touted. I do love local organizations that provide no-kill shelters for dogs and cats. I feel that if communities can be accountable for their animals, overpopulation won’t be a problem and loving and happy homes can and will hopefully be provided.
Inspirational woman, right? Check out her music on iTunes: www.itunes.com/ChloeDolandis
You can learn more about Chloe on www.ChloeDolandis.com. Always good to support a) a good person; b) a good person who loves animals; c) a good person who loves animals and actually does something about it to help them!
With a pair of pipes like hers, animal rights concerns will be heard and echoed across studios, stages, and radios across the globe. Thank you, Chloe, for keeping it wild!