My Firsts: Joey Dosik | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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My Firsts: Joey Dosik

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Aug 22, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

My Firsts is our email interview series where we ask musicians to tell us about their first life experiences, be it early childhood ones (first word, first concert, etc.) or their first tastes of being a musician (first band, first tour, etc.). For this My Firsts we talk to Joey Dosik.

This week the Los Angeles neo-soul singer is releasing his debut full-length album, Inside Voice, via Secretly Canadian. The album is the follow-up to his debut EP, the basketball-themed Game Winner, which first came out in 2016, but was re-released with extra tracks this February by Secretly Canadian. Inside Voice features an array of collaborators, including Moses Sumney, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Mocky, Theo Katzman, and others. “Don’t Want It To Be Over” features Coco O. (of Quadron) and sounds like a classic 1960s Motown duet, although Dosik’s main vibe is 1970s soul.

Dosik got his start as a sometime member of the LA funk band Vulfpeck, in fact Game Winner track “Running Away” also appeared on their 2017 album Mr. Finish Line. He grew up in Los Angeles, playing in his high school jazz band, before studying saxophone at the University of Michigan. In 2016 he got the endorsement of legendary jazz musician and record and film producer Quincy Jones, who presented one of Dosik’s shows in Los Angeles.

Read on as the 32-year-old talks about his first pet, first car, first movie he saw in the theater, an influential piano teacher, and his childhood crush on a Saved By the Bell character.

First pet?

My first and only pet was a Black Lab mix named Dodo. We got her after the 7.0 magnitude 1994 Northridge earthquake which had been very hard on my family. My dad brought Dodo homemaybe it was an effort to cheer up my mom. The only problem is, my dad doesn’t know how to pick out dogs (according to my mom). It didn’t matter much because Dodo ran away after a few months. It was heartbreaking for a few days and then we all moved on.

First movie you saw in the movie theater?

I’m not quite sure what movie I saw the very first time I went to the theater, but I can remember one of the first movies that rocked my world. When I was very young, I went to the El Capitan theater with my dad to see Aladdin. The El Capitan Theater is a legendary venue in Hollywood that is almost like an actual stage theater. Before the movie was shown, I remember there being some pageantry onstage with costumes and Middle Eastern music. It was very confusing and impressive. Then we watched Aladdin and laughed our asses off. It’s so satisfying as a kid when your parent is genuinely laughing with you. Robin Williams as the Genie certainly had us in stitches.

First TV show you were obsessed with?

The first show I was obsessed with was probably Saved By the Bell. Kelly Kapowski was my first serious crush and the whole show was based in LA. The rival school was called “Valley” which is where I was growing up. I got a lot of shows from my older sister and this was one of them. Her next big show was, Beverly Hills 90210 and I wasn’t as hot on that one.

First record your parents played for you?

My dad really liked Elvis’ “Hound Dog.” We would sing that one a lot. There was something funny about seeing my dad sing it and it was fun to sing and dance to it. I guess having an element of comedy can go a long way towards making kids really love a song. Another record like that is “Tutti Frutti,” which was also very big in my house. My dad also played a lot of classical music around the house and in the car.

First album you bought?

The first album I bought was Puff Daddy’s No Way Out. I’m still not mad at it. There are some really emotional, soulful, funky beats on that record with some classic samples. I loved Notorious B.I.G., Mase, 112, Faith Evans, and Busta Rhymes on that record, but the words were completely over my head. I remember printing out the words to “It’s All About the Benjamins” and wondering what “flossing” meant. I was like, “Why are they talking so much about tooth care?”

First favorite band?

This is a generic answer, but my first favorite band was The Beatles. My folks had a pretty basic taste in popular music from their generation and with that came a lot of “Ticket to Ride” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” We listened to a lot of the early stuff. Those songs are really simple to learn and sing and they rock.

First favorite song?

“Yesterday.” Per my last answer, The Beatles were very popular in my house. The first time I heard “Yesterday” I remember feeling getting emo in my seven-year-old kind of way. It’s actually pretty similar to what I do now when I hear a great song. I listened to “Yesterday” like 100 times in a row. It still hits me when I hear that recording.

First concert you went to?

I saw the LA Opera do Pagliacci with Plácido Domingo as the lead. It was the first master performance I ever saw. When Domingo finished the heartbreaking aria at the end of the first act, he had to take several curtain calls while staying in character. He remained sad, and was in clown make up. It totally blew my mind open. I feel so lucky to have seen that!

First music festival you went to?

The first music festival I went to was Blissfest in Northern Michigan. It’s a homegrown festival with a lot of local acts and a few national ones. It was part of my introduction to Northern Michigan, which is a place I very much fell in love with. Other than that, it was just a lot of the typical festy hijinks.

First job you had?

The first job I had was filing in my dad’s office. I didn’t last very long.

First car you owed?

A used 1998 Infiniti I30. It was a total old Jewish man’s car, but it did have a banging sound system. I had that car for 13 years. I fell asleep at the wheel and wrecked it when I was in high school. Somehow I walked away from that crash without a scratch. So, thank you, Infiniti I30 for protecting me. I also really miss listening to mixes in that car.

First country you visited outside of your own?

My parents took me to Israel when I was 18 months to introduce me to close family. Of course, I don’t remember that trip.

First social media account?

I had Facebook.

First roommate?

I lived with the same five guys from my sophomore to my senior year in college. We all became very close. That time still feels like the most important years of my life. We still keep in touch today and some of us still collaborate and make music together.

First book you read outside of one assigned for school?

Probably a kid’s biography of Martin Luther King. I don’t exactly remember, but I used to read a lot of biographies on my own. I’ve always been a history nut. It also might have been a book on basketball.

First time you voted?

In 2004 I voted for John Kerry.

First instrument?

Piano was my first instrument. I started playing when I was five or six years old when my sister was getting lessons. I wanted lessons too! My teacher was an old Jewish lady named, Mrs. Cohen. She used to unroll a package of Smarties candies and line them up on the side of the piano. When I played something she told me to play, she would then give me a candy. I’m so glad I had that super old school teacher experience.

First band you were in?

My friends and I had a jazz combo in high school. We used to play gigs at this bar in Van Nuys called McRed’s. It kinda felt like a biker bar but people would bring their dogs inside. We would set up and play jazz standards in there. It was pretty weird and great. Those were the first gigs I ever played.

First recording device?

Acid DJ. LOL. I had no idea what I was doing!!!

First professional recording session?

This feels very weird to say, but I don’t remember.

First time you performed in public?

The first time I performed in public was as a kid playing at piano recitals. There’s a great video of my sister and I playing a piano for four hands duet. My dad was recording it with his big VHS camera. While we are playing the piece, I kept looking out of the right side of my eye at the audience and the camera, almost like I was trolling the whole affair-little brat. Meanwhile, my sister looks focused and collected, as she diligently hammered away on the rhythm part. The video is a hit.

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