Interview: Dakota Sixx
Our BA Creative Musicianship alumna tells us how she's become a go to vocalist for killer club cuts and more...
Originally hailing from Birmingham, Dakota Sixx moved to London to join our BA Creative Musicianship programme and has since made a name for herself as a prolific vocalist in the world of club music.
Debut EP, 'Innocence', featuring Fish and Nuvaman, was picked up by BBC 1Xtra and Radio 1 tastemaker Jamz Supernova as well as Mixmag. Forthcoming collaborations have been with artists such as Mikey B and Affiliate while she's also dropped her own solo material in the form of killer new track, 'So Far'.
We get to know an artist on the up and up and her passion for all things beats, bleeps and bass...
How did you begin your musical journey?
It started from a very young age when I was bought a karaoke machine for Christmas! I used to drive my family insane with it but by the time I was around seven, Christina Aguilera released ‘Stripped’ and I was obsessed. That’s when I really realised from a young age that I wanted to create and perform music. I may have even performed ‘Dirty’ at a primary school talent show ... cringe!
Who are your biggest inspirations?
Definitely Christina Aguilera, she’s been a huge influence for me for such a long time. When I was writing and recording a lot of dance music, Katy B was an inspiration too as there weren’t too many females around in that scene to look up to. Summer Walker has been my most recent obsession though, I love everything about her!
You studied the Creative Musicianship course. How did you find your time at ICMP?
I think you get what you put in, and you can’t expect the course or the university to do too much for you. Some days you may come home feeling like you haven’t learned anything, some days you will feel overwhelmed and so inspired. It’s really about what you do with those feelings that make it worthwhile."
My favourite part of the course was definitely Music Business. It’s so crucial to take as much as possible from those lessons because many of us aren’t represented by managers or labels, so it’s down to us to be aware of how to handle business.
You’ve been a featured vocalist on a number of great electronic/dance tracks and more. How did you get into this musical world?
I’ve been working on dance music from around the age of 15. I actually had more of an interest in the DJing side before I was singing on dance tracks! I’m from Birmingham, and there’s a lot of electronic producers/DJs there so it was the best avenue for me to take really, and each track attracted more projects and producers. Now, I pretty much work on absolutely any genre that I get sent. I don’t like to restrict myself to one genre anymore, and I definitely feel more creative for that!
Your new track is ‘So Far’. What is the song about?
‘So Far’ is my first independent single release! I hadn’t dropped anything solo in five years and felt it was time. That’s the first track from my EP that I’m planning on releasing in early 2020. So many people have come to me with different interpretations, mostly about mental health. It’s cool because a lot of the time when I’m writing, I mainly freestyle so sometimes I don’t even know what I’m singing about. So it’s good to know that people find meaning in the lyrics!
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to any aspiring artists/songwriters?
Don’t try and write about what you think people want to hear. Write about what feels real in that moment, no matter what it is.
A lot of the time our creative processes are blocked because we’re trying to please other people and thinking too much about the end product. Use songwriting as a diary and pour your heart out no matter what the topic. If you end up with something that can be released then great, if not, then keep going."
What has been the highlight of your musical career to date?
Definitely recording an EP at Abbey Road Studios. The equipment and building had so much history and everyone there was so amazing.
How do you approach the creative process? Have you a way into your music?
Yes definitely, freestyling is generally how I approach music because for me, writing is therapy. Sometimes I freestyle and I listen back and I’m like ... ‘damn, is this how I’m feeling?’. I actually work through a lot of my issues by freestyling because it’s not conscious really. When I’m in the ‘zone’ I just like to let go and see what comes out.
How do you approach a new collaboration with a producer?
I used to ask producers for beats, but now I send vocals because I find the whole process much quicker. I think a lot of producers find it easier to work around vocals, but everyone is different!
What is next for you?
I’m mostly focusing on releasing all of my music in 2020, I have a terrible habit of sitting on my music and never putting anything out so you will definitely be hearing a lot more from me!
Visit facebook.com/dktasixx for more.
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