Today we are honored to share the release of “Rise”, from Potent Productions Artist, Dozier. Rise is the first single off of Dozier’s forthcoming EP titled “Young Cynic” that we can expect to find on all major platforms in 2019. With this release, Alex Rowan (Dozier) shares a heartfelt letter to the world about her personal #MeToo story. A story that she has kept to herself and close family since the age of 3. Below you can find the letter, an exclusive interview with Rowan, and of course, listen to “Rise”.
LISTEN to “Rise” by Dozier on Soundcloud and keep scrolling for an Exclusive Interview!
You talk about the specific interview with Maya Angelou giving you the courage to share your story. Why was it that particular interview that brought you to this place of confidence to share such a personal story with the world?
At the very end of “Rise” I included a part of the interview where Maya mentions the change that happens to a young child who has experienced sexual abuse. When she spoke of cynicism, it was as if someone wiped away the fog that collects on a mirror after a hot shower. I could see clearly the path I had taken since that incident, the way I had carried myself and thought of myself. I realized none of it was doing me any good. That bottling up my trauma and refusing to release it was poisoning me from the inside.
Was there any other particular moment or story that may have been a big factor in this decision as well?
Realizing that I was giving power to something I wanted to destroy. I heard so many stories from friends and strangers that shared my same pain. I realized I wasn’t alone, and I also realized that by hiding from it, we were feeding it. We have to take back our power and destroy rape culture by debasing it into oblivion. By rising from it and finding healing.
Did you create the song “Rise” and then realize that you were telling a story with it, or did you realize that you wanted to tell your story and then the music followed?
I remember I was watching a lot of Maya’s spoken word performances one day, searching for something to sample. I love the musicality of her voice and really wanted to write a song around her. Then I fell down a Youtube tunnel and came across that interview. It was I think about 15 or 20 minutes long, and I was mesmerized. When it got to the part that is included in “Rise” I knew I had to write a song with this message. Someone was tapping on my shoulder telling me to release this black cloud I’d been holding. And then it became something I lost sleep over. That I had to finish and give to the world if it was the only thing I ever did.
What particular components of your track “Rise” do you feel bring out the story the most and give off the feeling you wanted to portray?
This track took so many turns in my writing process and expresses such a range of emotions. I knew at the beginning I didn’t want to write a typical ballad. You know all of those “feel powerful, independent woman” songs that the mainstream churns out with stock footage of smiling women raising their hands in the air? Yeah this is not that song. I started out with these minor notes, kind of ominous I guess. I had a mind to write the entire track like that, and just focus on the pain. As I was stitching together Maya’s words and my melodies, I came across her phrase, “Does my sassiness upset you?” And I just stopped and thought, am I doing this just to wallow and torture myself, or am I writing this to tell the world that you don’t have to be a victim of sexual abuse and constantly wounded. We can be sassy, we can be funny, we can be sexy. We’re not marked with some black spot that secludes us into eternal victimhood. I wanted this piece to laugh in the face of cruelty and say, ‘you do not own me.’ At the end of the song, it comes back around to those minor tones. I felt the gravity of Maya’s words was too potent to be drowned out in happy Cmaj chords. I wanted to give her space for her pain, her knowledge of the consequences sexual abuse can put on a very young mind and heart. I wanted the reminder that the pain is always there underneath it all. And that’s okay. Because my pain shows me everyday that there is something very wrong with this world, and this pain gives me a voice to help inspire others to change it. It doesn’t have to be like this.
Can you tell us more about the artwork you chose for this track?
I created that piece myself. I like simple artwork that isn’t busy. Something to the point. The smoke I overlaid on the woman’s outline speaks to two points. One, that women are a force to be reckoned with. And two, that, like the destruction that happens when a volcano erupts, new life comes of it. With every damaged layer, we can grow something even stronger and more beautiful.
What can we expect from the rest of your forthcoming EP, “Young Cynic”. Any similarities in tone? Do the remaining songs on the EP also relate to your story? When can we expect to find the full EP released?
Yes, I’m definitely speaking from a certain period of my life in the rest of “Young Cynic.” It’s a glimpse into the fallout after the incident and growing up with that cynical mindset. There was a lot of self-hatred in that time. I was mentally and physically abusive to myself and it makes me sad to think of it. What I’ve realized is I need to acknowledge those periods of my life and release them. With music, maybe I could transform something dark and poisonous into something healing and fortifying. The full release of “Young Cynic” is Jan 2nd.
What else can we expect from Dozier in 2019? More music, shows, festivals, collaborations?
A lot more music! I’ve got a second EP already in the works that is a soundtrack to a mini graphic novel I wrote. I’m currently working on all of the artwork for it. It’s going to be quite dope. A couple exciting collaborations are in the works, though I want to keep those surprises. I have a mini mid-west tour coming up, a couple festivals I’m super excited about, and the first event for Divine Feminine Collective. 2019 hasn’t even started and I’m already too busy haha.
What’s been the most rewarding part of coming up in the Denver music scene? What has been the most challenging?
The Denver scene has been the most beautifully accepting community to grow with. I love so many of these people and am so grateful for the team that I have. I want to give a huge shoutout to Max Rozier right here. He’s opened up so many doors for me, I’m so happy to have met him. The most challenging has been feeling like any of my music is worth listening to when I’m stacked with such talent around me. I feel so drowned out sometimes, like I’ll never be able to reach the same level of skill of the producers around me. The talent out here is stupid. Like living at Hogwarts, and everyone is a main character. I’m like the bus driver kid in the Prisoner of Azkaban. Eh you remember him, he has some funny lines, but no one is paying attention when you got Luna Lovegood over here with her shenanigans.
Do you have any advice you want to pass on to other victims of abuse, whether they have shared their story or not?
Don’t let your experience own you. You may think that cutting yourself off from others is better for everybody, but it’s not. People out there care and people out there have felt your same pain. We need to stop walling ourselves off from each other. When we are cut off, we are weak. Why go this existence alone, when together we’re so beautiful in our own unique ways?
Anything else you want to add/share?
We need to remember what we give power to. When we give power to something that owns us, we can never be free. I have experienced sexual abuse, but that does not define me. We need to stop giving power to those who have taken advantage of us. We can reclaim it by expressing our beauty and strength.