Fefe Dobson has been in the Music Business for seven years now in a career which has seen highs and lows. Many will be surprised to know that her forthcoming album Joy is only her second official release, although Fans will know that this actually is her third studio album. Just days before the release of her actual second album Sunday Love in June 2006, she had parted ways with the same record label which saw so much potential in her only a couple years prior. Needless to say, the World never got to hear her collaborations with the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Courtney Love and Joan Jett on that ill-fated Disc. Yet here we are in November 2010 and once again, Dobson has reunited with Island/Def Jam, raring to go in a long-overdue comeback.
I first met Dobson April 2007 at a Benefit at the Opera House in Toronto's east-end. Catching her as she headed Backstage, I presented her my Bootleg Copy of Sunday Love to personalize - Laser Jet-Printed Cover, Sharpie-drawn Font and all - which instantly brought a smile to her face. "Where did you get this? This is fucking awesome!" she exclaimed. The point of course being that she and her Manager at the time weren't so much laughing at my Lo-Fi replica of her CD, but more so they were laughing that at the end of the day a true Fan got to hear her hard work and recognize it. Later that night, Dobson serenaded me from the stage with her hit Everything, reaching out her hand to me clinching my hand tight. In that, I felt her deep appreciation and despite being defeated by the cruel realities of the business, perhaps it was not over. And it wasn't.
Dobson sat down to chat with Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven readers today, filling us in on where she's been during her extended musical respite.
Mr. Will-W.: Fefe, it's been seven years since your debut self-titled album was released. How different is the Fefe Dobson today from the young girl we heard singing Bye Bye Boyfriend?
Dobson: I released my first album when I was only 16 and like every other Teenager, went through some growing pains. Musically I loved Rock Music, being drawn to Organic sounds and this hasn't changed. Mentally, I've come to terms with a lot of issues I've dealt with my whole life and I'm learning to accept and love myself. One cannot make good music without first accepting and loving themselves.
Dobson: Joy is a concept record. I get to explore both my love for Pop Music and Rock Music. Like tuning through a radio dial, you'll find yourself tuning-in from the first half of the album which leans more towards the Pop side, onto the second half where I get to show my love for Heavy Metal and Rock 'n' Roll. The '80s were a great time for Music with lots of beautiful, powerful Ballads and there's a bit of that in there too.
Mr. Will-W.: There was a period you were recording independently, away from the spotlight after Sunday Love. What were you up to during that time away?
Dobson: I admit that I grew-up a little too quickly. By the age of 15, I was already off to New York City. I missed a lot of things my friends got to experience which were "normal" for a Teen. I didn't get to spend time with friends nor did I get to graduate with them either. In my time away, I caught up with them and spent time seeing their successes, while continuing to write for myself and other Artists.
Mr. Will-W.: You've written for many prominent young women - Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Jordin Sparks, to name a few. And some of them have covered tracks intended originally for yourself. Is it hard for you to detach yourself from these songs? Surely, there's a bit part of you in them.
Dobson: (Chuckles) I actually laugh about it sometimes because it's funny! These girls are singing about some of my relationships gone whack and some of my Ex-Boyfriends are in Hollywood still and I'm sure they know those songs were inspired by them. I've come to accept that some of those songs I wrote maybe weren't meant for me and perhaps were made at a more proper time for Miley and I'm cool with that.
Mr. Will-W.: What then can you tell us about the guys who inspired Joy's first two singles Ghost and Stuttering? Both have themes of Infidelity.
Dobson: It's funny that you mention that because I actually dreamt about this last night - the guy who inspired Ghost. He was begging to me to take him back and my answer to that is two million times, NO! (laughing) I admit it though, I'm still looking for my Prince despite having gone through my share of poopy, shitty relationships. Maybe I'm just drawn to the wrong kind of guys who get an ego boost when I write tracks like Bye Bye Boyfriend.
Mr. Will-W.: Yes, you and Taylor Swift it seems! But isn't that the essence of life - loving what's bad for you? What's interesting about you is that when you first came out, we were just discovering YouTube and now it seems as though it's an essential tool for any Artist to promote themselves with. Your video for Ghost reached over a million hits on YouTube alone. Congrats! Where do you stand on the changing face of Music Marketing?
Dobson: The Internet is so huge now. Back then, an Artist would get more exposure on TV and now it's all about Internet exposure and all about getting hits/views. What's scary though is that there is no room for mistakes with the Internet and Blogs because everything gets captured and shared now. When you're young, you're bound to make mistakes. And when you're young and constantly in the Public Eye, this can be so damaging.
Mr. Will-W.: True. It almost gets to a point where if you want to survive, you have to just not care anymore. One last question Fefe, which Artists are inspiring you right now?
Dobson: Definitely Janet Jackson. Her Control and Rhythm Nation 1814 albums are just perfect. I've been listening to a lot of Björk also. I only recently discovered the Catalogue of Neil Young too and what's so great is that he's Canadian! I watched clips of him on The Johnny Cash Show and just found him so spiritual.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us Fefe! We wish you all the best with your new album Joy and look forward to seeing you at your CD Release Party at The Mod Club on November 22, 2010!
Joy hits stores in Canada on November 22, 2010, while those of you in the U.S. will be able to get it on November 30, 2010.
|Fefe Dobson Signed Photos|
(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)