Dorothy Miranda Clark most commonly known as Dodie Clark is a British singer/songwriter, author and YouTuber from Essex. Dodie hasn’t had the most traditional transition into music; she started her YouTube channel in 2011 and has been playing piano or ukulele covers of songs or singing and performing her own original songs. Dodie has always been independent; she’s used YouTube as a platform to market her music and target audiences.
Her low budget and indie claim to fame is a remarkable and respectable journey, not many people manage to make it big via their own means, which just clearly demonstrates how brilliant Dodie is. Her channel has grown over the years through her passion for music and her famously soft and beautiful personality.
Dodie has released three independent EPs; Intertwined in 2016, You in 2017, and Human earlier this year. Every one of her EPs have charted respectively in the official UK album charts.
Her freedom of being independent is shown through her range of songs, it accentuates how her music is an expression of self. Her songs show her authenticity, there is no expectation to be anyone else but herself due to having no restrictions on what she gets to produce. After coming out as bisexual on her YouTube channel in 2016, she has advocated for LGBT++ community and allowed her stories to give others the courage to be as open and honest as she is.
Dodie also speaks up about her mental health struggles, reminding her predominantly young audience that whatever challenges they might face it will all be okay and will never hold them back from what they want in life. It’s a little reminder to use your struggles to make you stronger as you grow and find ways of coping. She is a strong female role model for young people which is vital in a time where role models can be hugely questionable about what they are truly advocating.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to see Dodie on her Human tour in Bristol – she exceeded all expectations. Her talent of playing multiple instruments all in one night and singing along with her string orchestra goes to prove that she is a woman of many talents. She spoke inspiringly about her songs and it touched the emotions of the crowd, including the mums and dads who were dragged along by their teenagers.
Dodie’s Human EP starts off with “Arms Unfolding“, which sets the scene for the emotional turmoil you’re about to experience within the record, which focuses on love, relationships, struggles, breakups, being misunderstood and underappreciated.
“Arms Unfolding” is a very short song that sums up how hard it is to be human in our society, with all the struggles like heartbreak, lack of support and the barriers we create to feel safe again. It is a soft sounding song that could be viewed as stripping it all back, setting the tone of vulnerability and honesty for the EP.
Dodie collaborated on the title song “Human” with Tom Walker performing the backing vocals, subtly suggesting just how beautiful it can sound when people collaborate together, it ultimately makes it sound more human. This song is all about instantaneous love and craving authenticity.
It really emphasises this ideal of getting behind the fake reality we show every day, showing trust to each other and love of our authentic selves, finally exposing the real human element of ourselves that we lack in our current twenty-first century society, when we are creating personas and facades of ourselves to make us feel better and seem better than we are.
Stripping it all back to reality, this is when we start to feel human again. Additionally, it represents the feeling of perfection – the one that you will never forget, the one you’ll never let go, the one that, in your eyes, can never be tainted. You will look back and just remember the pure perfection of it all.
After the release of the “Human” video, Dodie shared on Instagram “when I wrote Human, I was so excited to get to know someone deeply. I wanted to be the special, emotional human to break their shell and share the gooey real shit underneath together. And it was perfect for that time and it can still exist there, as a song about deep connection and fascination, a capsule of something beautiful”.
Dodie’s most famous song within the EP is “Monster“, unlike her other songs, it is far less instrumental. Some fans don’t like this because it strays away from her original style. However, I feel as if it shows her progression as she grows an artist and experiments with different sounds and instruments, just trying to find her voice.
“Monster” is more upbeat than her other songs on Human, it portrays her growing confidence, the willingness to express her feelings through song without feeling guilty or shameful of her words. Her song alludes to how she has been villainised for being human, for being who she is, she couldn’t be accepted or loved by any partner.
Dodie said in an article for Bustle that she used to see the world in absolutes, black and white thinking of what’s happening around her. This caused her a lot of pain when it came to trying to find someone who would love her for who she is.
To sum up, Dodie is an inspiration to many young people and has moved many lives. Her music allows for a path and a voice to relate to. She is an phenomenal, talented young musician who is unique to our current mainstream music. Her music is available to stream down below and you can keep tabs on her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Words by Abbie Hewer