In The Spotlight: DopeSickFly
After listening to DopeSickFly back in Spring 2016 it didn’t take us long to invite them to play at Roundhay Park later in the Summer. Witnessing a unique combination of Funk and Hip Hop, guided by Ant Thomas’ gripping lyrics and poetry in their hit single Hydroplane, everyone at ATA HQ was dancing around as if we were with them in the streets of Glasgow. With their enthusiasm and sheer passion for up beat feel good vibes DopeSickFly mesmerise not only lovers of Funk Rock but anyone who is simply up for having a good old jig around. Lead singer Ant Thomaz soulful vocals, guitarist Chris Darling and his keen desire for funk, Drummer Calum macrae with his Jazz background, Joe Djaelani on bass elevating Neo Soul and bluesy backing vocalist Wendy Rae, DopeSickFly truly emanates a new refreshing alive sound.
We caught up with Ant, Chris, Calum, Joe, and Wendy to see what they’ve been up to.
Tell our readers in three words what your sound is.
Funk – Love – Fusion
Last time we saw you live it was at Roundhay Park, what’s been your highlights of the last 6 months?
We were booked to Open for ‘Kool & The Gang’ & Nicky Siano (studio 54) June 9th 2017. Voted Capital FM’s one of Top Ten bands to look out for in 2017. Invited to Celtic Connections and becoming Finalist on ‘ Danny Kyle Open stage’. Signed with Electric Honey Music (past performers- Snow Patrol, Bell & Sebastian, Biffy Clyro). AND finished Recording a New EP all whilst having the time to play in a castle at a private party.
Have you any exciting releases in the pipelines?
Yes – New EP ‘Dreamers Never Sleep’ Four upbeat dance songs ‘Hey You’ ‘Pull Yourself Together’ ‘Affirmation Lover’ ‘Treat Love Simple’ due for release Early May 2017.
Being from Glasgow tell us what your favourite venue is to play at and any stories you have from that venue.
We played The World’s Oldest Surviving Music Hall in the heart of Glasgow. ‘The Britannia Panopticon‘. We were invited as guests for Section 33 Pop up restaurant experience; this was such an amazing nostalgic feeling in a space that hosted the legendary Stan Laurel (laurel & Hardy) when he was first finding his feet. The space is also haunted so the spirits of the past still dance with the present…that is so cool.
Our only experiences of Glasgow were Nice’n’Sleazy and Sub Club when we caught Catfish and the Bottlemen in the arena. What’s your favourite wateringhole/nightout spot.
We also love the vibe of Nice N Sleazys’ it hosts an epic open night every Monday with Gerry Lyons the advocate for the artist. A place we love to go experiment new material.
You were running a campaign for Capital FM best unsigned band in Scotland, how did that go?
We were voted One of Top Ten bands to look out for in 2017- this has opened the door of opportunity to people who may have not even listened to our music.
Our favourite track of yours is Hyrdoplane, how did this track come about?
Ant: “ I was jamming in the streets with Chris our guitarist; we decided to experiment with the people trying out lyrics and see how they react…”Hey sweetheart what’s your name? Let me roll around in your head” this line is the opening and we sampled this for a week before we felt it worked. The upbeat funky riff Chris added got everyone dancing, this is also the song that Joe played bass for the first time and Calum changed the way he played drums. Hydroplane from the waves in the sea to the clouds in the sky – This is how the band were born…living the rockstar lifestyle on the streets haha!”
You earned your first television experience with the track on STV, what was that like?
We all met in Glasgow so it was so important that the Scottish television was our first port of call, so we were super excited to get this off our bucket list. STV were really great and professional and we met a great team who made us look and sound great.
Three tracks or artists who influence your music and how.
Bob Dylan – His technique in writing songs that people listen to is priceless. Jimi Hendrix/Nile Rodgers – They gave birth to the guitar. (This is where Chris’s style resonates) thus allows Dopesickfly to breath. Stevie Wonder – We all agree that the way Stevie embraces music with diversity is what captures the soul of everyone. We continue to learn from his huge catalogue of songs.
What would the title of a book about your artists journey be called?
Dreamers Never Sleep
Do you have any pre-gig rituals e.g. drinks, ‘moments of self realisation’, group high fives….
Simply a glass of whiskey
When can we expect your next video.
Yes, hopefully Summer time.
If you were stuck on a desert island and only had three items to take with you, what would it be?
Ant: “Tooth brush, Peanut butter, bread”