Q&A with Oh Dorian

Heather Kemp of Oh DorianShe has graced the stages of several popular Macon venues– The 567The Hummingbird, and The Cox Capitol Theatre. She’s also made her appearances in larger cities such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, among the many. However, for some reason unknown to me, this young lady isn’t known around the world. I can’t quite figure it out.

If BjörkAmy Winehouse, andAlicia Keys miraculously and very unscientifically made a baby, her name would be Heather Kemp– the powerhouse voice you hear around Macon, GA from time to time better known as Oh Dorian. If hearing all of the singer-songwriters around middle Georgia live can be compared to the experience of watching a movie in the confines of your living-room, Oh Dorian can be aptly compared to the sensation of watching your favorite movie in IMAX with Dolby surround-sound consequently sucking you back to your seat and in turn giving you golf-ball size eyes in awful wonder of the incredibly inhuman-like voice blasting out of the very small female in front of you.

Indie music lovers, meet Oh Dorian– your new favorite singer/songwriter. In this nifty-little interview, she and I talk about everything from her upbringing, her hit song “Blue Cigar,” and the struggle of her journey as a musician.
Blue Indian: Hello, Heather. You’re Oh Dorian. I’m The Blue Indian. It’s good to meet you.

Oh Dorian: Likewise, sir. It’s very good to meet you.

BI: Where are you RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE as you read this question?

OD: In Macon – where I live. I’m in my friend’s studio at the Contemporary Arts Exchange. I like it here – wish I could get my own space.

BI: I’ll cut straight to the chase. You may have the greatest female voice I’ve ever heard. And that’s no joke.

OD: Hmmm… That’s also no question. Thank you? Let’s try that again – I sincerely appreciate the compliment, however, I may have some records to loan you. :)

BI: So, what’s been the biggest struggle in your journey to have your music discovered?

OD: Hah, well, I’ll be damned if that’s not loaded. At the risk of sounding vague, I’d have to say “balance.” That about sums it up – musically and otherwise. My struggles sprout from a seemingly endless series of arm wrestling matches – Time vs. Money, Desire vs. Necessity, Inspiration vs. Execution, Love vs. Indifference, Integrity vs. Marketability and the list goes on…

BI: I see. You’ve made quite a name for yourself around Macon, GA and Atlanta, GA. What are shows like in Macon, GA?

OD: Generally shows here are pretty wonderful. There’s quite a bit of musical diversity in Macon right now and a handful of cool places to play. Local folks are welcoming, respectful and supportive of artists and lately more touring bands have been adding Macon to their schedules. So, yea, pretty wonderful. Not to mention the level of intimacy most shows around here have…

BI: Angel Collins says, “Heather Kemp is somewhat shy with a smile that is slightly self deprecating, but when she steps on stage and becomes Oh Dorian, everything about this diminutive singer-songwriter grows.” Is there really two different personalities: on and off stage?

OD: Hmmm… I’m going to say “Two sides of the same coin.”

BI: You went to a private school in rural Georgia. Correct? What was that like?

OD: Correct. I don’t recommend it. I attended two private schools – one for elementary and middle, the other for high school. Both were fundamentally stale – creatively, academically, spiritually – and neither offered any kind art education. It makes my stomach turn a little every time that comes up. Good news – At least I know all 66 books of the Bible in order.

BI: Yikes. Well, that school will definitely go unnamed. Haha. Is the Atlanta/Macon area a permanent home for you? Or are you looking to move?

OD: I doubt I’ll live here forever but who knows? I don’t. I do like it here though. Especially during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

BI: If you could tour with any one band/act, who would it be?

OD: Geez… Another tough one… Bruce Springsteen.

BI: The Cherry Blossom Festival is where it’s at. Nice plug. Ok. You’re stranded on an island. What ONE album do you have with you?

OD: Currently, it’d be a toss up between “( )” by Sigur Rós, “For Emma, Forever Ago” by Bon Iver or “The Death of Day” by O’ Brother. Hmmm… then there’s always Mariah Carey’s Christmas album…

BI: Why the title, “Blue Cigar”?

OD: Reference to the colored, bubble gum cigars people used to give/get when they had a kid.

BI: Ahh! I should’ve known! What can fans of Oh Dorian expect with the new album?

OD: Something different – darker, prettier, more organic. You can download the single – “Strung Finger of an Old Dear” – from the new record at virb.com/ohdorian and see for yourself.

BI: Thanks for hanging out. Blue Indian looks forward to doing things with you in the future. Stay in touch, Heather!

OD: Anytime. Thanks.


Watch Oh Dorian perform “Changing L’s to E’s”
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