July 7, 2022

It’s no secret that guitar-driven pop is again en vogue, between Travis Barker, Machine Gun Kelly, and Avril Lavigne teaming as much as kind a pop-punk Avengers and Gen Z pop progenitors like Olivia Rodrigo, WILLOW, and GAYLE drawing main affect from edgy ’00s mainstays like Avril, Ashlee Simpson, Paramore, and, in fact, Fefe Dobson. Greatest recognized for moody pop-punk bangers like “Bye Bye Boyfriend,” “Every thing,” and “Take Me Away,” the Ontario native dominated the airwaves when her debut album dropped in 2003. For all of Dobson’s success — Fefe Dobson went platinum in her native Canada — she couldn’t fairly get out from underneath the shadow of the music business’s narrow-mindedness.

Previous to signing with Island Information, Dobson almost signed with Jive, who pushed her to lean into R&B. Then, as soon as she established herself, Dobson was nonetheless in comparison with her white style counterparts, such because the also-Canadian Lavigne. Regardless of all of Dobson’s expertise, conviction, and knack for writing magnetic hit songs, her biracial background made it in order that the business didn’t fairly appear to know methods to promote her. When it got here time to document a sophomore album, Sunday Love was pushed again and finally shelved by Island (Dobson would launch it independently in 2006 and 6 years after that, it was given a digital re-release). After the 2005 single “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” didn’t chart properly, Dobson was dropped by Island.

Immediately, Dobson is 37 and lives in Nashville along with her husband, rapper Yelawolf. She by no means stopped producing music and has regularly been name-dropped by youthful pop singers, a few of whom, like Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and Jordin Sparks, have adopted Dobson’s shelved singles as their very own. In 2010, Dobson launched an album referred to as Pleasure, and in the previous few years, she’s been steadily engaged on one-off singles, resembling 2018’s “Save Me From LA” and “White Line Runaways,” which she wrote with Linda Perry for the 2020 HBO Max unique film Unpregnant.

Dobson’s newest single, the bombastic “FCKN IN LOVE,” is definitely a holdover from 2012, and it’s set to seem on her forthcoming, still-untitled full-length, her first in 12 years. “This one’s not going within the vault,” she laughs over Zoom, taking occasional sips from a can of Pink Bull. Dobson is referring to a different album she labored on and finally shelved in 2018. “I’m actually laborious on myself after I put out music and I get freaked out at occasions if I’m making the proper transfer and one thing simply didn’t really feel proper,” she says.

A couple of days earlier than she launched “FCKN IN LOVE,” I spoke to Dobson about this new profession chapter, what we will count on from her new album, being a supply of inspiration for Rodrigo and WILLOW, and why the ’00s music business was “similar to being in highschool.”

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How lengthy have you ever really been based mostly out of Nashville?

FEFE DOBSON: I’ve lived in Nashville since 2013 on and off. I had my place in Toronto. I stored that as my base, however I lived right here. After which I simply bought my place in 2018 in Toronto, so I’m right here full-time now.

Are you able to describe the lead-up to this new profession chapter? You’ve been releasing music right here and there over the previous few years, between 2018’s “Save Me From LA” and 2020’s “White Line Runaways.”

DOBSON: I all the time work on music. I really had one other album in 2018 that I made a decision to place it again within the vaults. And it was extra of an indie-rock album, surf-rock with slightly… It had Velvet Underground psychedelic stuff and the Mamas & The Papas vibes. And that’s the place “Save Me From LA” got here from. And after I put out “Save Me From LA,” I simply determined to not put out the album.

After which working with Linda Perry was simply an incredible second. She’s such a legend. And I began working with my outdated administration crew once more… I labored with Chris Smith Administration after I was signed, which was after I was 17, 18, up till 2014. Then we parted after which [I] received again with the crew and Danny Reiner, who’s now my supervisor — nevertheless it’s the identical crew.

That helped as a result of if you’re again together with your individuals, that get you, that perceive your sound, which are like, “I’ve recognized you from the very starting.” It sparked this hearth in me to return. And that’s the place “FCKN IN LOVE” comes from. It’s from the 2012 stuff. And we simply went again and had been like, “Hey, we have to launch this tune. We put it within the vault years in the past and I believe we have to launch it as a result of it’s nonetheless in our heads.” And we simply determined that was a single, however there’s nothing higher than working with my outdated crew once more. And I actually really imagine that’s why I’m the place I’m proper now, keen and wanting and enthusiastic about releasing new music.

Are you able to speak to me slightly bit extra about how you bought again collectively together with your administration crew? Had you stored in contact with them within the interim years?

DOBSON: Yeah, I undoubtedly stayed in contact. Danny’s like one in every of my brothers. He got here to me a couple of mission referred to as “Lean On Me.” It was a charity tune for COVID-19 for Canada. It was to boost funds for the Canadian Pink Cross. They got here to me and had been like, “[We’re] working with Tyler Shaw — do you need to do the artists-to-artists tune? Simply deliver a bunch of artists on a tune and simply assist the easiest way we will?” I stated, “Hell yeah.”

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We began calling up totally different individuals, totally different artists that we knew and the producer, John Levine, who produced the monitor and Dan Kanter, who was my first guitar participant ever and was Justin Bieber’s MD. Yeah, we simply put this tune collectively after which unexpectedly we received all these wonderful artists on it from Bryan Adams, Avril Lavigne, Michael Buble, Justin Bieber himself, and Sarah McLachlan. And the checklist goes on and on of wonderful Canadians that we introduced onto this. And that mainly is what began the connection once more with my crew.

So the brand new album you’re engaged on — is it nonetheless untitled?

DOBSON: Yeah, it’s not titled but.

Do you may have one in thoughts, or are you continue to kicking round concepts?

DOBSON: It’ll come to me, I believe. I usually consider the title final.

You talked about that “FCKN IN LOVE” is a holdover from 2012. Are there different songs that you just revisited from years in the past that made their means onto this album?

DOBSON: Not but. A lot of the different songs are model new. That’s the one one as of proper now.

How precisely did you find yourself connecting with Linda Perry?

DOBSON: Properly, for the “White Line Runways” monitor, I really had by no means met Linda, which is loopy. She was on the highest of my checklist to work with although for a few years. And humorous sufficient, I used to be on trip with my husband and the youngsters and I actually was baking cookies and I checked my e mail and we had been within the mountains. And I checked my e mail and the e-mail was like, “Hello, in search of Fefe Dobson. That is Linda Perry.” And I used to be like, “Yeah, proper. Am I being punk’d?” And I didn’t even say something to anyone after I first noticed it as a result of I actually thought I used to be being punk’d.

I emailed again and I used to be like, “Hello Linda. Sure, it’s Fefe. Good to fulfill you.” And she or he was like, “We’ll be again immediately and simply name me. Right here’s my quantity.” Once more I’m like, “What? No means.” I am going outdoors and attempt to discover reception. My palms up within the air looking for some bars on my cellphone so I might name Linda Perry. And I name her and she or he’s simply so rad, so chill. She’s like, “I received this tune and this film’s [Unpregnant] popping out and do you need to be part of it?” And I used to be like, “Sure, I do. In fact, I do.” And I flew out to LA and we labored on the monitor. I recorded it and it was used for the film.

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And basically working with Perry on Unpregnant led to your collaborating on this album?

DOBSON: No, I used to be really working rather a lot with Jim Johnson earlier than I received the decision from Linda or received the e-mail from Linda. Jim and I’ve been carving out my concepts and visions for the brand new music firstly. After which lately I’ve been working rather a lot with a brand new group referred to as Cache. The brand new sound is actually only a marriage of all my sounds, actually. I really feel I’m simply looking for a technique to… Truly, I’m not looking for, I’m simply doing it. However I’m simply attempting to remain true to my rock-pop roots and simply make music that I like, that I’d take heed to and that I might flip up in my truck and jam to.

How has your individual music style developed in maturity?

DOBSON: Properly, I’ve all the time cherished traditional rock, not just for the sound, however the trend. From Joan Jett to Janet Jackson and Nirvana. I’ve all the time preferred to have a look at the garments. I’m very influenced by that point interval, ’60s and ’70s. And then you definately received the hair metallic within the ’80s. I really like Weapons N’ Roses after which Janet in ’80s, ’90s. I’ve all the time simply cherished every thing. And even now as a grown grownup, I nonetheless actually simply love every thing. One in every of my songs may need pop melodies after which guitar after which an 808. It simply relies upon, however I don’t suppose I’ve modified too drastically on my musical [sound], my musical lovers of what I really like and what I take heed to.

As you’ve been writing, have there been any recurring themes that you just’ve integrated within the album?

DOBSON: Yeah, I’m a lover. I’m probably not a fighter until I’ve an excessive amount of tequila. However rather a lot about my relationship and occasions we’ve had, good or unhealthy and simply what’s been happening in my coronary heart and attempting to be as trustworthy and susceptible as attainable. Generally it may be scary, nevertheless it’s for me very vital.