elektro exclusive interview with Sharon Doorson
1. Your debut album had 3 Top 30 singles in the Netherlands. How does it feel to receive that much success on your very first artist album?
Sharon Doorson: It feels amazing! In Holland, we started with “Fail In Love" and I was so nervous because I really hoped people would like my first single. Thankfully, they did, and my carrier was born. Last month, we released my very first album, KILLER, including the singles "Fail In Love," “High On Your Love” and the title track “Killer” and people are loving it! With the release of my first album, one of my dreams came true.
2. When you were producing “High On Your Love,” a single that has been so successful in multiple countries, did you have a feeling it was going to be a hit?
Sharon Doorson: The very first moment that I heard the melody of the chorus of "High On Your Love," I knew this was a special song. Together with Daniel Gibson and Han Kooreneef, we started to write the song and after hearing the demo over and over again, I knew it for sure. I knew that this had to be my new single! We recorded it and radio stations in countries like Poland, Switzerland, France, the Ukraine, Russia and Spain keep playing the record. It’s an amazing feeling.
3. Can you tell us a little about your experience as part of Raffish, and the most important lessons you’ve learned about the music industry so far?
Sharon Doorson: Being in the group Raffish was a great experience! We were a group of five young women, myself included, and we only excisted for one year. I was only 17-years-old at the time, but I've learned a lot in this period of time. I've learned to entertain people, the proper process for singing and recording vocals in a professional studio, and I learned to speak in front of the camera. However, I knew I had to develop my singing skills, because I knew I wasn't there yet. So, I started to go back to school and work on my singing lessons. After four years, I graduated from the Conservatory of Rotterdam.
4. What prompted the solo career?
Sharon Doorson: After the break-up of Raffish, I went back to school. As a student, I worked at a department store and after one week I knew I had to follow my dream as a singer and not as a salesgirl. [laughs] So I worked my ass off at the conservatory to make sure I could make music for the rest of my life. And I knew it would also be better to sing alone, because I'm a front woman with power and I know what i want when I'm onstage. I had my own plan and I decided to make it happen.
5. You’re known very much for your unique style as well as your music. Growing up, what kind of fashion were you into?
Sharon Doorson: As a teenager, I was wearing the kind of trendy clothing that everyone was wearing at the time and I thought this would be cool. As I got older, I started to realize that I needed my own style as an artist. I always loved studs and “bling” and over-the-top heels and jewelry, and I realized there was nothing wrong with wearing my own style. About a year ago, I met my stylist, Bjorn van de Berg, and he made my special outfits.
6. Can you walk us through the creative process of writing/producing a song?
Sharon Doorson: Writing a song is a very creative process and most of the time I'm not in a creative vibe as a writer. I'm a performer and a singer, and sometimes when I'm in a good mood, I can write something. So for me, it's better to work with a songwriter and write something together, than for me to do it alone. On my album, though, there's one song that I wrote by myself, which is, "Never Let Me Go." I also wrote something for the single, "High On Your Love," so I can do it, but only when there's no pressure.
7. Your music definitely serves as a bridge between the pop world and the electronic dance world (there’s even some elements of hip hop in there). How do you manage to pull from so many musical spheres without losing the attention of any individual fan base?
Sharon Doorson: There are a lot of musical spheres in my music, but that's just who i am. I love to combine rhythm-and-blues with dance and I also like to do a rap in my music, if possible. I think everyone likes something in my music and that’s just a good thing for the fans.
8. As a woman in and industry, which, for a long time, was dominated by men, what’s been the hardest aspect of proving yourself a force to be reckoned with? Has it been a challenge at all?
Sharon Doorson: I've never felt any pressure in the musical world just because I’m a woman. Sometimes producers or DJs try to flirt, but I know how to deal with this.
9. What are some of your favorite memories in the studio?
Sharon Doorson: There’s nothing like the feeling after you've made a great song, playing it back and being proud of it.
10. Which track holds the most emotional significance to you?
Sharon Doorson: "Never Let Me Go," because I wrote this song for my boyfriend.
11. Growing up, did you imagine yourself in the music industry later on in life? What was your first passion, career-wise?
Sharon Doorson: When you see my first home videos, you see I was born as a performer. I was always busy with dancing and lip-synching and playing acting as though I were onstage, and at the age of 14, it turned to real singing. I've always wanted to be a singer with a great career and nothing else.
12. Is the life of a traveling performer all it’s cracked up to be? What was the biggest wake-up call you experienced after embarking on your journey as a globally recognized artist?
Sharon Doorson: The life of an artist is great, but it's also very tough. I'm a perfectionist. I'm always busy with making things better and bigger, and it's never good enough. Sometimes I don't get enough rest, but I always recognize the signs when I've pushed myself too far. I learned to enjoy every second of my life and only take a rest when needed.
13. Future plans/projects?
Sharon Doorson: In August, I’ll be performing live in Poland. I'm also going to do a big show at Ziggodome in Holland. I’ve also just released a new single with Mischa Daniels and another one will come later this year. Mostly, I hope to go to America very soon so that I can show ‘em who I am!
For more information, visit http://www.cloud9music.nl.
Watch the official music video for Sharon Doorson, “High On Your Love,” here.