A photo from dodie’s photoshoot for her "Human" EP cover. (Photo courtesy of dodie)

Arts and Entertainment

Opinion: A singer for the voiceless — dodie

“If I’m Being Honest”, “When” I sat down to write this article, I was struggling on where to start. I have so many things to say about dodie. She writes in her place of darkness so she may shed light on those in their own place of darkness. Her beautiful and truthful lyrics that capture…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/alenanguyen18/" target="_self">Alena Nguyen</a>

Alena Nguyen

January 11, 2019

“If I’m Being Honest”, “When” I sat down to write this article, I was struggling on where to start. I have so many things to say about dodie. She writes in her place of darkness so she may shed light on those in their own place of darkness. Her beautiful and truthful lyrics that capture the smallest yet happiest moments in life inspire each and every listener.

Dorothy Clark, also known as dodie, is an English singer-songwriter with over 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube. The 23-year-old artist started her career in 2011 uploading an original song called “Rain.” She kept uploading covers and various videos for many years following, and it wasn’t until 2014 when she uploaded her original song “She,” written about having lesbian feelings. The song went viral and currently has over 4.5 million views.

Three years later, she continued to be a voice for the LGBTQ community by crafting a song about coming out as bisexual. In fact, when 2016 came around, she wrote a book titled after the song “Secret for the Mad” that describes her first homosexual crush when she was only 12 and exploring her sexuality. Many closeted teens are scared to come out to their loved ones, and dodie provides a cheery tune to lighten the mood on a serious announcement.

In one of her songs titled “Dear Happy,” she personifies the feeling of happiness in the midst of depression in a joyful but fleeting duet. Later on in her career, she revealed that she has depersonalization-derealization disorder along with depression. Depersonalization-derealization is when one feels an out-of-body experience, almost as if they are dreaming. However, her condition does not stop her from writing a beautiful song about it.

When talking about the meaning behind one of her songs, she says, “[the structure of lines] work well with the theme of mental health issues- a common trait of sufferers is to suffer in silence”. In an interview about mental health with mental health club leader Rosy Falzon, she says, “Educating people about mental illness, teaching people to recognize the signs in themselves and in others… will give them the power to help themselves or others who may be struggling”. Through her music, dodie provides a glimpse into what life is like living with mental health issues and promotes awareness to her listeners and her message resonates with those who suffer with their mental health.

Instead of cloaking her flaws and conditions, she writes about them and describes them as something other than a “Monster.” She uses her social media influence to emphasize that from our unique personalities to variegated styles, we all belong. Most teens, including myself, struggle with the idea of “perfect” that is displayed all over social media. I’ve smothered my face in countless skin products trying to get rid of the adolescent acne, but her song reminds me that she’s not afraid of the things that make her “Human” and I shouldn’t be either.

What strikes me the most about dodie is her depictions of coming of age. “When” is about realizing that it’s time to start maturing and stop being a silly teenager. It’s almost as if the song is an open letter to her past self from her present self reflecting on her teenage years. Maybe it’s the soulful, nostalgic ballad. Or maybe it’s the lyrics that resound with you and make you feel like a teenager doing silly things with silly friends you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Either way, dodie speaks to the teenager and maturing (almost) adult inside of us all.

Dodie is a relatable and beautiful artist that sings and writes about feelings that some people don’t know how to express. She writes from her heart and it seems so easy, almost like she’s not “Human”. She sings about moments that make you nostalgic for something you’ve never experienced before. Her lyrics and optimism is brilliant and inspires me to be more positive. She writes about topics that people are afraid to talk about. Through her songs, dodie provides a happy corner of the internet where being “imperfect” is considered “i’m-perfect.” Her catchy tunes and fun personality inspire people to be themselves. “You” would be a fool not to be “Absolutely Smitten” by her. So “Would You Be So Kind” as to listen to her songs?

If you were curious, there are eight dodie songs I used as puns. 

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