We had the good fortune of connecting with Doza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Doza, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I view risk as thinking about how much you’re willing to bet on yourself. Going into a creative career essentially is betting on yourself. Once you think of it that way you can start to really assess how much you believe in what you’re doing. Maybe you’re doing it on the side as a hobby and only put small amounts of time and money into growing that hobby. Or maybe you’re living and breathing it, putting every bit of downtime and expendable money you have into it where it becomes your life. I can tell you that it’s possible to build a successful career out of a hobby but you’re way more likely to succeed if you give it everything you have. And that means sacrifices: It could be as small as not meeting up your friends for drinks or using your PS5 money to put into something else that would help push your career along. Risk has been very important in growing my knowledge about what I’m doing. There’s been so many hit-and-miss moments I’ve had trying to navigate the world of being a musician but you just have to look at those as “paying your dues”. Risk also is what really tests my resolve in this world. I believe in myself wholeheartedly at this point so all those misses to me are nothing but taking another step towards that big hit.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The thing I’m most proud about my art is that I feel it is 100 percent an expression of myself. I never force myself to try and make a song that sounds like XYZ because that’s what hot at the moment. You find out that being original and true to yourself is what is going to produce the best art out of you. Somedays I want to write a song with just hard hitting bars and other days I want to make a singy type song but it all comes from a place of authenticity. Of course it wasn’t always this way. In the past I would constantly wonder if what I’m making sounds dated or if its just straight wack. Getting over those insecurities lead to me making my greatest works.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well hopefully once the pandemic is at a manageable level and this could actually happen I would be inclined to take my friend to these places. The Scene (North Hollywood): This dive bar has been kind of a home base to me since I was younger. The owners and I are great friends at this point and doing karaoke there actually helped me build a lot of confidence in performing on stage as funny as that seems. What sets it apart to me is how lively it gets and how connected the community is. We mourn the deaths of our patrons like family and treat each other like family, all while being as wild as possible. Chiba (North Hollywood): This is my favorite sushi spot. I really can’t tell you why except that it’s fire. Anyone who likes eating sushi would love it here Max’s Manila (Glendale): I’m Filipino and love the food so of course we’re hitting this spot up. I remember being younger and thinking our food was kind of weird but as I grew older and my parents weren’t around to cook for me anymore I found myself craving this stuff. Koreatown: There’s so much to do here that I can’t really list one place. We hitting the club then I’m taking you to Mama Lion. You don’t feel like dancing or being cramped we’ll just hit Cafe Bleu. You hungry there’s a million spots to eat at but I’m suggesting Toe Bang. You feel like singing we’re hitting Shrine. There’s a lot more places I didn’t name but if we’re here for a week we’d probably spend at least 3 nights somewhere here. Echoplex: 2 of my favorite monthly events are thrown here. 143 and Emo Nite. Something about this venue gives me some old school vibes and I’ve never had a bad night over here (even if I did get punched in the face once) LA Live/Staples Center: The building that Kobe Bryant built. If you listen to my music you can clearly see my love of Kobe sprinkled everywhere in it. We’re going here to have a good time and pay tribute to my all time hero. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have multitudes of friends that I can say have encouraged and pushed me into doing what I do but none have been bigger than my friend Jester. Its easier to get past negative comments and all the downsides that happen when you put yourself out there when you have a friend that constantly has your back and believes in you as much as you believe in yourself.
Lydia Tsou Jay Adame