The Gold Coast Bulletin
SINGER TANIA DOKO IS RELISHING GOING HER OWN WAY, WITH A NEW ALBUM IN THE PIPELINE
Tania Doko returned to her hometown of Melbourne in January, a decade after relocating to Sweden to further her music career. Best known as the voice of Bachelor Girl, she had company in quarantine – her Swedish husband Daniel and their son Leo.
“It’ll take us the rest of the year to really feel grounded,” Doko tells SMARTdaily about adapting to a new life in Melbourne.
“Daniel is getting used to simple things like writing emails in English not Swedish for his new job.
“He’s going through what I went through when I moved to Sweden, and I’ve still only got survival Swedish; my Swedish sucks. But it’s glass half full. If we were in Sweden, social interaction would still be minimal, there’d be no gigs, I’d be writing songs but there’d be some trepidation about being in a studio together.
“So when we get to do a gig I’m so ecstatic on stage, I’m on the highest high.”
Doko played a show with Bachelor Girl this month at St Kilda’s Memo Music Hall and took part in the Fleetwood Mac Orchestrated show in Sydney already this year, which now hits the Palais on June 11.
Doko joins vocalists Kate DeAraugo (Australian Idol), Prinnie Stevens (The Voice) and Mark Williams (Dragon) who play Fleetwood Mac hits in front of a 24-piece orchestra.
“It was like I was floating,” Doko says of the Sydney show.
“I was almost possessed, singing my favourite Fleetwood Mac songs with an orchestra behind me, channelling Stevie Nicks in every way. I’m not Stevie, I’m clear on that, but it was such a nice homecoming to be back doing that material.”
As well as classics Gypsy, Dreams and Landside, they’re working on a version of Rhiannon inspired by the Fleetwood Mac epic live version for the Melbourne date and are working on an arrangement of Gold Dust Woman that starts like the original before morphing into Hole’s hard rock version.
“They are timeless songs,” Doko says. “Their audience is so wide, not many bands can boast that. They have the hit factor but also the credibility of amazing songwriting. Some big hits fade, these songs just don’t date.”
Doko moved to Sweden to further her career as a songwriter, working with everyone from Samantha Jade to Sheppard, Steps to The Veronicas and Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw. She admits her Swedish friends are jealous watching her being able to get back on stage, with Australia’s live scene way ahead of the rest of the world.
“They’re happy for me but also hating on me! They’re looking at me thinking me leaving Sweden was worth it. Because it was very painful to leave Sweden, and doing it during COVID added a whole other level of complications.
“Doing all these shows means it was worth it, all that struggle. You just have to milk it every time you can do a show, you have to hang on to that lesson. You can’t take it for granted.”
Doko is finishing a solo album – she’s been squirrelling away songs for the last five years – and is also making new Bachelor Girl music.
The musician is also taking the chance to give back. She did a Zoom songwriting workshop from Sweden last year for aspiring Australian musicians and is taking part in a coaching workshop at Monash Uni next week.
“I want to inspire them, from giving them experience on the standard that is required with songwriting and also helping them be a bit more business-savvy.
“I went to Sweden to expand my repertoire, it’s about being courageous, giving yourself permission to suck. Turns out songwriting is something you can teach, especially if there’s some talent there.”
Doko is also doing work with music industry charity Support Act, looking out for musicians after the last year saw their work dry up.
“As an artist, our creativity and our mental health just goes up and down. Musicians are coming off what happened last year, we’re still not OK, to think we can be creative and just churn out stuff again without nurturing ourselves or getting clear with where we’re at is quite naive.”