Say Hello to 16 year old singer/songwriter Justine Dorsey, two-time 2012 LA Music Awards Nominee for Best Female Singer/Songwriter & Hot Contemporary Single, Second Place Winner in the American Song Contest, Finalist in the Dodge Dart Commercial Competition, and Semi-Finalist for this years Unsigned Music Competition.
1. How long how you been writing songs/lyrics?
I’ve been writing songs for about four years now. I started playing guitar at thirteen, and my mom read an article about this girl named Taylor Swift… She said to me, “Look, this girl is only fifteen and she’s writing, and people are listening. I think you could do this.” So three months after I started playing, I wrote my first song. It’s called “English Rose” and I still play it at gigs.
2.Who are your 2 biggest musical influences?
It’s hard to limit it down to just two, but probably Ingrid Michaelson and The Beatles. Ingrid was one of the first artists that I heard when I starting branching out from musical theater and mainstream pop. There were little hints of that before her, but she really hit home and showed me the beauty in simplicity. And of course, The Beatles were in a league of their own. And still are.
3.In one word how would you describe your current EP?
Unsaid. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but all of the songs on it are about things that went unsaid to certain people. Even “Mama’s Song”- of course I’ve told my mom how much I love her, and how grateful I am for having her in my life- but I never said it quite like that. “A few years and I’ll go too/And live a life separate from you/But I don’t think I will forget the things, sparkling, singing loud, dancing round, imagining, flying up high…” I just felt like the best place to say that to her was in a song. Other people, like the guy in the title song, “Unsaid”, might never hear those words.
4.What do you hope to accomplish through your music?Your long term goal?
Ugh, so much. There’s so much that I want to accomplish. I want to inspire people. I want to make the world a more beautiful place. I want to travel all over and share my passion with strangers. I want to be able to look out at a sea of people as they wave around glow sticks and cell phones and sing along to the songs I wrote. So much.
5.Favorite song on the radio right now?
There are quite a few, but “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons. It’s special to me because it’s in the The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie trailer, and that’s one of my top five favorite books.
6.Your dream performance venue?
Absolutely the Staples Center. It’s been such an icon for me, growing up in SoCal, passing it on the freeway. I saw Taylor Swift’s Speak Now tour there and it was magical. I just remember thinking, “I am going to get here. Don’t know when, don’t know how, but one day, I will be headlining here.”
7. Ultimate collaboration partner?
Oh gosh, ummmm…. I’m stalling here, because I’m indecisive about stuff like this…. You know, I just want to get the chance to perform with Mumford & Sons. I don’t know if I’d even be able to write with them because I think I might be paralyzed by their amazingness. But to get to play with them? YES PLEASE.
8.What would you say to kids that want to start writing their own music?
Do it. Don’t wait. Do it now. Doesn’t matter if it’s bad, just do it. And keep doing it until you write something you are proud of. It doesn’t matter if you don’t plan on doing it as a career, it’s an amazing outlet. I feel so cleansed and refreshed after I write about something that’s been gnawing at me. And pay attention. Watch the world around you, listen to conversations of strangers, look in places where others don’t bother to look. Explore and experience and read a lot of books. Keep a journal. Carve out time for yourself where you can just be alone with your thoughts. Whatever you do, please don’t hold back. I want you to dive in headfirst and immerse yourself in the music. You might surprise yourself.
9. Now, I must know, favorite down time activity?
Oh, reading, absolutely.