Interview with Singer and Songwriter Dakota Jones

Dakota Jones and band mates

With Dakota Jones’ new single Scared released last month, we wanted to catch up and find out a bit more about the singer and we got to hear all about their coming out story.

So, tell us a bit about yourself, how did you get into music?

I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. Same with writing. But it wasn’t until I met the band that I really started performing. It was always my absolute greatest fear, being on stage. Sharing my voice felt impossible, I cared too much about what people would think if I would mess up, all of that. But once we started making music together as a band, it was kind of like everything clicked. It felt like this is what we had to do, like keeping my voice to myself and remaining quiet was no longer an option.

For any of our readers that would like to get into your profession, what advice would you give to them?

If you feel like music is what you’re meant to do, go after it with everything you have, and don’t let go no matter what. It’s an insane industry, it’s a real roller coaster. But I think with music, really with anything that you truly want, you just can’t give up on what you’re trying to do. Some things may feel out of reach, impossible, or delusional. But maybe you have to be a little delusional to make massive dreams come true. People tend to think you’re insane for going after big dreams until you make it happen. So just believe in what you’re doing, believe that you are worth it, and do not quit. Sticking with it will set you apart from soooo many other people.

What is your coming-out story? Sorry, but everyone loves a coming-out story…

The coming out itself was pretty lowkey actually. It was the lead-up that was incredibly dramatic. I fell in love with a woman for the first time when I was 20 years old. My best friend’s friend from home came to visit us, and from the moment we hugged it was like.. something just changed within me. Within her, too. We accidentally brushed hands and it was like massive sparks started going off in my body. It was in both of our eyes. It was like magic. We spent the weekend together, holding hands, making out, and running through the streets of New York. We told each other we were falling after, like, two days. Insane, but it really felt like we were. I dove headfirst, like I tend to do, and definitely ended up bumping my head. Hard. The day before she left she suddenly stopped touching me, stopped looking at me. She said that we couldn’t do this anymore, she was leaving soon and none of it made sense. I watched her leave, and the moment she turned the corner I became hysterical. Collapsed. I didn’t know right from left. It was like she’d come into my life and revealed this missing bit of who I actually was, and then disappeared. It took a while to piece myself together again after that.

Anyway, when I finally got the courage to talk to my dad about it all, to tell him who I am, his response was so casual that I almost fell over. First, he laughed at me, which made me want to cry/scream/die. Then, he said, “well, your capacity to love is so great that I never expected it to be contained to one gender” (he really does talk like that, he’s as dramatic as I am)

And so basically, that was that. I more or less came out to my mom by showing her my first music video, in which I was making out with a woman. The end!

If you could use a magic telephone to call yourself at 15 years old what would you say?

You’re gonna be alright, girl. I know you don’t know what you’re doing here, and you don’t particularly like it here. But don’t give up on yourself. You’re gonna figure out who you are, the big fog over your head and your heart is gonna lift, you’re going to actually find joy. It’s gonna take longer than you’d like, but you’re gonna find the person you’ve been waiting for, too. You’re here for a reason. Hang in there, it’s gonna be more beautiful than you ever imagined.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Wherever you go, there you are.

What do you think of the queer scene where you’re from, where do you go out?

The queer scene in Brooklyn? It’s.. everywhere haha. It’s seemingly everything. And that’s how I like it. I guess I’m in a very queer bubble here, just about all of my friends and the people around me identify as queer. I’m grateful to live in a place where you have a bit more space to express yourself without condemnation. I feel surrounded by people who are living out the truest versions of themselves, and who encourage folks to come as they are. We just want to lift each other up and create a stronger community, for ourselves and for the queer kids coming up after us, too.

Who’s your celebrity crush and why?

Tyler the Creator. He’s endlessly talented, in so many mediums, and he just seems free and open and smart and funny and I could go on and on.

Talk us through your band, how did that come about? How did you all meet?

I’ve known our drummer, Steve, since we were 8 actually, we were in elementary school together. In 2015, Steve and our former guitarist started jamming for fun. They asked me to come around and sing with them sometime, and I said absolutely not. I was terrified of singing in public, even just in front of the two of them. Eventually, Steve convinced me to come along, and we would play covers of songs. It was nerve-wracking for me, but I kept showing up. Scott, our bassist,  was a friend of our guitarist and was pulled in to round out the sound and make a proper four-piece. One day, just messing around, we ended up writing a song, a song called “Leave Me Alone” from our first EP. We knew pretty immediately after that that this was what we should be doing, and we haven’t stopped since.

When can people see you next perform?

We’re having an album release party in Brooklyn on June 2! At an amazing place called Rubulad. We have some crazy-talented queer bands opening the night for us, and we’ll be closing out with a performance of all the new music. I quite literally cannot wait!

Check out Dakota and the bands journey by following them on instagram @dakotajonesband and watch their new song ‘Scared’.

If you liked this interview check out our other interviews with our queer Nonchalant role models.

Love Team Nonchalant xx

Nonchalant Magazine
Nonchalant Magazine

This article was written by one of our creative team writers here at Nonchalant Magazine.

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