An Interview with Todd Dorigo for Spindle Magazine's 'Dreams' Issue
Hailing from a small town in rural Cheshire, Todd Dorigo’s initial taste for music was born in nearby Manchester. Like any small town musician with big dreams, Dorigo upped sticks and moved down to London to pursue a life in music with a bit more momentum. It is here in London that I find Todd, tucked away on a rainy afternoon in the dark depths of Soho, his curly hair perfectly tousled; pint in hand.
His previous music that took the form of stripped rock-and-roll had “a sort of tongue-in-cheek British irony about the lyrics”. You could call his previous track ‘Backdrop to Boredom’ a good example of this, and where he once describes his lyrics as naive, there is now a new level of maturity to how he approaches his music. He freely admits this too - “Before I guess I wore my influences on my sleeve, and they were all quintessentially British”. Citing Elvis Costello, The Kinks and Squeeze as some of the main names influencing his style beforehand, it’s now artists like Nick Cave, and the late Leonard Cohen and David Bowie, that are proving to be the most creatively stimulating inspirations to his new music.
Leonard Cohen, especially, is a big talking point for Dorigo. “His lyrics - there’s a lot of humour and darkness at the same time, which I think a lot of my new influences are lyrically like that.” He tells me he’s been reading Cohen’s poetry in The Book of Longing, and his favourite Cohen track at the moment is ’Take This Longing’, which makes me wonder what his upcoming EP that is currently in the works will sound like. “I think now it’s more laid back, there’s more 70’s grooves, playing with space a lot more. It’s a bit darker sounding, more sexy.”
We’re not the only ones to have Dorigo on our radar either - after featuring on Burberry Acoustic with his track ‘Spare Me The Details’, he was then part of their campaign both musically, and as a model. “The thing I enjoyed most about working with Burberry is how they made a lot of effort to maintain my image rather than trying to shape it into something else”.
Travelling, reading and writing - any songwriter’s idea of paradise - has been Dorigo’s reality for the last couple of months, and with a trip back to the studio to record the new EP on the cards, it seems that Dorigo is ready to release new material that mirrors his style, with a pinch of guidance from his chief influencers. There’s also plans to gig relentlessly, including heading back up to his Northern homeland, to get back to his roots. But when I ask him where he see’s himself in five years time, the answer is simple - to be able to do what he is doing so well in the present, making music and writing his own material, noting that five years ago he would have never dreamt he would be where he is now. And the long term goal? To keep “throwing the dart against the map”, and going wherever that may take him next.