CMB: How did you get started in music?
Dobsy: I started taking piano lessons when I was Middle School, I believe it was… I really did not like piano lessons, ha! It was hard for me to read music and when it came to playing, I would watch my teacher play the songs and memorize the songs and play them mostly from memory (they were pretty easy songs starting out anyways).
Since I wasn't enjoying lessons, they didn't last long. Then my family moved when I was in high school and the new youth group at my church was very into their music. Someone found out that I kinda knew how to play piano, so they put me up on stage! I started out just playing one note at a time, upgraded to two notes, one in each octave and over time learned from there!
Eventually I got a Mac and learned Garageband and learned a little bit of guitar as well.
CMB: Who would be your top three non-musical influences?
Dobsy: Definitely the Lord has kept me inspired, has challenged me and showed me favor beyond belief. I would be nowhere without the Lord. Secondly would be my close friends. I couldn't ask for more genuine people in my life that are truly inspiring. Lastly, I'm recently married to my wonderful wife, and even though it can be hard to be married to a musician, she's been super encouraging. She leaves me notes and is constantly praying for my calling and my dreams to come true. I married a good one for sure!
CMB: How about your top three musical ones?
Dobsy: Let's see… First off would have to be Hillsong United. When I was put on the stage in the youth group I mentioned earlier, 90% of the songs we would play would be from Hillsong. Since I was learning how to play while playing these songs, they definitely shaped how I think about music from the foundation. Second would be my good friend Aaron Strumpel. We've been playing music together for quite a while now. He's super creative and is always there to help out and critique, which has been awesome. We also recently release a little collaboration EP under the name King Cub Sing.
Check it out here.
Last would be Ryan Lott, aka Son Lux. I met him briefly once, but he's a friend of several friends. His music and sounds are super inspiring and every time he releases something new, I'm blown away.
CMB: What would be your general process for writing a song from start to finish?
Dobsy: I work mostly on software, but I get pretty much all my inspiration and chord progressions from the piano. After finding something I like, I move over to the computer. From there I start with a sound or a drum beat. I make a loop, usually 4-8 bars and just keep looping and building off of it. After I get a group of loops that I like, I'll arrange them into a song, add parts where it needs more, mess with filters and all that kind of stuff.
In my first EP, its all instrumental, but I'm currently working on a full length where I'm experimenting with adding vocals and it's been working out really well. But it's usually after I create the music, I'll just play the song on repeat, or move back to the piano and sing around to find a vocal melody and then add lyrics. I work a little different than most people, but I really enjoy creating the atmosphere/soundscape first, and then adding vocals.
Dobsy: Silver EP was released a year ago (early 2013) and came from a place of seeking wisdom from the Lord. At the time I was studying through the beginning of Proverbs and wanted to create a musical expression of some things the Lord was showing me. The scripture behind the EP is Proverbs 2:3-5, "If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God."
I had been creating music for a long time, so releasing Silver EP was very exciting and made me a little nervous to see if anyone would like it, haha! I've had a lot of great responses, and am super excited to be working on a new full length that will take things to another level. It's crazy how much you can grow and learn in a year... I'm hoping to have the full length done by mid-late summer this year and will be putting together a Kickstarter in the upcoming months to help fund creating a project I'm really proud of. I have a few songs getting close and am working with some incredibly talented friends, including Chris from CMB-ite spotlight #1!
Chris is awesome, check out his stuff if you haven't already!
CMB: As a self-produced artist, what recording software do you use? Can you tell us a little bit about your studio?
Dobsy: Of course! I started out using Garageband, moved to Logic, and in late 2012 purchased Ableton Live. I've been loving Ableton and use it exclusively at this point. I've been working on my home studio a lot lately and it's been exciting to research new gear and have finally got to a point where I can pretty much accomplish anything I need to.
My setup includes a Macbook Pro, I've got a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 for an interface, KRK Rokit 6 monitors, I use Sennheiser HD 380 Pros for headphones, and I'm a big Akai fan. I use the Akai MPK 49 and APC-40 as far as controllers go. I also have a Wurlitzer console piano. I use a Rode NT1-A condenser mic and am planning on getting a Shure SM 57 soon, hopefully!
A big part of what I use is software plugins, so a few of the ones I use most are Native Instruments' Absynth, a new instrument from Output called REV, and there's a really cool (and inexpensive) Juno plugin called TAL-U-NO-LX that sounds great! I get really excited talking about gear, so hopefully I'm not boring everyone, haha! But that's what I've got as my home studio set up, and I highly recommend everything I mentioned for those who are looking into new gear.
CMB: What would be your biggest piece of advice to us as a believer when writing and creating original music?
Dobsy: Ask the Lord for inspiration and be yourself. Let the Lord work through you and allow Him to have your projects. It will always turn out better that way! And don't try to copy what you hear. It's definitely a great way to learn some tricks and tips, but you were created to be unique. And if you are striving for a sound that isn't the one you were created to make, music becomes work rather that worship.
CMB: Can you tell us a little about your local church community where you worship? How does that fit into your ministry as a recording artist?
Dobsy: Oh yes… I love my community so much. I attend Vinelife Church just outside of Boulder, CO. It's a spirit filled community with a passionate pursuit of His presence. I'm also part of the Resound Conference, which is a worship and creative arts conference held at Vinelife every year. I'm part of the worship team for both Vinelife and Resound and through being a part, I get to meet so many amazing, talented people that have similar life adventures. Being around such creative, talented and passionate people just overflows into the music I create and I wouldn't be half the musician I am now without my community.
CMB: Thanks again for sharing your music with your fellow CMB-ites. Where should people go to find out more about you online?
Dobsy: Thanks for providing a place for listeners to showcase more about themselves. It's great to have to opportunity to chat, get some exposure and hopefully be an inspiration and resource to help others on this same journey.
I just launched my new website, dobsymusic.com, so that's the one stop place to find out more and get links to music and everything. Also check my Facebook page, facebook.com/dobsymusic, for more quick updates and here's a link to my Silver EP from early 2013.
And for anyone reading, if you have any questions or anything at all, feel free to reach out and shoot me an email here or hop on my Facebook page and I'll help out as much as I can!