In this Rolling Stone AU/NZ series, we take a look at some rising Aotearoa artists who are looking to impress in 2023 and beyond. It may still be an uncertain time for the Kiwi music industry at large, but exciting new artists like those included in this series keep on emerging.
Judging by his artistic moniker, you’d think that dœgægé was trying to be elusive; it incorporates little-used ligature, after all.
But then you listen to his initial songs under the name and he doesn’t sound like he’s trying to hide at all. Far from it, because the music that Caleb Doe makes is fascinatingly experimental, his songs attempts at locating something genuinely new, powered by youthful exuberance.
Take his debut single, “A HEADACHE & A BLACK EYE”, for example: the song opens with a riff reminiscent of the Dunedin sound, before it veers into something akin to Matty Healy performing a scuzzy pop-punk number. The whole thing is unruly, peculiar, but always intriguing.
As dœgægé, Caleb sounds like he’s having immense fun contemplating his influences, trying diffuse styles, and finding his sound.
Born in Aotearoa but now based in Melbourne, dœgægé is preparing for the imminent release of his debut EP, GOBLIN BLISS ETERNAL RELIEF (a title that Healy himself, or King Gizzard, would likely approve of), in August.
Before that arrives, Rolling Stone AU/NZ caught up with the fledgling artist to find out more about him, which you can read below.
dœgægé’s GOBLIN BLISS ETERNAL RELIEF is out Friday, August 11th via Believe Australia & New Zealand (pre-save/pre-add here).
Rolling Stone AU/NZ: How did music influence you in your early life?
dœgægé: My family was never into music, so I had to discover good music by myself. The first music I was drawn to was from video games – Need for Speed Underground 2 and Guitar Hero were the big ones. Songs like Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” and The Bronx’s “Notice of Eviction” were my first obsessions.
What artists influenced you growing up?
Radiohead! The 1975! Tyler, the Creator! They have always been important influences for me, but Skrillex has got to be my biggest. Soooo life changing.
Where did your artist name come from?
Doe is my last name, the rest just looks cool! But it’s a bit of a curse. Usually people pronounce it wrong. I think that makes it cooler.
Tell us about your debut EP. What themes are you exploring in it?
This EP is a big deal for me! It’s been two years in the making. It centres on my perspective on the world and how things balance – madness + ecstasy, loss + love, bliss + ignorance. I wrote and produced every song and created all the visuals and animations myself. This EP is also important to me because I’ve controlled every creative aspect myself.
What are some career highlights so far?
I recently joined Perto, ericdoa, and glaive on their Australian tour! They are all good buddies of mine from the SoundCloud hyperpop era. I’ve known Perto since I was 15, I think. I learnt so much from all of them.
How have you found the move to Melbourne? Has it impacted your music career?
I moved to Melbourne and have been living with Perto since last year. I think moving here was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve grown in every possible way – I’ve become friends with so many talented people. Compared to Auckland, I’ve found Melbourne to be twice as encouraging and nurturing with my music.
What kind of personality traits and values do you believe it takes to succeed in the music industry?
Believe in yourself and your ideas, trust the universe even when you’re unlucky, and be loving and supportive of others.
How would you describe your music to a potential fan?
My music is naive and and wide eyed. It’s colourful and sombrely impressive. It has rock and electronic influences. As a genre I could be considered experimental/alternative rock, but I feel it sits in its own category.
What are your goals for 2023 and beyond?
I’m gonna play my first live shows this year. I’m also working on some clothing with a friend of mine! I want to try new art forms like sculpture! I also want to produce and write for other artists too.