Performing for the first time at some of the best music festivals in the world is no small feat. Doing them all in a row in a few months is even more difficult.
Dom Dolla is one of the few DJs to have lived this ineffable journey, where he sprinkled a few miracles along the way.
The barnstorming house music artist and producer of “Miracle Maker” has certainly made an impression this year while enjoying unique experiences, like DJing through a freak snowstorm that hit his first performance at Red Rocks. These kinds of extraordinary events have become commonplace for Dolla, whose career is growing at a breakneck pace as he achieves one milestone after another.
We caught up with the Aussie in breakout groups to dig deeper into the puzzle pieces that came together to form his career-defining year.
EDM.com: On April 24, you did a “B2B with Mother Nature” at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. Can you explain to us this unforgettable evening and what exactly happened – or happened – that night?
Dom Dolla: That night, I just arrived from… I don’t remember where I came from. But, I was very sleep deprived. And I think we had to beat some kind of weather system that was in the middle of America – where we were from – and I was like super stressed not to sleep. We landed in the morning and when I fell asleep the show still wasn’t sold out, the weather was really gloomy and all my Australian friends said they couldn’t come. I was kind of like, “Well, it’s not going to be what I expected.”
But by the time I woke up, the show was sold out, the weather had cleared up, and all my friends were there. It felt like the best day of my life. My little sister also came and some of my closest friends from high school, some of my team back in Australia who hadn’t left Australia since Covid. It felt like the most amazing night of my life, to be honest. It was phenomenal. And then the snow started falling halfway through the set as we turned on the lasers and it was just unforgettable.
I wanted to play in this room since I started DJing and writing music. Making the headlines was one thing, and then having such an unforgettable moment, surrounded by people so close to me, it was, you know, the icing on the cake.
EDM.com: At the time, you said it was the best set of your life and the biggest headlining show of your career. It’s remarkable how quickly you’ve eclipsed this achievement over the past three months. After Red Rocks, you went to EDC Las Vegas, where you performed in front of 90,000 people on the main festival stage. Did you know you were going to perform at kineticFIELD?
Dom Dolla: I found out what stage I was playing at the last minute. I don’t know if my agent knew about it and decided not to tell me so I wouldn’t panic…but I had the time to prepare.
I DJ a lot. And I’ve been playing in front of big crowds for a few years now – I mean 5,000 to 10,000 people, sometimes 20 – but playing in front of 90,000 people… I’m not really nervous but my heart was playing psytrance in my chest.
As soon as I started, everything disappeared.
It felt like I was where I belong. This was decisive for my career. I never thought that kind of house and techno sounds would ever make it to the main stages at big dance events like EDC. And seeing that happen is so exciting. Even on the weekends I was talking about Tomorrowland and the idea that this kind of “center-left dance music” is now on the main stage of the biggest festivals in the world is so exciting.
I’m so excited about the future of dance music. The genre lines get so blurry and the scenes get so much less defined. Everyone has more fun, I think. Doing what feels right and being true to yourself as an artist is what I think is really important too. As opposed to “the crowd wants this, let’s give them this”. But it’s like, “What the crowd doesn’t know they want, but they’re going to love when they get it?”
EDM.com: How long have you had “Miracle Maker” in your back pocket?
Dom Dolla: I started working on [“Miracle Maker”] last year, I believe. I was playing instrumentals for months before teaming up with Clementine Douglas to work on vocals. With the instrumental, everyone was like, “What the fuck is that?” Then I was like, “Okay, well, if that’s how it’s received as it is right now, how much could we upgrade it?”
I’ve never had a record that works every time. Any of my past records, they “failed” in the DJ context in one way or another. But “Miracle Maker” was one of those records for me that worked every time. And then the artists started flirting with me and all my friends were like, “Give me that. I’ve never had so many people asking for it either.
I’m so grateful that everyone is participating in it and it seems to take that natural momentum. It’s inspiring for me, as a writer-producer.
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EDM.com: How did you meet Clementine Douglas?
Dom Dolla: I was introduced to her by my brilliant friend who is a singer-songwriter named Caitlyn Stubbs. We were doing writing sessions and she was like, “You have to meet Clementine, a friend of mine,” and she just brought it to the studio.
We all started writing records together. We wrote so many songs together, a lot of them from scratch and a lot of them just vocals. I’m probably better at melody than production in a lot of ways. I connect really well coming into the studio with other writers.
[Douglas’] the vocals were perfect for that kind of nostalgic ’90s R&B sound. So when we recorded it, I was like, ‘Clementine needs to be on this, we don’t need anybody else.’ They say the fastest are the good, and this one was fast.
EDM.com: Kicking off July in style, you performed at the Brooklyn Mirage in New York City, selling out your first show at the 80,000 square foot venue. Can you tell us more about this show?
Dom Dolla: New York is up for a good time and they like to party late. I know that on the east coast the permit opening hours are much later than on the west coast. When I saw my set time at 2am, I thought to myself, “I feel like I’m playing in Miami or Ibiza… I’m so up for it.
I was having the time of my life for sure.
EDM.com: Without a shadow of a doubt, this has been your biggest summer show streak yet and you’re still going strong. After being in Brazil, Chile, Ibiza, Italy, Romania and now Canada, among others, what do you do to stay centered and on track while constantly being on the road?
Dom Dolla: Sleep at every given opportunity. And also surround myself with people I love. I work with people I have known for a very long time and they have become my closest friends. I’m always surrounded by my friends, basically.
My tour manager is my best friend Harry, we’ve been best friends since we were 14. He studied logistics and ran a travel agency and it was so perfect. I was like, “You have to come and be my tour manager.” And my manager James has been my manager since the beginning, since I was 19 or 20. He was a DJ and we have very similar musical tastes. We were part of the same group of friends. Everything is easy.
Surrounding myself with friends and loved ones makes this job a breeze.
EDM.com: So you have met “God”. How was it?
Dom Dolla: Yes, Tiesto. It was amazing. Obviously, he’s basically one of the founding fathers of modern dance music as we know it. I’m such a fan of his old classics and got to the point where on my social media I was trying to turn him into a god and then he got it. Then he got my number and we started texting saying, “We absolutely have to meet.”
We ended up at Tomorrowland and it was very funny. Everyone was just in stitches. The whole Tomorrowland production team, my whole team, his whole team, everyone is laughing before we’re even connected. It was gold.
He’s such a lovely guy. No one stays in an industry for long without being truly dedicated to their craft and being a good person. Yes, he was really welcoming.
EDM.com: Although you’ve had a remarkable festival so far, performing at Ultra Miami, Coachella, Tomorrowland and many more, the momentum continues. What upcoming shows are you looking forward to?
Dom Dolla: I’m excited to be back at Space in Miami at the end of September. Oh! Play at the shrine. I’m doing my own headlining show at the Shrine in LA, I’m really excited for this one. I did a co-headline with Sonny Fodera right before Covid… and it was one of my favorite shows. So I’m excited to participate in this one as a solo exhibition and play at night.
I’m also excited to be back home in Australia and playing a few gigs. Since Covid, I haven’t really played in my home country and that is long overdue. Hometown shows are always the best shows. Just the ambiance is incomparable. We’re about to announce a bunch of festivals and shows this summer in Australia. It’s gonna be fun. Fortunately for me, I live an endless summer.
You can catch Dolla on round across Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia for the remainder of the calendar year.