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Competitions, Music

DR. MARTENS SPEAKS TO RHODA DAKAR

Dr. Martens caught up with Rhoda Dakar, lead singer of 80’s 2-Tone phenomenon The Bodysnatchers. To celebrate the release of ‘Rhoda Dakar sings The Bodysnatchers‘, we’re giving you the chance to win a signed vinyl version. Head to the Dr. Martens Twitter to find out how you can enter. 
 

Rhoda Dakar, photographed by Ashley Greb.
Rhoda Dakar, photographed by Ashley Greb.
 
 
For those who don’t know you, what do you do?
I’m a singer and songwriter and began my career in the eighties. 
 
The Bodysnatchers was where it all started for you; what was it like creating 2 Tone music in such an emerging genre at the time?
It was an exciting time, a bit like Punk, but more legit. We weren’t hated by the mainstream media, for starters. It was big, though, random fans even started ringing my parents’ house! 
 
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens:
A fairly recent acquisition, actually! In The Bodysnatchers, SJ had these gorgeous Docs – they were size 5 and made for kids. My feet were two sizes bigger, so no kids Docs for me! Plus, with very narrow feet, thin legs and the notion of the Ladies last a long way off, mine are still new to me! 
 
Can you talk us through the inspiration behind your album ‘Rhoda Dakar sings The Bodysnatchers’?
It stemmed from a Pledgemusic campaign, which was then picked up on licence by Cherry Red’s Phoenix City imprint. The Bodysnatchers never had an album deal, so it completes the work we started over 35 years ago. 
 
Rhoda Dakar sings The Bodysnatchers album cover.
Rhoda Dakar sings The Bodysnatchers album cover.
 
 
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the music industry?
Make sure you have another career idea, as well. Music is rarely a full time job. Even if you’re successful! 
 
You’ve worked alongside some incredible names, who’s been the most exciting person to collaborate with?
Oddly enough, I’d say my students at Raw Material, where I teach Vocals and Performance. I never know what they’re going to come up with! 
 
What’s your favourite thing about the city you live in?
A Londoner, born and bred, I love the walk along the south bank of the Thames from The Design Museum, just past Tower Bridge, all the way to Lambeth Bridge. It encapsulates old and new London in spectacular fashion – the wharves, City Hall, the replica of the Golden Hinde, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern, the National Theatre, the Southbank Centre, Southbank Skatepark and on and on… 
 
Rhoda Dakar Tour Poster
Rhoda Dakar Tour Poster
 
 
If you can choose, what’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Wow, where do I start? What sticks in my mind most recently, is being ushered onstage with Elvis Costello, along with my mate Phill Jupitus and his wife, during his Spinning Songbook tour a few years ago. The ‘hostess’ (it’s set up like a game show) had no idea we knew him and picked us randomly, as we were dancing enthusiastically. His face was a picture! We danced on stage with Phill in the Go Go cage (I kid you not). I sat at the bar, singing harmonies to myself and he stuck the mic in my direction during ‘Out Of Time’. He’s one of my all time favourite songwriters, so that was huge for me, singing backing vocals with Elvis! Not so much a career moment, but better than me weeping at Marcia Griffith, as she was SO good! 
 
Three tracks you’re listening to right now?
‘This Town’ – The Skints
‘Pussy Whipped’ – Big Five, an old project of Jennie ‘Bellestar’ Matthias
‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ – Beres Hammond (from Reggae’s Gone Country) 
 
And finally, what do you stand for?
Soulcialism – it’s cooler and has more heart! 
 
To be entered into the chance of winning a signed vinyl copy of ‘Rhoda Dakar sings The Bodysnatchers‘, visit the Dr. Martens Twitter for more details. 
 
Find out more about Rhoda Dakar on her Facebook and Twitter