After years of making beats and assisting other artists with their songs, Dolato The Monk has released his first single that keeps him rapping over after he gained dependence on his central declarations. He uses his time to focus deeply on his craft, offering a trippy and cinematic view of his life and creativity. Each release strives to display his mind and outlook on life.
SONGWEB was able to get in touch with the artist to pick his brain about himself, the song and his inspirations, and what lies ahead of him as an artist. Below is what came out of our interview with Dolato.
SONGWEB: Who is Dolato The Monk
Dolato: Dolato The Monk is a musical being I created for expression purposes. I am very
interested in books and stories so I wanted to create a character that lives in the
stories I create.
Where are you from and how does that affect your work?
I am originally from Watertown, New York, and was raised in Fort Worth then
moved to Nashville as a teenager. These are big cities with a lot of musical
influence so music has been around me my entire life. I examine what music is
played and apply it to how I want my sound to be.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
My biggest artistic influences are Flying Lotus, Madlib, Earl Sweatshirt, Bjork, and
How would you describe your style of music?
My style of music contains a lot of southern production mixed with New York-style
sampling. I love finding loops and having the raw sound of the sample played
throughout a song. Sometimes I accompany this with trap drums and dreamy
chords but usually in the style of Isaiah Rashad. It’s more like alternative hip-hop.
What inspired your new single (Title)?
I was inspired by enlightenment while making music. I felt the need to express
how toxic masculinity creates a barrier to expressing emotions openly. My lyrics
about being bundled up inside express that fully.
Are there challenges you face?
There are a lot of challenges I face. We all know what a struggling artist is and I
am currently on this journey. Finding the right press and consistency are all
challenges I face in the music industry. But with the right influences and
dedication, I have been working to overcome these challenges
What inspired the name?
I am very interested in horticulture and cannabis. Dolato is a strain of indica and I
really appreciate Asian culture. Monk’s always interested me, so I put two together
to create Dolato The Monk.
What can your listeners expect to see in a piece of future music produced?
Audiences can expect to hear more dreamy instrumentals, followed by loops with
raps. I am working on merging ambiance and sample-based hip-hop to diverge
the route of rap music.
Which music icon do you draw inspiration from?
I draw a lot of inspiration from Kendrick Lamar. His poetic strength and
perception are ones I have always loved to analyze. He can tell a great story and I
love great stories.
What motivates you to create and the trends that inspire your work?
I am motivated to turn this into a full-time job. I love making music and don’t
picture myself doing anything else. If I can do anything within my power to
achieve that goal, I will do that.
What have critics and collectors said about your work?
I have mostly come across good criticism but any feedback I have been given
involves my music production. Sometimes the audience wants more drums or not
looking for sample-based material.
Do you have an existing fan base?
I have a very small fan base. I reach out to them every once in a while to give free
music or conversate about life. I’d like to grow it to take this to a bigger scale.
What are your ultimate artistic goals?
I’d like to collaborate with a lot of artists. I believe that I am a very great arranger
and producer. I’d like to put artists together and curate albums that I would
What are your intentions in promoting this work?
I plan to keep this single in the depths of the underground. If people are to find it,
then that means they were meant to find it. I have more music that is greater, but
when the time comes, it will get the attention it was meant to receive.
Describe your dream project and how we can encourage your career growth.
My dream project would be to collaborate with Madlib on a project with
Mach-Hommy. Showing my music to the audience who also listen to these artists
would encourage my career growth.
How do you collaborate with other artists and do you have any collaborations yet?
I usually find artists through SoundCloud or YouTube and reach out via Instagram
DM. I send them the beat or they go to my website for any music. However, there
are a lot of local artists I collaborate with and we work in our studio until we find
something we are satisfied with. I like to grow relationships with the artist I work
with so inviting them to a setting is a quick way to do this.
Describe the best piece of art you’ve created.
The best piece of art I’ve created is an unreleased beat that I have stored on my
hard drive. I’m saving the beat to rap over but I don’t think I will ever release it to
the world. It’s called The Buzz and contains a Stanley Clarke sample and has to be
one of my favorites.