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Become a fan  -  Music

Doe Paoro: musical explorer on a whole different plane.


Doe Paoro is an L.A based singer and composer who marries a sonically innovative soundscape blending synth pop and modern R&B with a hypnotically haunting earthy minimalism, born from her curious and cosmically reflective mindset. From writing songs in the middle of a hurricane to tuning into the healing powers of music, she awakens parts of yourself you never knew existed. We caught up with her to talk mystical travels afar, yogic positions and why Lauryn Hill is her ultimate female icon.


Doe Paoro is an interesting name, is it actually on your passport or is it a pseudonym for something?

Did you know that Sun Ra (the American musician, poet and philosopher), had a passport that said he was from Saturn! My passport doesn’t say Doe Paoro. When I was working on my first record it was clear to me that I was in the midst of a profound transition, entering a space within myself and within my music that I had never been before. I wanted to give myself a safe space to explore that by taking on a new identity so “Doe Paoro” is the combination of a few different myths about women.

“Doe Paoro” is the combination of a few different myths about women."

So you’re challenging those myths positively with your output - if you had to choose one female artist / musician who you feel really gave something positive to the world, who would it be?

Lauryn Hill. ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ (album) is a gift, it’s completely classic. When it first dropped and I was a teenager, it meant the world to me. It still nurtures and teaches me as an adult. There is so much wisdom and soul in it. When a Lauryn Hill song comes on, you see people singing the words in any random situation. That’s the collective experience that music brings when it’s universal.

"When a Lauryn Hill song comes on, you see people singing the words in any random situation. That’s the collective experience that music brings when it’s universal."

Your soundscape is also nurturing, a full on meditative and hypnotic experience - where does that spiritual sensibility come from and what’s your intention with the music?

I always felt a spiritual connection, even as a child, but I don’t come from a particularly religious or spiritual family. I’m not sure where it comes from but I’ve learned to let it lead me. Music has always been healing for me and a way that I could alchemise my own experience into something that I can share with others.

"Music has always been healing for me and a way that I could alchemise my own experience into something that I can share with others."

Do you have a personal daily ritual, such as meditation or yoga, something that focuses and centres the mind before you write or perform?

I have a daily yoga practice but really my writing comes sporadically. I do feel like when I practice yoga, I am more emotionally in tune and able to get inspired.

What’s your favourite yoga position then?

That changes. Right now it’s Parsvottanasana because it was something I struggled with for so long and am finally understanding.

On your website it reads, ‘We now know that whatever you vibrate, you create and attract to yourself’ - do you only vibrate good vibes all the time?

Definitely not! That’s why I need to remind myself of that and keep on top of all these practices. You should see me without it...

So you have bad vibe days like the rest of us - what usually sets that off?

The possibilities are really endless. A big thing for me is “expectations = future resentments.” I’m working on that.

"A big thing for me is “expectations = future resentments.” I’m working on that."

Is there a clash then between your expectations of sadness vs joy in life - which of those emotions spurs you on most in the songwriting process?

Sadness. Wish I could answer it the other way but unfortunately, when the pendulum swings to joy, I don’t feel like writing, I just feel like coasting on a neverending love holiday with life.

And what brings you most joy in life?

Kindness. Watching people help one another and practicing that in my own life. Love, of course. And blissing out in nature. My friends. Making art.

Yes I read you’re also an artist - how does that fit in alongside the music?

When I listen to music, I can see colours. This helps me figure out what the big picture is with each song. I went to college for painting and it was a very big part of my life for years. I don’t have much time for it these days. I use all my creative energy on music and I enjoy it more. With painting and drawing, it can be so solitary that I’ll go into a zone and have a hard time reintegrating. I like the collaborative aspect of music.

"I like the collaborative aspect of music."

And you studied Tibetan Folk Opera while working on your debut album, so that must have been quite an eye-opening collaborative experience?

It’s an experience which involves singing in a range and on scales I never knew existed before. I have studied it in India in the Himalayas over the last 5 years with a wonderful teacher there. The songs are all based on Buddhist parables or poems written by former Dalai Lamas. It will take me a month to learn just one song, and I learn the words by having my teacher repeat them in Tibetan and I spell out how it sounds to me in English and go from there.

What’s the strangest place you’ve ever heard or played music played in?

When I was in India on my first trip, I stayed at an ashram for a few weeks and one night, after most people were asleep, I heard this heavenly singing. I followed the voice and saw this man singing with his harmonium. I knew he had spent the last 40 days meditating in silence, and had just broken the silence with his song.

You’ve travelled a lot in India - has it surprised you in any ways, good or bad?

My first time in India, I lost my foundations, in a way that I am very grateful for. It’s an
experience of humanity in all its kaleidoscopic dimensions. In the US, we tend to isolate and distance ourselves from suffering. We stick our old people in nursing homes, the sick are in hospitals, rich people live in neighbourhoods where they are far away from people living below the poverty line. In India, it’s not hidden - everything is out there, all the sadness and the joy - the rich and the poor, the sick and the healthy. You are forced to confront the depth and limits of your own compassion, and your role within all of it.

"In India, it’s not hidden the rich and the poor, the sick and the healthy. You are forced to confront the depth and limits of your own compassion, and your role within all of it.

You’re obviously very reflective about life and share many deep thoughts via your Twitter account, such as ‘ your personal space is sacred ’ - is there one particular saying / quote or lyric that drives you in life?

“And this too shall pass”

What about the tweet ‘Love will take you all the way ’ - is there a significant other in your life now?

No. Right now I am focused on understanding self-love. Trying to get that right before I get into another relationship.

So what’s your go-to song, the one that always makes you feel good?

“Keep on Moving” by Bob Marley


“The Artist is Present”


“All About Love” by Bell Hooks


Coconut Water



Place / Bar?

Tulum, Mexico

And you’re based in LA, so how is the vibe there?

I just moved to LA from New York, so I’m still figuring it all out. I dig it out here and there is a supportive music community. I love being close to the ocean and the desert.

So your second album is due out soon, what can we expect from it?

I’m not telling because I said earlier that expectations are future resentments. I’d say, stay open and maybe it will find your heart.

"You are stronger than you think you are and none of us are given what we can’t overcome."

I read that when you were writing one of the tracks on the album (‘Wind’) which is produced by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon - you were in the middle of Hurricane Sandy and the sounds of the storm inspired the track - it sounds romantic! but it must have been pretty scary being stranded indoors while mother nature wreaked chaos around you?

Yes, it was definitely eerie but I had a friend who was visiting from out of town and we had this amazing all-night conversation while the storm was whipping around. That’s what I remember.

The storms of life affect us all - what’s your best advice on how to weather them?

You are stronger than you think you are and none of us are given what we can’t overcome.Time is a healer.

As you are quite spiritual, can you share your favourite deepest experiences or moments?

sitting across from Marina Abramovic during her “artist is present” series
completing a ten day silent meditation course
singing to my grandfather as he passed away
singing a lullaby to my friend’s baby hours after she was born
reading Patti Smith’s “just kids”
listening to a man play kora in a church in rural Botswana
the first snow in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
monsoon season in India
swimming with my mom in the ocean
falling in love in Brooklyn

Next album ‘After’ will be released on Sept 25th.


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