Like electromagnetic forces and molecular bonds, musicians in a band are made up of particles with the right chemistry. From being in sync with each other's heartbeats to the rhythmic procession, the chemistry between each musician in a band becomes one of the vital elements that contribute to the creation and composition of good music. Like most great bands, we believe DotDotay° is a collection of talented musicians whose sound stems from their band chemistry. We met DotDotay° during their practice as we ventured behind the music on ARTRA's exclusive segment Sonic Sitdowns; a series of documentaries of performance artists, together with Yamaha Music Centre in celebration of local music and musicians of which our first episode featured Musicmatters, co-founded by Sumudi Suraweera, is Sri Lanka's revered music school that introduced alternative study courses for Western music education. Intrigued by DotDotay°'s unique sound, we conversed with them to understand where it comes from and how it all happens.

Initiated in June 2019, DotDotay° comprises a collective of four gifted individuals; Vocalist, Hidaayath Hazeer with a background in acting and theatre, the residue of which we see in his fascinating songwriting capabilities and brilliant performance as he takes his place behind the mic. Lead Guitarist and Composer, Mewan Kaushike who founded the band together with Hidaayath, is also the man behind the riffs and the rhythm. Riyal Riffai takes his place as bassist and artistic genius at the head of DotDotay°'s graphic department while Sithija Dilshan is both drummer and instructor at the esteemed school, Musicmatters. These four performers and musicians – artists in essence – created DotDotay° to bring their unique sound to the music industry and make space for brilliant local artists to be able to create their own and be appreciated for it. "Dotdotay° comes from all walks of life and we try to bridge the gap between all those layers through our expression of music," explained Sithija as, we in conversation with DotDotay°, explored the meaning behind their purpose and artistry.

Q | Your music is unique: how does your creative process work? How are the lyrics and music created? And what inspires your sound?

A | Our unique sound comes from our differences and letting each other be who they are. So far, Hidaayath has been actively writing all our lyrics and Mewan has been coming up with all the riffs. Once the band is in the rehearsal space we bounce ideas off each other and the blend creates our final sound. We inspire each other. Also, everything we hear, see and touch - inspires us.

Q | You performed your very first independent gig recently; why is this a significant step for your growth, as a band in the industry?

A | The gig we played recently at barefoot was the first one we organized. We were quite open about the fact that we were all broke after the COVID-19 situation and that some of the proceedings from the event would go for the album we are planning on releasing. Also, as a band, we want to promote the idea of original music and we want to make sure more people show up at gigs where bands play original music. Also, we are constantly on the lookout for bands that we can work with in the future as we believe that's the way forward. I think what makes us different from others is the fact that we always try to bring in a sound that is very music infused by everything 'local'. Our journey is an improvised experimentation to bring that idea to life - musically and theatrically.

Q | What can you tell us about the future of DotDotay°?

A | Our immediate goal is to record and release our music while performing as much as we can.

DotDotay° performed their first solo concert at the Barefoot Gallery on the 12th of September, 2020. This performance comes at an opportunistic time as they understand the risks and hurdles that artists who create original music face. The recent performance also re-introduces themselves as they've been performing as feature and collaborating musicians. While the local industry widely celebrates cover music by up and coming artists, DotDotay° intends to create and alter, make a difference through their music for original music to be commended. The band released their first single 'Gamaralata Kotuwak Thibuna' on Youtube. The music video and song has garnered much attention and commendation for its idiosyncratic theme and creative concept. Although DotDotay°'s music is essentially labelled contemporary rock, we believe their sound, a mix of their individual artistry is one that derives and stems from their personalities as artists and inventive perspectives. Each authentic musical persona is brought out in their distinct sound complemented by a unique chemistry; DotDotay° ventures on this musical journey with extraordinary skill and a remarkable stride.

15th October, 2020 Performance Art