Fresh Faces: Doe Paoro

They say that inspiration comes when you least expect it, or, as in Sonia Kreitzer’s case, when you’ve given up completely. “I’d been in a band in New York for three years, and it wasn’t really going anywhere,” says the artist, who performs under the moniker Doe Paoro. “I decided to end my relationship with music, at least as a professional pursuit, and went to India to come to terms with that and get some space and practice for my yoga license.” But the powers that be had other plans. Sonia spent several months in India, practicing yoga and periods of silent meditation, and training with a Tibetan opera singer, and inadvertently tapped into a deep well of creativity. “I feel like I met my voice for the first time, even though I’d been singing for so long,” she says. “I was really connecting with my own footprint, and it wasn’t intentionally trying to be something new or different—it just was.”

The surge of energy she’d felt in India remained when she returned to New York and she began work on Doe Paoro. “Artists always talk about these periods of inspiration where they’re constantly creating, and I never really understood that,” she says. “But after India I totally knew what that meant—I’d be on the subway and I just couldn’t write fast enough.” She completed her first album, Slow to Love, within six months—a deeply reflective collection of songs that are sublimely soulful, anchored by her powerful, emotive voice.

But for her second effort, Ink on the Walls, out now, Sonia took her time, working on the album for nearly two years. “There is a lot of growth sonically,” she says of her sound, helped in part by the production prowess of BJ Burton and S. Carey, best known as the drummer for Bon Iver. She spent the fall recording at Bon Iver’s Wisconsin studio—“We were able to just lose sense of time, taking that space was so crucial to making something that felt really good, it was so magical,” she says of the experience. In listening to the four track EP, her growth as an artist is apparent—the music is fuller and clearer, but maintains the raw energy and soul that makes her so compelling as a performer and a person.

Photo by Gary He

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