Cherri V and Jermaine Riley have just recently toured with very talented Brit singer/songwriter Gabrielle and opened for the iconic R&B star Brandy. Together the duo make up Dora Martin, an alternative R&B duo that stem from London. Coalition is their latest EP, and is unlike what is out in the music industry today. The fusion between the two very talented individuals combined capitulates staying true to R&B traditions, but also being able to put their own kick into it. The two represent a force to be reckoned with, in fact their music is so entwined it can only be described as the mirror effect.
The two are due to do their own tour within the UK, so we decided to have a chat with them about what it was like working with Brandy and Gabrielle, how they came to work together and what their response has been with their latest EP Coalition. Margaret Tra writes.
What was the decision behind you two working together as Dora Martin?
Jermaine: Honestly, it just happened organically. We were both in places in our careers where we wanted to get back to making music in the spirit of just being creative and pleasing ourselves first. It was like "Do you know what, we can sound however we want to sound with this!” We were writing together a lot at the time for other artists, and we just fell into it and the timing was just right for us both.
You both come from different music backgrounds, how has coming together as a duo changed you guys as an artist?
Cherri: I think it would be better described as an 'evolution' rather than a 'change.' We always describe "Dora Martin" as the next level up, a natural progression in our career. We wanted to make sure we were bringing forth a sound that wasn't a replica of our individual/group projects in the past and honestly believe that "Coalition"(EP) is nothing like our previous work or anything in the music industry today. This duo is always described as unique to us by others because there is nothing like it. It’s very hard to compare a male and female singer/songwriter duo to anything out in today’s music market.
What has the reaction been like so far for the EP?
Jermaine: The reaction has been so positive. These are songs that have come from such a natural place so for everyone to take to Dora Martin and our music, it means a lot. I think it's important to always be true to you artistically. People can sense when it's real and that's probably why these songs are resonating with different audiences. To open for Brandy to Gabrielle and still get that embrace from each audience, it's just been a blessing and we're grateful that our music has that kind of universal appeal.
You have supported R&B songstress Brandy and multi-platinum Brit Award singer/song writer Gabrielle, two amazing artists, what was it like to do all that in 6 months?
Cherri: “Ah-Mazinnnng!” We work within a small team, and have definitely been blessed beyond our expectations. With the Brandy support slot being our first ever gig as 'Dora Martin,' that was both daunting and exciting! She has been a huge influence for us both throughout our musical journey so it seemed like fate for that to be our first gig! Whilst being on tour with Gabrielle, we realised how much of her songs have shaped a big part of our childhood, and as a successful UK singer/songwriter with an incredible catalogue of hit records and feel good songs, she is a great artist to aspire to. Both artists were very personable and accommodating and that just made the two experiences that much better for us!
Who are your favourite explorers?
Jermaine: (Laughs) If you mean other creative music makers? Janelle Monae, Labrinth, Sasha Keable, Etta Bond, Jhene Aiko, Kendrick Lamar, Teedra Moses, Beyonce. Artists’ who break the mould.
What’s next for Dora Martin
Cherri: We are currently a week away from going on our second UK tour which we are really excited about!! We are currently a few songs into recording our second EP, also and we cannot wait to give our supporters the second instalment of 'Dora Martin." We are going to take it up a notch on the tempo side of things too, so start practicing your shapes from now. (laughs).
Want to hear more?
Dora Martin website.