Dogo Skillz (born GabrielLare) spoke to the Standard about her upbringing and journey to becoming a musician.
Tell us about you, your childhood and growing up.
I grew up in a little-known village in Kisumu called Wathorego. I was raised by a single mother in a difficult situation, she used to brew chang’aa to pay my fees.
When did you realize you could sing?
I started singing after finishing my primary school in 2015. My early passions were drawing and playing football.
What or who influenced you?
I loved singing & my primary school classmates at Disciples of Mercy Academy pushed me to keep up.
What’s the origin of your stage name?
Dogo Means Young. Dogo Skillz simply means young but skilled. People used to call me Dogo while still at a very young age and it became so.
What can you say makes you different from other artists?
I’m bringing a unique sound of Luo fusion in my songs that is coming out so uniquely. My songs bear motivational and love themes inspiring hope to every African child and putting a smile on millions of people across the globe.
Who writes your songs?
He goes by the name Controlbwoy. Some of my songs are Paradise, I do, My Type, Confess and RIP mama.
The music industry is a bit overcrowded, how do you plan to navigate it?
By applying prayers, hard work and persistence.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Marketing my music to a larger audience but I am hoping to pull up more resources and energy toward that.
Where do you find ideas for your music?
I find ideas from other songs and things that happen around me.
Do you make a living out of your music?
Yes. It has just started paying but slowly.
Your name is out there, how do you interact with your fans?
During public show appearances I freely interact with my fans. I also respond to social media messages. I ignore social media criticism and focus on the positive vibes.
Are you married? Do you have kids?
Not yet but I am in a serious relationship. I am dating a Content Creator & business lady called Latifah Tago.
What is the one thing you want to change in the music industry?
I want to be able to support several upcoming artists to achieve their dreams too.
What do your parents say about you?
My late mom was really proud of me and she always told me I will make it to the top one day. She was very supportive even in the production of my songs.
If you were not a musician what would you be?
Any advice for artists who want to follow your footsteps?
Confidence & God First & Hard Work
Do you see yourself as a famous musician?
Yes, I do. I have pulled a couple of sold-out events and filled a stadium in a previous show in Kisumu.
Any upcoming project?
I’m launching my reality show. We are almost done shooting. It will be about my lifestyle, love life and the hard work we put in daily to build the brand Dogo Skillz. The show will be airing on my YouTube Channel.