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Capping a fully grooving evolution that has defined Lael Dozier’s career since Ricky Ric’s popular remix of his 2010 track “Can I Be Your Friend,” the multi-talented singer, songwriter and producer chooses the perfect song to mark his full-fledged emergence onto the global dance scene—a cover of Taio Cruz’s UK hit “She’s Like A Star,” retitled “Like A Star” and remixed by the internationally renowned duo Klubjumpers (Mariah Carey, Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears).
The track drops on Dauman Music in early 2012, but Dozier isn’t stopping there. He’s already chosen his follow-up single, “The Way You Walk,” an original song penned and produced by Dozier, also remixed by Klubjumpers.
Dan Mathews of Klubjumpers has high praise for Dozier, who launched his career in the mid-2000s as a hip-hop R&B artist: “With an artist like Lael Dozier, his vocals can really work with today’s dance market. I know radio and mix show DJs will be excited about this new single ‘Like A Star.’”
Currently based in the New York area, Dozier’s been setting the stage for his current breakthrough since the release of his well received 2004 independent debut album Get Me In.
“Can I Be Your Friend,” the single from his 2009 follow-up recording Water Under the Bridge, placed on the World Dance Charts at #44 for the top up and coming artists of 2010. Dozier’s video for the original R&B/hip-hop version of the song is on YouTube. Water Under the Bridge featured the vocal talents of several young rappers and up and coming singer Rayna.
“My full-on transition from R&B/hip hop to a more dance oriented sound was inspired by Gene Serina of Serina Promotions, a company I was working with in 2009,” says Dozier. “He liked the sound of my voice and thought it would be a perfect fit for the dance market. Based on the success I’ve been experiencing, he was definitely right. Dance music allows me to incorporate a wider range of elements and reach a wider audience than I could in the past. Musically and artistically, it allows me to be more creative in bringing together a variety of sounds and lyrical possibilities. I can step outside the box more, let loose and have fun.”
Between the releases of his two full length projects, Dozier kept visible performing in a wide variety of settings, from small clubs to Madison Square Garden, where he participated in a showcase for new artists. Among his more high profile gigs, the singer opened for numerous comedians at Comic Relief events in Connecticut, New York and Washington, DC and participated in the Fashion Rock competition, put on by NSYNC and Backstreet Boys mastermind Lou Pearlman. The singer also did shows at numerous NYC hotspots, including Kenny’s Castaways, The Sugar Bar, and the Brazilian club SOB’s.
Throughout his childhood, Dozier boomeranged from the Bay Area to New England and back, spending some early years in Oakland and other formative years on the East Coast. No matter where he lived, though, music was in his blood and on his heart. Rapping and singing with friends while still in single digits, he started taking trumpet lessons at nine and piano at 11, and was inspired by legendary R&B/pop artists like Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind & Fire. He can’t remember a time when he wasn’t part of a school choir or church choir. Later, he got his groove on in the 90s with everyone from Al B. Sure, Joe and Keith Sweat.
While majoring in business at Central Connecticut State University, Dozier minored in music. As he was finding his own voice as an artist, contemporaries like Usher, Rihanna and Chris Brown held sway. But his love of music runs deeper than just listening to the cool hits on the pop charts. He found out just recently that his late grandfather W. Steven Dozier played piano for legendary jazzman Louis Armstrong!
“I’ve definitely matured a lot as a songwriter and performer since my first album,” Dozier says, “and have definitely gone deeper as a person and artist in tune with what’s around me. I love all the creativity I have been exposed to since hooking up in the studio with masters like the Klubjumpers, who really know how to work a track and make it something I could have never imagined. I’m looking forward to vibing with many more collaborators and getting on the road and performing the new songs for audiences around the U.S. and Europe—hopefully sometime in the 2012 and 2013 year.”