Dakota Talks Inspiration and Fun Nicknames

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Cali vibes, garage rock, and dream pop.

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Emily Chu | July 18, 2017

Dakota is definitely a band to look out for. They’re a 4 piece girl group who mix Cali vibes, garage rock, and dream pop all into one. They recently released a single called “Silver Tongue,” and they’re not slowing down any time soon.

We recently had the opportunity to ask a band a few questions.

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Tell us about yourselves.

Hi we’re Dakota, a band from Amsterdam consisting out of Tessa Raadman (guitar, backing vocals), Annemarie van den Born (drums, backing vocals), Lana Kooper (Bass, backing vocals) and Lisa Brammer (lead vocals). We started making music together in 2010, had a little stop from 2013-2015, but are very happy to be back together and never part again!

How did the moniker Dakota come about?

Drummer Annemarie and bass player Lana formed a high school band in 2008 with some classmates (a pre-version of what Dakota is today). When they tried to come up with a name they made a list of about 10 names and passed it through (chemistry class). One name came out as an absolute winner: Dakota.

Dakota ended up being on that list because it is Lana’s second name, her full name is: Lana Dakota Kooper. Her grandfather named her after jazz singer Dakota Staton.

How would you describe your music?

Describing your own music is probably the hardest thing to do. Regarding icons and influences we all come from such different places that all these genres combine into these songs that to us just sound like ‘us’. It’s very hard to put a label on your music yourself. However, we’re very grateful that a lot of blogs have taken the effort to actually come up with labels en genres and therefore I guess we could say that we can describe our music as cali dream pop/ garage pop with hazy guitars and soothing vocals.

If you could share the stage with someone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Because we have such different musical heroes the stage would be extremely crowded by Fink, Gemma Hayes, Warpaint, Robert plant and many more.

But we all share a great admiration for Beyonce, so if we had to choose it would definitely be her. Her songs and way of performing really gives us an energy boost. And the way she claimed her throne in the music industry as a woman is a great example for us.

Tell me about your latest single, “Silver Tongue.”

The single is about people talking down our dreams and goals by saying that they’re not realistic, then they continue saying “Hey, I really don’t know anything, you don’t have to take it from me.” But the damage has already been done.

What is the band’s favorite musical memory?

Oooh there are so many great memories, but one that will stick with us forever is probably the one that brought us back together. In 2015 we were asked to play in a Dutch movie called “Mannenharten 2”. The movie included a boy-meets-girl scene at a Dakota concert, so we had to perform our song quite a few times. During these rehearsals and the shooting of the scene we had a lot of fun and it made us realize that we’d missed making music together a lot!

Do you have any unique pre/post show rituals?

I wouldn’t say we have and pre/post rituals. A lot of bands do, but we don’t really have that, maybe in some way we don’t even know ourselves, hahah. The one thing that is absolutely very important to us is food. Preferably right when we arrive, but we could eat all day every day.

What is your favorite food?

Indonesian food is our absolute favorite but we’ll eat pretty much anything you’ll give us.

If you were each a donut, what kind would you be and why?

Lisa: I’d like to think that I’m a glazed donut topped with creme fraiche, whipped cream and strawberry. It seems like a light healthy kind of donut, but it’s actually quite heavy haha.

Annemarie: I’d be a jelly donut with icing sugar on top. I think I’m a bit reserved and protective of the people and things I care about. That doesn’t mean that all is well and that it never get’s a bit messy.

Lana: I think I would be a glazed raspberry donut with no toppings. I think I’d be glazed because people tend to say that they can’t really read me at first, like a shield/wall/glazing. Raspberry because it’s both sweet en sour (and my favorite fruit in the world). I’d have no toppings since when you get to know me, I won’t try to hide my weirdness, it’s just a bare me.

Tessa: I’m a cream cheese bagel! Salty from the outsider and creamy from the inside. 😉

What is one thing that everyone should know about Dakota that they don’t already?

We have nicknames for each other:
Tessa: Fles
Annemarie: Frip
Lana: Benos
Lisa: Spies

If you could choose a theme song for the band, what would it be and why?

Too little too late – Jojo.

It sounds like a sweet pop song, but it actually quite dramatic and angry.

Superheroes or super villains?

We’d be like Watchmen, kind of dark and moody. We’re superheroes but we’ve done so many wrongs as well that we could also be seen as super villains.

Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

Touring in the USA, UK and preferably anywhere!

What’s up next for Dakota?

We’re joining a Dutch showcase Festival called Popronde which tours around The Netherlands from September till November. So we’re really looking forward to that!

Any last thoughts?

Very interesting interview! we loved the donut question because we love donuts (as well as anything we can eat).

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Keep up with Dakota here.

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