A local up-and-coming musician is making waves in the music industry for his lyrics that shine a spotlight on black history.
Unlike music topping the charts today, William Dolan’s focus is creating music with a positive message around equality, fairness, diversity and anti-bullying.
“Colour doesn’t matter, why do people have to worry about that? Family is family,” said the 13-year-old Langford resident, who recently released his first single and is preparing to perform in Toronto this month.
It’s a cause that’s close to his heart.
Being born to a black mother and Caucasian father, Dolan’s friends used to tease him about his heritage.
They didn’t believe that Dolan’s father Andrew was his father and would say things like ‘that’s not your dad’, and assumed he was from another country because of the colour of his skin.
Around the same time, Dolan began watching music icons such as Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake perform on stage and thought to himself, why do I have to watch, why can’t I do it myself? Shortly after, he enroled in dance lessons in various styles such as jazz, hip hop, tap, ballet and musical theatre.
When Dolan was 12 years old, he used his previous experiences and inspiration from his own family to put pen to paper, writing his first single “Cadillac,” which makes references to Martin Luther King Jr., Barak Obama, Rosa Parks, and Malala Yousafzai, among others.
“Cadillac,” along with four more of Dolan’s original songs, were recently recorded with music producer Roy Hamilton III, who has produced songs for Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, R. Kelly and Nsync.
“It’s about black history and being a kid and showing kids they can express themselves to the world without feeling judged. It’s a song to make people smile. I created a fun dance to go with the song and it’s a positive message,” Dolan said.
“Colour doesn’t matter and it’s important to have role models in the world to guide us, in addition to parents. It reminds people that these civil rights leaders did all they could to make the world a better place.”
And people are taking notice. Dolan recently performed in Toronto at Dundas Square for Youth Day 2018 on July 22, and will return to Toronto this week to perform at the Toronto Kids Fest, where he will be the opening act for headliner, Silento.
Up next, Dolan will perform at a gala event celebrating black business owners at the Marriott Hotel in Victoria.
For more information visit williamdolanofficial.com.