On the 13th of May, Gaysi Family went live with Brooklyn-based queer pop and RnB musician and multi-instrumentalist Dov Eagle, alias DOV.
Cheery and warm right from the beginning, DOV is delightfully easy to talk to. His presence is comforting, and he is, in his own words, “an open book.”
Born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, DOV moved to New York at the age of 21, wanting to lead his life proudly, as a queer liberal musician and artist. It all worked out well, considering that he has lived in New York ever since, and falls in love with the city every day.
One of the most striking parts of living there, he notes, is the diversity, and the sheer variety of people he gets to meet and grow with. Since moving there, he has learnt more about the queer experience and how it differs worldwide– from India, to China and London– being queer has different implications everywhere, and all of it, for DOV, comes together in the big apple city.
There is also a flood of like-minded creatives and interesting people that DOV says he is fortunate to have met. Yes, it is hard to stand out in the midst of so many talented people, he adds– but he seems to be doing a brilliant job at it.
DOV’s music is hypnotic, to say the least. It is stunning and beautiful, every song powerful in a different way.
When asked what his favourite song he’s ever created is, it understandably takes time for him to answer. There is so much to choose from– so many mind-blowing collaborations and instrumentals melting into haunting lyrics.
Finally, he settles on Reciprocate, a collaboration with London-based fellow LGBTQ+ artist Vaughan, for DOV’s upcoming EP, It Feels Right.
“That’s also my favourite, actually,” I reply, thrilled.
I first listened to Reciprocate the same week it came out, and instantly decided that it was my new favourite song. It’s dark and urgent, full of complex feelings and wistful lyrics. It’s impossible to listen to Reciprocate without it becoming your favourite song.
About the meaning behind the song, DOV explains, “Reciprocate is about yearning to give everything to someone, although you struggle to feel anything yourself. It’s about wanting to give yourself to someone when you’re emotionally unavailable, so instead you cope with high nights and seedy one-night stands. It’s about breaking emotional attachment through sex and partying.”
Most interestingly, this collaboration with Vaughan came about before the Covid19 crisis, but in true pandemic fashion, was created virtually, from two different continents.
In fact, DOV and Vaughan never even got a chance to speak to each other before the release of the track– all the communication, DOV explains, happened via email or texting.
Reciprocate is one of the singles from DOV’s upcoming sophomore EP– It Feels Right, coming out on July 24th.
Speaking of this EP, DOV says that it explores his struggle with self-discovery and coming to terms with his sexuality, in addition to documenting his experiences as a queer immigrant in the United States.
There is so much guilt and shame involved in the process of coming to terms with the fact that you’re different, he explains, talking about how terrible he felt about being attracted to other men when he was younger, and how he’d be okay until he got home, and then, the shame would begin to creep in.
It Feels Right is about this feeling, about looking for acceptance and love everywhere, and eventually, finding it within himself.
DOV’S second single, the title track for the EP, was earlier scheduled for release this week, but has been postponed due to the present-day protests in the USA.
It’s important to stand up for black people– especially black trans people– in this moment and at all times, DOV says, and that is what he wants to focus on right now, rather than self-promoting.
About how his experiences in Tel-Aviv shape his music, DOV explains that while Tel-Aviv is an artistic and liberal city, the music community there is quite small.
It was only after DOV left Tel-Aviv and moved to Brooklyn, that his birth city started playing a major role in the music he creates.
A lot of his collaborators, including his vocalist Tesha, he explains, are Israeli, and from very similar backgrounds.
It is fascinating to watch DOV play his music, and it’s clear how much he enjoys creating it.
From his debut EP Be Your Lover to his latest tracks, DOV continues to grow and break out of his comfort zone, with every thrilling track more remarkable than the last.
The anticipation for his upcoming EP, thus, only increases with every day. Because for DOV, it is clear that things will get even better from here, and that is exactly what he deserves.