In this Preshow Rituals segment, the electro pop artist, DOPICO, reveals what she does before taking the stage. You can check out the story, after the break.
My typical pre-show diet? Carbs, coffee, and wine! When I was performing in LA recently, one of my best friends from childhood (Hey, John Paul!), came to every gig with pretzels for me. They’re good fuel that’s easy to digest, and the saltier the better! I am admittedly addicted to salty food and it forces me to drink more water, which I weirdly hate. I do drink tons of seltzer and put lemon in my water to make it enjoyable. People I work with rightfully make fun of this evolutionarily absurd quality of mine, but they get used to it. You know you’re playing a DOPICO show when there are lemon squeezy bottles falling out of bags containing glitter pants, baseball hats, and XLR cables. Coffee is another must! I’m a bit of a coffee snob (only the hardcore stuff you can drink black), so I usually come equipped with my own. One thermos for coffee, and one thermos for wine. I also carry hot sauce with me (in good company with Beyoncé), and down some when I feel my voice getting hoarse. A spicy shock to the system clears my sinuses and warms me up! It sounds crazy, but I highly recommend it to any singer who can handle the heat.
My last show before the quarantine was at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City, where I live. The “easy to digest” diet goes out the window when I perform there because their food is incredible. They treat artists to huge meals and while I could have just a little, my Cuban grandmother raised me to never leave food on the table. My band and I cleaned plates of fried chicken, Mac and Cheese, mashed potatoes, collard greens, nachos, and drinks. Surprisingly, I felt great jumping around and dancing my ass off on stage after that. Either the food or the crowd was clearly magical (probably both).
When I perform with a band, I always give pump-up speeches. I like to imagine that I’m like those emphatic, aggressive coaches in sports movies, only slightly adjusted to be a 5’2 woman who peppers in words about dreams, gratitude, and feelings. Before every show, I try to take stock of how lucky I am that even one other person wants to take part in bringing my art to life. As I’ll often share before a show, when I was eight years old, I wrote in my journal that if I ever become a famous performer, I’m going to rent a private jet, fill it with puppies, and fly the people who always believed in me to the beach. As an adult, I’ve added an “open bar” addendum. No matter how much hot sauce she brings, Beyoncé would not be invited to this particular event. This would be “Pre-Fame Family” only. ;) The independent music grind is incredibly challenging, expensive, and emotionally taxing. It would be so easy to leave the music in my head without the support of the people who have had my back since the start. I so badly want to succeed to be able to repay everyone who makes the pursuit possible. Carbs, coffee, and wine are great. But saying “thank you”, will always be the most important part of my pre-show ritual.