We connected with Annaiah Jones, also known as Dynamite Doll, for an exclusive Q&A to discuss her recently released video “Glitter Star”. We also got to talk about how Annaiah’s stage moniker originated, how she juggles both her music and fashion design aspirations, and whether we’ll hear “Glitter Star” on an upcoming EP or album.
After reading our interview with Annaiah, be sure to connect with her on social media and stream “Glitter Star” on Spotify!
Tell us about how your moniker "Dynamite Doll" originated and what it means.
I work with an outstanding vocal coach and friend, Pandali Lazaridi. He is very unconventional with his methods but quite effective. One day we were rehearsing vocals and he mentioned how dynamic my voice was. You know the saying of how “Dynamite comes in small packages?” Well, with me being 4”11’ you could kinda see where this was going.
I knew that I wanted to have a stage name and we both knew dynamite needed to be a part of that name. However, I didn’t want it to be anything too harsh. We kind of played around with a few things and when we landed on doll we were like “that is it!” I had friends and other people who said I reminded them of a doll because I was this petite girl who at the time I was really into this quirky blend of Harajuku-ish and 50’s type of fashion. The name also is very much my personality. I have a soft side and a very strong side.
You're not just an artist, you're also a fashion designer. How do you juggle your music development and fashion?
Oh, it’s taken me some time to clarify how I wanted them to be a part of my artistic journey. For a while, everyone was like you need to pick one or the other and I lamented over that because I loved them both. I’ve tried doing one without the other and always felt pretty empty. The fashion part came because I wanted to design my own clothes to wear while performing. Gwen Stefani is a designer/ musician who I have always admired. She really inspired me to develop both.
I actually started sewing when I was a kid. I was the oldest of twelve and creativity was a big outlet for me. I was always singing, sewing, and or crafting away at things. So, you know, this is who I am. I did have to redefine things to make it work.
I mainly use my fashion to enhance my musical performances. When I do live shows and videos you can see my colorful designs on stage and on the screen. It can be quite a production with costume changes for myself and the dancers. I have designed for other performers and have done one-offs here and there for private clients.
I debuted Dynamite Doll Designs a few years ago at Fashion Week San Diego and had all the models strut down the catwalk to my original song, “Glitter Star”. It was a lot of fun, but a lot of work. I didn’t spend as much time creating music that year. I think that was a good experience that showed me a direction that might not have worked as well for me. I am learning to practice abundance in my thoughts and actions and I look forward to being able to produce a ready-made fashion line when the time is right.
Congratulations on the release of your new video "Glitter Star"; what inspired you to write the song initially?
This song was years in the making. The first version was quite different from the version you hear now. It started off as a quirky little song about glitter and how much I loved it. I absolutely adore all things sparkly because it just makes me smile. One can just look around my house or see from my wardrobe how much I love glitter. I wanted it to have a more meaningful message so I thought... "Why not write a quirky deep song about glitter?" I got to thinking and realized that one of the things that attract us to glitter is the way it catches our eye. Whether you are into glitter or not, the way it glistens will cause the wiring in most of our brains to light up and take notice. There are many precious souls that are just like that! You know the people who just make us smile when they enter the room. Often times they are not even aware of their gifts. I wanted to use this glitter analogy to inspire those individuals... really every person who is struggling with finding their worth in this world. I got together with a friend of mine, Dairrick Hodges, who is a great lyricist, and told him where I wanted to go with the song and we both put our heads together and come up with this final version.
Who directed the video and how did you come up with the treatment?
Justin Burquist, a quietly brilliant director and writer, is just great to work with. I hired a local production company and discussed the important elements I wanted the “Glitter Star” video to have. At the time he was working with them. When he came back with the treatment, I think I remember screaming halfway between because it was so on point. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if he took a walk inside my mind and enhanced it times twelve. To me that is the beauty of collaborating with other amazing artists... it just makes everything better.
Can we expect to hear "Glitter Star" on an upcoming EP or album this year? If so, what can you tell us about it?
Actually, I’ve been mainly focused on putting out singles. I think nowadays social media and the internet are redefining music and how you get it out there. I am just going with what feels right for me now. I know when I put something out I want it to be quality over quantity so I don’t feel pressure to make an album or anything just yet. I am definitely working on another music video and a few other singles. We will see!