Q&A: Songstress Sharon Doorson Talks Armin Van Buuren, Rihanna

Sharon Doorson can make anyone high on her love. The singer/songwriter first dropped like a bomb upon America in June with a tune titled, “High on Your Love,” from her forthcoming studio album, Killer on Cloud 9 Dance (Armin Van Buuren’s sister label). With her killer vocals making there way across the air and webwaves- from her native Netherlands to America and beyond – she’s ready to take all markets by storm. VIBE sat Doorson down to talk collaborating with hip-hop and EDM heavyweights across the world, the right moves to make as a female in the “all boys club” of the music industry and singing her own track, which was originally meant for Rihanna.

VIBE: What does it feel like to see your video “High On Your Love” surpass a million views on YouTube?
Sharon Doorson: It’s awesome because it’s a dream come true, for me! There are so many countries that love the song [“High On Your Love”] around the world, everywhere from France to Russia. It feels great, but it also sets a high standard for my next single. We’re off to an amazing start and I am thrilled.

You’ve collaborated with EDM big-timers like Armin van Buuren and Tiësto, as well as hiphop heavyweights like Wayne and Flo Rida. Do you have a most memorable studio experience with one or two of them you can share?
I haven’t actually worked with all of them, but I know Armin, and so many people have suggested that we work together someday especially for the Eurovision Song Contest. That is something I’d really love to do. Tearce Kizzo produced my song, “Bad Medicine,” which was originally written for Rihanna. I ended up being the lucky one to sing it!

What’s the best advice you ever got from an artist? Who was it from? What was the specific advice?
I was told by so many artists, “You have to fight for what you want. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen!” And that sort of thing. They’ve told me not to be afraid of your [record] label or of the people around you. You have to be honest with them so that you can grow as an artist.

As a female in the music industry, what advice can you now pass on to the ladies trying to make it in the entertainment business?
I never felt that I was treated differently because I am a woman, but I’m really glad that I have a boyfriend who knows the true story. The music/entertainment business is definitely a man’s world and people have tried to flirt with me in the past. I just make it clear that I’m a professional and want to be treated like one. My advice to young women starting out in this industry is to think like a professional and stay true to who you are. Don’t use your sexuality to get ahead in the industry. You are better than that. Don’t lower your standards, you don’t need to. If something is supposed to happen professionally, let it happen. Don’t lower yourself or your standards to make it happen.

Is there a method to your songwriting? What is your process like in the recording studio?
Every song has its own story. My album is a collection of different songs that came to be in different ways. I love working with different people all over the world and you can hear that in my album. I have one producer who is with me for my vocal tracks and another one who makes sure that everything sounds balanced for the whole album. “Never Let Me Go” is something I wrote completely myself, both the music and lyrics, and it was really easy to do because it was about my boyfriend and I could just write down how I was feeling. I enjoyed this process and I would love to write another song again soon!

You’ve said before that you consider yourself more to be a performer, and less as a songwriter. Why is that? Do you find it difficult to compose a new song out of nothing?
I’ve been performing since I was six-years-old so it feels more natural for me to perform in front of people. I’m really comfortable doing that. I don’t have as much experience in songwriting, so that’s something I want to have more experience in. I’m more creative when I’m alone. That’s where I can get a lot of inspiration and write songs. Then, it’s great to show it to a real songwriter afterwards and develop it further together.

As a performer, what do you love most about being onstage? Why?
The best thing about performing is the audience reaction! You do it for your fans and I love seeing their enthusiasm. That gives me a lot of energy and I have the feeling that I can go on for hours.

If you could create a dream collaborative track with a rapper and EDM producer, who would they be and why?
I’d love to work with Nicki Minaj. She’s so over-the-top, but I love her style and I think it would be a great collaboration. I could sing and she could rap. And I’d love to work with David Guetta one day. He has a great platform for artists and I love his style and his music. That would be a great experience.

Describe your sound in THREE words.
Oh, that’s a tough question. I’d say: powerful, diverse and creative. Powerful because I put everything I have into performing, and I like to take risks with my voice. Diverse because there are a lot of different music styles mixed together. Creative because my style blends urban, dance and pop into a fresh new sound.

What’s next for Sharon Doorson this summer/fall?
I’m off to Poland at the end of August to appear on a popular TV show and then I’m doing a big show at the ZiggoDome in Amsterdam, (capacity 17,000) on 5 October. We are also planning a new video, a new single, and lots of live shows. Working at this level is a new experience for me and I can’t wait to get on stage again!

For more information, visit www.cloud9music.nl.