Dora Jar tells the crowd at the Lafayette venue in London that she’s “made up of elves,” and they cheer back at her. It’s her 16th show. The 15th was supporting Billie Eilish at New York’s Madison Square Garden the month prior, and her first took place less than a year ago. Dora floats around the stage, leaping and laughing, in her element entirely. Any nerves felt beforehand are far from apparent.

“I like holding hands with my band and sending a pulse and reminding ourselves what the actual point of it all is: to connect with people,” she explains, preparing for the show. “It’s not about proving a point or singing the best songs in the world. It’s about being together and that’s what we’ve been missing for so long.”

The day before the concert, the sky is tinged a hazy shade of yellow. Dora Jar greets me from the studio where her band is rehearsing—a collection of talented producers and musicians entwined with London’s music scene. We stop to wish her bandmate happy birthday before weaving through east London, taking refuge from the drizzle outside the storefront of a corner shop cafe. There’s an apocalyptic glow behind her, sandstorm residue, and this fantastical hue is a fitting backdrop for the fairy-like musician. Leaning forwards in the rickety chair, wide eyes peering out from a Peruvian style hat wrapped around her, she taps the tape recorder: “Hello? Check, check, check…”

Dora is back in London for the first time since the pandemic hit, and she beams as she tells me it’s her “second home.” She lived here for a year before it began, coming to the city for her first ever session. This soon led to many more as she found herself at home in London and inspired by its collaborative nature, her own confidence growing. After a year, she moved back to LA to focus on music, any plans to leave soon derailed by COVID, so returning to London is a special experience. She grew up in New York, before moving to Northern California so that her sister, Lueza, could attend The Bridge School (a specialist educational establishment), then attending boarding school on the east coast. She’d been in Poland when her snippets caught the eyes of the London producer.

The last year has been a whirlwind for Dora. She released her first single in October 2020, “Did I Get It Wrong,” though it wasn’t until the past year that her new reality sunk in for the young artist: “When I played my first show and when people responded to Digital Meadow my first EP,” she explains. Still independent, she’s been navigating industry frenzy whilst coming to terms with the multi-faceted nature of being a musician in 2022. It’s something she had always desired but never felt was possible.

In March, she released comfortably in pain, the EP’s lucid imagery threaded together by kaleidoscopic sounds and recurring themes. After learning, quite literally, to sit with the pain over the past year, Dora Jar is determined to share the sentiment. Now, she’s trusting the process: “You’re living the history of your future self, so make this confusion matter. It’s all going to lead to clarity if you let it, if you stop flailing.”

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