Doe Eye beat out two other acts in the Billboard.com vote to become the finalist in the west region. Now she's road to Las Vegas -- and you can watch her roadtrip videos in the player below! In Las Vegas, Doe Eye will play against the other finalists head to head at the May 18 Battle of the Bands concert. The ultimate winner will appear on the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. In addition to the Battle concert, your views to her Billboard videos and to this page will contribute to a social score that influences who will win. So come back here often to follow the journey and to help Doe Eye win the Battle.
San Francisco indie rocker Doe Eye says she is inspired by orchestral music, got her start at an eighth grade talent show, and occasionally dresses up as an egg.
Describe your sound and your audience in your own words. As far as my sound goes, I get inspired by a lot of different elements. Basically I write all the songs and I write all the arrangements. I'd say if I could put it into a genre, indie-rock would be fitting. I'm really inspired by a lot of orchestral elements. I like using violins and cellos and harp in my music. As far as my audience goes, well I have a very strong fan base in San Francisco, where I'm from, because that's where I started out. I would say whenever I have a show it's always a lot of fun, the fans know the songs and everyone has a good time.
Tell us about your first gig ever -- just how awkward was it? Well, it depends. I did talent shows in middle school, so I don't know if that counts, but actually playing at a show… My first time performing in front of an audience was my talent show in eighth grade. It was in front of a lot of people and I covered a song. But I would say the first time playing my original songs was the most nerve-racking. I remember it was at a coffee shop in San Jose. My voice teacher had a showcase and it was really nerve-racking because it was kind of more of an intimate setting. I get more nervous performing in front of less people than I do in front of a big, huge audience.
What's the strangest thing anyone has ever said about your band? People have said some really weird stuff. Some of it's inappropriate… Well I have an Instagram account and I either post photos of my shows or post photos of my food that I eat. The one time I played a show dressed as an egg, one of my fans commented, "Your Instagram photos either make me hungry or they make me sad that I'm not at your show, or both because sometimes you dress as food at your shows."
Why should you win this competition? I feel like I have a very unique sound to my music. I try to mix things up and think outside of the box. I'm not trying to write music to necessarily please an audience or to make the next hit song. When I write music, I write it because I'm passionate about it. Not that any of the other musicians don't have the same thing. I work very hard and It's all I do all day. All I do is I go to music school and write music all day. And I feel like my live set-up is overall really different from your conventional band.
What's your next project? I'm currently working on my next EP that is set to release by the end of the summer. I'm in the process of writing and pre-production and I'm planning on going to the studio by the end of July. So I'm hoping for a release around the beginning of Sept.
What's the weirdest thing to ever happen to you on tour? My whole music career has been crazy, to be honest. I released my EP just this last August. It hasn't even been a year. As soon as I released it, the local radio station played it, and a few months later it was on Fuse TV. Then I was made top band in the Bay Area of 2011, on Hype Machine, and now on to Billboard. So much is happening in my career so fast that it's almost unbelievable.
If your band had to come up with a plan for total world domination in the next 10 seconds, what would it be? Well my version of world domination is putting on a crazy, crazy live show. My dream is to put together like a sixty or hundred piece orchestra for a show. That's my way of dominating the world.
Interview by S arah Maloy
"Run Run Run"
"I Hate You"
"Run Run Run" Acoustic
Doe Eye's Bio:
You probably wouldn't guess that San Francisco indie rocker Maryam Qudus, better known by her moniker Doe Eye, was once working toward medical school. One day in the middle of a trigonometry class, she slammed her pencil on her desk and walked out, because all she could think of was this guitar riff that was stuck in her head.
Three months later she found herself in a studio in San Jose, Calif., recording her debut EP titled "Run Run Run," which she released in August 2011. Doe Eye's first single "I Hate You" attracted CBS' Bay Area radio station Live 105, where the song debuted during the week of its release.
Doe Eye has also been buzzing nationally, being named Fuse TV's Unsigned Artist of the Month and charting at No. 8 on Hype Machine this past January.
The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist continues her musical endeavors studying at the Berklee College of Music, and she is currently preparing for her a new EP, which she is funding via Kickstarter and hoping to release in mid-2012.