Don Dior – A Mongolian singer on the highway to fame
Humble, autodidactic, talented and determined. The young Mongolian singer Don Dior is working hard on his career to prove that his country can be hype as hell. Interview of the next Asian Stromae.
How did you get into music?
I came through many steps before finding it. I played basketball on the national team, then became a fitness instructor, a hairdresser… I spent years trying to make money, and at the same time I tried to find out what I was interested in.
One day a good friend of mine came back from Taiwan with a mixtape of his composition. We listened it and it gave me the envy to make music. We recorded a song together called “La Squadra” at Ocean Grey Studio. The song quickly raised interest on social media. From this we made a video and the story started.
What is your music genre?
At first it was trap music. I recorded the track “Lingo” and “Water” with rapper Tsetse. After this record many trap artists started emerging on the Mongolian scene.
Some bands started making sad vibes, emo rap. I liked this genre and I tried it. The first track was quite soulful and the entire “Lost” album came from it.
Now I am getting into more retro disco, EDM and modern tunes. A recent track “Crash landing on you” has retro disco structure and trap kicks.
I haven’t been to music school. I can reproduce the music in my mind and mostly learn by experience. I can make my own beats, lyrics and melody. Then I work with more experienced producers for the mix and mastering. This work requires a lot of technical skills and I am not proficient at it.
Who are you?
I am an artist and would like to continue being an artist for the rest of my life. Singers and artists must have their own unique style. It took me two years to complete my image. Getting these tattoos on my face hurt a lot.
I’ve forgotten what I used to look like. When I look at my photos from five or six years ago, I don’t recognise myself. I like evolving, moving towards the future and changing myself.
What do you gain from this image?
I am living the way I want. I am not making this to gain something. I am just living my life. I spent all my time doing something I love.
I like to think I am making history and one day my children, my grandchildren can look up what their grandfather did. I am not doing it for the money, I am so proud to make my own history. The praise I get from fans nurtures me. There are jealous people but I try to ignore them. None of these things affect me as I am just being myself.
What is your working routine?
Once I start something, I finish at once. If I get inspired I want to get that done and don’t like spending too much time, so I keep pushing it. If it’s not working, I leave it and come back to it a bit later. You’ll never see any Christmas or children’s songs just for the holidays. I follow my feelings and senses. I love when the track “Crash Landing on You” came out. I wrote the song on the beach in Busan. A bottIe in one hand and a pen in the other.
At the moment I am concentrating on my solo career and just released a track (video below) for the memories of my late friend Dulguun and Silencer. I thought about what they would have wanted to do and worked it into the lyrics and melody. I ended up making a video more like a film. It’s like clothes with specific stitches. Or if I make bread, my bread has unique ingredients.
You collaborated with influent singers (Uka, Tsetse) how did it happened?
When I started making music, I thought I would collaborate with two people. One is Tsetse (his latest video here) and one is Uka (her latest video here). It took me three years to work with Uka. I even participated in “Voice of Mongolia” just to make music with her. I guess back then people didn’t really get my music or I was not good enough. I am not sure.
So one night I called her and went to see her. I told her I am going to South Korea to record an album. I told her about my ideas of the collaboration with her and it started from there.
What did your parents expect you to do?
My father is not in the picture. I have my mother and younger sibling. My mother never pushes me to do certain things and tell me I can do anything I want. But she tells me to call her once a day and tell her what I am doing. My mother lives abroad and what I am doing doesn’t bother her. She sees and hears what I am doing.
Though she never gets involved, she tells me no one should tell me what to do, that I should do what I want to do in my life. Even with the tattoos on my face, she is not bothered. She only asked me if I am satisfied with them.