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Self-termed "electronic soul" artist Dornik arrived during the first half of the 2010s as one of the most unique and promising voices in R&B. The multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer has two albums two his credit, Dornik (2015) and Limboland (2020), and counts Jessie Ware, Zo!, and Alfa Mist and Emmavie among the artists he has supported as a collaborator. Introduced to music by his parents -- named Dorothy and Nick, hence his given name -- Dornik Leigh started playing drums and got into a production as a youngster growing up in South London, specifically Croydon. In 2011, he formed TURTL, a band that included bassist Rocco Palladino (son of low-end master Pino Palladino). The two were among the members who also took gigs as part of Jessie Ware's backing band. Dornik stood out when he would duet, in place of Sampha, with Ware on "Valentine." Ware, also floored by some of Dornik's home recordings, returned the favor by encouraging Dornik's alliance with PMR, the Island-supported label to which she was signed. Dornik made his PMR debut in 2013 with "Something About You," a sweet midtempo single that fell somewhere between Frank Ocean and Musiq (Soulchild). Additional singles throughout 2014, highlighted by "On My Mind" and "Drive," prompted a wide swath of comparisons, including many to Michael Jackson, likely due to Dornik's unassuming yet assured vocals that recalled MJ's approach on songs like "I Can't Help It" and "Butterflies." Dornik's self-titled debut, featuring most of the singles that preceded it, followed in 2015. Between solo projects, Dornik made an overseas connection with Zo! and Phonte that resulted in "Lifelines," off the former's SkyBreak album, and another with Syd of the Internet, the standalone track "Amazing." His second album, the more expansive Limboland, was self-released in March 2020 with a guest list including Phonte, Gavin Turek, Barney Artist, and Taylor Graves. Within a month, Dornik was credited as co-producer of Alfa Mist and Emmavie's "Fly Away."
© Andy Kellman /TiVo


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