Josh "Socalled" Dolgin is a pianist, producer, composer, arranger, rapper, singer, journalist, photographer, filmmaker, magician, cartoonist and puppet maker based in Montreal, Quebec. He has lectured and has led master classes in music festivals around the world, from Moscow to Paris, from London to LA, and from Krakow to San Francisco, and has performed on every continent. With 5 solo albums to his name, he has performed all over the world for more than 10 years, and his list of collaborators knows no generational, social, cultural nor religious boundaries. He has played with, featured, recorded and arranged for Gonzales, Fred Wesley, Boban Markovic, the Mighty Sparrow, Lhasa, Roxanne Shante, Irving Fields, Killah Priest, Matisyahu, Theodore Bikel, Enrico Macias, Derrick Carter… Socalled is always busy with projects, so much so that he was the subject of The Socalled Movie, a 2010 feature documentary produced by the National Film Board of Canada.
In 2003, his collaborative album Hiphopkhasene with British violinist Sophie Solomon won a German Record Critics Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik). Then, in 2005, he released an EP based on the Passover service, The Socalled Seder, which he produced in his apartment and sold through the mail in a world before the internet, with almost 1000 mail-orders! It was hailed as one of the greatest new Jewish Music records.
He started to work with renowned clarinetist David Krakauer, touring as a special guest with his Klezmer Madness band, which led to an offer from French Jazz label Label Bleu to record his first proper solo album. Featuring about 40 guests from all walks of musical life, Ghettoblaster featured the breakout hits “The Good Old Days” and “You Are Never Alone”.
In 2011, Socalled came back with the 30+–guest heavy Sleepover and in 2013 he released the collection of songs he composed for The Season, a puppet indie musical fable for the 21st century he also wrote and directed.
Finally, in 2015, he returns with another collection of songs: Peoplewatching, an offering of infectiously fun, passionate and timeless mini-odes for the booty pleasure of all Twenty-Teens, reaffirming the splendor of people watching in an attempt to understand each other and form a collectivity in a festive fullness – and you’re part of it!
James Brown, Dr Dre, Aaron Lebedeff, Fred Wesley