The Longer version
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dorian Spencer was adopted at three weeks old. He was raised moving between New York, California, New Mexico, and Ohio. His nontraditional upbringing exposed him to a myriad perspectives as a black American male raised by a single, white American woman. He grew up curious about a world, which was sometimes just as curious about him.
Finding he was talented with instruments, his mother maneuvered him into situations favorable to one who finds an outlet through music. First was the enrollment into the school band where he had no business being, yet he was the proud owner of a gigantic school-loaner Trombone. For years he struggled with 7th position. She also made sure to see him wrestle with the saxophone and piano while at the same time moving from California to New Mexico. He finally settled on the guitar. Teaching himself how to play, he was soon regaling friends with his three-cord musical creations.
Dorian went on to expand his artistic expression through acting. This path led him from San Francisco through Hollywood, California, and into New York City, with small roles in TV and movies. Dorian went to New York seeking a shot in the arm, looking to rejuvenate a perishing acting career but instead rekindled a passion for creating music. He began fine-tuning his guitar skills and spent a year touring the open-mic scene in parts of the city.
Dorian is now an independent artist making a living selling music to a worldwide audience. He infuses jazz, folk, alternative, rock, pop, and more into each song, creating a sound he likes to call Bohemian Soul. Dorian’s lyrics range from introspective and autobiographical to romantic and entertaining to serious and political. Taken together, his music stays clear of the conventional and promises a fresh perspective.
“I love playing music and all that goes with creating a song,” says Dorian. “I only wish I had realized it earlier. Now, I just want to be a great songwriter who addresses real life, even if it’s just from my own weird point of view.”
As a busker he recorded his first acoustic EP, Seeds. It made the rounds and within two years, financed his first LP, Garden. “Selling Seeds on the street was my record deal,” Dorian remembers. Garden is a document of his life. Three years later Dorian released Stone to Stone, taking his production value to a new level. He created a more colorful palette for the ear, musically and lyrically.
Dorian spent 10 years building a reputation as a solid street musician making a living off the impulse buys of the New York City public. He defied the odds by creating music that often served as a soundtrack for a city with many elements.
With three independently produced CDs, frequent gigs in some of NYC’s most renowned venues including Arlene's Grocery, The Bitter End, the Beacon theater and even Madison Square Garden, Dorian has paid his dues. By popular demand, he won the lion share of 50,000 votes on MSG Network’s reality show, “NYC Sound Tracks,” which showcased some of New York City’s best subway performers. He was also featured at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in its Emerging Artist Showcase.
His music has been compared to many, yet his original style continues to hold as truly unique.
“I say listen for yourself, and define me for yourself.”
No matter what the venue or how big the crowd, you can be assured that Dorian’s strong voice and passionate performances will impress and surprise you.