Herald’s Q&A: Dormitories

18-year-old Nick Bendzsa puts his best foot forward with the debut single of his project Dormitories, the infectious Play Doh


Eclectic recording artist Nick Bendzsa, known by his stage name Dormitories, catches up with The Newfoundland Herald in the wake of the release of his infectious debut single, Play Doh. 

Your debut single Play Doh has been tremendously well received. Take me through the creation of the track and your thoughts on the reception and fan support thus far.

I had been working on this single with Jake Nicoll. We were recording it and working on it for about a month. A whole bunch of hours going over all these parts over and over again. I had the track and started sending it off to every single person I could, like blogs and radio stations … I had a lot of success on YouTube channels, surprisingly in South America. Seeing my friends listening to it, it’s heartwarming.

You never really know what to think. I’m just doing all of this stuff by myself and I think it sounds good, but you’re putting it out there. It’s really gratifying  having any sort of recognition.

Would you consider Dormitories to be a solo project? Or a full-fledged band? I know you have help from some amazing musical-friends of yours.

It’s definitely a solo project. I sort of write and record demos and bring it to my friends. I don’t really need to teach them very much, because they’re all great musicians. I’ll show them the parts I’ve been working on and we put it together.

What inspires you these days?  Especially for the type of music you’re crafting, which is certainly eclectic. 

It’s sort of weird. All of my biggest inspirations have come from Newfoundland. Bands like Green & Gold, Bleu, Property and Soap Opera. I feel like it’s really amazing to be able to play alongside these people that I’ve been looking up to for a few years … It’s nice to be able to come and try something new. Every new band is doing something different, which is really interesting.

Going back a bit, when did you realize that music was something you would legitimately consider pursuing? 

My dad bought me a loop pedal. I started doing stuff on that, but I never had any really big plans for it. I started arranging loops for bands, putting some together.

I did that for a couple of years and I thought I’d be playing bass in a band somewhere.

I ended up writing songs overtop of them. I started recording them with my friend Jacob Cherwick. We’d get together and I’d have one loop and a full song over this one loop and I’d make different sections. I wrote my first song for the project a year and a half ago.

It’s difficult, for me at least, to put a label of definitive stamp on what your sound is. What say you?

I say a whole bunch of words. It’s sort of a bedroom synth pop disco. In my head I’ve been calling it sweet pop, but it’s just sort of pop music.

Standing out in the music scene here is certainly not a bad thing, especially considering the wealth of amazing artists on the island. 

It’s really, really incredible. I went to high school with people playing in Property and Soap Opera and stuff, but once we started really doing our own thing everyone just reaches out to you.

There’s just this sense of community and you have people there to support you. You don’t need to push your way in. There’s people who want you to succeed. Especially other musicians in town, those are the people who get the most excited for you releasing your music and sharing it. That’s been really nice, to feel a part of that community. It makes me want to continue that.

So talking next steps, what would you like to see happen in the next year or so? What’s the blueprint?

I’m moving to Sweden for six months with my girlfriend on an exchange. I’ll be taking some of my stuff with me and just honing in. I’m a bit anal on trying to get perfection with the sound. Hopefully I’ll have time to work on that.

I have things planned for the summer – some shows and a potential tour. I’m hoping to record a short full length.

For more on Dormitories and to check out the single visit the official Spotify, iTunes and Bandcamp pages, or check out his official Facebook artist page. 

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