Her debut album, “Sleeping Beauty: You Are The One You Have Been Waiting For,” caused a stir when it was released last November, foreshadowing what Dobson hopes is a long and productive career.
“I always loved singing,” said Dobson, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and immigrated to East Flatbush when she was six. “It’s always been a passion.”
Dobson said she realized she might have a special talent the day her aunt discovered her singing and made her perform in front of the entire family. “That’s when I realized,” Dobson said.
She launched her career around 2000, honing her music skills at area open mics while she worked as a paralegal at a law firm in Manhattan. The first few years were a difficult learning period for the performer, who was intent on developing an original style.
“People were looking for the next Toni Braxton or Alicia Keys,” said Dobson, who counts singers like Anita Baker and Whitney Houston among her musical influences. “If you didn’t fit [into a musical category] it was harder for you.”
Dobson stuck with it. She formed an independent record label - now called Lady Bravebird - and used it to release her 2003 EP, “Soul Stories,” and “Sleeping Beauty,” a concept album loosely based on the classic fairy tale that comes with a strong message of self-empowerment.
“Rather than waiting on someone outside of yourself to be the driving force, we need to embrace that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” to make great things happen, said Dobson, who tries to live by that creed.
The songs on “Sleeping Beauty” are grouped into five cycles or moods with names like "Bliss" and "Mean Sleep." Dobson said they symbolize her emotional journey, and have resonated with fans who share similar experiences.
Since dropping her album, she’s played at the Blue Note and Southpaw in Park Slope, among other venues, and appeared on Fox News in Washington, D.C.
“So far the reception has been good,” she said, “but I want it to be great.”