Teen rocker Fefe Dobson to play Toad’s Place in March

Suzanne Conway

At first glance Fefe Dobson may seem like your typical pop star. You may not even recognize the name just yet, but one listen to any track off her self-titled debut and you will realize she is far from being the next Britney Spears.

Dobson is the newest musical force to be reckoned with in the ever-evolving “female punk rock” genre of music. Her punchy vocals mixed with edgy tracks have thrown her into the same spectrum of artists like Avril Lavigne, Pink, and Gwen Stefani. While she may not have their widespread popularity just yet, her music and style are turning a few heads.

First landing a record deal in Canada at the age of 16, Dobson was sucked into the bubblegum pop explosion of the time. Deciding that genre was not for her, she quickly backed out hoping to make a name for herself with a different sound. Two years later, Island Records took notice of her fiery, angst-ridden style and signed her, hoping to find a niche for Dobson within the industry.

And it seems like their attempt has been successful. Many have been drawn to Dobson’s rocker girl persona. Her first single “Take Me Away” has spent 6 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 music chart, while the video has been in heavy rotation on MTV’s “Total Request Live.” Dobson has also been named one of “Teen People” magazine’s “Faces to Watch in 2004.”

But things haven’t always been so perfect for this 18-year-old singer/songwriter. The child of an interracial relationship, Dobson had to face the cruel and unforgiving world of growing up biracial. Even more isolating was the fact that her two half-sisters were blond haired and blue-eyed, making her the only one of a mixed race in her family.

But Dobson’s childhood also contributed to her wide range of musical tastes and may be the key to her eclectic sound. Hearing Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, and various disco artists from her mother, while at the same time Nirvana and other “grunge” bands streaming from her sister’s room gave Dobson a great appreciation for all types of music.

Whether Dobson is here to stay or just experiencing her fifteen minutes of fame at the moment, there’s no telling. But her second single, “Everything” has recently hit the airwaves and is featured in the new movie, “The Perfect Score.” And if you’re hoping to catch her live you won’t have to wait long. Dobson is scheduled to play Toad’s Place in New Haven on March 2. Tickets can be purchased at the Toad’s Place box office.