For Portland rapper/singer Dodgr (AKA Alana Chenevert, and FKA the Last Artful, Dodgr), the road to success may have been strewn with some personal heartbreak, but it’s also characterized by an increasingly positive reception from listeners, industry players, and hip-hop concertgoers—and for damn good reason. Having parted ways with record label EYRST in 2016 and shelving the “Last Artful” moniker that was tied to her joint project with producer Neill Von Tally, Dodgr has embarked on a new and notable era that’s seen her confidently hitting her stride and collaborating with high-profile, even legendary artists. With two new singles out (“Hot” and “Wrong Way”), and Dodgr’s first headlining show at the Roseland approaching, I sat down with the artist at Kopi Coffee on East Burnside to discuss her forthcoming solo debut and whatever else she’s manifesting.
The following interview has been edited for clarity.
MERCURY: What sparked the minor name change?
DODGR: Honestly, this was always a part of the evolution. If we wanna go back to 2010 when I decided to go by Dodgr just in my normal life, because I never really related to the name Alana. I didn’t feel like it was my name. I knew that I couldn’t just be like “Dodgr,” I had to be the Last Artful, Dodgr and explain that I am my mother’s last child, I’m the artful of the two, and the whole literary meaning behind the name… At the end of the day I realized they’re all the same and I wanted Dodgr—that’s who I am, that’s how I’ve been introducing myself for almost a decade now.