Dowdle Monrow – Telling Us What "Mama Said"
Kelly Dowdle is best known for her
acting but that’s about to change. Fans will recall her
roles in “Billions,” “Lucifer,” “American Crime Story,” as well
as the upcoming film “Three Days Rising.” But when the
recent lockdown placed restrictions on so much of the performing
community, the gilded cage proved to be as much inspiration as
impedance. Dowdle is stretching her wings and has released
a new single "Mama Said" under the moniker, Kelly Monrow.
“I was in New York and unable to work.
I kept asking myself how I was going to be able to express
myself creatively. Music was the answer,” Dowdle shared.
After making some calls she booked a flight to Nashville where
she began working with several producers.
Dowdle admitted, "I was in Nashville
doing a co-write with my producer Sinclair and my mom happened
to be in town visiting. Sinclair and I were working in the
backyard and already had a basic melody for the song together.
Mom came out the backdoor and I said something that was
smart-assed. She responded and I started firing off some
of her sayings. We found ourselves laughing and writing
them down. We took those verbatim and turned them into the
lyrics of 'Mama Said.'”
With the basic melody already in place,
the developing lyric fit perfectly. The song fell together
so quickly that Dowdle’s mom saw her record final vocals that
weekend before flying back home. Mom’s comment, “I think
you’ve found your calling.”
Some of the best songs have come from a
very personal space and it’s obvious that this song did as well.
Having that special relationship with mom and then finding a way
to share it with the world is fantastic. I asked Dowdle if
she was building toward releasing an album.
“Yes. I have recorded 11 songs so
far and I hope to release a full album next year. The
first 5 songs we wrote were more in the country genre.
Some of the songs are more rock. This is so different for
me because, as an actor you pretend to be someone else.
These songs are so personal. Writing music has forced me
to reveal parts of me that I’ve been hiding.”
I shared with Dowdle that many of the
artists I interview voice a story that is very momentarily like
hers in that, they have found ways to discover inspiration
through this lockdown that we have all endured. Being
forced into a cage of sorts has forced them to dig deeply into
their souls and find creative ways to continue to express
I asked Dowdle about some of the other
songs and producers that she has worked with. “Are you
familiar with Kevin Griffen from Better Than Ezra?”
Griffin is a prolific writer and producer who has co-written
songs for artists such as Sugarland, James Blunt, Christina
Perri, Taylor Swift, Train, Howie Day, Missy Higgins, Daniel
Powter, Augustana, Debbie Harry, and Josh Radin.
“I think my next single will be a hit,”
she confesses. I poked at her a bit to find out more.
“It will be out in mid-November and it’s called ‘I’m Alive’.
It’s going to be a hit. I’m going to make sure it becomes
Dowdle shared that the song is about all
we’ve been going through and that it’s going to make a
statement. “The song is a little more in your face.”
I asked about touring, when her fans
would be able to see her onstage. “I so much want to play
live! It would be next year, maybe starting around New
York and then more.”
While saying my goodbyes with Kelly
Dowdle, she shared a story of meeting Shirley MacLaine years
ago. They were discussing acting and presenting their art.
Dowdle shared a quote from Maclaine that has stuck with her -
“Once art is released, it’s no longer yours. It belongs to
the world and you no longer have anything to say about it.”
That is a very wise statement.