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News > General > Talented Allanian twins sign major deal with global record label

Talented Allanian twins sign major deal with global record label

Musical twins Dani and Zara Dolder, former pupils of Dame Allan's Schools, have signed a record deal with Universal Music Group’s EMI Records.
21 Dec 2023
Written by Amy Patterson
Former Dame Allan's pupils Dani and Zara in their studio
Former Dame Allan's pupils Dani and Zara in their studio

The sisters, from Morpeth, said they feel ‘proud and excited’ to sign the multi-album deal with the major record label, which boasts some of the world’s biggest artists including Elton John, Paul McCartney, Florence + The Machine, and Bastille. 

The pair, who have been writing and recording songs in their home studio since the age of 11, decided to pursue a future in the music industry upon completing their studies at Dame Allan’s Schools, in Newcastle, last year.

Zara said: “We’ve been working really hard and writing a lot over the last year to get to this point. It feels amazing to have signed with EMI, I’m so proud and excited.”

Dani added: “We’ve always known this is what we wanted to do. There was never a plan B, we’ve worked hard to get to this position, and we are so ready for it. It feels surreal yet amazing and I’m so grateful.”  

The 20-year-old identical twins, who perform under the name ‘Dani and Zara’, said they take inspiration from the relationships and friendships they formed at Dame Allan’s when writing songs. 

“We write a lot about friends and relationships from school,” said Zara. “All our friends now know we’ve signed and they’re really happy for us. We sent our closest friends the songs we wrote whilst at school… we trust them to give honest, constructive criticism!” 

The singer-songwriters are following in the footsteps of their renowned musician father Steve Dolder, a professional drummer who has worked with a number of notable bands, writers and producers in the industry during a career spanning more than 40 years. He was the drummer in Prefab Sprout, a band from Witton Gilbert, County Durham, formed in 1978 by brothers Paddy and Martin McAloon.

Zara added: “Our parents are really happy for us and so proud. They’ve always supported our dream.” 

Dani and Zara travelled to London to sign the deal with their management team Closer Artists on Thursday (14 Dec) but intend to stay in Morpeth to grow a regional following while travelling to the capital regularly for creative meetings. 

Zara said: “We want to stay in the North East right now, work on our music and continue to grow a fanbase and social media following.” 

The girls were the third generation of their family to attend Dame Allan’s Schools. They left in 2022 having completed their A Levels.  

Will Scott, Principal at Dame Allan’s Schools, said: “Dani and Zara’s talents and passion for music, and their commitment to their dream to make it in such a tough industry, was evident during their school years. They fully deserve this fantastic opportunity, and we wish them every success with EMI.” 



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