Josh Dolgin is a Montreal-based music producer, piano player, and accordionist who makes eclectic hip-hop under the stage alias Socalled.
Klezmer, folk music, and funk are among the styles and genres Dolgin incorporates into a lively mix of singing and rapping. Socalled's debut album was a collaboration with British composer Sophie Solomon titled HiphopKhasene, released by Piranha in 2003. Clarinetist David Krakauer was a featured performer on the album, and Dolgin returned the favor by appearing with on Krakauer's Live in Krakow (Label Bleu) the same year. Socalled contributed to Beyond the Pale's album Consensus: Live in Concert in 2005, the same year he released The So Called Seder: A Hip Hop Haggadah for JDub Records. Ghettoblaster followed in 2006 on the French label Bleu Electric before it received a U.S. release in 2007 by JDub.
In 2010, Dolgin was the subject of a documentary entitled The Socalled Movie for the National Film Board of Canada. Lorber Films oversaw the U.S. theatrical release. His album SleepOver arrived in 2011 with guests including rapper Roxanne Shante, vocalist Katie Moore, and then-95-year-old pianist Irving Fields. Two years later, Dare to Care Records released a cast recording of his puppet musical The Season. In addition to Dolgin, it included performances by Moore, Yves Lambert, Rich Ly, and Yassin Alsalman, aka Narcy. The same label issued 2015's People Watching, which featured over two-dozen guests (including Narcy, Moore, Lambert, and Ly), and 2017's Tales from Odessa, "A Socalled Yiddish Musical." ~ Marcy Donelson