Hey Unheard Gems! Today we are joined by a brand new artist who came into our inbox and I was overjoyed when I listened to her song for the first time, “Convince You”, which comes out in September. This is Dominique, she is already creating a buzz in the pop world. How are you?
Dominique: I’m great! Thank you for interviewing me and loving the song. It’s so exciting.
Unheard Gems: Well I’m so excited that we got the the chance to listen to it and I’m excited for everyone to get to hear it because it is now one of my personal favorites.
Dominique: Yay! That literally makes my day.
Unheard Gems: So because you’re a new artist I want to get to know you a bit, so how did you fall into making music, is it something you always knew you wanted to do and how are you really creating and approaching your music now?
Dominique: Ya, well I’ve always written songs. I’m a songwriter too, like today I’m in a session with another artist that I work with. My favorite thing is writing songs… I can’t go a
day without doing something like that and that is how it kinda started for me. And when I wrote “Convince You” I walked away from the session and I called the co-writer and I was just like, “I’m obsessed with this song. It’s so me, I want to release it” and he was like “Let’s do it!”. And he and the producer I worked with were so excited and so onboard and that song really started everything and I’ve written songs for myself it just...I think it just took the right song to get me really excited about it and moving towards the artist direction. Now it’s finally happening and I’m just like “this is so cool!”. *laughs* I can’t believe it!
Unheard Gems: And then another little get to know you, what would be five words you would use to describe yourself as a person or as an artist.
Dominique: Hmmm, well, I’m very kind hearted which sometimes gets me hurt like so easily, which is good for music ya know, I can write about it. *laughs*. I’m a total goofball, I laugh at myself….I guess these aren’t really words like you wanted... *laughs* you’re like “Uh Dominique, I asked for words”. Uh, let’s see, happy, goofy, athlete, I’m a massive athlete, uhh musician which probably should have been the first thing I said, and loyal...that’s five words right?
Unheard Gems: Yes that’s five *laughs*
Dominique: Cool *laughs* I can’t count!
Unheard Gems: Sort of now into the music you’ve been working on, you were just on a new single called “All Day” by James Maslow, so asking you on your perspective, what was that collaboration like for you and what has it been like with the buzz and press around this single?
Dominique: Yeah! That was such a great opportunity and James is incredible to work with, first of all he is so talented. We had a session after that song came out and he is just such a great musician, such a great singer, and really such a great first step for me just to see how her works and interviews and promotes the song. I mean he is a pro! He has been doing this for so long and he is also such a nice person, I couldn’t have asked for a better first step into that world. I love the song, everybody loves this song, it was awesome and it is still going! We still have performances popping up and it’s getting picked up on all these playlists and hopefully some sync opportunities soon so it’s really great and it happened at the perfect timing because I was already planning to release my single and that kinda popped up so we were like “this is great”. I mean everything happens, and is happening in such a great way and I just couldn’t ask for a better partner in crime, he is awesome. He is just great to work with and I think we will continue working together in the future too.
Unheard Gems: It’s great when you can build those relationships and I am really happy to hear that it went so well for you guys!
Dominique: Ya it’s great, his whole team is great too.
Unheard Gems: Also sort of on that same track, you’ve worked with other artists before you you said you are in the studio with someone today, but what is that like for you when you release your own music versus when you work with another artist. Is it a different
process, do your feel more connected, less connected, to the music, what’s it like?
Dominique: Oh yeah, you know it’s kinda weird. I’m trying to figure that out myself. The creative mind is so unique and special and confusing and sometimes when I work with other artists it gives me an opportunity to say stuff that I would really never say like a little
bit of urban pop...like I’m so far from that but it is challenging and exciting to write that way because I listen to a lot of urban music and hip hop on my own for some reason I’m really drawn to that music. Or I was just in Nashville writing with a country artist who I love and that is really how I started writing music, just with a guitar, and Nashville they really dive into the lyrics and the melody of the songs and that is just so important for any song or any genre especially there. And it’s wonderful, I love country music, I grew up listening to it so to write it is even more fun. But I guess I am more attached to my songs than when I go in to write with another artist because I go in knowing that it is their song and I need to give them what they want and need to feel excited and represents how they are feeling and what they want to say and how they want to portray themselves. I guess it is more important to me that they feel confident and obviously I still want to feel proud and love the song too but for me, like I’m working with Maddie today and I just want her to be in love with what we are working on more so than me. I hope that’s a good answer.
Unheard Gems: Yeah! And just to follow up with that when you go in to work with another artist what is your mind set when you go into the studio….I just don’t know personally how that dynamic works when you write a song with or for someone else.
Dominique: Yeah, well with any artist I’ve ever worked with we usually just go and talk about life and what they are going through. Sometimes they will come in and be like “ I came up with this title last night or concept I’ve really wanted to write and I think that you could really bring this to life” and I always start with an idea or a melody and kind of go off of that. And everybody, even the producer, talks about what that concept, that title, that story that someone just told, how we relate to it and how it affected us and just build off of that. We usually start with melodies, or concepts, melodies, they are so important, and then just fill in the lyrics. I kind of do lyrics and melody at the same time, which is odd, I tend to go quiet in the studio for my mind to formulate a full idea before I spit it out. I think it’s one of those syndromes where you’re like *raises hand* “I have an idea but I’m not really sure about it yet” so I like to formulate the whole idea before I go “Okay, this is my idea” and feel confident about it. It’s also important to me that I work with an artist who has a strong idea of what they want to say. It can be challenging sometimes when an artist really expects you to write everything or come up with the whole idea...I’m like “well what have you been going through?”. I feel like for a song to be authentic is has to be true to yourself. Like “Convince You”, even though it’s a pop song which is fun and you can vibe to it, it was something I was going through at the time...now I feel like I’m just babbling so I am going to stop *laughs*.
Unheard Gems: No! It’s great to hear about and it fed right into my question about your music! I want to know how you chose “Convince You” to be your debut song out of any other song you’ve written.
Dominique: Well, I’ve been in love with it for a while and we’ve been finessing this whole release process. And I don't know it's just always been this song I've had set in my mind
that it would always just be this for song that I would release. Like we talked about before it's a song that you can listen to in the car or you can party to it you can listen to it with your friend and put it on in your room on your cleaning or doing homework or whatever And it's really relatable I think everyone's had that crush phase where like no one is making the move and you're just like “come on bro, anytime, just make the move, let's go”. And I've always just had it mentally as the first song and it's never wavered, like I've written other songs that I've fallen in love with but it's just never faltered it's never changed. I also think it's just a great song to introduce my sound and who I am and it's just a strong base to build off of. Like there's this one ballad and it's still kind of in the demo phase but I can't wait to release it, I think it will be the third single. It's such a heartfelt song and more singer-songwriter and I'm just so excited for it and it's not even going to be out for a while. And I definitely get attached to songs I think every songwriter does and I think it's really hard Someone there seems like I think we should put this and I'm like “what do you mean this is amazing”, so ya.
Unheard Gems: Sort of building off of that I know you are working on a debut EP that you have tentatively slotted for the end of 2018 and I just want to know if it's going to be sort of similar to “Convince You” or are we going to hear more of that ballad type song that you mentioned are there going to be any collaborations or any surprises that we should be looking forward to. What is the scoop you can give us?
Dominique: So what I think we're going to do is release a bunch of singles and hopefully the singles start to establish me as an artist and people start to catch on and vibe with it and love the musan, then we will package them together and release an EP with some new songs on it. I really don't think all the songs are going to send the same I think it's cuz I'm a songwriter and I write with other artists It's not all going to sound like “Convince You” but it's all going to make sense it's all going to sound like me cuz it’s all authentically me telling my stories with my voice but I don’t think that they will all sound the same, at least how they are right now. But it will be cool and I love them all and I hope you and other people will love them all too. It really is my life, my love life….my chaotic love life.
Unheard Gems: I joked with another artist like do you have to give a warning before you enter a relationship like “oh hey I could write a song about you”.
Dominique: Oh absolutely like when you enter a relationship of the song writer and artist like you just have to know your relationship will be turned into a song and you should just take it as a compliment actually, you’re going to live forever. Unless I write, well I have I have written some sassier breakup songs... yeah I might have to send that guy warning...it might sting.
Unheard Gems: I look forward to hearing them, your friends can play guess which one!
Dominique: Oh you know what I just thought of, they might think that the lovey songs are about them and I’m going to be like “No, no, I didn’t feel that way about you”. I’m just kidding, I wish I was that cut throat and cool but I’m not.
Unheard Gems: But I'm really happy that we've gotten the chance to hear about you but I do have one little last question which will actually tell me a little bit about you, and I think it's a little bit tricky, if you could recommend one artist that you think we should check out that we that you don't think we have yet who would you recommend.
Dominique: Oh one of of my best friends is an artist you should check out her name is Mali-Koa and she’s released one single so far and we really just met randomly one time at a studio, and really she is like one of my soulmates, and she lives in London, she is a UK artist but she is freaking ridiculous, her song “Honest” is out right now and her voice is insane, I really think you should check her out. She is working on her record and putting an album together right now in London, and I just really believe in her, obviously because she is my best friend but even if I didn’t know her I would fall in love with her anyways.
Unheard Gems:Will do! I hope if you have any more time in the studio today it goes really well and I can’t wait for everyone else to hear “Convince You” and I hope they love it just as much as I do! So thank you so much for doing this interview with us!
Dominique: Awe. Thank you so much, hopefully more in the future to come!
Check out “Convince You”
Listen/Watch the interview with Dominique here: