We sat down with Dom the Composer. November 2023 Artist of the Month to learn more about him, his music, and his artistic journey.
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your journey towards becoming the artist you are today.
A lot of Dom the Composer comes from my time in high school. The name came from my friends back then. I started writing music my junior year & I made the decision to pursue music professionally about halfway through my senior year.
I was planning on majoring in psychology & criminal justice so I could go to the police academy after college, climb the ranks and end up in the FBI. I was obsessed with anything involving espionage & how people work/behave. I felt that my initial pathway was going to give me the opportunity to help people.
I was pretty deep into my musical journey honestly before making the major change. I’ve been singing since I was 7 with All Saints Choir of Men and Boys in Ashmont and I was involved in every music group/class possible by the time I graduated. The thought of going for it all the way really came to fruition when I realized that I could impact people with the art I perform & create. It felt like & still feels like the right thing to do.
Your Spotify profile indicates that you’re on a mission to “make music with some rhythm, a little bit of blues, and a whole lotta soul.” Who (or what) inspires your style of music?
To name a few artists: Bill Withers, Jacob Collier, Moses Hogan, Joni Mitchell, Lizzy McAlpine, Moonchild, Billie Holiday, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole. There are so many more! Every artist that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to always teaches me something to do(or not to do) in my career, my music, and my life journey. A lot of the artists I admire stood up for either their people or had to fight to keep their musicianship & I think that’s extremely commendable.
My eclectic listening/playing habits comes from my family. My parents & siblings had me listen to everything. When my dad drove me to elementary school I’d ask him to play AC/DC’s Hells Bells, my sister would let me listen to her Michael Jackson CD, my mum would teach me how to dance to Haitian music, and my brother would send me atypical covers from Dirty Loops & Jacob Collier and telling me about jazz musicians to explore.
The idea of a specific genre for me is hard. I am inspired by too many beautiful things to wrap it in a small gift. When I first started writing music I wasn’t aiming for anything specific, just what felt right. If you check my first year of releases you’ll see a singer-songwriter EP, a lofi jazz song, and an experimental tune. The expectation of sounding like something specific and to fit a certain narrative is great marketing wise but at the end of the day I’m going to be the one playing these songs for the rest of my life. I want the music to be honest. Every song is a unique story so why can’t they have unique genre traits that bring the story to life?
As of right now my writing is definitely in the vain of Alternative Soul/RnB & Singer-Songwriter music. My friends and I have been having a lot of fun mixing and matching genres in my new/upcoming releases so you’re gonna hear Soul music packaged a little differently when listening to my music.
Who do you aim to reach with your music, and what message do you want to convey to them?
I’m aiming to reach overthinkers & people who love to self reflect. Those traits often go hand in hand and I feel there’s a very strong sense of being an outsider when you have those traits. I want to let them know that they are not alone & nothing is wrong with them. I felt that I was weird for a while and when I freeze or disassociate I feel trapped in myself. I want to reach out to that younger Dom & people like that and tell them to just breathe and take one step at a time.
I’m a huge fan of writing about the “moments in between life”. We all know about love songs, sad songs, the anthems, etc. but what about the moments & stories of life that get you there? Writing about love is cool but what about the times where you’re learning about your partner or the first time you really knew you loved them unconditionally. I love thinking about those in-betweens, there’s something about those hints of indecision or making your mind up that can make for a great story.
How did you get involved with Music Forward, and how has Music Forward helped you along your journey?
I believe I found Music Forward on Instagram! I saw that they had a virtual open mic and I was looking for more unique opportunities for myself and my music.
Participating in the event was really cool and I currently keep in touch with a few artists I sang with. The team was so kind and they taught me a few things about presentation and some good insight about performing under different circumstances eg. on twitch. It’s such a cool opportunity and a strong resource for young independent musicians.
What’s the next step for you in your music career? What goals do you have for the future?
I just graduated college in May so I’ve been going full steam ahead in terms of my music career. I’ve been booking shows for my band and I non-stop & trying to get on a consistent song release schedule. I want to formally announce Dom the Composer, you know? This idea is four years old and I feel like I’ve only touched the surface.
My hope is to coincide my art with causes I believe in like mental health, youth outreach, & providing a strong example of being your best self. Though I’ve come a long way I feel like there’s so much work to do & I want to help as many people I can especially when I have more resources to do so. There is work that I can do now without a lot of money and I’ll continue to learn and grow from that!
Do you have any new music that we can check out?
Yes I do! Sleepwalking with Streetlights feat. Novian Wright came out on September 28th! We had a blast making that song & we hope you enjoy it too. The song talks about learning from places you’ve never thought of & trying your best to listen. My friends and I have a few more songs coming your way before the end of the year so look out for that!
Finally, how does music move you?
Music moves me in a way that is hard to explain. Whenever I perform, I get the chance to be truly vulnerable with an audience & that is such a powerful thing. Matter of fact the audience also has a chance to let go and be in these moments & stories with my band and I. It is an irreplaceable feeling and it’s never the same.
As a listener, music is vital. Art is imperative to our way of life and I would not be the person I am without it. The feelings that were so hard to explain all of a sudden are broken down with a few phases and some notes, who cool is that??? You’d never think someone could understand you until that moment. It brings a wave of relief and it lets you know that you were never alone to begin with.
Follow Dom the Composer on Instagram