Archive for September, 2011

ministori blogsite interviews Elina Milan and FarishaMusic from Back in the Black

September 26, 2011 1 comment

Moar Duets²

Unfortunately this will be the final session of interviews covering the latest Domino Grey project, Back in the Black. Again we have two multi – talented features from the album, this time, Elina Milan and Farisha Haque. They do a splendid job infusing a blast of pop into the LP, Farisha also masterfully displays the integrity of her voice on the ballad inspired track, “Take Me Home”.

Elina Milan (#17 “It’s Time for You to Go”)

ministori: How did you first get involved in music and who are some of your influences?

Elina Milan: Well, let’s back to basics. Having come from a musical family, I had always felt a special connection with the world of music from an early age. It became just a part of me. If you asked me to tell about my childhood, I would say that the most important things for me were [toys?] (Laughter) no, not toys; it was a tape recorder, microphone, and a huge collection of cassettes. But I had been just a listener for a long time before I realized one thing – “I want to make my own music…but where to start from?” Having bought a synthesizer, I started writing lyrics and simple melodies. Ok, I tried to write). That was not so easy. Actually, it took me a few years to learn the basics. At the time I was inspired by the songs of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Also, I used to listen to a lot of dance tracks. Later, in 2007 my friend game me a CD with a mix from one of the world’s biggest music festivals – Trance Energy. Gosh, it just rocked my world) Trance settled in my heart forever. These days my biggest influence is Armin van Buuren. I admire him as an artist and person; he is for sure my number one dream collaborator.

ministori: I see you are from Almaty, Kazakhstan. How does that influence your music and what is the music scene like over there?

Elina Milan: I was born and raised in the southern capital of Kazakhstan – Almaty. But in general, it doesn’t affect the formation of my musical interests at all. I always knew that foreign music has a greater impact on me. As for Kazakhstan’s show business, it’s still at the stage of development. Our Top Hits are still not strong enough to become “the real” Hits. But the situation is slowly changing and I know some producers who write amazing tracks. So, I think music here still needs a few more years to reach the desired level.

ministori: Your vocals on this track are performed in English, how many languages do you speak and do you write and sing in each?

Elina Milan: Living in a multicultural country, you get used to the perception of different languages. So, I speak Russian and English. Also I know the basics of Kazakh, but does it count? )) As for singing and writing lyrics, I prefer English.

ministori: You’re featured on the closing track “It’s Time for You to Go”. Is that a personal statement and can you tell how that song idea came about?

Elina Milan: Yep, I got a story to tell: I was  at home watching MTV, and there was one cool video on there. I jumped up and started dancing, following the movements of those hip hop guys from the vid. And right after this, the ideas for my song came instantly, line by line. All that I needed to do is to take a pen and write down them. The song basically wrote itself when I heard that beat. This may seem rather weird, but the inspiration for writing does not depend on my mood. New ideas come unexpectedly:  at home, in a car, on the street… whatever, it doesn’t depend on time or place and every single moment of this life can inspire me.

ministori: Many international artists have made attempts to break into the American music industry, some with success and others without. being multilingual do you intend on making a push into this market?

Elina Milan: Ohh, I think every musician has this “American Dream”. No doubt, there are more opportunities to get noticed and grow professionally in the States rather than in Kazakhstan (for example). I also have my dreams and plans, but for now it’s too early for me to think about such a high level. I am very demanding of myself. Still there are so many things I have to learn. It’s just a matter of time. Ask me this question when I become a Pro.

ministori: Have you ever been stateside and what do you think of American (pop) music (e.g. Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Beyonce and Lady Gaga?

Elina Milan: I’ve never been to the U.S, but it’s in my plans for the next 3 years. One of my strongest desires is to visit the “City of Angels” or simply Los Angeles). There are a lot of interesting things to see in LA!  Well, now, talking about Pop culture I’m gonna touch on the philosophical aspect. What can I say? American pop music has long moved beyond just music, becoming a huge and very influential industry. Nowadays, every popular musician is a profitable brand and a long-term project. Because for a modern listener, just to sing and dance is already not enough. The requirements for artists are much higher than before. Their fans want Top Hits, grand shows, private photos taken by paparazzi, breaking news and daily updates…and they want to get this info directly from the celebrities (Twitter rules)). There was a time for Britney Spears, now it’s time for Lady Gaga, which currently inspires a lot of pop musicians! And when they dress and try to act like her, I call it the “Lady Gaga style”. She was the first who understood how it all works- without changing her own principles and staying honest to all her fans.  Gaga knows well how to shock, amaze and sustain public interest. So, the World of Music changes fast, and we don’t know what happens next…but being a part of this process let’s us see what surprises our tomorrow brings : )

FarishaMusic (#01 “Put Your Headphones On” and #11 “Take Me Home”)

ministori: As a multi – talent, do you find the ability to write musicals and sketches helps you with writing song lyrics?

Farisha Haque: Yes I do. Having the freedom to work on different kinds of musical acts gives me access to a range of emotions and ideas. There are no limits or standards in these types of acts, which gives me the privilege to try and access a whole different perspective of music. It gives me the ability to try every genre, allowing me to interpret myself into different styles of writing.   

ministori: You’ve also done fine without music or using your own harmonies as back up. Have you ever considered releasing a project without any instrumentation?

Farisha Haque: I have considered it, I think it would be a great idea and project to do. I think if the opportunity did present itself, I would definitely do it. The joy of writing a capellas is that there are multiple ways for the vocals to be mixed. I enjoy seeing what other artists can make with my vocals, interpreting them into their own style and form. 

ministori: The Domino Grey album features a short track entitled “Take Me Home” in which you provide the vocals for. Does this song have any basis in your ethnicity  ?

Farisha Haque: Home is an important thing for everyone. It is a sense of belonging, and I think ethnicity is an important part of that. Knowing where you come from gives one a great sense of pride which I think everyone should be able to experience. Being Bengali myself, gives me great joy to know that I am rooted from such a rich culture. 

ministori: How has your early life influenced your musical directions?

Farisha Haque: From the beginning, I have been surrounded by foreign music which has had a substantial influence on me. Personally I think by listening to Indian and Bengali artists, more so influencing my riffing abilities than artist like Christina Aguilera. It gave me the ability to learn the strengths that different vocalists have. Being surrounded by different cultures, it has allowed me to take the best from both worlds, and mesh it into one. 

ministori: Many young women seem to have difficulty finding their own definition of self within the industry. What kind of thoughts would you like to give to young woman looking to pursue a career in music?

Farisha Haque: My thoughts would be to take critiques in stride. Instead of letting the critism stop you, let it drive you farther. Many people in the past have told me to settle in one genre, or try and fit into one mold, but that was never what I wanted to do. I had to accept that I wasn’t doing music to please others, but I was doing it for my own self gratification. Being able to try all different sides of music has allowed me to find what I am good at. Understanding what in music makes you happy will further your fulfillment as an artist. Knowing your worth, in my opinion, with make a more successful and gratifying career.

READ Part I with Domino Grey


READ Part III With Melody Diagnosis player Donna Schwartz

READ Part IV with Stephanie Kay and Shea Lizette

→ To purchase more of Domino Grey’s music check out his iTunes page, thedynamicuniverse, or cdbaby for the physical release . . . Support Indie labels and music!

miniStori interviews Stephanie Kay and Shea Lizette from Back in the Black

September 20, 2011 1 comment

miniStori interviews Stephanie Kay and Shea Lizette from Back in the Black


With only a few interviews left in our series covering Back in the Black I thought it keen  to couple the last four vocalist together, especially being that two out of this highly talented group were featured on the lead single together. You’re My Addiction is an insanely up beat break graced by the vocals of Stephanie Kay and Shea “The Doll” Lizette. The arrangement is very fresh with a hook that effortlessly draws you deeper.  Let’s find out more about the women who made this song and others possible ↓

Stephanie Kay (#2 You’re My Addiction and #007 Danger Danger)

ministori: Could you please tell us how you started writing and singing? Was it always in you to perform? We would also like to know a little bit about Concrete kids and any possible connection with your music.

Stephanie Kay: I started singing and writing from a very young age. My mom is a wedding singer and great pianist. I grew up being surrounded in music because of her. My dad was also interested in music but more on the technical side such as recording and studio equipment. Ever since I can remember I put on shows for my family singing and dancing, making up songs as I went to instrumentals. I started writing and recording more seriously when I received Sony Acid from my father for a Christmas present around the age of 12. From there it has grown and spiraled into what it has become today.

Concrete Kids is a just for fun parody group. We’ve only done 3 songs and don’t have any future plans to make more at this time. We just wanted a few laughs, never meant for it to turn into something big or serious.

ministori: Out of all the featured artists, you seem to have the most experience and yet you choose to remain unsigned. What is it about the music industry that has caused you shy away from a full recording package and how have you come this far as an independent singer?

Stephanie Kay: There are many factors that play into my not being signed. The first being my location. Living in Wisconsin doesn’t allow for much opportunity to grow as a serious artist. I have had some air play on local Top 40 radio stations but over all Wisconsin isn’t the best place to be if you’re serious about a music career.

That brings me to the next point, for me music is my passion. As much as I love recording and writing, the time I have to do so is limited. I’m a full time college student and work as well. I always want music to be fun, never work or a chore. That’s why I choose to remain independent and work at my own pace.


I’ve been contacted by small label A&Rs from LA before but frankly I wasn’t interested in what they could offer, as well as paying a fee for their “service”.

 I got where I am today by networking and putting my music and acapellas on many different sites. I’ve worked with many talented people solely via Internet. has been a big, BIG help in connecting me with DJs, producers, engineers etc. (in which has made a lot of my songs possible)

ministori: I read in the album notes that your song with Shea, “You’re My Addiction” was almost pulled from the album due to the recent and tragic passing of Amy Winehouse. As a role model, what message do you project to other young women with dreams of making it in music?

Stephanie Kay: My heart goes out to Amy Winehouse and her family. She truly was one talented woman.

For any girls who have a passion for music I say get out there and do your thing, honey! Don’t let anything hold you back. Not everyone is going to like your music, some people will hate it, but it’s the people who love you and your music that make it all worthwhile.

ministori: Who influences you as an artist and why?

Stephanie Kay: I listen to a lot of music and admire the different styles of a lot of artists. A few of the biggest influences to me as an artist are Natalie Horler (of Cascada), Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Rowland. All three ladies are powerhouses vocally and emulate the kind of music and vocal abilities I’d like to see in my own work.

ministori: What’s next for Stephanie Kay? Will you be crossing into other genres? And what is your next project?

Stephanie Kay : Right now college is my first priority. I will continue to do music always, but unfortunately it can’t be the first on my list. My home will always be somewhere in the dance genre but I’d like to try out some R&B and songs with a touch more pop/hip hop to them. I do have a few collaborations coming up with some talented people, but I will keep that a surprise for my fans and followers. :)

Shea “The Doll” Lizette (#2 You’re My Addiction,#3 I Ain’t Mad at You, and #16 You’re just Like a Dream to Me)

ministori: You are the only artists featured with a nickname. What exactly does “the Doll” stand for and how did you come up with that title?

Shea Lizette: “The doll” was a name given to me by my aunt Genevieve who was a beautician. She would pull my hair so tight that my eyes would look “chinky”, and so she would say “you look like a lil china doll”. When she passed away from cancer I kept the name in remembrance. 

ministori: I here you’ve known Domino grey for a long time. What kind of history do the two of you have? Is that interlude [”Shea’s Secret”] a hint about some kind of romantic interest?

Shea Lizette: Well I have known “Domino Grey” for about 10 years. He is actually very responsible for my career, I met him as a young girl and he basically taught me everything I know about music and the industry. So he’s not only “domino grey” to me he is my mentor.

The “Shea’s secret” interlude raises a lot of eyebrows but i have to say that there is no romantic interest. I’m actually trying to inform him that another woman is very interested in him.

ministori: You were one of the few artists to actually be there for the music creation. With your solo record “You’re just like a Dream to Me”, was the music created around your vocals or did you write to the track?

Shea Lizette: It is such a pleasure to work with “Domino Grey” in person. we have a natural chemistry and on this particular record I wrote to the track on the spot and we recorded it right away.

ministori: The ending is very powerful when you sustain that note. What kind of musical background or training do you have?

Shea Lizette: To be honest with you I have not had any formal vocal training. as far as musical background there is church (choir) ,trumpet, and drums.

ministori: You contributed vocals to multiple tracks on the album including two solo features with diametrically opposing sounds. What enables you to create music across several genres? Which one(s) do you like best?

Shea Lizette: I believe I am able to create music across several genres because I love all types of music. My music interests go from experimental to classic and anything in between. I don’t have a favorite genre because they all bring out different emotions within me and I wouldn’t feel complete if I had to choose.  

ministori: When you’re writing, where do you draw your inspiration from?

Shea Lizette: This is a hard one! Well, if I’m writing to a track sometimes the music speaks to me but if I’m just writing it’s probably a thought that triggers it or maybe even a visual experience is another great writing tool.

ministori: You’ve also recorded in many studios and with many camps. What experiences and lessons have you learned and what advice can you give to solo female artists making their way in a male dominated industry?

Shea Lizette: I have learned to always pay attention and stay focused. I have also learned to stay humble but to also maintain a solid opinion. The advice I would give to up and coming female artists would be to always have a plan, goals and deadlines. Make sure you don’t lose yourself along the way.

ministori: Excellent advice indeed. I know I for one am eager to hear more of Shea and Stephanie in the future, perhaps another collaboration is in the works.

READ Part I with Domino Grey


READ Part III With Melody Diagnosis player Donna Schwartz

→ To purchase more of Domino Grey’s music check out his iTunes page, thedynamicuniverse, or cdbaby for the physical release. Stay tuned for up coming interviews with the female vocal and musical talent of  the album! ↓

miniStori Domino Grey’s Donna Schwartz from Melody Diagnosis Nu Jazz instrumental

September 19, 2011 3 comments

It’s part III of the ongoing series behind the Domino Grey album Back in the Black.

Melo – D

Thus far we’ve touched base with the producer and a vocalist from Domino Grey’s newest musical endeavor, Back in the Black. Now let’s get in tune with ½ of the duo that composed my favorite track on the album, #14 Melody Diagnosis.  She would be none other than high – brass trumpeter, Donna Schwartz

Melody diagnosis isn’t my favorite feature because it is superior to the others, but because it’s unintentionally similar to the works of the late Jun Seba (Nujabes) and extremely well executed ↓

As a long time fan of Seba’s work the nostalgia was refreshing, even more so upon discovering Domino Grey wasn’t aware of who Nujabes was. For more about this collaborative effort keep reading ↓

ministori: Tell us a bit about your musical background and how you came to play so many instruments.

Donna Schwartz: I’ve been playing music since I was 9; I started on trumpet and played classical and jazz since then. I always liked the sound of the sax, so I got some tips from some friends and basically taught myself how to play tenor and alto saxes. I met my mentor, Lou Doboe, a.k.a. Lou Saxon, in my late 20′s, and he helped shape my sound and style.  He passed away from cancer a few years ago-I owe him a lot. I teach elementary instrumental music, so I made sure that I knew how to play all the instruments I teach.It’s important to model good sound, posture, etc. for the students.

ministori: As a musician who usually plays in a band, did you find the transition to a music studio difficult?

Donna Schwartz: I’ve done a little studio work before – one was for a demo DVD, others were for demo CD’s. I played trumpet for a fundraising CD for my church in New Hyde Park (Holy Spirit). I prefer playing live than in a studio – I like for performances to be spontaneous. I like to teach that way too… This studio gig was a little difficult only because it was over 90 degrees outside, and we had to shut off the fans because they were too noisy! The mouthpiece was slipping all over my face!  It was fun though!

ministori: How did you work out your part in Melody Diagnosis? Did you freestyle your performance or write a specific score to play in the studio? How is the creative energy divided?

Donna Schwartz: I played what I felt from the music; I didn’t have anything worked out. I came up with a couple of cool licks and tried to expand on them. 

ministori: How did you decide what elements to contribute to that track? Did you know what you would be performing or was it more of a jam session?

Donna Schwartz: I think more of a jam session. I like interacting with other performers and creating that way. i do like to know the form and where I am coming in, etc.  There are times when I like to work out a line or two that I think will be hot, but this time, we jammed.

ministori: That track has a very jazzy feel. Is that part of your musical history or do you adapt your playing style to the track?

Donna Schwartz: The answer is both. After getting the feel for the tune, some lines came out that were more jazz-oriented.

ministori: Is it true that you have several other songs recorded with Domino Grey and what can we expect from the near future?

Donna Schwartz: We played over a bunch of tracks in that session, so we shall see…

ministori: For electronic music and hip hop in general, musicians seem to have been moved out of the picture beyond their sampled contributions. Do you believe there is a real value in music being created from live playing as opposed to programmed using computers?

Donna Schwartz: I do feel that live playing adds something special to a performance.

ministori: I believe you were called specifically because the horns parts in the original recording were rejected by the label and the track was going to be shelved. Why are horns and brass so difficult to replicate with samples and synthesis?

Donna Schwartz: It’s difficult to replicate the articulation styles brass and wind players are capable of producing. Also, each person has a unique sound that changes in different registers and with different articulations; those aspects can’t be truly replicated through sampling.

ministori: There is a debate between playing by natural instinct and having a formal education in music. Is music theory a necessary key for unlocking creativity or is it a group of rules that restrict the artist’s imagination?

Donna Schwartz: I used to think that you had to be formally educated and that you must read music and have worked through Bach chorales. I think having a passion, working on your craft and developing your ears are more crucial for performance. Reading is great and it helps if you want to be a studio musician or play others’ music, but it is not totally necessary.

ministori: Where can we find more of your music and information on some of the bands you play with?

Donna Schwartz: My previous band was Shades of Blue, where we performed blues and some classic rock tunes. We had some videos out on YouTube under Shades of Blue NY. I currently am performing with Joplin’s Pearl, a Janis Joplin tribute band and rock and roll band. ( or search for Joplin’s Pearl on Facebook) We also perform original rock music by Amber Ferrari, formerly Amber Rose from the dance/techno circuit.

Thanks for interviewing me!  :)

ministori: My pleasure. Thank you for the amazing interview!

READ Part I with Domino Grey


→ To purchase more of Domino Grey’s music check out his iTunes page, thedynamicuniverse, or cdbaby for the physical release. Stay tuned for up coming interviews with the female vocal and musical talent of  the album! ↓

ministori Blog interviews DJ MIKI from Domino Grey’s Back in the Black

September 14, 2011 2 comments

♡ ✖ Beat

Welcome to the second installment in our series of interviews covering Domino Grey’s sophomore effort, Back in the Black. This time around I’m pleased to introduce my readers to Vancouver’s own DJ MIKI (DJ Miki, dj miki . . . Sorry, I’ve seen it depicted quite a few ways) ↓

She’s featured on track 8 “My Heart Never Skips a Beat” which was so well received it spawned its own EP which is already available on CDbaby and iTunes. After checking out her SoundCloud page I was definitely impressed with her numerous features and original compositions (Especially her Progressive House works, check them out!). I’m sure you’ll be equally intrigued after reading this ↓

ministori: Please tell us a little about your musical path and the creative process behind your songs.

DJ MIKI: Before I write my own music, I need to sit down and listen to some of my favorite artists and inspire from them. Nowadays, we all have sources where we inspire from. Sometimes, I even inspire from movies.

When I watch a really moving scene, I think about what kind of melody would suit the scene and I play it in my head. I also need to visualize when I am writing otherwise it doesn’t make sense when it’s all words on paper. My imagination is another source of inspiration when nothing else works. Music is very much like story telling and you always need a source of inspiration to tell a story. This is my thinking process. I have to have a story to tell my audience, otherwise I won’t feel like my music is getting anywhere.

ministori: There have been a myriad of DJ/Producers within the EDM scene, but very few DJ/Vocalist. How has the dynamic of being a DJ/Vocalist affected your song writing process?

DJ MIKI: To be a DJ, you really have to be willing to share your passion for music with the world. There are very few DJs out there who can be really versatile (producing music, who can do vocals, etc). I really wanted to stand out and be very versatile and use my talents. Being a DJ helps with my song writing process because the music I listen to and play in clubs give me inspiration to create music. I really love music that has emotional vibes. Music shouldn’t just make people dance but it should make people feel emotions.

ministori: Your vocals are featured on the song, “My Heart Never Skips a Beat”. Was there something specific going on in your life that caused you to create such an emotive song?

DJ Miki: I want my music to convey real emotions and feelings that my listeners can relate to and that is what I did with this song. This song is about having lost connection with someone I really cared and loved. But the connection was impossible to find due to some circumstances that got in the way. “My heart never skips a beat” is repeated a lot throughout the song, I wanted this line to signify that I haven’t lost hope yet and still wanted to find that connection with the person I was very fond of.

ministori: What else can you tell about DJ MIKI and what are your plans for the near future?

DJ MIKI: My Dj name is actually my nickname. That’s where it originated from. My passion for electronic music started in the late 90′s, and I was (and still is) a huge fan of Kylie Minogue. The musical talent and interest has always been there, as I went to music school when I was

12 years old, and I was playing the keyboard, piano and synth. I also went to dance and acting school for a couple of years, following Bachelors in Fine Arts in Theatre & Film Production at the University of British Columbia.  My plans for the near future are to create my own record label in the future and become a music producer. I really love the idea behind creating, arranging music, and working with a creative and talented team to make a masterpiece.

ministori: All the best with your future aspirations, Miki. Creating a label is huge! Can’t wait to hear where your skill and creativity take you.

→ To purchase more of Domino Grey’s music check out his iTunes page, thedynamicuniverse, or cdbaby for the physical release. Stay tuned for up coming interviews with the female vocal and musical talent of  the album! ↓

READ Part I with Domino Grey

READ Part III With Melody Diagnosis player Donna Schwartz

Back in the Black after-release REMIX EP “My Heart Never Skips a Beat”

September 13, 2011 1 comment

Dynamica Music Presents:

Domino Grey & DJ MIKI

My Heart Never Skips a Beat Remixes for Extended Play

From the album Back in the Black

Artwork for EP featuring talented Singer and Producer DJ MIKI

My Heart Never Skips a Beat Remixes for Extended Play

The hit album Back in the Black is given Extended Play with a remix emergency from Domino Grey. The popular song “My Heart Never Skips a Beat” is addressed by Dr Domino Grey and Dynamics Plus. After the frenetic opening, Domino settles in and focuses on the haunting voice of talented singer and producer – DJ MIKI. Her voice becomes the centerpiece for the first Back in the Black after-mix release.

Two new tracks round out the package. “Faint Murmurings and Light Musings” and “Errors and Eros, Paths and Pathos” are sure to sink you into the blue of a beating, bleating heartbeat.

Available as a direct download from CDbaby and iTunes and at

Thank you for supporting Dynamica Music, DJ MIKI and Domino Grey.

Domino Grey album Back in the Black

September 12, 2011 1 comment

Domino Grey

Dance Or Move In Natural Order       Generate Rhythmic Energy Yourself

Domino Grey album artwork Back in the Black

Domino Grey is Back in the Black

Domino Grey is a child of rhythm- born from the Organic Electronic. The mixture of our Past and Future presents us with a sonic footprint- a quiet moment in time when silence expressed our deepest emotions and music was the only word spoken. These are cascading thoughts falling across a canvass of sound. Use these new colors to illustrate your imagination. Please touch the walls and leave behind the fingerprints as evidence of your existence.

Domino Grey is Back in the Black, another genre-smashing album featuring the vocal talents of FarishaMusic, Stephanie kay, Shea Lizette, DJ Miki, Elina Milan and instrumental work from Donna Schwartz. It’s a sonic blitz of beats, bumpers and beautiful music from the producer Domino Grey.



Back in the Black track listing

01 Put Your Headphones On 90 bpms (FarishaMusic)

02 You’re My Addiction 120 Bpms (Stephanie Kay and Shea Lizette)

03 I Aint Mad at You 90 Bpms (Shea The Doll Lizette)

04 Studio Outtake: She has a Blurry Focus

05 London Ferry 130 bpms

06 Desiree Desire 125 bpms

007 Danger Danger 120 bpms (Stephanie Kay)

08 My Heart Never Skips a Beat 120 bpms (DJ Miki)

09 Winding Down With You 91 Bpms

10 Studio Outtake 02 Shea’s Secret

11 Take Me Home 120 bpms (FarishaMusic)

12 Love Song for Freedom 130 bpms

13 Enter the Slots 127 Bpms (Winning on the Floor- Twice in One Night)

14 Melody Diagnosis 134 Bpms (Brass -Donna Schwartz)

15 Stirrer’s Pot 120 Bpms

16 You’re just Like a Dream to Me 116 Bpms (feat Shea The Doll Lizette)

17 It’s Time for You to Go 101 Bpms (Elina Milan) + Studio Outtake 03

Inside CD booklet artwork

Some of the beautiful talent featured on Back in the Black

Domino music is inspired by love and lost, remembrance, rhythm and redemption. Behind your sad eyes lies the power to change the world. Keep on dancing and singing. Art is the release valve of the soul.

Also available on iTunes

miniStori Blogsite launches a series on the Domino Grey album Back in the Black

September 12, 2011 2 comments

Domino Grey series on the MiniStori Blogsite

There’s a huge series starting with interviews based on the Back in the Black album.

Here we go….



It isn’t often that we here at ministori are presented with the opportunity to to cover anything of importance. Luckily for myself (and you all) this just happens to be one of those rare occasions. I recently sat down with prolific artist / producer extraordinaire Domino Grey to discuss the new direction of his latest release, Back in the Black

Image of Producer/Artist Domino Grey

Domino in his Dominion

ministori:  The new album is a different animal than the first. What changed about you and your music between albums?

Domino Grey: I think the feedback from the first album built up my confidence enough to really reach out and work with different artists. I was able to send everyone the first album [Get it Up, Lay it Down] and say “This is what I want to do with you, are you in?” Every artist needs that thing that makes them grow up. I feel like I’ve grown doing this.

ministori: What caused you to grow?

Domino Grey: The realization that sometimes… the person you are is keeping you from becoming the person you want to be. I have all kinds of ideas. Some of them get put in the box of someday. Someday I’ll be ready or someday the timing will be just right or someday… I wake up and see that instead of waiting for the world to become… perfect, I can change, adapt and grow into the kind of person that can do today what I didn’t think I could do yesterday. Shit, I hope that made sense.

ministori: How did you go about picking artist to collaborate with, I’ve noticed they were all of the female variety?

Domino Grey: Oh I heard some comments. When the album artwork was done, a few people said stuff like “Oh I see how you pick artists.” It just so happens that they are all attractive, but to be honest I didn’t know what anyone besides the singers in my circle looked like until the records made the album. They could have been hideous wildebeests and they still would have been featured. For real. Song – wise, I just went with the stuff that I connected with and then whatever fit the album’s tone.

ministori: So I guess this was just a best case scenario situation, lucky you. Moving on, your brand of EDM seems to be an amalgam of various musical influences. Do you feel that such a mixture of genres will be a help or a hindrance in expressing your vision and creating a following?

Domino Grey: So far my mix has worked out. The reviews are really good and people are saying they like songs based in genres that they don’t usually check for. I feel like I live in a mix and singles world so banking it all on an album is somewhat of an old thought. I mean, I put a lot of thought into the order of the songs as I try to create a sort of journey. But so many people say I made my own playlist of your stuff or my iPod is on shuffle or a DJ will say I’m playing XYZ tracks and any kind of continuity is broken anyway.

I mean, for EVERY style I dabble in, people say “You should just make that from now on.” The trick is going to be- to make enough music so that they are satisfied. That’s why this album jumped in track count. That’s also why I started the Elevator Music series. That gives me the freedom to collect a group of similar tracks without confining and defining the musical direction of my Domino Grey work.

ministori: So what about the features on the album, how do they fit into your world?

Domino Grey: Well, I could spell out their general feelings, but maybe it would be best for them to speak their piece in their own words.

ministori: I like that.

Oh yeah, I’m really happy with this album. Stay tuned in; I’ve got a very fresh remix EP based around the track “My Heart Never Skips a Beat” [DJ MIKI]. It’s really sick. So thanks for checking out my music and thanks for the interview.

→ To purchase more of Domino Grey’s music check out his iTunes page, or cdbaby for the physical release. And definitely stay tuned for up coming interviews with the female vocal and musical talent of  the album! ↓


Read Part II with DJ MIKI

Domino Grey Letters and Numbers

September 2, 2011 2 comments

Domino Grey Letters and Numbers


Artist Domino Grey pictured in studio

I’m an iron-clad warrior with an iron will and indomitable spirit. I forge ahead with total conviction and do not care what others think about me or my music. Well, most days. I try to have the usual industry-standard thick skin and take most reviews of my music with a grain of salt. I mean, mostly it’s only a mofo’s opinion, aint it? As an artist I tend to make music for other people. No, scratch that. I make music for myself, but I release music for other people’s enjoyment. The stuff that’s strictly for me stays on the hard drive. I do my best to respond to criticism, complaints and, believe it or not, even special requests. I usually answer most letters or comments that are sent my way. The stuff that’s positive is great, the stuff that’s negative gets ignored- I mean, if you don’t like my music, my attitude is “move along citizen, there’s nothing to see here”. What I consider most important is when someone likes my records and suggests what I could do to have them like it more. That’s huge. And so, when I got this letter, I read it several times and aw shoot, here it is:

 Just listened to the album. My thoughts are that it does show progress on the Domino Grey side. However, I will stand behind the fact that it is not commercially viable; it is more niche viable without a doubt. In order to do commercial music, you must be in tune with the current scene as it shows that 99% of it sounds the same. Your music does not sound like 100% of the music they make-which is a plus in terms of differentiation but bad as a commercial vehicle. I prefer the hip-hop side of Dynamics Plus because I believe he wasn’t truly promoted to his core audience and had and still has the tools to be an underground superstar.  

My first reaction was, eh no big deal. Some cat likes my raps better than my dancier stuff. The buzz behind my music has been the same for years. “That Dynamics Plus (also in the rap group Lenzmen) don’t give a crap about nobody or sales or anything. He just does what he do and keeps it moving”. Not exactly true. I care about the people that support my music. I write to the best of my creative ability because I care. If a dude says “Dynamics Plus is the best lyricist of all time” I want that person to have the songs and quotes to back that up. I want to hear killer lyrics so I write them as best I can. The Lenzmen were completely opposed to commercial success. It was a badge of honor to be considered underground and known to select few- like we were too deep for the world to ever appreciate. And I think we would have quit a long time ago if it ever became hip to like The Lenzmen. We actually ran from opportunities, but I’m no longer an angry rebellious teenager and I no longer think every rapper sucks besides us. Well okay, deep down I still kinda do. But that’s a tangent for another day. The letter goes on to say:

Domino Grey is not a commercial artist, but an extension of a commercialized underground universe. That is where I see him. Ideally, we must walk our own journeys in life: if you want that commercial admiration and financial success with Domino Grey, you have to negate 20+ years of mainstream defiance you had with your hip-hop and truly commit to that goal. Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry is Top 10-20 radio. Make songs with true intensions to shop to them-listen to their music and make it fit for them-not what you want to hear.

Ouch. I guess what this person missed about Domino Grey is that he has the same outlook as Dynamics Plus and his abstract, super-complicated, scientific raps. I make electronic music that melds multiple genres and pushes the envelope as I hear it. I want the world to enjoy it, but on my terms. When I make music, I don’t think Dollars and Cents, I think Knowledge and Sense. I have some very talented artists involved with the Domino Grey albums. I can appreciate it if they are inspired by the top names on the music scene, but it’s a foolish notion that I would invest this kind of energy into being a clone of someone else or be happy doing more of what’s already being done. I apologize to all those involved if you believed my aim was to make a ton of money off making electronic music. I came to do the same thing I’ve always done. Sound like me and hopefully give you something fresh and pleasing to listen to.

Let me know if I have succeeded. Hit me at the usual places.

*Added a new Facebook link on the left.

You can preview my music on iTunes.

visit my homepage

– Domino Grey Fall 2011

Domino Grey Back in the Black Q&A: I Can’t Call It- calls it

September 1, 2011 1 comment

I did a Q&A about the new album Back in the Black

You can preview all the tracks on CDbaby or iTunes so you can hear it for yourself.

Domino Grey-Back In Black

“Why ruin a good thing??” Many can say that whenever a popular artist of a particular genre ventures out of his comfort zone into uncharted territories. Many feel an abandonment, or sense of “selling out”, while others feel a plague of “another person joining the herd”. Is experimentation a bad thing?? Is testing new art forms for the sense of self-expression a great thing?? True creativity should be limitless, and not be restricted. However, I feel an artist should not lose his or her entire “core” audience for the sake of gaining new admiration. An artist should let his or her audience grow with them as they grow and explore this new creative realm within themselves. Some artist truly want self-fulfillment and don’t care what the audience thinks (which in itself, can be more endearing than those who go out-of-the-way to please all). I recently heard a great quote from Lenzmen emcee and super-producer Dynamics Plus, who said: “Once my music is out to the public, it is opened to be judged. If they like it or hate it, there’s nothing  I can do about it.” Domino Grey’s album “Back In Black” is his journey, his artistic exploration to find out how far he can push his talents. He is ready for the repercussions, the backlash. All to test his creative limitations. “Why restrict a good thing??”

I’ve called you “The Quincy Jones of Underground Hip-Hop”. Was there any pressure following up such an experimental album, Get It Up, Lay It Down???

I remember you saying that. I thought you must be needing tracks for your next project. Nice words, but certainly undeserved. Um pressure? No, not really. I mean, I don’t struggle with making music anymore. It’s not always easy getting what you hear in your head recorded, but this is my sound so of course I can be consistent with my output.

How would you compare this album with your last efforts???

More musical. The first album said “Dynamics Plus presents Domino Grey”. That tells you about how important the underlying beats were. Back in the Black says “Drew Spence presents” which speaks to the production elements surrounding the songs themselves.

 What were the influences you channeled (if any) for this record???

To follow the same idea, it was the feedback from the first album that set the tone for the second. Listeners wanted more songs. Check. They wanted more traditional arrangements. Gotcha. I personally felt like Get it Up was a collection of songs and their collective vibe told you what Domino Grey was about.

Back in the Black does that too, but I put the studio outtakes to hint at the back story that goes on while these songs are made. My experiences dictate what songs I create and choose to release so the album should give hints about the me behind the music.

Do you feel this album can infiltrate the current electronic scene???

I dunno. A lot of DJs have the record so I expect a lot more exposure for this album and the label is also doing more to promote it. I think it’s a little too early for me to really be worried about a scene anyway. I just want as many people as possible to enjoy what I’m doing. And since I tend to incorporate so many different styles in my music, it would be pretty hard to categorize what I do. I think that would be another problem with establishing my sound in a particular sub-genre.

They say “lightning rarely strikes twice” in the music world. Seeing that your first album was the world’s introduction to Domino Grey, what can be said about this record???

I’d say now that you met me, let’s have a conversation. This album features some very talented artists and in a way it’s become more about them than me. So listen in.

 Final thoughts to any hip-hop artist who’s afraid to expand outside of their musical realm???

Um…don’t do it. Seriously. There isn’t a genre that’s short on musicians or artists. EDM doesn’t need Domino Grey. I am injecting myself with the full confidence that people will enjoy my music.  I’m serious about my music. I see dudes claiming they can make this and that and do multiple styles or genres. Their music isn’t inspired; it’s just going through the motions and adding the signature elements that define those genres. What’s the point of doing what’s already being done? My advice is to stick with music you believe in.

What’s next for Domino Grey?

More music. I am involved in another project called Elevator Music. It’s Drew Spence and Xodus Phoenix from Producer’s Edge and Dynamics Plus. It’s a bunch of us making instrumental music together under the name fallout Shelter. I’ll be sure to hit you with that when it’s ready. Hey, thanks for the ear.

You can preview all the tracks on CDbaby or iTunes so you can hear it for yourself.