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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

http://icantcallit.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/1020/

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.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dominogrey3

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/back-in-the-black/id457903033

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.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dominogrey3

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/back-in-the-black/id457903033