“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.
To check out Domino Grey’s new album, Back In Black, go to http://www.thedynamicuniverse.com/
Brilliant short vid by Long Island dance legend Playdoe