Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Ash Judett0
Dom Marcell Talks Career on Wallstreet, Stylistic Evolution, and Upcoming Album
It’s not every day that we get to connect with an authentic star on the rise, but last week we were fortunate enough to speak with Pop/R&B newcomer Dom Marcell and discuss his transition from a media/entertainment investment banker to a high-flying pop artist with a new album on the way. The New Orleans artist first made headlines in March after releasing “DTK”, and over the past few months his subsequent single releases have proven that he’s no one hit wonder. But perhaps just as compelling as Dom Marcell’s music is his unique origin story. If you’re as intrigued by this ex-Wall Street worker as I am, read on.
Before you were a singer, you worked on Wall Street as an investment banker. Can you explain what prompted the career change?
I always knew that I wanted to start my own company, that is why I did the JD/MBA program at Northwestern University, I just didn’t know when and what it would be. Being a media/entertainment investment banker, though intellectually rewarding, involved a lot of grueling hours, sleepless nights, and high stress. You have to have an enormous passion to do that long-term, and I just knew my passion for the business wasn’t as strong as that of others. In addition, I wanted to have an immediate and potent impact on society by shedding light on issues that are important to me. It would have been hard to accomplish that working all the time. Lastly, the natural feeling of doing what I love was inescapable. Once I re-engaged my passion with music, every day I woke up happy. I kept dreaming and thinking about it. It woke me up in the middle of the night. That’s when I realized my purpose and that it was time to change careers.
Can you talk a little bit about how your sound has evolved since your first release, “DTK”?
From a style perspective, my sound encompasses pop, R&B, dance & hip hop, with some hints of gospel influence mixed in. I love those genres, and I have to make music that is true to who I am. I have executive produced, arranged, and written my entire album, so everything you heard or will hear has that DM stamp on it. In addition, my sound, I believe, is an international sound. I carefully picked joints that I hope are ageless, raceless, genderless, global and could be played across formats. Also, I have studied the business and 90’s-2000’s artists I love for years, so there is that influence, but my sound is still current. If you tryna get burnt up from getting turnt up, then you found the right one.
Of the singles you’ve released so far, which is your favourite?
“U-Nique” is probably my favorite out of the three because of the message behind it. The song describes who I am, where I come from, my life mantra and what I stand for. Let’s keep it positive. I aim to be a man of my word and put my money where my mouth is. In addition, I want to be a good role model as an artist and businessman. Why? [sings] Cuz yo boy’s birth name…is Dominique…that’s why I gotta stay, stay U-Nique. Aye!
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Michael Jackson because he is the blue print. Living, I would love to do a duet with Beyonce. Since we got that New Orleans commonality, maybe we can sang about some good Nawlins cookin. Haha.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to artists looking to break into the music industry?
It’s very important to study books about business and entrepreneurship. Whenever an artist writes a song, he/she creates a product that should have some thought process behind it before launching. I see many artists throw stuff out into the market, hoping people would listen. In my opinion, that’s not the most effective way to do things. When a Fortune 500 company launches a product/service, they do research, feasibility study analysis, focus groups, and/or clinical trials to determine viability. As artists, we have intellectual property so we should put more thought process into the business side. Effective strategy, marketing, branding, are all imperative to increase your chances of success.
You seem very connected with your friends and family. How have they impacted your music?
My friends and family inspire and encourage me to be all that I can be. Also, they have supported me in every chapter of my life, through ups and downs, as a student and professional. My little sister even schooled me about certain things in the music business. So, I wrote a couple songs on the album thanking them for their support and showing what their unconditional love did for me.
I’ve also noticed that you still attend a lot of business and entrepreneurial events. How do you balance those two sides of yourself?
Since I’m a Gemini, Dominique goes to the corporate events and Dom Marcell, the artist events. Just playing. I think artistry and business are so intertwined that I must do both and treat them as one. For example, I attended a Change Catalyst event at Viacom which was great networking and also gave me ideas as far as how I could shed light on social issues, such as diversity, through my art.
You appeared on The 504 a couple months back. What was it like performing in that environment?
The 504 was a dope, fun experience that I would do again. It was my first performance in my hometown. My family came to support me and they were D.T.K.’ing in their seats. All this combined with the welcoming people at The 504 made it an unforgettable experience. Great times.
Can we expect to see you at any upcoming events?
Yup yup. Stay tuned. I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve. But you will see me on TV and hear me on the radio more as well. You Retty?
When can we hear a full album?
Since I am still finalizing the album and must do more things from a business standpoint, 2018 is when it will arrive. And that’s approaching quickly. So, I am looking forward to it!
Check out the hot video for Dom’s summer anthem “D.T.K.” belowTweet