Liverpudlian Dominique De Beau has crossed paths with Grammy-winning producer Narada Michael Walden and honed her craft via San Francisco, Atlanta and LA. Now in London and with an an Academia Award for ‘It Is What It Is’ as ‘Best RnB Single’, we caught up with Dominique to find out more about her career so far and latest release ‘Ready For Me’.
I like to feel music, real emotion, so I tend to write about life.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
Growing up in my hometown of Liverpool music quite literally flooded the house. My family would often play a lot of Motown back then so I guess that was the beginning of my love affair with music.
**Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from? **
Sam Cooke’s music certainly inspired me early on. This would be followed by the likes of Destiny’s Child and some of the greats like Mary J & Faith Evans. More recently I have loved Drake.
How would you describe your style ?
Hmm, well, I guess if I had to put a label on my style, I would say it’s diverse. I am very versatile for example the last song I released ‘Another I’ was written after I listened to an afternoon’s classical opera. I like to feel music, real emotion, so I tend to write about life. Straight from the heart. My style is just a reflection of me in that moment.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
I would love to work with an artist called Jidenna. He is also an all rounder like me - he sings, writes, performs and produces. I have been following him for a while and feel we could work well together in the studio. It would be fun to work with someone like Sigma as well. My manager is in love with the idea of me getting together with a team called 1Mind. Oh yeah, and I would loooooove to do a track with Chronixx - he is special.
You moved to London at 18 to join a band. How did that go and what did you learn from the experience?
While it was a great experience, at times I got to make music and travel to the States. It taught me never to join another girl band. Mostly as everybody needs to want the same goal and really everybody needs to know who they are be confident from the get-go, and of course life isn’t that way a lot of young women are dealing with insecurity and learning about becoming a woman. I guess what I am saying is I found it hard to find like-minded individuals who wanted to be on the same musical journey as me.
What happened when you met Grammy-winning producer Narada Michael Walden?
Well Narada and I hit it off straight away. I think because I was more of the writer in the group, we used to sit at the piano and just play and sing different melodies to each other. He was a true inspiration to me, very honoured that he was a mentor in my music career at such an early age.
You first two EPs were Unforgettable and Red. What response did they get?
My EP Unforgettable got some amazing feedback mostly from the USA who seemed to really enjoy it. I was lucky and got some local radio airplay and stack loads of internet play. And one of my songs ‘It Is What It Is’ won me a songwriter award for ‘best RnB song’ which was something special. My EP Red, to be honest, still has hardly been heard as the producer of the album didn’t finish up everything. So some of the music is still yet to be released - this is one of the reasons I have decided more recently to concentrate on writing single songs. To be able to release more music, more quickly.
Your new single is ‘Ready For Me’. What’s it about?
Well it’s basically about men and women - a woman who was totally in love with her man, but then he cheats on her. She leaves him and then, of course, he wants to come back and as far as she is concerned it’s just too late. She won’t have it with him ever again… in the song all her girlfriends encourage her to keep away from him as well. It’s a girl power song through and through.
When and where did you record it?
At a little studio Ayo uses in East London. We created the music and wrote the song together. It took around five hours. We work really well together.
‘Ready For Me’ features Ayo Beatz. How did they get involved and what did they bring to the single?
Ayo and I had met previously performing at a music event called Street Heat run out of Notting Hill Arts Club. We had instantly clicked and previously written the song ‘Another I’ together. We wanted to work together again and keep the momentum going to see if we could come up with some dope tunes.
How does ‘Ready for Me’ build on your previous releases?
It’s another song and another chance for people to hear my music and hopefully want to come out and see me perform. I hope for it to build my audience so I can play more gigs. I really would love to get a live agent now as it’s my wish to play out more often.
What are your hopes for ‘Ready For Me’?
Just that people enjoy and like it!
When and where can we see you play live next?
Well at the moment I try and hop on gigs as we hear of them. I don’t have a live agent, but I do know that my management are planning a gig for January - maybe at Bush Hall, so look out for that one.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
Wow! If I could go back in time and give myself advice, it definitely wouldn’t be just once or one time. I would be making visits back every goddamn day - ha, ha - and telling myself you shouldn’t have done that. I think we learn so much as each day passes and we make mistakes and we grow and that’s what makes us who we are.
Listen to Dominique De Beau’s new single “Ready for Me” available on iTunes and Spotify. For news and tour dates go to the Dominique De Beau Facebook page.