ArtistRack has the pleasure of catching up with the talented Dominique Ilie for an exclusive interview and insight into his upcoming release ‘Complicated’
Dominique Ilie is a 14-year-old singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist based in Laguna Beach, California. He started his performing career as an actor at the age of 8 and has dedicated himself to his art, developing his passion for pop music with neo-soul undertones. Releasing original music and videos independently since January 2021, his latest release “Sunflowers” dropped in February this year.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Orange County, California, but my roots come from Eastern Europe. Both my parents emigrated from Romania to the US twenty years ago.
How long have you been making music?
For as long as I can remember honestly. I come from a family of musicians, my grandma is an opera singer, and my dad studied and played classical music in Romania. He became a sound engineer when he moved to the US and opened his own music school and recording studio when I was six years old. I grew up surrounded by musicians and playing music all the time.
How many songs /albums have you released to date?
I started writing my own original music two years ago. I have put out my first EP, Colors, in 2021. Since then, I have released 3 additional singles and continue to write music. My goal is to be able to put out my first album in the next year or so.
Can you tell us about your latest release and the background and inspirations behind it?
Let’s talk about my upcoming single. I am so excited to release this one. I wrote this song a year ago and it took a while for me to finalize. I wrote the song during a complicated relationship I had with a girl. She was giving me such mixed signals; I could never tell if she wanted to be more than just friends. “Complicated” is about the confusion of love and pain in relationships.
How have you ended up in the music industry?
I always wanted to be an entertainer. I was putting out shows for anyone who had the time to listen. My parents have always been very supportive and have opened my world to all kinds of opportunities in the industry. I got into acting when I was eight years old and that opened the door to opportunities in the music industry as well. When I was 12 years old, I was offered my first label deal. It was not the right deal for me at that time, but it was a push for me to move forward with my passion. My parents are the power behind everything I have done so far, so you could say they are how I ended up in the music industry.
What do you think of the music industry in 2022?
I think the music industry these days is one of the toughest industries out there. There are many talented musicians that can never go beyond singing in the local bars. It’s not a black and white industry, and success it’s not a reflection of the talent or abilities of an artist.
Who do you think the most influential artist?
I think people like Pharrell Williams, Rex Orange County, Childish Gambino and Tyler The Creator are influential to a lot of teens and young adults. These artists bring back a style of music that hasn’t been mainstream for a while. Their music is beyond a standard 1-4-5 chord progression, it is limitless.
Who have you collaborated with so far in your career?
I am very fortunate to be surrounded by great musicians. I work with very talented producers and songwriters such as Tyler Conty, Sergiu German, Andrei Dan, and Jeanne Walker, Undecided Future.
How do you think you differ from other artists?
I have always tried to stay true to my music and create what comes naturally. It’s hard to determine what makes me different from other artists, I hope my listeners will be able to connect with my music and for that to be sufficient.
Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?
I am a big fan of Tyler the Creator, so a collaboration with him would be so amazing.
What was the first album you bought?
I started my vinyl collection last year and my first album was “Positions” by Ariana Grande. Since then, I have expanded my collection to over 30 different albums.
What’s your favourite song at the moment?
I listen to a lot of music and my top favorite changes from week-to-week ☺. Recently I have been listening on repeat to Kendrick’s new album, “Mr. Morale and The Big St. My favorite song on this album is “Mr. Morale”
If you had to sell your music collection tomorrow, what album would you leave in your draw?
Flower Boy by Tyler the Creator.
What is your favourite saying?
What goes up, must come down!! I see life as a rollercoaster of ups and downs, not a straight line.
What other hobbies or interests do you have?
I love the ocean, one of my favorite escapes is to go out surfing. I also love playing video games with my buddies and just hanging out with friends. I love collecting vinyl records, Pokémon cards and sneakers.
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Nope not yet.
Tell us more about your upcoming project or this new project?
Complicated is the first of many releases that will be coming up in the future. Stay tuned for so much more!
What’s in the pipeline after this project?
I have many more songs in the works, and I will continue to release them as singles. But my main goal is to release my first album in 2023.
Thank you for your time and may you carry on making great, fresh music.
Thank you for interviewing me!