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Domer Interview
Author: Adam Bernard

Whether it's underground clubs in his current stomping grounds of Brooklyn, NY, or ultra hip spots such as The Viper Room in LA, Domer has been moving crowds with unique mixture of Hip-Hop interwoven with rock sensibilities and the occasional punk vocal. His latest single, "You're On to Me," just hit YouTube thanks to a video directed by Austin Lynn and it's poised to take the man who's both a member of the Mindspray crew as well as being one half of the duo brokendomer to new heights. Domer's resume is actually already quite thick as he's shared stages with the likes of KRS-ONE and Grandmaster Caz and his production work has been featured alongside that of Just Blaze and RZA in nationally aired TV commercials and on the web. Recently, even Lil Fame of M.O.P. has expressed interest in working with him. This week RapReviews caught up with Domer to ask him about his new single, why he likes to be involved with so many different projects at once and where he feels a lot of overanxious emcees are going wrong in their approach to making music.
Adam Bernard: Let's start with some background info. Tell everyone about the evolution of Domer the artist from your first album to your new single, "You're On to Me."
Domer: When I first started I was more of a producer than an MC. With my first record, Carbumper, which was all made independently, I was just kind of experimenting. I had written a whole lot of songs, like rock songs and instrumental songs and beats and all that, but I hadn't really done much with lyrics, so I was really experimenting with imitating a lot of the people I liked and experimenting with my voice and seeing what works and what doesn't. I think Carbumper was pretty rough, overall, but it was a lot of ideas I was still trying to figure out how to deal with. Then as I was working with brokeMC we were doing a lot of shows and I was getting more comfortable with my voice on stage and learning how to freestyle which, of course, has improved my flow a lot, and all the Mindspray stuff, too, all that was great practice and great learning. I learned from all those other people how to develop my own style. I think over the course of all that was where I was really learning to incorporate singing more smoothly into my songs and how to hold down a crowd and put out that kind of energy and then try to bring that into the studio. On Work With Me, which was released earlier this year on Skipping Beats Records, my flow was more polished, but I was still developing songwriting ideas and seeing what worked. I really think "You're On to Me" is one of those songs I was working up to for a long time. It's the kind of song where it doesn't matter whether I'm rapping or singing because it's just different sides of the same coin expressing the same thing.

AB: What are some of the major differences between working as a solo artist and working within a group dynamic?
Domer: On a lot of collab songs you get in there, you sit down with somebody, you vibe on the beat, you put it down and that's a wrap. With my stuff I've been performing the songs a bunch of times live and gotten that energy and that flow of it down and then went and recorded it and still had time to tweak the song, so it let the song grow over a longer period of time. I can put more thought into it, into the structure, into practicing different ways to sing and different approaches. I just think with solo stuff you have flexibility.

AB: What kind of songs do you feel "You're On to Me" would sound right next to in a playlist?
Domer: The rest of my album. {*laughs*} I think it has a lot in common with Postal Service, even though they don't rap, just production-wise and song topic-wise, and it would go well with artists that have an indie rock / electronic vibe as well as any underground Hip-Hop; Atmosphere, to some extent the new El-P stuff. Even though I'm obviously much more user friendly than El-P I think we both have a certain appreciation of song structure, he's really about starting at one place and building it up to someplace different, like related but bigger. So I think pretty much anything that is indie, electronic, underground... and sappy.

AB: What other projects do you have in the works?
Domer: I'm actually working on this project right now where I'm going to be putting out five a cappellas which I recorded to a metronome and I'm going to make them downloadable with the BPMs for any producers that feel like doing their own version of the EP. I'm basically going to get a whole bunch of different versions of the same vocals and have people choose their favorite versions of each song. That's something where I feel like a bigger label isn't necessarily gonna want to put that out but it would make for a great independent release. I haven't gotten a chance to talk to any labels about it yet, but I would like to always be putting out records with people who are more willing to push the envelope like that. I'm gonna try to get Lil' Fame (of M.O.P) to do a version.

AB: That's right! You have the great story of being in the studio with M.O.P. How did that happen?
Domer: Fame works making beats for this dude whose studio I've been recording at and he came in while I was recording one day and we ended up chilling and talking and stuff. He's a funny dude. We were talking about doing some collabs, but I don't know if that'll ever happen. Hopefully I'll see him again this week and I'll see what's good. We were talking about making a beat together, he'll throw down the sample and then I'll start doing the changeups.

AB: Can we also get a verse from him for a remix to "You're On to Me?"
Domer: Oh God I hope so.

AB: Being an independent artist who's released work both on your own and with a label, tell everyone some of the hurdles you've had to jump and obstacles you've had to climb over to get to where you are today.
Domer: Finding positive, like-minded people was the biggest thing for me. You gotta find people that you vibe with and that you can start building a scene with, which has been what's so great about working with Mindspray and working with broke and all the other awesome people who are in the New York Hip-Hop scene. Building these alliances with other artists has been the absolute biggest factor to me getting out of my bedroom at all. We throw a show and if I can bring twenty people and he can bring twenty people and he can bring twenty people then we can pack out a spot. Don't work hard, work smart. A little bit of advice for the kiddies.

AB: With you doing so many different projects with so many different distinct styles it makes me think you feel the current Hip-Hop scene is lacking some things. Tell me what so you feel is missing.
Domer: I think that the sense of innovation and really pushing things in a different direction is kind of gone. I feel like a lot of dudes feel like they gotta prove that they're Hip-Hop and get respect for the Hip-Hop scene so they end up emceeing for the other MCs and that's dope, I love the art form and definitely respect it and appreciate it, but I think if you look the history of any other form of music as it develops it takes twists and turns and it changes dramatically. If you look at the history of rock and roll you can't even compare 80's rock to 60's rock, the genre has just grown and changed so much and I think that a lot of people in Hip-Hop are afraid to take those sort of creative leaps and instead are sort of playing the industry and sticking to certain basic formats. It's easy to be like oh here's a dope beat, let's write a hook, let's write some raps, bam there's a track. That may be a track but it may not necessarily be a good song. It may not be cohesive or have an arch to it or any of the sorts of things that I think make for really great pieces of music. I just think people aren't thinking about what they're doing, they're just doing it like oh I love Hip-Hop, I'm gonna write some raps, I'm gonna write some beats, yeah! And it's like well, you know you can love Hip-Hop but also love Led Zeppelin and The Flaming Lips and whatever else, it's all music. If rock bands can incorporate rapping, rap groups can incorporate rock song structure. It should all be interchangeable as far as I'm concerned.

AB: Finally are there any Hip-Hop artists you'd like to turn us on to that we maybe haven't heard already?
Domer: Definitely The Metermaids. Dyalekt is also the shit. His album will be coming out soon. C.O.N.C.E.P.T. has been a huge influence on me. And it's almost unnecessary to say brokeMC, but Make It Better is fantastic. Also Skipping Beats Records has been putting out some dope stuff. Dom Coyote is on that label, his shit is dope, as is Mr. Ronz.

Check out Domer's MySpace page at or visit for more info.
Domer's video for "You're On to Me" can be seen here.

Originally posted: July 24, 2007

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