Dom Marcell is not your ordinary Artist. First, his self-written music makes you feel what he feels and lets you think how he thinks. Second, with his background in business, you will understand why he has a team of 70 and runs his music career like a business! I had the opportunity to speak with Dom Marcell for an exclusive interview where he talks about moving from Corporate America to Entertainment, his music being a conduit, and what we can expect from his album.
Can you describe your first foray into the world of secular music? What did it feel like?
I was 17 years old at the time and I was in the process of matriculating to the University of Southern California. I had made the decision during my senior year at Isidore Newman School (my high school in New Orleans), that I was going to pursue my passion concurrent to my undergraduate studies. This was a lot to take on as you can imagine! At the time I was a broke college kid, so I did the best I could to be self-sufficient. Similar to now, I wrote all my songs. However, what’s different is that I choreographed and booked all my shows and marketed my craft alone. Looking back, I did create a little start-up company at the time, I just didn’t know it. I loved every bit of it, but I definitely was stressed out because I also did internships at Warner Brothers, HBO, and Atlantic Records to allow me to learn the ins and out of the business. Even then, I appreciated the importance of both creativity and intellectuality.
What in particular made you realize that a career in corporate America was not for you?
Great question. Corporate America before and after obtaining my JD/MBA at Northwestern University taught me so much! Teamwork, leadership, efficiency, marketing, business development etc. However, I knew that I would eventually start my own company one day, hence pursuing two degrees. I just did not know when and what it would be. I always wanted to be autonomous. In addition, I would see my peers start companies in school and I would be so inspired by this. Once my craft began to get traction, I knew it was time to pursue my start-up head on. It came earlier than expected! I appreciate my experience on Wall St. as a media/entertainment investment banker because I understand how decisions are made at these types of firms and the challenges executives face in the volatile economic climate and time of evolving consumer tastes.
What are some of your all-time favorite songs?
Aye! I love Kirk Franklin’s “Imagine Me”, this song got me through a lot. I played it on repeat every day when I was at a down point in my life. Michael Jackson “Butterflies”, “Rock With You”, Usher’s “You Got It Bad”. Justin Timberlake “End of Time” , Janet Jackson “When We Ooo”, Donnie McClurkin “We Fall Down”, Day 26 “CoStar”, Robin Thicke “Lost Without You”, Jaheim “Back Tight” *gasps for breath* Jay-Z “Excuse Me” , Luther Vandross “Excuse Me Miss” …the list goes on and on and on…Do you feel you have a better handle on the workings of the industry due to your business background?
Do you feel you have a better handle on the workings of the industry due to your business background?
I do! The music business is a business so it should be treated as such. I and my music are products, so I have to do things consistent with my branding and marketing. Everyone has talent. But just like Warren Buffet says, one must have a sustainable competitive advantage in order to make a long lasting impact in an industry thereby establishing brand loyalty and credibility. If you sing like the next guy, look like the next guy, what’s the point? It’s also important as artists to be songwriters. Authenticity connects to people. While everyone can’t be the best songwriter, having some say in the creative process is necessary in order to have your own identity stamp on the product you are creating/singing.
How does it feel to finally be pursuing your dreams?
It feels surreal. I have daily conference calls with my team who constantly tell me new updates and great news. I just cannot believe my small idea in 2016 turned into this. I really was not even expecting to be a professional singer/songwriter. It just fell in my lap. That’s how God works. We work on His time not our time. Destiny is a crazy thing. When you find your passion and purpose in life, it is hard to escape away from it. I have always been singing ever since I could make a noise, so it is very interesting and fulfilling that I have come full circle to where I am now.
In your interview with Huffington Post, you mentioned that you’ll be releasing an album later this year. What can we expect from this album?
Ayyyeeee! This album is going to make you feel TURNT up from the FLO up. It takes you on a complete journey and it all fits sonically. I wrote and vocally arranged every song that you will hear. The album is representative of my personality as well. A lot of club moments but also moments where you self-reflect. For example, I wrote a song about my late mom, sister and dear friend who all passed on, but have been a huge inspiration behind pursuing my craft again. I hope this will heal those who have lost dear ones in life. I want this album to uplift you in every way – self-reflection.
Out of all your musical influences, which artists would you say have had the most impact?
I would definitely say, Kirk Franklin because he is a PROLIFIC songwriter and his songs have moved me throughout my childhood to adulthood. There are so many songs of his that have given me encouragement, motivation, and inspiration to press on through my trials and obstacles. I am thankful to him that he continues to bless the world with his tremendous gift.
The bio sections of your website states that you hope music will be a conduit to make an impact on other industries around the world. What sort of impact are you hoping to make?
Awesome question. Music is a conduit for other businesses that I am hoping to launch or have already launched. From an entertainment perspective, I will encompass my record label, agency, film production, acting etc. From a finance perspective, I hope to fund traditional start-up and entertainment projects, as well as start an alternative investment fund (real estate, private equity etc). Celebrity/popularity is basically a marketing engine that can be leveraged for many positive things. Lastly, I also hope to launch my non-profits to support initiatives in which I strongly believe such as financial literacy and health awareness.
What is the message you ultimately want to convey through your music?
Do not give up on your passion in life. There is no one road to your destiny. Never compare your path to someone else’s. Look at my path as an example! I did not get to music via the traditional route. I actually went the education/business route, which has, in essence, been invaluable for my musical pursuits because of the extremely powerful networks these paths have provided me and the education I am leveraging to be a dynamic businessman. A creative intellectual.
What can we look forward to from Dom Marcell?
Lots more videos and thangggzzzz. More events. More performances. More TV. More interviews. Tour. Is you RETTY? Cuz I am!
Check out his latest single DTK below.
Make sure you follow Dom Marcell on Instagram.