We had the good fortune of connecting with Domino Saints and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Domino, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Every true artist has to think about the payoff of dedicating your life to art vs the stability and financial security of a normal career. Back when we were still studying music and also working full-time the 2008 crisis started and many people we knew with stable careers lost their jobs. The illusion that art and music were the professions that were uncertain and that other professions always provided job security was shattered. From that point on it was very easy to decide to dedicate ourselves 100% into our music. Yes we would go on to struggle for the next couple of years. Yes we did a lot of surviving eating tuna and taco bell to keep things in a minimum budget, but we were playing shows, traveling the world, exploring South America, and sharing stages with artists we had only dreamed of someday meeting. It was 100% worth it, and we never look back.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Domino Saints is the music inspired by a vision of inclusion, of a real melting pot of diversity, and our love for exporting the best of our culture to the rest of world. Yes, we are from Puerto Rico, one of the most diverse places on the planet, where music is a living force that the whole island is in-tune with. A place where you can learn to play every style of music and a magical island that is the home to incredible musical talent that goes back many years from the golden age of salsa to today’s dembow bounce that has filled the world with Reggaeton. We always loved reggae music and obviously grew up in the middle of this Reggaeton Renaissance, but we were raised as live musicians playing drums, guitars, and pianos in every kind of band you can think of, which lead us to the idea that Reggaeton in it’s early stages of being very street and urban, would develop into the global beat which the entire world would want to dance to. We wanted to cement our space, our own vision and style in this new world and Domino Saints, is our expression from the heart in this style. There were a lot of challenges, beginning with being Male & Female in a group in a time where expectations for how you are supposed to act and what was acceptable for women to sing was still very old fashioned. We set out to break all rules and truly express our respect for each other as individuals and artists, while complementing each other fully as a team like a Yin Yang. After studying in Berklee College of Music and returning to Puerto Rico to begin working as a duo, we started touring Colombia and opening for acts like J Balvin, Shakira and Don Omar, and this lead us to our first record deal with Capitol Latin/ Universal Music Latino. The labels asked us to move to Miami and this lead us to begin a new phase in our career. After several years in the labels we learned so much about the music business, but we really wanted freedom again and full control over the creative expression of our project, which lead us to focus on being independent artists. That was the best decision we ever made. Since making that choice we have had a Billboard Number 1, performed at Viña del Mar (Latin America’s most prestigious music festival), performed at the 2020 Superbowl, released our first full length album, and landed songs in huge video games like FIFA 21 and The SIMS. We have learned a valuable lesson that is sometimes thought to be a cliché, but in fact is the hardest truth. You have to be willing to take a leap of faith, you have to be willing to dream big and never water down your dreams, and you can never ever give up.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Miami is an amazing city, It is the Caribbean metropolis dominated by Spanish speakers from all over the Latin world and diversity is Miami’s strongest asset. This city has everything you want from the magical ocean and beach vibes that illustrate this Caribbean dream to amazing larger than life sports teams, huge music festivals and a party scene that can always go past 24 hours. In addition to that there is something in the water in Miami that just makes the vibe different when you meet people. Here in Miami you are more likely to drink with someone for hours and truly become friends before even asking what they do for living. People here are having a good time. No judgement fun is a valuable thing, and Miami always has that in it’s forefront. Miami Beach is our favorite spot, especially because there is so much variety to what you can do, in fact if you are lucky, you can even surf epic waves in South Beach when the stars align and the right swell hits the 305. The gastronomy scene here is top notch. If someone was visiting us for a week we would show them the time of their lives. Restaurants like Nobu, Zuma, and Tanuki stand out if you like Asian fusion. If you want something different and very tasty you can try Pub Belly, Milo’s and Mandolin. Night life can go a million directions, but if you like to party for real, check out Liv, Story, and E11even, or go wild out a cool bar like Bodega. Wynwood has a plethora of awesome stuff to do. For serious parties in Wynwood check out Racket, el Patio, Dirty Rabbit, or Coyo Taco’s awesome reggae night. Also check out all the amazing artwork that decorates Wynwood, the neighborhood with the most art per square foot in the entire world. Shopping is always fun in the 305, especially on Lincoln Road where you have awesome stores just minutes from the beach, or you can head up to Sawgrass if you want to binge shop on all the specials they have there. Miami has been a home to us that we are eternally grateful to.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We’d like to thank all the people over the years from the music producers, who got us started on this journey as the first Male/Female Latin Urban duo, especially Echo, DJ Blass, Maff and Gogo, Luis Salazar, Sharo Towers and many more. We’d also really like to thank BMG, our publishing company, for opening our eyes to the strength and opportunity that we have as songwriters and for teaching us that we can always push harder to maximize our potential. We’d like to send a big hug and shout out to Rick Corrales, our manager, for respecting us truly as artists and joining our team to help us export our talents to another level and for truly believing in us. Big shoutout to our Stylist and close friend Sandra Madjdi for helping us always shine from within.
Island Kings Photography and Artwork by The Hayes Bros. Styling by Sandra Madjdi
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