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Interview: Dominique Young Unique

Having spent her formative years in the sunny surroundings of Tampa Bay, Florida, the climate in the Big Smoke was destined to be somewhat of a problem for 22 year old Dominique Lashawn Clark. Relaxing in the conference room of a glamorous central London hotel, today the rapper come model is shielded from natures elements, though a quick peek through the smudged window does provide a reminder as to how far we are from the warmth of America’s South Eastern coast.

Delicately propped up in an arched chair, she sighs, “The weather here is really like messy and cold; especially when it rains it gets really wet.” ‘Messy’ is fitting, before drizzle emanated from the clouds, dampening the pavement, there was a short lived cameo from the Sun which had set about heating a frosty London morning. For Miss Clark; or Dominique Young Unique as her stage name reads, life in the capital does come with its benefits, the architecture and history both provide intrigue as does the City’s shopping facilities.

When free from exploring ageing buildings or indulging in a spot of retail therapy, Dominique’s time is spent in the studio. After the success of last year’s anthem ‘Earthquake,’ (with fellow Southerner Diplo) Dominique has returned with ‘Throw It Down;’ an electro ridden, Hip Hop influenced melody of her own.

Planet Notion: The single ‘Throw It Down’ is great! It seems to be a cool blend of Electro & Hip Hop, was that the plan?
Dominique Young Unique: I’ve been doing electro, I first started in my mixtape and stuff and now it’s getting different with the trap and electric and the Hip Hop and all that together. It’s a fun sound. I’m trying to try different things.

PN:Is the single a preview to anything?
DYU: ‘Throw It Down’ is a preview to an album. After this single I’m releasing my next single and after that I’m releasing my album and it’s doing really good.

PN: Earthquake with Diplo was one of the biggest songs of 2013, what was it like for you to hear it playing when you were out and about?
DYU: It feels good, your music is out there playing and people are listening to it, it’s really good. I was really excited about Earthquake and how it brought me through into the music world. It helped me out a lot.

PN: You’ve by now had the opportunity to perform in different cities, what’s the most interesting place you have been to?
DYU: The most interesting place I’ve been to is Iceland, its beautiful there. It’s very different; they have some beautiful women there as well. But the planes get very tiring; you’re on a plane for 10 hours.

PN: Many musicians speak about writers block, has this happened to you yet?
DYU: It’s got to that point. I get very frustrated some times when I’m in the studio. It happens with a lot of artists I know, you can’t go in the studio and write, write, write. Sometimes you get frustrated and you have to leave to get your mind right. I just have to have a lot of candy in the studio and around me. I love candy, chocolate. When I eat, I’ll have coffee, too, and I’ll just be in the zone. Kind of weird, a lot of candy!

PN: Outside of music, what does Dominique Young like to do to relax?
DYU: I’ll be with my dogs. I have five dogs; two German Rottweilers, two Malteses and a Chihuahua. There is Louis, Ben, Coco, Brooklyn and London. Aside from my dogs I watch TV, Basketball Wives or the Bad Girl’s club. It’s normal, you know!

PN: Aside from yourself, which other artists are you listening to at the moment?
DYU:Of course Beyonce, I shouldn’t have to say her name, everybody knows. I love Beyonce, and I love Rihanna, too. They are really strong individual women, and they know their directions and what they want. I love their music and I can relate. Both of them really influenced me, I love them both. But also my struggle influences me, what I’ve been through.

PN: Do you feel that some artists perhaps try to be somebody they are not or play up to a certain image?
DYU: 
Azealia Banks is trying to be me. Even though some people say ‘Dominique has that Azealia Banks thing going on,’ they are wrong. Azealia Banks just got out there before me but I’ve been doing my music. I don’t compare myself with them, there is no comparison.

PN: Finally, why should fans continue to go out and support you and your music?
DYU: I’m bringing something new to the table. I’m just being myself and fans like that. They like when you be yourself and not another person. I’m just doing me.

Throw It Down is released on 20th April, but you can pre-order it now!

Follow Dominique Young Unique on Twitter

- Aniefiok Ekpoudom



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