INTERVIEW | Five lessons in business with Dom Marcell
It's been a long time coming, this Dom Marcell-PopDust interview. The Puerto Rican born, New Orleans raised, and Wall Street groomed singer, writer, and dancer started on his musical journey years ago, placed it to the side when he felt that he wasn't achieving success at a pace that made sense, and then picked it back up when he was prepared for the life of an artist. An infusion of caribbean, latin, and New Orleans Bounce sounds, Dom Marcell's music is his DNA. Here is his story.
"Ask somebody else about my credentials"
Dom went to an arts school for elementary and high school. He made the decision at 17 to attend college and pursue his music career simultaneously knowing that it was a big task. He majored in business and communications, recognizing the importance of combining his right and left brains, the artist with the analyst. Duality follows him wherever he goes, which makes sense for the Gemini who double majored in business and communications while in college. While in college, he made sure to stay connected to the entertainment world, interning at some of the world's biggest media brands, HBO and Atlantic records, to name a couple. When music didn't happen for Dom in what he considered a timely basis, he decided to shelve music and concentrate on his studies. A three year law and MBA program was his solution.
"At the end of the day, you have to be realistic too, you have to give yourself milestones."
Maybe it's the business major in him, but all of his goals have clearly laid out plans–complete with timelines and milestone checks varying in length of time. I guess that detail and thoughtful consideration is not only what transforms them from dreams into plans, but what makes Dom the artist so successful. Marketing strategies, building a useful team, operating as a product, and fielding candid feedback are all a part of his executed roadmap to success. How may artists do you know that conduct focus groups to determine the "viability of the music"? Yeah, in the words of the incomparable Jay-Z he's not a business man, he's a business, man.
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"I just don't go into something blind because I know I invested time and money into my JMBA...but music is a startup company."
You can't help but notice the level headedness he approaches his career, especially for an artist and creative. He parlayed his business and law degrees into his music career, trademarking and copyrighting his business entities associated with his music. How did he know it was time to pick up music again? An interesting question, to which Dom provides a thoughtful answer. After doing everything the right way, he was not satisfied with his life. While this was the dream route for many of his peers getting asked to come back to his investment firm and getting a business degree and his law degree still didn't bring him that happiness. What did was, songwriting. Interesting because when i asked him to choose between singing and songwriting without hesitation he chose songwriting. Songwriting led to the first song he recorded, DTK. He hadn't heard himself in years, and after the most important test in determining whether a song was hot or not, the car test, he failed it. He let the song sit on a shelf, came back to it as he became more comfortable with his voice, and then played the finished version for friends.The follow-up, Unique, is an affirmation that he was the person he thought he was, and not who people told him he was not. It was the song version of his reality. He was capable, accomplished, and talented.
Peep the whole interview , where he also encourages us to tell our friends that they aren't on the right path. Constructive and honest feedback is necessary. Watch us practice how to tell your friend he's not as talented as he thinks he is in the episode of Popdust Presents below.
Brittiany Cierra is an entertainment and travel journalist and On-Air host highlighting where culture, music, film, television, and current events intersect. When she's not writing about people, places, and things, she's speaking about, dancing on, or marketing them. Follow the journey on twitter and Instagram.
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