Even with U.S. tour and album release approaching, we had the chance to talk with Domino Saints about what’s been going on! We dug a bit deeper right before the start of their nationwide Island Vibes tour featuring COAST CITY. The tour goes on throughout the month of February. The duo brings hot, sexy, oceanside energy to our home of New York during the super cold weather.
TheKnockturnal: At what point in life did you realize music would be a career for you
Gigi: For me it was at 6 years old when I saw the Michael Jackson Live in Bucharest VHS video my dad gave me as a gift. I was already a ballet dancer and loved the stage, but when I saw Michael’s performance and how crazy people went crazy over his music that’s when I knew that’s what I wanted to be. A performer and touch people with music.
David: When I was little my older cousin got an electric guitar and he would make me sing all the rock songs he loved while he played them, then I ended up being selected to be the Nutcracker in a local Christmas play. I wasn’t afraid of being on stage and always loved music. After starting to play drums in high school I realized that music was something I was really serious about and I wanted to live doing something I loved passionately, not just an endless day job.
TheKnockturnal: How did the Domino Saints duo come about?
Gigi: We were studying at Berklee College of Music and both of us were focused on separate musical projects. I was more focused in jazz and David more in rock/reggae bands as a drummer. But we both loved Reggae, dancehall and Reggaeton, obviously from growing up in Puerto Rico. So, jazz and rock it wasn’t really cutting it or fulfilling us as artists, especially being from an island. That and add a horrid amount of snow and cold weather in Boston, you get homesick really quickly and want to go back to your roots. It was actually our friends in a conversation we were all having about the music we love and that brought up the idea of us being a duo. They mentioned how there isn’t a female/male duo doing Reggaeton/Dancehall. We hadn’t even thought of the idea. We thought, “Why don’t we do a group together?’. And that’s how it all started.
TheKnockturnal: In what ways have you both grown since your release of Malas Mañas, back in 2012?
Gigi: Uff! Substantially! Back then we were starting this project. Two humble, good kids straight out of Berklee. Easily influenced and very naïve of this cut-throat industry. We had a vision of what we wanted to do and but still needed a bit in the rough edges. We were also trying to listen to label people and execs that have their own vision of your project but not necessarily yours. Now I would say I have grown to be a stronger performer, a songwriter. A stronger woman in this still man-controlled industry, grown as a human being in general. Life gives you that gift, to find yourself in the weirdest of ways sometimes. But it’s so amazing now!
David: Wow, it’s been such a journey. We have toured in many countries, been in several labels, and had enough bumps on the road to where we are that not only have we had to step up our game as singers and writers, but we have also had to learn the business side of music to make this career a reality. It’s been a ride, but then again, that is the point. If something comes way to easy to you, then how can you learn to appreciate the success?
TheKnockturnal: I know the duo recently stayed in Colombia. I’m half Colombian so, I have to ask: What are your favorite Colombian eats? (Meals, desserts, snacks)
David: Awesome! I am Colombian myself! My parents are Colombian. I was born in Venezuela and raised in Puerto Rico, so I am definitely very Latin, lol, but I have a huge love for my Colombian heritage and am totally a Colombian Soccer fan. I love the Bandeja Paisa, Ajiaco, and local Colombian Candy like Frunas, Sparkies, and am completely obsessed with Manzana Postobon.
Gigi: OMG! The chicharron, chicharron, chicharron! I eat it every day when I’m down there! Amazing I haven’t had a cholesterol clog, hahaha. Also, love the Calentaos for breakfast and the Cazuelas de frijoles. Salivating right now. Lol
TheKnockturnal: The video for ‘Wine’ dropped earlier this month. It’s a song full of caribe flavors. The video is filmed in the streets of Colombia, what city?
Domino Saints: The video was filmed at Guatapé at the Piedra del Peñol that is an hour and a half from Medellín. Magical place. Found out there that the Peñol is actually a meteorite that landed there. Fun Fact. We went with director Jorge Arroyo to Medellin and filmed several videos while we were there. We love that city.
TheKnockturnal: ‘Wine’ features Landa Freak. How did Landa and Domino Saints initially connect?
David: In 2017, we moved to Medellin for almost an entire year. Pope and J Balvin had always been very supportive of our style and they introduced us to an amazing group of producers that are from there. That is how we eventually met Landa Freak. After a referral, he wrote us on Instagram and since I was in the city I went to visit him in Belen where we walked around the whole barrio and talked about music, life, and the grind to be a legit artist in our genre that still keeps it real. I showed him the original demo for Wine and he loved the song. Later we asked Gogo to record Landa and the collab came out amazing.
TheKnockturnal: The duo also released a video for “Dutty Love” recently. Que canción tan bacana!
Domino Saints: Thank you! Really cool song we did in Medellin as well. We wanted to bring some spice with the topic of a battle between the sexes, especially when Gigi comes in and calls us all out! Hahaha. We are all about collaborating with amazing artists that are up and coming. That’s why we collabed with Jaycob Duque and Donki Rap, artists from Medellin. They are super talented and loved their vibe. Jaycob was instrumental in welcoming us to the city and let us work at his studio with Chainntrackz, one of Medellin’s coolest producers.
TheKnockturnal: Gigi’s part is “La Representación Femenina”. Gigi, who are some of your musical femme influences?
Gigi: Representación Femenina! All about it! I feel we need more female icons and strong women that do things their own way. I’m a huge fan of Lauren Hill, Amy Winehouse, Ivy Queen, Ella Fitzgerald, and Rihanna.
TheKnockturnal: What can we expect at your NY show for the ISLAND VIBES Tour at SOB’s coming up February 15th?
Domino Saints: We are gonna rock out like always! Our music is very dancehall, very latin, and very vibey. We always make people dance at our shows and NYC has always shown us a lot of love, even when we were just starting as music students in Berklee, we would pack awesome band shows in NYC and always had a blast. Expect lots of high energy plus many songs from our brand-new album that drops just before the tour. ISLAND KINGS
TheKnockturnal: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Domino Saints: Super excited that 2020 started with a bang. We have put out so much music and finally feel free to express ourselves fully without limitations. Our new album Island Kings Vol. 1 drops January 31st with a new single called Body, we are performing at SUPERBOWL LIVE, and we are going on our first headlining US tour, which is such a blessing. We are happy that we are stronger than ever. 2020 baby!
TheKnockturnal: A message from Domino Saints to the world.
Domino Saints: We are very grateful to all the fans. All the people that have listened to our music and our growth over the years. Our songs are stories, most from personal experience that are made to remind us all of the power of love. Our new album Island Kings is not about us bragging about being kings, but actually the underlying message is that if you have love and the beautiful island lifestyle we grew up with, even if you have very little, you can still Live like a King! Don’t ever let people tell you that you are not capable of something, or that you should quit dreaming. Those people are only speedbumps in your life and you need to overcome them with faith in your purpose and dedication to your passion. Everything is possible, and we are a testament to that.