Dominique Young is here to use her voice for the greater good. Hailing from Tampa, Florida, the recording artist has traveled and toured in over 60 countries. Starting in the church choir with her grandmother, it was at age 17 when she flew out to London and made a name for herself in the music industry. Staying over there for 5 years, she was always back and forth between the UK and the States.
Boasting 150K followers on Instagram alone, Young is a spokeswoman for Black Lives Matter in both her music career and everyday life. Most recently, she unleashed her most powerful single yet titled “Why,” inspired by Eric Garner’s death.
AllHipHop caught up with Dominique to discuss her influences growing up, what sets her apart from other female rappers, her new single “Why,” goals, and more!
AllHipHop: Being from Tampa, how was that whole experience in London?
Dominique Young: It was really different because I’m a young girl and I’m traveling all on my own. Adapting to the food, the weather, it was very different for me. It was fine though, a great experience. It was definitely a really good change because where I’m from, I grew up in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Tampa, Florida. I flew all the way from there to a whole other country. It was definitely a different vibe.
AllHipHop: At 17 years old, what was your ambition then?
Dominique Young: I always wanted to be a music artist, but I wanted to be a model as well. I tried to get into this modeling agency called John Casablanca when I was a young girl, my dad used to try to get me in. My mom and dad took me to a model agency in Tampa, but I decided I really wanted to do music. I wanted to be a rapper. My dad’s like “girl, won’t you make up your damn mind.” He got me a studio down here in Tampa and introduced me to this group. This group was involved with the producer who flew me to London.
AllHipHop: Biggest influences growing up?
Dominique Young: I definitely used to look up to Eve. I love Eve, her flow and style. her personality. She got this gangster swag, it’s woman empowerment. The way she flowed and her delivery, it’s fire. I definitely listened to Destiny’s Child.
AllHipHop: What sets you apart from female rappers?
Dominique Young: I love the female rappers, I’m definitely all about women. I’m talking about what’s real. They release their booty shaking music, party music. I understand that’s what they’re doing, but I’m releasing what’s going on here in the world. That’s what I have a voice for, that’s what needs to be heard at the moment. And I’m unique!
AllHipHop: How did you build your fanbase and following?
Dominique Young: I definitely connect to them. Every time I see a fan or someone @’s me, I reply to them. I socialize with them. I follow people, read their stories. I comment back with what they got going on.
AllHipHop: You just released “WHY” inspired by #BLM. What were you going through when you recorded this one?
Dominique Young: “WHY” is a very emotional song, it means a lot to me. The world’s forgetting what’s really going on out here. Everybody I mention in that song, it’s not a diss. Definitely not dissing them. The Black Lives Movement is going on. The police killed my uncle, police broke my uncle’s neck. I actually experienced that in my family. That’s f##ked up. It’s Black Lives Matter, this means a lot to me. To see what’s going on with my kind, God gave me my voice and that’s what I’ma use it for.
AllHipHop: You were inspired by Eric Garner’s death, how does it feel to know the officer wasn’t charged?
Dominique Young: That’s hurtful. Come on, Eric Garner couldn’t breathe. It keeps happening over and over and over. It’s going to happen again and again and again. It affects me a lot, it affects my family, it affects the ones around me, it affects people who follow me. It’s tough. [sighs] It’s so hard what we have to go through in order to fight for our lives. We have to come together but it’s not going to happen, it’s about racist people. Even when I have kids, this racist s##t is still going to go on.
AllHipHop: What memories come up when you listen to “Why” by Jadakiss and Anthony Hamilton?
Dominique Young: It’s deep, the new world by Dominic Young. He talked about Aaliyah on the flight, he talked about Kobe. Now look, I’m talking about Kobe and his daughter. Come on, I lost my father. It hit me hard. What Jadakiss wrote really inspired me. I used to listen to it when I was younger but now as I got older, I definitely understand. I rewrote the record because this is what’s going on out here. People need to hear it, let’s not forget. The officer took a kneel on George Floyd’s neck but everyone has something to say when Colin Kaepernick takes a kneel for the national anthem because of all the injustice going on.
AllHipHop: Were you out protesting?
Dominique Young: It was definitely a lot going on in Tampa. I was out there, it was really bad. I’m here, I have a voice. A voice is so powerful and it’s time for me to be heard. I’ma keep pushing. I’ve been in the game for so long. Before my dad left this earth, he said “daughter if you give up, you’re not giving up on yourself. You’re giving up on all the people around you who love you. I don’t believe in failure, it’s not in my blood. I’m a fighter, I got to win. I’ma keep going, I don’t care how old I am. It’s never too late.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
Dominique Young: I need my chocolate. [laughs] I love M&Ms or Snickers, so good. I love root beer, and maybe 2 blunts.
AllHipHop: What are some goals for yourself?
Dominique Young: I definitely want to put out an album. I never put out an album. I want to collab with Beyonce. I love Megan, Cardi, all of them.
AllHipHop: What’s one thing fans may not know about you?
Dominique Young: I’m a very deep emotional person. I’m emotional, but I’m also a fighter.