Dominique Young Unique: Breaks silence with an exclusive shoot + interview with FAULT Magazine

 

Coat: Roberto Cavalli Top: Shade London,  Trousers: KTZ Belt: MAWII
Coat: Roberto Cavalli
Top: Shade London,
Trousers: KTZ
Belt: MAWII

Let’s start by talking about your musical background: your influences, your career beginnings, and how you started out.

Were you always a natural performer?

Yes I’ve loved music since I was about 7 years old and I was in the church with my Grama singing. I remember doing my first performance- I was a little nervous but it was fun. After I got off the stage, I wanted to do more.

 

Is the live performance something that is really important to you, or do you prefer the studio?

Well I prefer both because I have to get in the studio to make music and then get on stage to perform. I will say that every time I perform for my fans it’s like a connection; we connect in a very strong way.

 

How did growing up in Tampa shape your music – you’ve talked about the violence and aggression of growing up there, do you see that mirrored in the ferocity of your music?

Yes, growing up in Tampa was very rough- especially where I grew up. It seemed like it was so hard to find a way out. People used to always say I would be pregnant at the age of 15, even though I wasn’t even having sex then. It was very tough but I put all that into my music.

Hat: Shade London  Dress: Ashish
Hat: Shade London
Dress: Ashish


Your song ‘Motherquake’ is on the Kick Ass 2 soundtrack – does film have a big influence on your music? If so, what films inspire you?

I know, I was so excited when I found out my track was included. I love that movie!


In regards to film and music videos, how do you go about shaping the visuals that accompany your music?

I just go along with the flow!


What do you want to say with your music videos?

I like to tell a story in my music videos, in the same way I’m doing it in my music. I want to describe it in my song, and show the action in my video.

Hat: Shade London  Dress: Ashish
Hat: Shade London
Dress: Ashish


Speaking of visuals, you have a really eye-catching look and have modelled for American Vogue alongside Cara Delevingne. Is fashion really important to your music?

No not really!


Female rappers seem to be having a real moment – from Nicki  and Iggy, to Azealia Banks and Angel Haze. Is there a pressure or expectation that comes with being a female rapper in 2014?

Yes you get a lot of hate and people are always comparing you to other female rappers. Female rappers like to beef- it’s nothing new.

How would you best describe the difference between you and these other rappers?

I’m very Unique. I have a different look, sound, taste etc. I stand out.

Hat: Shade London  Dress: Ashish
Hat: Shade London
Dress: Ashish

What’s coming up for Dominique Young Unique in 2015?

I will be dropping my new single and also working on my new album. I’m looking forward to signing a record deal after I got released from SonyUK and I’m also touring again!

 

Photography: Miles Holder

Styling: a+c Studios

Hair: Lisa [email protected] using beauty works and fudge

MUA: Natalie Viner

Words: Will Ballantyne Reid