Dominique Ilie is on the path to the Billboard charts
At just 14 years old, Dominique Ilie is well on his way to stardom. The young singer & actor is making a name for himself by expressing his creativity in a multitude of ways. His single “Sunflower” released on Valentine’s Day to rave reviews, but Ilie has his goals set even higher.
We were lucky enough to talk to Ilie about those goals, his creative process, and what the world can expect from him in the future. If you want to stay on the cutting edge of entertainment, then this is an interview for you.
How long have you been a musician?
If you ask my mom, she would say I was born a musician. I sang, danced and play the drums since I could walk, so I am told. I come from a musical family, so I guess I was born into it. My music education started when I was 4 years old, I now sing, play piano and guitar, I produce and write my own music.
Who are some of your favorite musical artists?
I love listening to music of all kinds, and I especially love discovering new artists, or old artists that are new to me. At this moment some of my favorite artists that I look up to and inspire me to work hard every day are Tyler the Creator, Kendrick Lamar, Billy Eilish.
What albums get you inspired to create your own music?
I love Tyler’s album “Igor” because it was the first album that I listened to that changed my perception in music.
I also love Xxxtentacion’s album “17” love his message at the beginning of the album, I think that is so powerful. He connects with the audience and sets the scene before you even get to hear his music. I love the way he opens up his heart and demands his fans to do the same before jumping into his world.
How did you get started making music professionally?
As I mentioned, I come from a family of musicians. My father was classically trained and played oboe and piano. He has a master in sounds engineering and owns a Recording Studio and a Music Academy. My grandmother is an opera singer with an impressive career behind her, she has been my teacher and guide. I am extremely lucky to have had many teachers and talented musicians to help me find my voice and expand my skills. I continue to be guided and supported by amazing people without whom I could never be where I am.
Can you tell us about your songwriting process?
I am still trying to find the best way to write. Sometimes I start something from scratch by playing a chord progression on piano or guitar, but I prefer getting in the studio with my producer and making beats that I can write on later. I am only 14 years old, and I only started writing music two years ago. I have many talented musicians, producers, and song writers that help me discover my creativity and polish my ideas into amazing songs. I am very grateful for my team and the people around me that continue to support me and guide me.
What was it like recording your latest single “Sunflower”?
Sunflower is the most recent song I have recorded. I love being in the studio and I love recording, despite of all the hard work and challenges. My voice has been changing in the past two years, I now sound so different compared to my first original song, Colors, released in 2020. I feel that Sunflower is the first single recorded since my voice changed, and in a way it marked a new beginning for me.
Why did you go with a Valentine’s Day release for the song?
Sunflower is a love song, so what better day to release it. I am a romantic and all my songs so far are about love, even though I don’t have a lot of experience in that field yet. Sunflower is about the perfect person, the perfect love that exists only in our own imagination.
Do you have any other music projects currently in the works?
Yes, I am planning on releasing singles throughout the year. I am hope I will be able to release my first album soon. I feel extremely inspired and determined to make a career out of the thing I love most, music.
What are some of your biggest goals in music?
I want it all. I want to make the best possible music I can, and overcome the person I was yesterday. I want my music to impact the world and my singles to be on the Billboard charts. Most importantly, I want to write and sing music that inspires me. I hope to never get lost in the crowd and stay true to my own unique self.
Switching focus now to your acting career, what first drew you into acting?
Honestly, I loved performing and meeting new people. I was one of those kids that had a blast auditioning because I would get to chat with casting directors and new people all the time. I love the spotlight and the attention.
Who are some people in the acting world that you’d love to work with?
That’s a thought question because there are so many great actors that I admire. I would love to work with Zendaya one day, she is an amazing singer and actress. I admire her talent and hard work, because I know how much dedication and work is behind every success.
Do you have any ongoing projects that you can talk to us about?
My main focus right now is music; I am working on new music and towards my first album release. Another project that I am extremely excited about is my affiliation with Wells of Life Foundation. My family and I love traveling and meeting people from different cultures. Seeing how harsh life can be in different parts of the world made me realize how important it is for me to act and help when I can. One person can make a huge difference. I became one of the ambassadors for this amazing charity, which has been digging wells and bringing water to the neediest people of Uganda for more than 10 years. I chose this organization because I know the founder and the people who run it. They are truly amazing people and an inspiration to me.
What are some shows you’ve been obsessing over lately?
I don’t watch a lot of TV because my time is limited. I work two jobs, I am a student and a musician :). Its been a while since I got into a show, but I think the last few ones I binge watched was, Naruto and Manifest.
How do you stay motivated?
I am a positive person. I have days when all I want to do is to see my friends and be a normal teenager, and I allow myself to do just that. Balance is important, I have days when I work hard and I have a full schedule, but I also take time to relax and recharge. I also have my parents and my fans that motivate me to be better every day. It’s easy to stay motivated when people around me are supportive, I am grateful for that.
Do you have a favorite film of all time?
I love animals, but especially dogs. A Dog’s Purpose is one of my absolute favorite movies, it was one of the few times when I cried at the movie theater.
What’s your five year plan?
Hmm, I don’t have a 5 year plan, but I do have step stones I want to reach. I want to release my first album before the age of 15. I want to have a single on the Billboard charts at 16, and I want to have a concert sold out at Staple Center by the time I am 18. I guess I have a 4 year plan :)
What advice would you give to an artist out there who’s just getting their start?
I think the most important thing is to find your own voice and stay true to it. I have had many people telling me what to sing or write, but I think is more important to trust your own instincts. I think music has to be truthful to be impactful, and for that you have to pour your own heart into it, there’s no fixed recipe. I also think you have to push to be the best you can be to make it. There are so many talented musicians, I see them online all the time. We are so lucky to have so many platforms where we can share our music, but the competition is real.