Before a bartender could legally hand her a drink, Domanique Grant lived more places than I have seen in my 30 years on earth. Well-traveled is an understatement in this scenario. She’s taken not only her various homes but experiences as a motivational speaker and molded them into the more musical chapter of her life. With her new album, Playhouse, dropping in October we decided to sit down with this wandering songbird to talk about the moves, album and more.
Kendra: What drove you to be a motivational speaker, and did that also inspire you to go towards music?
Domanique Grant: I didn’t really fit into a lot of spaces as a kid. I grew into my own skin and I started getting asked to remind people that being outside of the box is okay. I always had a love for music, but prior to traveling and doing work as a speaker, I felt like I didn’t have as much to talk about. So yeah, I’d say it definitely inspired me and gave me a tone of inspiration to begin writing my first album.
Kendra: I’ve spent over three decades in one state so I cannot imagine what it’d be like to live as many places as you by 20. Looking back, can you hear those locales in your sound at all?
Domanique Grant: Well it’s amazing you have such an awesome foundation! Definitely. Places like Uganda, Argentina, and Cuba influenced me even when I didn’t think that they did. I developed this love for drums, bass and different types of strings because of all of the different fusions of sounds and instruments. After you’ve been to a street party in Buenos Aires or Kampala with 20-piece bands and communities of people adding layers it really changes what you think you know about music. I’m super grateful to have had the experiences.
Kendra: On the flip side of unpacking your bags a variety of places, you’ve noted how you struggled with the idea of home. Is that something you sing of on Playhouse?
Domanique Grant: Yeah, that’s really where I started pulling the pieces for my EP together from. With experiences I had to try to make sense of growing up and at the core of it, I always came back to this same theme, especially having Toronto, Canada’s largest city as my home base.
Kendra: Speaking of Playhouse, which drops this August, what are three words you’d use to describe it and why?
Domanique Grant: I’d say dreams, cities, and childhood. These words together gave me the content, context, and creativity to make the EP something really special, personal but also something that I think will resonate with a lot of people. They are also all places that I definitely pulled from to create music that makes you want to connect and love and let go and then step back and reflect. I’m so excited to share this with you guys though, and beautiful question!
Kendra: One song from Playhouse is “Investment.” What’s the story behind this one and is it a first person or a universal tale, and will fans be hearing “Investment” and the rest of Playhouse live soon?
Domanique Grant: “Investment” is a universal tale inspired by seeing so many friends give everything of themselves in relationships only for it to end with one person taking way more than they gave. Money, time, your health, your sense of self, somehow so many of us give these things up and with this new non-committed dating culture things are just weird.
One friend in particular really helped inspired this. She came out of a high profile relationship and lost everything to her partner, only to have to pick herself up and start all over again.
A line that repeats in the song is “I wonder if karma was my friend if it would bring me riches for being so faithful…I’m making an investment on my heart.” “Investment” was my reminder to her that the best revenge is picking yourself up, investing in yourself and being better for it. Letting go of the bitterness and replacing it with becoming your best you! Yes, they will. We will be announcing tour stops in the next few weeks on my website.