Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: Bri Dominique
Bri Dominique is a classically trained composer and performer known for her stunning Baroque pop and electronic music. Her song “IDK” came about when she moved to a new house in the middle of winter. It can be daunting to be stuck inside, in a new place, with not much to do except sit and think.
Bri recently spoke with WYEP’s Joey Spehar about her music.
This conversation may be lightly edited for content, clarity, or length.
What’s your musical history up to this point?
My musical history up to this point is mainly classical training through school, as I’ve been getting ready to graduate from Duquesne for a music degree. I’ve played the piano and violin since I was seven and took private lessons on the two instruments for years. I ultimately stuck with the viola because the instruments sounded more like “me” and it felt most comfortable. Recently I’ve been making electronic music more often than Baroque pop thanks to my apprenticeship with Herman Pearl (Soy sos sound recording) in refining my sound design for live performance
How do you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as new age in a way, as I can’t exactly compare the music I make to music I’ve heard on the radio before, it’s kind of it’s own thing. I’d boil it down to my interests in many genres that I listen to: Bossa Nova, Samba, Classic Rock, New wave, Punk, Alternative/indie, etc.
Tell us more about the song “IDK.” What inspired you to write it?
IDK was made in December 2021 after a difficult time in my life where I moved into a new house. I couldn’t take my desk from my old house yet so I set myself up on the floor with a four track recorder, my synthesizer keyboard, a drum machine, and a mic. The song is sort of about how being in a new place is daunting and how you can get stuck in your own thoughts instead of doing something fun outside. Of course where I was living during that time (Connecticut and New York) no one wants to go outside during that time of the year because it’s so cold.
What was the first album that really changed your life?
The first album that changed my life was Homeshakes second LP “Midnight Snack” and I’d classify it as a perfect bedroom pop album. No band was involved, just him, his guitar and overdubs on all parts. It showed me that it is possible to record music as a solo artist and have fun with it.
Can you talk about what it means to be a Black artist in Pittsburgh?
Being a black artist is hard everywhere, I’m just in the Midwest right now. Coming from New York originally of course there’s a lot of culture shock that I experience when I do shows, but it’s mostly respectful in nature. Of course there are times where venues segregate acts that perform (supposedly without even knowing that) but I just keep on moving, it’s what’s necessary for my happiness.
Which Pittsburgh artist(s) do you wish more people knew about?
Betsy and Benito, Swampwalk, Merce Lemon, Lys Scott, Fig, Princess Nostalgia, Buscrates
Each of them are wonderful artists and I think their music should be listened to and appreciated.
Any other super interesting things we should know about you?
I’ve been working on a new album that has more of the sound found on IDK and I’m proud of it so far. My songwriting process has changed a lot from music for the kindhearted with more variety. On top of that, I always have my improvisation gigs with my mentor and those events are always posted on my Instagram @bridominiquemusic
Learn more about Bri Dominique here:
Check out previous Pittsburgh Artists of the Week here.