YOU probably came across one of his songs on Spotify and told yourself, “Wow, this artist is pretty good.” It surprises you even further when you find out that he’s Cebuano and it immediately fills you with so much pride that a local artist can produce music at par with our favorite international talents.
Dom Guyot, 21, is working his way into becoming a well-known, global artist. Let’s get to know more of this homegrown artist from how he started, his inspiration and influences up to his future plans.
SunStar LIVE! (SLL): When did you discover your passion for music and what inspired you to pursue it?
Dom Guyot (DG): My whole life has been engrossed in music. I grew up watching Beyoncé and Rihanna concerts at home with my elder brother as well as musical classics like “Phantom of the Opera,” “The Sound of Music” and “Les Miserables.” Thanks to my dad, who always got us the DVDs. And for sure, I’d be the first one to belt out some Whitney or Celine classics during karaoke sessions with the family. I always loved music and the art of performing that comes with it but sadly, I stopped singing because of certain personal issues that happened when I was around 15 or 16 years old. It took me three years to rekindle my love and drive for music.
SSL: How did you start building your name in the local music industry?
DG: Before pursuing my music career, I was a dancer. I danced in a number of music videos and live performances for a certain local artist. But even with all of that, I still had to build my name from scratch. I guess my first single, “Not Me” helped kick start my career. Looking back, I really worked hard on that one. I choreographed the dance for it with my best friend, Marydelle and we shot a music video with my dancer friends (Syn Var). When I released the lyric video, which by the way was a total mess, people were sharing it like crazy online. This made me feel really happy knowing people actually appreciate my music! When I released my music video, it just spread like wildfire. I’m really proud of that.
SSL: As an artist, who are your musical influences?
DG: Well, it’s a combination of old school or 2000s RnB from Destiny’s Child, TLC and Jazmine Sullivan to the new wave of RnB like Sza, H.E.R., Kehlani, Daniel Caesar, Ari Lenox, Jhene Aiko, and Korean RnB like Woodz, Dean and OffonOff. Add Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole. Oh, and Ariana Grande!
SSL: How would you describe your genre of music?
DG: My genre is my own take on RnB. But categorically, it’s RnB Pop.
SSL: Do you write and compose your own music? If yes, where do you get the inspiration from and how does your creative process work?
DG: Yes, I write all of my songs. If you hear Dom Guyot singing a verse, best believe he wrote it! As an artist, I really take pride in that. Well, at times when melodies and lyrics pop up in my head, I record them or write them down on my notes, and then I finish them. But usually, my best songs come after a strong sense of emotion in my life, may it be after breaking down or having the best day of my life. I guess it’s one of the best things about my music. My vulnerability in it.
SSL: Can you share a short excerpt on what your latest release “Ambitions” is all about?
DG: “Ambitions” is an appreciation song for all the people in your life who chose to keep and love you with all of your ambitions. Being ambitious here in the Philippines is not always taken the best way by some people. Being called “ambisyoso” gives a negative and derogatory narrative in regards to having big dreams for oneself. The song expresses how it feels once you find people who love you with all of your aspirations in life and accepts them for what they are.
SSL: Is releasing a full album in the pipeline this 2020?
DG: Okay, this is the first time I’m announcing it. I may have an album in the works right now. We were supposed to work on it the whole of March and April but the Covid-19 crisis happened. We had to put being a socially responsible citizen and the safety of other people first before anything else, so we decided to postpone the production of everything. But my first full-length album is coming very soon, sooner than you think.
SSL: What are you most looking forward to when this pandemic is behind us?
DG: To be honest, I’m really looking forward to everyone being alive and well. It’s a scary time and not everyone has the same privilege that other people have. I’m also looking forward to putting my album out for my supporters. I hope this will help a lot of people get through their fair share of sadness.
SSL: What word of advice would you give to aspiring young artists like you?
DG: Just keep putting music out there. You will always be your harshest critic. It’s possible you will have a lot of doubts, insecurities and negative thoughts about you and your music. The best thing to do is to not be too hard on yourself but also holding yourself accountable for every action you choose to do or not to do. Lastly, never forget the reason why you put yourself through all of this and that’s because of music.