DOMi — aka Domitille Degalle, a pianist from Nancy, France — is 19, and set to graduate from the Berklee College of Music in May. JD Beck, a drumming prodigy from Dallas, Tx., is wrapping up his high school studies. Rarely do you see two dynamos so well positioned for stardom.
JD Beck and DOMi will release their debut album later this year; they’ve been courted by prominent indie labels, and recruited by artists from Anderson .Paak to Thundercat to Skrillex. Their raging momentum was obvious throughout their sold-out show last week on The Checkout Live at Berklee. The webcast, from The Red Room at Café 939, could only be viewed in real time; it received some of the biggest streaming numbers ever recorded for our series.
Now we’re proud to share audio from the show. DOMi and Beck both requested a standard live radio/podcast format – with short, rebellious interviews onstage, plus a more in-depth conversation backstage. When I asked how aware they are of the disruption in their art, Beck responded:
We grew up playing crazy standards or whatever. I grew up with hip-hop in Dallas all the time, and that was a normal thing. All I listen to is weird music. I guess the cultural disruption is a blend — everybody playing the same stuff and wanting to hear something new. I mean, everyone sounds the same. The only reason we like the people we like now is because they did something different, and when everyone tries to replicate that it kind of ruins what you like about it. So let’s play everything imaginable and try to do something weird.
DOMi eagerly picked up the thread. “All these people — they don’t try to shock — they actually live their life,” she said. “All of Thundercat’s lyrics are true. He’s actually complicated, crazy. That’s why the music is so true, because they are completely nuts. Same as us. Same with our album. All of our lyrics are ridiculous, and they are all true.”