Dom Brown defies Genres
Rochester native shows off hip hop chops opening for Nelly August 10
Photo by Haslin Mary Photography
Dominique Brown opens for Nelly at Canalside on August 10 and is ready to show the crowd that hip hop can cross category barriers with tracks from his new album, No Genre. The Rochester rapper/songwriter is known for his anthems dedicated to the Bills, his Afro-inspired beats, and rhymes showcasing the ups and downs of relationships. Brown is unapologetically blunt in his verses and channels real experiences to get people moving on the dance floor. In a recent interview, he sounds like someone entering a new phase of life.
You’re not from Buffalo, right? How did you get here?
I grew up in the city of Rochester, went to Monroe Community College, and then transferred to the University at Buffalo in 2011 to major in sociology and legal studies. I was almost done with school when Maya [Brown’s six-year-old daughter] came along, and then I tried to go back, but I injured myself playing basketball.
When did you start making music?
I started making music when I was in third grade. I made a rap in front of the class. Instead of doing poetry, I did a rap. I think I always wanted to make music. When I was seventeen, I got my own equipment and was making music in my parents’ basement. I’ve been rapping and writing my own lyrics since 2008. When I first started, Lil’ Wayne and T-Pain were the two artists I wanted to be like.
How did you start to get noticed?
I used to bounce places, so I knew DJs. I walked up to the one DJ and asked him if he could play one of my songs. He played it and liked it, and we built a relationship. If I’m at a bar, I’ll go up to the DJ and get their emails.
What sets you apart from what’s already out on the market?
I really think that I have a unique sound. I don’t really know many artists that can do four or five different tempos of tracks. I feel like I can hop on and record on any type of track.
To hear Dom Brown’s music, visit dombrown.hearnow.com and check Soundcloud, YouTube, and all streaming services.