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Q & A with O “Dino” Domino, CEO of Mysterious Ent.
Many of the best Indie Labels are run by people who know what it's like to be the artist themselves, and that is certainly the case with Mysterious Entertainment. Mr. Domino has seen the music industry from all sides and has picked up music business know-how in all aspects of the industry. . Recently Mr. Domino was offered and accepted a Talent Scout position with SMG Universal Global Network. He also has affiliations with P.U.S.H. – (Promote Until Something Happens), and MPRE (Money Platinum Radio Entertainment - Bungalo UMG). Through his affiliates his company can now offer nationwide digital and in-store distribution. Here he talks about being an artist, producer, record label owner, and his latest project “Southern Riot” the Mix-tape.
For the viewers who haven’t heard of you can you tell us a little about yourself?
Most people know me as the CEO of Mysterious Entertainment, but I wear many hats within the label. I am the Executive Producer, Executive Engineer, Manager, Graphic Designer, Promoter, Booking Agent and an artist as well. My company operates out of Texas. I have been involved in music since 1991 when my Great Uncle, Fat’s Domino, surprised me by letting me tag along with him in the recording studio.
What motivated you to get in the label side of the music business?
After the unsuccessful release of my first two solo projects, I decided that I needed to know more about the industry to not only have a successful release but save money as well. So I stepped away from producing and recording for about 3 years and read every piece of material I could find that talked about the industry. When I came back to producing and recording I found it was much easier to do what I was trying to do all this time. I released a project called Royal South, which is still available on iTunes and one of the featured artists called me and asked if I was willing to produce, record and engineer a project for him. We agreed and I completed his project for $250. After that, all his friends started calling me as well; for the same thing. At that point I had no label or any kind of name to associate my home studio. I remembered an article I read the 3 years I was away from music and decided to create an independent label that focused on generating a great product with very little overhead; Mysterious Entertainment was born.
Aside from talent what qualities in an artist really stand out for you?
Work ethic, and being willing to invest in themselves and their career. Many artists want the celebrity life but are not willing to work for it. When I scout a talent, their music is honestly the last thing I listen to. During a conversation I’m looking to see if they know anything about the business aspect of this industry and how many times they tell me they are a “hot” artist. What I really hate is when they pull their phone out and say “Listen to this!”. I also look for an artist that is willing to accept and apply criticism. This is also important because we can all improve on something whether delivery, stage presence, vocabulary or something.
Do you prefer originality over conformity, even if it won't make you as much money?
Absolutely I definitely prefer originality because I’m a firm believer in the phrase “The money will come.” I don’t like to work with artists that try to look like or sound like another artist. Now getting ideas from another artist and tweaking those ideas with their own personality is cool; but to simply conform or mimic another artist is a no-no in my book.
What are your thoughts on the music industry today?
I have a great respect for the music industry because it continues to adapt with the increase in technology. Just like it’s history, I believe the industry is going through a faddish phase right now with the type of hip hop music being promoted and considered “hot”. You won’t hear me talk bad about another artist but being in this business for so long and seeing the things I’ve seen, I understand why this modern day hip hop (in my opinion is not hip hop) is in such demand. I also have much respect for all labels (indie and major) as it takes a lot to start and run one. One thing I have noticed is that more and more Major labels are affiliating themselves with the Indie labels and using them kind of like the NBA uses the D League. Smart move.
Tell us about your current project “Southern Riot” how did it come about? What can fans expect to hear?
Out of all the projects that I have worked on this one is special because it is the first one with my entire label having a hand in it. The name Southern Riot was decided because it was almost like a riot in the studio writing and recording it. We all had to compromise as everyone wanted their ideas incorporated. It was actually fun. Fans can expect a compilation of songs from different parts of the nation. There is something on there that I feel everyone will relate to regardless of where they are from and overall they can expect great independent music. Southern Riot is hosted by DJ Big Redd of Swisha House and features -Mizz 901, Who Dat, Rah Talynt, Zonee, R. Lyric and a special feature by Legion an SMG Universal Artist, and me “Dino”.
The one song on this project that I have the most feelings about is No Gimmicks. Now it ain’t flashy but it simply states that we as a label are generating success without the use of gimmicks. Our success comes directly from hard work and sacrifice; which leads me to the song Serious by Mizz 901. I have major feelings for this song because this song was written and delivered from that emotional place that many artists today fail to reach.
What can we expect from Mysterious Entertainment next?
Within the next year, the world can expect big things from Mysterious Entertainment. Mizz 901’s debut album and EP is set to drop later this year along with our annual project a Hip Hop Christmas compilation. We are also scheduled to release the debut album and LP of GMG a rap group on our label. Southern Riot volume 2 and an R&B Explosion Compilation and EP. Numerous live performances through the year to include a community event hosted by Mysterious Entertainment with partners from T-Mobile, Wal-Mart, the Battered Women’s Society and many others.
How can fans connect with you?
It’s very easy to connect with all the members of Mysterious Entertainment. Our official site is www.mysteriousent.com; we can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mysteriousent; Twitter is www.twitter.com/Mysterious_Ent. There you can find links and contact information for every member of the label; or you can call my Executive Director of Operations at 254-307-1303 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How are you reached for booking or collaborations:
For any business related inquiries the contact is Vee, Executive Director of Operations at 254-307-1303 email: email@example.com. Media Inquiries to Lashaun Turner @ URBAN STARZ MEDIA & P.R (951) 665-8365