We had the good fortune of connecting with Dom Deshawn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dom, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
I think it depends on the individual and the goals they’re trying to achieve. When it comes to my music, I really do have a belief I will get to where I want to go. I’ve had very clear goals outlined and know what it will take to get there. At this point, it’s not IF, but WHEN I’ll achieve those goals. What separates the ones that make it, in my opinion, is that they did not give up. Maybe it’s some stubbornness involved, but I don’t see myself giving up after coming this far. The love for what I do and my determination to live out my dreams are some of the driving forces to keep me going. It’s not easy and will take years to get there for me(including myself), but I want to succeed so much that giving up does not cross my mind.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Before I began creating myself, I have always had a love for music. When I was younger, I would sneak into my older brother’s room to listen to his many albums. Artists like Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, Nas, Slum Village, and many others created my love for music. I transitioned from drawing to wanting to make music during high school. After graduating, I spent three years working on my songwriting, flow, and overall confidence before recording. It was a very unconventional approach, but I believe it set up for success and showed how serious I was about my craft.
I released my first mixtape in 2011 and coming up on the tenth anniversary of the release. With almost a decade into this, I’ve been blessed to be featured on local and nationally known websites, perform at festivals, work with artists/producers I’m a fan of, and much more. However, the journey has been far from easy and only have scratched the surface of my dreams.
Throughout the years, I have always kept a 9-5 and have never been able to pursue my creative passions full-time. However, recently, I have taken a leap of faith and quit my job to honestly give myself a chance to pursue my dreams. Having 40 hours a week to something you’re not passionate about was draining, and I reached my breaking point. There’s definitely risk involved, but is outweighed by my desire to succedd and give myself the best shot in music.
My brand AfterhOurz encompasses that mentality, wanting people to be go-getters, chasing their dreams. If you know what your purpose in this world is, work to get there. It will not be easy, and every obstacle will be thrown your way, but finding that happiness is the key to life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whew, I feel Columbus is one of those cities where not many outside Ohio know much about it. It depends on what you’re into and looking for, but we have a good amount of restaurants, concerts, art and more worth seeing.
I actually had a friend visit from NYC a few years ago and took them around to many spots. If they visit again, I would first take them to this vegan restaurant called Willowbeez. They’re black-owned and provide fantastic soul food but in a vegan way. From there, we can grab a drink at Bottle Shop or Tavern(located in Olde Towne East)and see a show at Ace of Cups.
Before they leave, Parable Coffee would deliver their coffee fix. The Columbus Museum of arts would be the last stop before heading to the airport. This is just a very small sample of some things to do around here.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people in my life that influence or inspire me every single day. I’m blessed to have a great core of friends(many of them are creatives) who keep me grounded and inspired. Shoutout to all my homies in our group chat. Throughout this wild year, 1/2, y’all have helped keep me sane. Love y’all!
Kara Young, Kendra Bryant, Benjamin Willis and Vié Lu.