Interview With Multi-Platinum Pop Hitmaker, Dom Capuano
Fans of 90s dance music might best know Dom Capuano as a songwriter and producer of some of the era’s biggest hits, working with the top artists of the day. Music productions Dom has been involved with, have reached #1 in more than 20 countries, selling in excess of 20 million units worldwide, including over 3 million sales in the US alone. Dom has worked with artists as diverse as Eiffel 65, Kool and the Gang, Toni Braxton, Busta Rhymes and many other, earning him the reputation as a Dance Pop Hitmaker of the 90s.
Dom took time out to speak with me about his music, movies and more…
MTS: You were born in Italy. How has being from Italy has influenced your music? Do you think it was a help or a hindrance to come from Europe? When did you move to Los Angeles, and do you have any funny stories about the move?
Dom Capuano: Italy is the place of art, and music is the art with the fastest evolution with time. When I was younger, the music industry was really diverse and disaggregated. With internet, the pop music is almost all the same worldwide. You will see the first few positions in U.S. are probably the same in EU and some countries in ASIA. So to respond to your question, of course being from Italy has influenced my music and I think it has been a huge help because I brought with me in U.S. a diverse cultural background. I have a lot of funny stories but mostly this move has been epic.
MTS: Your music and projects you’ve worked on have sold more than 20 million copies. Congratulations! What is most important to you…sales, critical praise, or industry awards, and why?
DC: The music industry is always changing and with that is also changing the way to recognize a music career success, which would be different from a personal success, such as a personal goal. So for me a goal is not just about sales, views, or awards; it is more about what you can contribute with it. Then for me what is really important is getting a good reputation as an artist-producer, leaving the audience with a good impression and memory of my music.
MTS: You’ve worked with artists as diverse as Eiffel 65, Busta Rhymes, Kool and the Gang and Toni Braxton. Give us an insight to how it is collaborating with big name artists like this. How is it different from working with lesser known, indie artists? Which do you prefer?
DC: Working with a known name artist most of the time is about accomplishing the desire of having a certain kind of arrangement for instance working on a RMX, so the known artist wants to work with that producer because he or she wants a specific sound. Working with a less known artist is more about creating a new style of sound. I usually do not like to produce something that sounds alike; most of the time it would not work just because it would be unknown. I do not have preference with a known or a lesser known artist; instead I do have preference with my taste. When I can make the choice to work with somebody, I must like it otherwise it would not work.
MTS: You studied the double bass at the G. Verdi Conservatory of Music in Turin Italy. How did that education help you in your career as a writer and producer?
DC: Sometimes the idea of music education is just about learning how to play an instrument. Studying at the Conservatory of Music instead is also about learning discipline, method, and music aesthetic, These 3 things helped me a lot being in the music industry.
MTS: You have composed music for TV and film. How did you get into that market? Tell us about some of your favorite soundtracks you’ve worked on.
DC: Well it has been a slow process and is still in progress. Back in Italy I used to score corporate videos for various brands such as Fiat, Ferrari, L’Oreal, and etc. There I found myself clicking with music and images. So I started to improve myself with the study of composition and of course various new techniques. At that time there was no YouTube that could with any kind of tutorials. One day I received a request from a friend of mine to score for his new film and that was the very beginning. There is not a favorite soundtrack; instead I have a favorite feeling. I live the scoring of a film like a journey, so I do prefer to work on projects that capture me completely, with my passion and my soul. That is my favorite!
MTS: Do you write music specifically for a particular TV or Movie program, or do you write the songs and get them placed?
DC: It really depends on the gig I work on. Sometimes it is on demand like the TV theme I scored for various TV animations such as Mutant Ninja Turtles (the Italian series) but I also work on music pitching and of course with the help of my music publishers I have the chance to get my music placed on different platforms.
About films the process is totally different. Usually the directors get in touch with me directly to hire me. Sometimes it happens quickly based on trust and reputation. In the past I made some gigs where the directors requested the composition of few cues to see if there was a click with the feeling of the film. To be honest, to get the feeling of a film sometimes may require time so I do prefer to get hired and dedicate my time on it. The process of composition is based on the entire story and the music should be the same, so not just a compilation of cues but instead a consistent succession of compositions would be an ensemble of one whole “opera”.
MTS: What’s next for Dom Capuano?
DC: I am going to release 2 new singles “Won’t You Be Mine” featuring Krystle Simmons, an American actress-singer, and another song named “Guns And Roses” featuring IAGO, a young British singer. We already got few distribution licenses for both of them.
About upcoming films, I am dealing with different projects which I will soon release updates on my website at www.domcapuano.com
MTS: What do you like to do outside of music?
DC: Music is not just a job, it’s more like a style of life and I think about music even when I have free time.. Outside of music, I love to read, travel, and visit new places with different cultures and views. I also have passion for philosophy, psychology, and technology. All of those things inspire my next composition ;)
MTS: If I were to come to dinner, what would you serve?
DC: I would cook first because I love to cook. I didn’t mention in the previous question because it’s mostly part of my culture, but I would cook some Italian specialties ;)