Meet Miami-based urban pop duo, Domino Saints, made up by David Leal and Giselle “Gigi” Ojeda! They hail from San Juan, Puerto Rico and trust me, you’ve never heard anything like them before!
From their infectious beats to unforgettable lyrics, this twosome is going places. Riding off the success of their recent release, “Tesoro”, Leal and Ojeda are more than musicians, they’re true all-around artists. Press Pass Latino reporter Cachie Gonzalez nabbed this exclusive interview.
Where did the name Domino Saints come from?
We think names are very important, so we wanted to make sure it was something that described us and our culture perfectly. We’re from Puerto Rico and what describes the Caribbean better than dominoes and saints? So we decided to stick with it and that’s how we became Domino Saints!
There’s a lot of fusion in our sound. We have some reggae, soca, rock, pop– a little bit of everything. It’s what makes our sound so unique and different. We don’t like to stick to one genre because we’re more than just one. The easiest way to describe our sound is by calling it pop because pop is a broad genre in itself.
What made you go into the Latin music industry as opposed to the American industry?
Well, a lot of our stuff is bilingual actually and we’ve been doing that since the beginning. We’ve had a lot of opportunities in the Latin music industry to really get out there and we’re not closed off to the American industry. If the opportunity comes knocking, we wouldn’t shut it out or anything.
How do you pick which songs get released? I imagine it’s like choosing your favorite baby.
It’s a lot like choosing a favorite kid actually, because to us, our songs are like our babies. That’s why having a great team on our side is so important. We’ll be a little biased when it comes to our songs, so when the team listens to it, we have a third set of ears and they can tell us whether the song is a good pick for the compilation of songs we’re putting together. They’ll be like ‘well, this EP has more of this sound, so let’s put this song in, instead of this other one’. Having a good team is so important.
What can audiences expect when they go see you perform live? What’s it like to go to one of your shows?
It’s rock and roll! One big party. Our goal is to get people to dance and really get in sync with the music. To us, rock and roll isn’t just a type of music, it’s a lifestyle and that’s what we bring every time we get on stage. We want everyone in the audience to enjoy themselves as much as possible.
What artists do you guys get inspired by?
Probably Bob Marley and Sting.
That’s a nice little mix you’ve got going on there.
Yeah, they’re so different. I really loved, and still love, Michael Jackson. I always wanted to be like him. He had it all, the whole package– performer, artist and musician.
What has been your favorite memory as a music duo?
It’s hard to choose just one, but I remember when we playing in Six Flags in New Jersey, we had an older couple come up to us and talk to us after the show. They explained that their son was autistic and that he never really responded to any type of music, but when he heard our music during our performance, he started dancing and getting really into it. We both cried when they told us that because it’s easy to forget how much music can touch someone. Hearing things like that really helps us keep going and realize why we do it in the first place.
Do you guys think the advances in technology have made things easier or harder for the music industry?
I think it’s better for the most part, there are so many outlets and different ways to get music now. Before you had to go buy a CD, then find a way to play it so you can actually listen to it. Whereas now, you’re on the street and practically everyone has headphones on listening to their favorite music. It’s just so accessible now and I think that’s a great part of it. Then there’s the fact that there’s SO MUCH music out there that it’s hard to discover something new. You don’t even know where to start if you want to discover new artists because there’s so much to be discovered and so many places to look. It can be overwhelming.
You aren’t just a musical duo, you’re actually a couple. Now, I imagine it has to be incredibly difficult being a couple and a musical duo at the same time. Do you ever find yourselves clashing a lot over artistic differences?
All the time actually. Of course we’re going to fight and disagree but we each bring something different to the group. It all depends what we’re working on. We’ve never actually reached a point where we disagree so much that we want to punch each other and stuff, though. We take time to listen to what we each have to say and come to a compromise for the good of the music.
Lastly, what are you guys focusing on right now, what’s next for Domino Saints?
Well, we’re leaving to Colombia soon on tour and we’re very excited. My family is from Colombia and although I’ve visited a few times before, I’ve never actually spent too much time there, so I’m excited to play there. And we’re playing in a bunch of cities: Barranquilla, Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena just a lot of different parts of Colombia, so we’re ready to get out there.
Well, there you have it! It won’t be long before you’ll be humming their songs throughout your work day. Their newest song, “Tesoro” already has a permanent space in my brain, and it’s our favorite song at the moment over at PPL. Check it out below and sound off in our comments section!