Dominique Ilie is a 14-year-old flourishing musician and creative artist from Orange County, California. Steeped in the musical world since birth, he took up his first instrument at the tender age of 5 when he started playing the keys.
He’s now garnered an Instagram following of over 96,000 and has produced five singles. 2021 was a good year for Dominique on Spotify where he wrapped the year with over 161,000 streams over 28,000 hours, and 101,000 thousand listeners in 144 different countries.
Dominique’s unique sound blends Pop and R&B with neo-soul undertones. soulful vocal style. The young vocalist has also been featured on media outlets such as Artenzza Magazine, Medium, Celeb Secrets, SkopeMag, and Film Daily. A true SoCal teen, he also appeared in the movie Life Coach with Natali Palamides and the TV series Look See with Johnny Berchtold.
There’s no question his star is on the rise! But where did it all start? How did he develop a passion for his craft?
Born into a family with rich musical roots, Dominique’s father Claudiu Ilie, founded the music school he calls home, Music Vault Academy. This is where Dominique, or Domi’s as he’s more commonly known, turned his interest into a craft he loved.
In a building that used to be a Coldwell Banker location, the drum room sits in what was formerly the money vault-hence the academy’s clever name. The school also comes complete with a recording studio and performance-ready recital hall.
During his early years at MVA, Dominique continued to develop skills on the piano. With regular practice and continued exposure, he soon felt the pull of musical artistry as a career.
Speaking about starting lessons at Music Vault Academy “I did piano there, which started getting me more involved in piano and started giving me the passion, this is what I want to do! I want to do music.”
His dreams were formed and fostered in the musically all-inclusive music academy that covers a vast number of instruments, genres, and skill levels. Beginning on the piano, Dominique primarily trained in classical music and advanced classical testing.
But his musical future lies elsewhere. In addition to piano, he took up vocal lessons at the age of seven. This is where his passion was ignited and he know what he wanted to do with his life!
His focus for future creative efforts shifted to songwriting and vocal performance. But, of course, he didn’t stop there! Dominique then took up the guitar, in addition to his other pursuits, as a means to provide his only accompaniment since hauling a piano around is tough.
Because of the diversity of teachers and expertise at Music Vault Academy, Dominique was able to easily evolve his abilities and hone his skills to continue building his dreams.
“All the teachers I have taken classes with have taken me a step forward in my musical career. All are so different, so unique, so helpful, and especially super friendly.” Dominique gushes about the team at MVA.
With the help of Music Vault Academy’s Artist Development Program, Dominique spent years developing his craft and vocal style. He was heavily influenced by avant-garde artists such as HER and SZA.
“R&B music has those jazzy chords with that rap/R&B feel when it comes to the vocals which I just love.”
The ADP is structured into three different phases, all of which Dominique has had the benefit of leveraging.
It begins with taking classes where you continue to develop the instrument of your choice, and there are plenty to try! Students of MVA can choose from voice, piano, percussion, guitar, and even lessons in music production and DJ-ing.
After you’ve settled on your craft, students move to the songwriting phase. This is where you have the opportunity to take your inner creative juices and get them on paper!
Thirdly is the recording phase, Dominique’s favorite step where you “record different takes until you get an awesome song!” Along with a Music Vault Academy, this is when you head to the studio and record your track.
Next up is another opportunity for creative expression when students of the ADP create their own music videos. Once the music video is created in a style that matches your personality, audience, and voice, it’s time to share it with the world!
With several of his own music videos, his most recent single, Sunflower, has over 748,000 streams on YouTube with the Spotify counterpart coming in at just shy of 130,000 streams.
” The artist development program really helped me out a lot in so many different ways…The classes here are just awesome, they really helped me just evolve in my career… The recording time is probably one of my favorite parts of this whole program. I now have a ton of different songs online that you can listen to and all of them were recorded here at the Music Vault Academy”
One of Dominique’s favorite benefits of being involved at MVA is being surrounded by music of all types. The musical diversity offered goes from rock, classical, and pop to country, and R&B.
The skilled teachers are able to serve all of these genres on a variety of different instruments and develop talent at all skill levels. “Through Music Vault Academy, I’ve met people who are now some of my best friends and we actually have a band together! That’s one of the many reasons I love MVA!” Dominique shares another perk of becoming part of this exemplary musical community.
Dominique’s music is now released on major platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. And he has big plans for 2022! His goal is to release a new song every four to six weeks and return to live performances all across the country.