Dominique Young Unique
In the trend of the #throwback, let us cast our glance back to the joyous days of 2009; Kanye delivered the immortal “Imm’a let you finish” sentence and unknowingly ushered in the death of the “old Taylor”, the passing of The King of Pop influenced some maybe slightly ill-thought-out but also kind of must-have “I was on the Farm when Michael died” Glasto merch, and a young girl from Tampa Bay in Florida started her rap journey with the release of her debut EP, “Hot Girl”.
The Floridian girl — now 26 — was Dominique Young Unique, a.k.a. Dominique Clark, who can’t hide her shock when I mention the date of her debut release. “Oh my gosh! Nine years? Wow,” she laughs incredulously down the phone from LA. “You know sometimes [during those nine years], it would get hard to the point that I felt like I wanted to give up, but this is what I love to do and I get so excited. I love making music and the journey’s been a challenge. I love challenges.”
Across a decade of performing Clark has had her fair share of challenges; changing labels, coming from a city where music isn’t an industry and all while trying to make an impact surrounded by male rap counterparts. Managing to break out of her hometown at 17, she spread her name further than the confines of Tampa. But it’s not until recently she’s noted a change in the rap community, with the growing popularity of the likes of Cardi B and Nicki Minaj highlighting the credibility of female artists. “You know, they’re coming out and dominating,” she enthuses. “But the male rappers, there’s so many of them, I just feel like the women don’t get fairly shown.”
Now showing just why she deserves her own spotlight alongside her male contemporaries, Clark made her triumphant return earlier this year with her first new music since 2015’s “What It Worth”. Bursting back onto the scene with the ass-kicking, EDM-inspired “Karate”, the track is a fun-filled banger but manages to simultaneously showcase Clark’s effortless flow and captivating lyricism. “Do you remember that song ‘Kung Fu Fighting’?” Is the question she surprises me with when I try and decode the track. Well, sure… “No one’s ever remade that song and I got really inspired by it, you know, something very fun which you could sing along to. I wanted it to inspire women to be strong in a relationship but then it’s for kids as well, because which kid wouldn’t wanna know how to do karate?”
Currently back in the studio writing and recording, mixing up elements of trap, EDM and pop, she’s crafting club-ready stompers unlike anyone else. Who else is making martial arts soundtracks for women and children? “The new music I’m recording is very fun. It’s club!” She promises. Get your high kicks at the ready.
Photography - Eddie Bovingdon
Fashion - Abigail Hazard
Hair - Kress Barnes
Makeup - Georgia Hope
Wonderland Magazine Spring 2018 Issue