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interview

Domenica Simpson

Youth Music

Domenica is the Youth Engagement Officer for Youth Music, a national charity investing in grassroot organisations supporting children and young people aged 0–25 to make, learn and earn in music. Domenica looks after the logistics for Youth Music's NextGen programme which aims to support young people aged 18-25, who are pursuing a career in the music industries.

Domenica Simpson

Where are you based?

North West London

Where do you work? What do you do?

I’m the Youth Engagement Officer for Youth Music.

What are you listening to?

I’ve been listening to a lot more RnB music recently. Not just old school (which being a 90s kid, I love!) but also the new generation of RnB singers such as SZA, Summer Walker, Kehlani, Steve Lacy, Brent Fiyaz & 6LACK. I’ve also been listening to a lot more RnB artists from the UK such as [K S R], Tiana Major9, Shea Universe, Pip Millett & Sarah Angel.

How do you discover new music?

I’m lucky with my job that I get to listen to really great music that has been made by young people from projects we fund across the country. It’s been a really nice way to discover up and coming UK talent. I’ve also discovered a lot of new artists via Twitter and Tik Tok.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

Growing up I had so many CDs, just stacks and stacks. But these days, I just stream most of my music. I like the convenience of listening to music on the go. Obviously gigs are another great way to listen to music, and that’s how I choose to support artists that I like.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

Whenever I can really! I pretty much have a playlist for every occasion; whether it’s because I’m in a certain mood, or the weather, or I’m trying to concentrate on work.

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

A lot of the time I’ll just follow artists I like on social media, and look out for when they’re about to release new music. I do sometimes get emails from young people we work with when they’re about to release music too.

“the digital age of music has slightly ruined the concept of listening to a full body of work from start to finish.”

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

I do think the digital age of music has slightly ruined the concept of listening to a full body of work from start to finish. I do feel bad for artists because I think they feel pressured to release projects that are under an hour in order to keep people’s attention. I get it, my attention span is not great at the best of times, but I think in the long term, it takes away from their creativity, in favour of getting more streams.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

Playlists, playlists and playlists! I get a bit nerdy and cull and curate them every couple of months.

Discover the #HowWeListen Playlist

Listen to the #HowWeListen 2021 Picks playlist. Curated by this year’s interviewees.

Listen on Spotify

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Sometimes. If I’m really into something, or I think a friend would really enjoy it I’ll send them a link. But I definitely don’t pretend to be a music connoisseur by any means.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Youth Music have just launched the NextGen Fund, a new fund for emerging young creatives aged 18-25 (or 18-30 if they identify as disabled) pursuing a career in music. Applications are open now until Friday 9 July. All details and information can be found on our website.

"I get to listen to really great music that has been made by young people from projects we fund across the country. It’s been a really nice way to discover up and coming UK talent."

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