“Zodiac”, debut album by UWM marketing student Devin Quello (Artist name ‘Dominatricksss’), just finished production and will be dropping at the end of the month. An active member of the LGBT community, Quello found music helped him express himself through more arduous parts of of his life. More emotional tracks on his album like “Vodka” and “Last Goodbye” reveal Quello’s mellow insides despite his confident, often in-drag, exterior. Catchy single “Crazy” and 80s-pop-esque track “Blue” show the more colorful sides of Dominatricksss and are definitely jam worthy.
I sat down with Quello to discuss his upcoming album.
Mary Jo: How long have you been performing?
Devin: Since kindergarten, I was always involved in choir. In the fourth grade I was Michael in Peter Pan. It was exciting because the same people who made the first live action film came to the stage where the cast and I were performing and set up the same flying set.
M: When did you start writing your own music?
D: Elementary school is when everything really took off for me. My mom and dad had this really weird typewriter. I would sit inside this closet and basically make a fort in there. I put up all my favorite singer’s posters on the wall and would write my own music. I used to write songs on that all the time until the ink ran out. I haven’t been this passionate about anything else. Music is my free therapy session. It has helped me and helps me release built up sadness, anger, and confusion with my sexuality and also really helped me embrace who I am.
M: Where did you come up with the name ‘Dominatricksss’?
D: I thought about my character as an artist and what it really represents. I think what it comes to is making that separation between Devin and Dominatricksss and create a void between the two. Dominatricksss does things that Devin wouldn’t do on an everyday basis. When I perform as Dominatricksss, I want my listeners to get to know me. When I’m expressing with something with femininity in it, it’s done exaggerated to get the point across. I wanted to be able to live both lives separately so that I can live as one life or the other.
M: What was the inspiration behind “Zodiac”?
D: I’m super obsessed with astrology. I think it’s very fascinating. I understand that not everybody believes in it, but it really does explain people’s personalities. I’m not talking about horoscopes. Horoscopes are generalized. Rising signs talk about auras. Your sun signs explain your personality and character. The moon sign deals with your emotions. All twelve songs discuss the twelve signs. There’s a different sign for each song. Half the album talks about having fun with people, but a lot of it goes through heartbreak — especially in the twenties which I think a lot of people can relate to. Maybe you party. Maybe you party too much. The album tries to find a balance between the two. Towards the end of the album, it talks about accepting who you are and what you want, and taking the horse by the reign by being in charge. By not doing this out of revenge, I talk about going from being heartbroken to being the heart-breaker.
M: What do you hope people see in your music?
D: I hope people see themselves in my music, and I hope people see me in my music. My producer, Tony Schueller (who produced all the instrumentals), let me be really hands on. I had so much fun. He’s allowed me to do a lot of things as an artist that I don’t think a lot of producers do. The music is quality; we really wanted to make something great.
M: What’s next for you?
D: Right now, I’m in the works of setting up some touring dates and shows in the Milwaukee area (Dix, MadPlanet), Chicago (Berlin), and Madison (Plan B). I really hope a lot of people realize that being a local artist is expensive. It’s a work of art. The same way that someone buys a painting. The more people that share and support and expose you, it opens doorways. That’s all I really ask, I want people to spread word about the album and about Dominatricksss as an artist.
“Zodiac “will be released by the end of the month and will be available on iTunes. Be sure to check out Dominatricksss on Facebook.