We filmed part of Vallie Girls at Sugar Run, a bar in the basement of my building. When they were first setting up the space, I would talk to them and build a relationship because I saw ahead. I thought, this would be a dope spot for a music video in the future. Before they were even building it, that's where I'd go down to the basement and smoke late at night.
Me and Klue met because I started working at Rainbow. I told him I made music, and the Scared of Death video hadn't come out yet, but I had just shot it. So I showed him that video and he was impressed. He started mentoring me, we started working together, and he's been a really strong guidance for me in that way.
Klue had set up a couple things between Sugar Run and Rainbow, so both of us started building that relationship. We first did a photo shoot there last year.
For the Scared of Death video, it was just me and the guy with a camera. We filmed at the Hasty Market on Victoria.
I'd go to the Hasty Market downtown every day to grab shawarma or snacks or some shit. I told them, "Yo, I'm an upcoming artist, would I be able to shoot a video?"
I asked about the one downtown, but they told me that it would probably work better if I filmed at the one on Victoria and Belmont, because after 7pm they're just dead.
Me and Tomb [Tom Buchanan, who produces many of Dom Vallie's songs] met playing hockey in grade seven. He was making beats back then, more on the EDM side of shit. We played houseleague hockey together. Both of us stopped playing after that year, and we started linking up. I started making my own beats and stuff this one summer, and writing to them, but I was focusing more on the writing part of it and he was more focused on making beats. We made our first song, Rolling, in his apartment. The next day we went out and shot a music video for it. It was probably the fourth song I'd ever made, our first song together, and ever since then he's produced everything for me.
The next song that I make, I don't want it to sound anything like the last one I dropped. I still want it to be a banger, I want it to be a hit. So I try to experiment with as many different beats as I can. When I reach out to new producers and they're like, "Oh, what kind of stuff do you want? I like this song by you." I was like, yeah, send me something completely different.
I try to switch it up as much as I possibly can. To me, that's what music is all about. You could stick to one style, but you're confining yourself to one space when you have the possibility of endless sounds. You could make music forever if you really wanted.
For the longest time I couldn't write to Tweaking. I couldn't find a flow to it. It just wouldn't come to me. But I was like, this is the hardest beat I've ever heard. I need to save it.
One day I was pissed off enough that it just flowed out of me. My friend struggles with addiction. And I've noticed, living downtown, that they don't really do too much for people with addictions, other than just throw them in a shelter for the night and kick them out in the morning. So it was around that time my friend had overdosed, and I was just pissed off at the world, pissed off at the government. And that's when I made Tweaking.
The story of Chance the Rapper's 10 Days is very similar to my project, 10 Nights. He got suspended from school for ten days and then he made that project. I got suspended for 10 days too, and I finished my project called Nights — I named it that because I made most of my music in the nighttime.
It was a dime bag in the bottom of my backpack with literally crumbs of weed in it, like the dust kief, that's it. And that's what I got suspended for ten days for, which was crazy because they brought me down to the office for something completely unrelated ... and they still searched me just to pin something on me.
I just took those ten days and I went to the studio every single day. I took the bus there, I went and recorded at Studio A over by Bleams. So that's how we made 10 Nights.
"10 days, 10 nights, they tried to kick me out of school for a dime."
In this region, Cambridge artists are the ones that really get their shows down. They book the venues. they do all that shit. And I'm happy that I got to build relationships with the Cambridge artists. People like Waveson, Sh!tAndrews, Lowe-Fi. Because then they started inviting me out to their shows.
Two years ago, we had a show and it was supposed to happen at this bar that was owned by the Hell's Angels. We ended up selling too many tickets, and there were more people than could fit inside the venue. Literally a couple hours before the show, we were calling a bunch of places. And the Legion said, "Yeah, you guys could come do your hip-hop". It was a bunch of old people, but they were like, "Sure, you guys can have your hip-hop show here".
It ended up being great. There were two hundred or three hundred people in there. It was a sick show and we had a bunch of artists from around the region. It was a fun time. And that ended up becoming a consistent venue. We did one more show there before lockdown happened, but we were supposed to keep going it and they were growing and just getting better.
I met Sh!tAndrews and Lowe-Fi at a Colemethazine concert at Night School, where they opened for him. I thought they were on tour with him or something. I was like, yo, these guys are dope. And then after the show, they're like, "Dom Vallie, why weren't you performing with us?" I was surprised they knew who I was, and it turns out they're from Cambridge. They had their next show in Guelph and they brought me out for that. That was my first time performing outside of school assemblies, and it was just dope. It was a good time.
I make all my storyboards for all my videos before I even reach out to the director. I'll write up all the scenes, I try to find as many locations as possible, and pretty much set the whole thing up so that when I reach out to the videographer, we can just set a date and go from there.
We're going to rob a bank in the Bleeding Luv music video. We're gonna do like a new-age Bonnie and Clyde. Eventually, all my music videos are going to connect. They're going to make one story. I'm setting that up. That's why there's different versions of me in each video. It's the Dom Vallie cinematic universe.
— Dom Vallie