Dominique Pruitt Looks ’To Win Your Love’
Is it enough to say Dominique Pruitt is a "Bonnie Raitt-like vixen with a rockabilly beat?" It sure has a nice ring to it though there are all sorts of qualities swirling around this L.A.-based singer with a spunky pop torch that sparkles, be it against the backdrop of an outdoor performance in the noonday sun or under the neon lights of a swanky club on a Saturday night. She brims over with a vigor and talent that is fully stocked in rhythm and blues and romantic attitude. Pruitt is a "natural" to pay it forward to the essence of the original beat of rock n' roll music while creating tons of new energy to the grooves and guts of the genre.
Not only does her voice shine like a star fighting for a right to be seen behind the clouds, the musicianship of the band with her is of the highest skill. It adds just the right bang and spark to every arrangement, complementing her all the while. With her debut "To Win Your Love," it's an even bet that this redhead with a fiery talent will be noticed, as all of the five songs on the EP make a direct hit to the heart as she takes you in for a spin to listen.
You can sample her vocal styling and order her EP at her website (link below). Or if you're in New York City, you can catch her tonight at Chez Andre at The Standard Hotel, New York, NY. (visit her website for more details).
Remembering ’The Singing Nun’
EDGE: The first thing that came to mind when listening to your EP was hearing the qualities of Bonnie Raitt’s voice in yours.
Dominique Pruitt: I like that. Thank you. She is a big influence. Growing up, I listened to a ton of her stuff and I’m a redhead... so I can’t help but associate, you know.
EDGE: Yeah, seriously, the tones are there. Yet, your voice strikes me as unique and sassy. Your lyrics are clever and wise, plus the music is truly fun. It’s one of those CDs, you want to take with you on the road and turn up loud. Please share a bit about being named "Dominique?" I can’t help but think of that song, ’Domi-nique -nique -nique...’
Dominique Pruitt: The Singing Nun! Yes. I have that on vinyl. One of my parent’s friends got it for them as a "gag" joke when I was born. It got passed down to me, The Singing Nun yes. (laughter) So funny.
EDGE: That’s great. You don’t hear that name that often. It’s a beautiful name basically.
Dominique Pruitt: Thank you. My mom’s French so with her, it was really kind of a unique name and on the French side of the family, I think there are a few Dominique’s even in my cousins... (laughter)
Jumping for joy
EDGE: Who leveled or mixed the sound for your debut ’To Win Your Love?’ It is so perfectly balanced.
Dominique Pruitt: My producer Dave Darling, he did all the producing and mixing and all that. He is kind of the master. He’s just one of those freak geniuses who did all of that. His ear is pretty unbelievable, right? I’m glad you like it.
EDGE: I do. It sure gets tiresome to want to hear a singer and not get the opportunity to because the production is so overpowering and the singer ends up in a tunnel and the production is so up-front.
Dominique Pruitt: Totally, yeah. I’m very lucky that I got in that good situation. That was really important to me was meeting with someone that was making sure they were going to able to showcase me and trying to get all the balance.
EDGE: Let’s talk about the cover for the EP... basically it looks like you are ’jumping for joy’ on some dirt road in Los Angeles.
Dominique Pruitt: Literally, I’m jumping on the cover!
EDGE: This shot of you reminded me of a series of photos that Marilyn Monroe was a part of for LIFE Magazine.
Dominique Pruitt: I don’t know if I’ve seen the ’jump’ series of photos with Marilyn... I’m like a Marilyn Monroe photo hoarder. I’ve never seen that!
EDGE: Yeah, she’s wearing a blue sequin dress I think. So, when I saw the photo of you, I thought ’cool.’
Dominique Pruitt: Oh my god. I’m going to have to go look at that. I have a Tumblr and I do a lot of Marilyn Monroe on there. That’s cool. That is so awesome.
Working with her dad
EDGE: Now, you have a very interesting songwriting partner. What has the experience been like writing songs with your Dad? That in itself is a rare combination.
Dominique Pruitt: Yeah, both my parents are musicians. That is the world I knew growing up, which is music and stuff. When I was about 18-years-old, I started doing demos ’yada, yada, yada’ and sure enough now that I’m an adult, I wanted to write. I always preferred to collaborate. I just feel like I’m a little too scatterbrained sometimes to sit down and write a song all by myself. Maybe, at some point, I’d love to. I don’t know... I’ve always loved to collaborate and bounce ideas off other people.
I’ve always really respected my dad’s writing and love his songs. My dad wrote ’To Win Your Love’ with one of his friends almost thirty-something years ago. My mom originally sang it.
When I was a kid growing up, that was my favorite song. When I went to demo songs a few years back, ’To Win Your Love’ was a given. Now, sure enough it’s kind of come into its own little space and everyone loves it! So, the songwriting process with my dad and me really jives well. I enjoy it and I’m lucky that it’s a person close to me that I just call up whenever and just write.
EDGE: Please share a bit about your dad’s career if you don’t mind?
Dominique Pruitt: He was a full-time musician. He was a total rock star back in the day and has lots of crazy stories. He toured with The Association. They were a big band in the 1960s. He was on the road with them in the 1970s I believe.
Then he and my mom both played together with Engelbert Humperdinck and that’s how they met! My parents were both full-blown touring musicians until I was born and then they kind of settled down. He’s a total open book and has stories for days.
’Hearts’ Johnny Depp
EDGE: Hey, I read you have an affinity for the film Cry Baby.’ (Written and directed by John Waters, and starring Johnny Depp, ’Cry Baby’ satirizes 1950s teen B-movies.)
Dominique Pruitt: Yeah! ’Cry Baby,’ right now I can picture looking at the video on the shelf in this little local movie store... way before Blockbuster and all that. I remember seeing Johnny Depp in a leather jacket and a pompadour on the cover and I just died. I took it home and I just fell in love with that movie.
I love John Waters and Johnny Depp... if you ever asked me who the ultimate dream man is, it’s Johnny Depp in "Cry Baby." He’s so fuckin’ dreamy (laughter).
EDGE: Oh and I wanted to tell you that your cover on your YouTube channel of Connie Francis’s song ’Fallin’’ is so nice.
Dominique Pruitt: Oh... thank you. I love that song. I was really happy with that one. I think Connie Francis is super-talented, completely.
EDGE: The lyrics on ’How Does Love Find Its Way in the Dark?’ are phenomenal and that is such a powerful song.
Dominique Pruitt: My dad wrote that one too! That’s one of the other ones that are not mine. All the rest of the tracks on ’To Win Your Love’ are.
EDGE: ’He’s Got It Bad’ though is such a heck of fun song. It’s like a windy road with the storyline of the song and is presented with such a rockabilly and pumpin’ beat. It reminded me a bit of the classic ’Love Potion #9.’
Dominique Pruitt: Totally. That was one of my inspirations in writing it. Sometimes I start to write and think how it would look like with the fortune teller and the tall, dark stranger in the alleyway in the bad side of town and it all rolled out with a little ’West Side Story’ and all those things.
To learn more about Dominique Pruitt, or to order her EP ’To Win Your Love,’ (visit her website).