In the sixth edition of Up & Coming in the Coastal Bend, a series dedicated to highlighting the creative talents of the younger generation, we meet Keanu Domini.
Making waves in the Coastal Bend and beyond, Keanu Domini is a twenty-year-old creative redefining what it means to be a musician in the 21st Century. The multi-talented rapper noted that while there’s nothing wrong with the title of rapper, he considers himself to be more than just that. “I would [describe] myself as an artist,” said Keanu. “I say this because of the things that influence me, motivate me, drive me; what I see around me, and the thoughts and ideas that come to mind.”
Domini’s interest in music began at a young age, forming almost on its own. “To be honest, [my interest began] before it was even a thought; I always liked watching the award shows when I was a kid. I wanted to be there in some way, shape or form; the red carpet, the glam, everything about it. I just wanted to be a part of it. I didn’t know why.”
Looking back, it’s now evident to Domini that his interest was propelled by a subconscious desire to create something. “It was at fourteen when it became clear and I knew exactly what kind of art I wanted to make: music,” he said.
As time continues, it’s clear the young artist’s passion has done nothing but grow with him. His devotion to the craft is fueled by an underlying desire to share his world with others – to grow as an artist and offer himself a creative outlet and an escape from the harsh experiences of life.
Domini’s Spotify biography reads, “I was going through a hard time back in 2016, and it wasn’t until one day, I remember it so vividly – I was helping my dad paint a house. He had just been laid off, so we were doing anything to make money – selling plates of food, cutting grass, painting houses, you name it. It came to me like a vision, I can’t really explain it, but there was this feeling inside of me. From then on I told myself: ‘I’m going to be a rapper, I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I know I’ll figure it out.’” And so he did.
“I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I know I’ll figure it out.”
Domini’s discography highlights the moments of his life that he felt were the lowest points. Not only does his work act as a creative outlet to process and digest life’s intricacies, but also as an act of self-preservation. “At this point creating is just a part of me. My creativity continues to evolve and without it, I don’t know what I would do,” Domini said, “Literally and figuratively, for me, creating is a lifeline. What is pushing me internally to create is that I feel without this creative outlet, I would’ve died a long time ago.”
Like life, creating art isn’t always an easy experience. For Domini, perspective is essential to keep moving forward, though. “I’ve experienced very low points, but I’ve chosen to gain strength from those experiences,” said Domini. “I have a philosophy that pain is the greatest gift because it makes you hungrier again.”
Through hearing Domini’s perspective, it became even more apparent how in a life without trial, there can be no advancement…without pain, there could be no joy. Bob Ross famously said, “Gotta have opposites, light and dark and dark and light, in painting.” He continues, “It’s like in life. Gotta have a little sadness once in a while so you know when the good times come.” This frame of mind is what pushes Domini to continue creating art and expressing himself.
This avenue of expression has become a way for the untiring artist to connect with and inspire others. “I’m glad I pulled through and made it here; where I am today as a person,” Domini said. “My mission is to inspire those who need it the most, and for my music to be there for people when they feel like they have no one else to go to.”
“My mission is to inspire those who need it most.”
Recognition of Domini’s talent and creative vision has come from beyond the Coastal Bend, too. It was in March of 2022 that the artist released a remix of the Grammy award-winning recording artist Bia’s Billboard Hot 100 song, “Whole Lotta Money,” featuring Nikki Minaj. Several weeks later, Domini woke up to two Instagram notifications from Bia herself.
“She had heard and seen the song,” Domini said. Bia wrote to him, “This is great! You made it sound like me, and like you. Sounds fire!” The recognition from someone who personally inspires him as an artist propelled him to continue putting work into the craft. “You never know who’s watching you,” Domini said, “I’m going full steam ahead.”
As for what’s next for the young talent, he’s just completed his next album with the help of YNG Bishop, Kinder, Yazzy, Ghost and Michael Fuentes all contributing to the album’s production. For the artist, this is his favorite work yet.
“A lot of thought and planning went into developing the concepts, the sounds and the lyrics,” Domini said, “The process of seeing it through to completion was demanding, and I can’t wait to share it.” As we eagerly await the new album’s release, you can stream Keanu Domini or catch him on social media to see what he’s up to.
Keanu is also eager to share his work with the area at this year’s Dia de los Muertos Festival in Downtown Corpus Christi. “This is my very first time performing at this festival,” he said. “I am slightly nervous about it because ever since I was 14 years old, I had hoped to one day perform at the Dia de los Muertos Festival.”
Domini will take the stage at La Retama Park on Saturday, October 29th from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.