The #1 Name In Music, Revolt is the hottest multi-platform TV network to display on your HD flatscreen. Revolt is a rebel in all ways extraordinaire. TheWhatItDo takes you backstage with Neil Dominique, Director of Music and Talent at Revolt, as we talk life, exchange words of wisdom, and share laughs – Bad Boy style.
TWID: Who was it that inspired you to pursue greatness and has led you to where you’re at today?
Neil Dominique: My Mother inspired me a lot. I wanted to prove to my Mother that she could raise a child by herself. You know, growing up, I was like a bad kid (laughs). I always got into trouble. My father passed away when I was younger. When he passed, everyone thought that I would go downhill from there. A lot of people counted me out so it motivated me to prove them wrong.
TWID: Have you always had a passion for the entertainment business?
Neil Dominique: No not at all, actually. I thought I was going to be a banker. Fresh out of high school, I was working for a small bank doing telesales and I was really good at it. That job turned into an account management position so that’s what I thought I was going to do as a career. It seemed like good money [at the time] but then a friend convinced me to do an internship [in the entertainment industry] and through that I was able to open my eyes to different side of life. Throughout the internship, I just felt like this industry was run by, like, adult-kids, so to say (laughs).
TWID: What is a daily ritual you do to help you stay the course and on track with your goals?
Neil Dominique: The one thing that I do to keep sane when everything is getting crazy is pray. I don’t do it everyday but I try to. I just take the time out to remember who I am and why I’m here. I say a prayer and it calms me down and relaxes me. Listening to music is therapeutic–music is a big part of my life. The first thing I turn on when I wake up is Revolt. I get in my car and plug in my music. If I wake up and I’m feeling down, I play something to wake my game up. It sets the tone of my day. Also my assistant helps me and keeps everything under control lol.
TWID: So, on your social media profiles (Twitter, Instagram) your posts seem to be centered around vision. Why is that?
Neil Dominique: I never realized that up until right now. I live by a quote that my mother told me – “Don’t chase the money, chase the vision.” Growing up, my Mother always knew the dreams I had for myself–coming from where we’re from, a lot of people try to take shortcuts to make it big rather than taking the straight and narrow. The money is always going to be there and when you have these goals, there are certain steps that you need to take to get there. Some people take the shortcut to dodge those steps–to get to the money quicker–but once you start chasing the money, you lose sight of the vision. If you stay focused on the vision, the money will come. Never lose track of the vision.
TWID: As far as your work goes, what do you consider to be your area of expertise?
Neil Dominique: I don’t think I’m an expert in anything yet. I’m still learning as I go. But there is something in life called raw talent and that’s something you can’t teach or take away from anyone. I’m one of those people who, if placed in any situation, I’m going to do my best. When it comes to music, I work in A&R for Bad Boy Records. At Revolt, I’m the Director of Music and Talent. I’m responsible for booking the talent that is on the Revolt. I was Puff’s assistant for 3 years before becoming Director, so Revolt was something that I saw come to life. I remember waking up and Puff saying, “I wanna start a music network.” I remember all the negative feedback he got from those who said it was impossible to start one. So for Revolt to come to life is just something great to witness. I know what Puff’s vision for this network is and so I try to push his vision everyday.
TWID: How do you deal with things like time-sensitive deadlines while under pressure?
Neil Dominique: I try to be as organized as possible. The one thing that I do when things start getting crazy, and everyone can do it, is to calm down, relax, and take a step back. Analyze what’s going down, realize why you’re frustrated, and then fix the problem. I’m big on checklists!
TWID: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Neil Dominique: I am a homebody so I like to stay home and watch a movie. I also try to as much rest in as possible for the next day.
TWID: What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
Neil Dominique: I just want to make an impact. I want to leave behind something. There is a difference in our generation and the Old School 90’s generation. In this culture, people like Puff, Nas, Jay Z – the one thing they leave behind is something that heavily impacts our culture and that’s what I want to do. In the position that I’m in and the opportunities I have, via Revolt and creating music, I feel like there’s a big message that I can push out to the world. I just want to leave an impact so 10, 20 years from now you can say that was really cool when that happened and to be a part of that. Like on the Revolt Launch day–I’ll never forget that day–right before the Network launched, me, Puff, and Kenny Byrnes looked at each other and we said, wow, when this thing starts, it will never stop. It’s television. It’s not like music where you can leave the studio and stop. It will keep going and going. Revolt is going to be something that, if we accomplish the goal that Puff set, then it will be the one thing I leave behind for our culture and for the kids to love.
TWID: What is a quote you can share with us? One that you live by?
Neil Dominique: #JUSTAREGULARDAY
This is the first time I’m actually explaining what #JUSTAREGULARDAY means. #JUSTAREGULARDAY has a story behind it. Around this time 4 summers ago, I was on vacation. It was my first time on a boat that size and I went to the front of the boat–it was nothing but water. I was looking at everything for the first time and was thinking to myself, how did I get here? I started saying ‘It was meant to be by God’ but I realized that this is nothing to be happy or boast about. It was just a regular day. So “ #JUSTAREGULARDAY “ is a phrase that keeps me grounded. All the flashy lights don’t overwhelm me. And I say that to also give people confidence. When I started putting that phrase up on social media, people would gravitate toward it because they thought it referred to material things. I don’t care for material things. Of course it’s nice and all but I wanted to show people that this is not what it’s all about. So appreciate what you have.
TWID: What does Revolt TV mean to you?
Neil Dominique: Revolt TV means freedom and opportunity. I’ve never seen a platform that would give a kid, who’s outside on the corner just playing drums on pots and pans, a chance to be on TV. If it makes sense and it’s a part of our culture, then we’ll put it on TV. No other network does that. Everything that we do just bleeds freedom, opportunity, and chance all over again and that’s what I like about Revolt. When you turn on the network, you never know what you’re gonna get. You can be so free and express yourself creatively through music, fashion, or art. Even if you create another form of expression, we’re going to give you a chance to showcase that.
In an interview on Revolt TV with world-renown producer, Timbaland (on the topic of a particular comeback), the importance of timing is emphasized. Timbaland illustrates the amazing power of timing. His statement is one that can be applied to the efforts made by Bad Boy Entertainment to incorporate entertainment into the social media platform that the world has come to revolve around. The critical impact social media has had on the entertainment industry has forced all media outlets to transform–and Revolt TV has taken entertainment news in a refreshingly innovative direction. Having visionaries in the background implementing new waves of showcasing art and music is what Neil Dominque does. His low key humility with a dash of soul and passion for his work keeps this young executive on top of his game. As a representative of an often-overlooked community of Oceania, TWID sings the praises of a company who has made it their business to do something edgy and divergent in a field of copycats and carbon copies and that’s WhatItDo!
Interview By: Elizabeth Lavulo