Nick Domingo On What Inspires Him, His Creative Process, And New Single '1692'

San Diego based producer and composer Nick Domingo has been spending the past few years crafting a sound that continues to expand as he prepares for his second full length project. On his new single ‘1692’, out tomorrow, he does an excellent job of zeroing in on what worked well in his past work and blowing it up to a much grander scale. Composed as a companion piece to the ‘Darkmore’ series on Wattpad, ‘1692’ is an epic that shows an interesting and potentially quite fruitful path forward for Domingo. It's transportive in the way the best compositions are, allowing an instrumental track to create or enrich a specific environment without needing more context. I had the opportunity to talk with him about how he got started making music, where he draws inspiration, where he sees himself taking his sound in the future.

Jay Yoder: You've spoken about how Coldplay and Ed Sheeran influenced the sound of your first record. What drew you to that music and what made you want to start producing music?

Nick Domingo: What drew me to Coldplay’s music is honestly how ambient their soundscape is. “Viva La Vida” definitely hooked me due to the fact that I listen to film-score soundtracks already. As for Ed, his lyricism, melodies, and guitar playing drew me in. He’s the main inspiration as to why I started performing with a loop station in the first place. The reason I started composing/producing music is due to the fact that, although I very much love covering other artists' music, I always wanted to learn how to compose my own work.

JY: What was the first instrument you dedicated serious time to learn, what would you want to learn in the future?

ND: The first instrument I dedicated serious time to learn was definitely guitar. I started playing back in middle school, and although it was challenging at first, I persevered and made it my goal to learn as much as I could. The instrument I’d love to learn in the future is the drums. I don’t know whether it’s the different rhythms or what. I currently play the cajon, but there’s just something about the drums that really motivates me. 

JY: One of the standout tracks on your first record is the piano ballad ‘Diane’, dedicated to your significant other. How do your personal relationships with those around you influence your music?

ND: My personal relationships have greatly influenced my music. When I’m having a good day with friends and family, it’s sonically reflected through my compositions. Even when I’m having a super chill day, the music reflects it. Everything sounds ambient and chill. 

JY: Your 2023 single ‘Delta’ has a much more defined sound and does a great job of expanding on your debut record. How did you approach creating the track following your first record and where do you see yourself taking your sound in the future?

ND: “Delta” was actually an interesting one. As soon as I finished my self-titled LP, I went back through old demo tracks I had saved, and there was a track called “Delta”, that I composed back in 2021. The track was originally composed as part of an assignment for a college course. The early demo track was made using just the stock VSTs in Garageband, but I went back and replaced the stock VSTs with sample libraries from Spitfire Audio and a sampled electronic drum kit to give it more of a realistic feel. I’m currently dabbling in cinematic dark synthwave pop/rock compositions, which is something I’ve never thought of doing until now. It’s been a pretty fun process blending electric guitar, orchestra, and synthesizers.

JY: Your new single ‘1692’ continues to build on what ‘Delta’ showcased, an increased focus on grander scale cinematic composing and worldbuilding. How do you see this as a path forward for your music?

ND: My new song called “1692” is the lead single from my new project inspired by a dark-fantasy novel my friend Yessy wrote on an app called Wattpad. I offered to compose the score to the novel, which deals with modern-day witchcraft with dark fantasy elements like witches, vampires, werewolves, demons; all that fun stuff. It started off as being influenced by composers such as John Williams and Danny Elfman. But I recently discovered a duo called Digital Daggers, whom Yessy suggested I listen to, and I feel it’s influenced the new soundscape for the story. There are still cinematic elements sprinkled throughout the pieces like strings, piano, woodwinds, et cetera, but with some elements of synth pop/rock added in. So, I guess the song is technically inspired by Hans Zimmer as well.


'1692' by Nick Domingo is available everywhere now.

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