With collectively over 1.3 million streams for all of his pre-released singles to date, Dom Guyot finally debuts his first album, “Unbeloved”, a collection of some of his most favorite tracks written during what he regards as the most ‘unbeloved’ time of his life.
Contrary to the title, Unbeloved tells a story of a young queer’s journey of falling in love, losing love and finding love again, recounted in five parts (chapters) with 12 songs of genres ranging from contemporary RnB, soul and pop.
What made you want to become a musician?
Music has always been a huge part of my life in general. I was always the little gay boy who loved belting Whitney, Mariah, and Celine all day everyday. Growing up, I always used to watch and recreate Beyoncé and Rihanna concerts at home, as well as musical classics like Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music and Les Miserables, all thanks to my dad who bought the DVDs for me. Ever since, I always wanted to be just like them. I wanted to be the embodiment of hard work, talent, dedication, heart and passion.
Why have you decided to release your music only now? What personal, philosophical, or even
merely trivial motivation (should that apply) nudged you into deciding that now’s the right time?
Well, for starters, I didn’t want to live in fear anymore. A lot of people in this industry have made it clear that they do not believe in me and my artistry. I started as a back up dancer, and there were people who really said straight to my face I did not have what it takes to be an artist, because as an openly effeminate gay kid, I wouldn’t be marketable (circa, 2018). Things like this really stuck with me as a very insecure and naive child. With this, I wanted to prove everyone wrong, including me, that I do have what it takes to fulfill the dreams little Dom had way back 2004, belting Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” in the living room.
What is it about music that makes you feel so passionate to challenge yourself into producing this album on your own?
To be honest, I was hoping for a train to come early on in my career to bring me to the destination I wanted to be. But you know, as you grow older, you come to realize what if the train wouldn’t come at all. So instead of waiting around, I decided to build my own train from scratch, trying to piece it all together without any type of blueprint, just pure passion and dedication.
“I want it to be remembered as talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before, unafraid to reference or not reference, put it in a blender, shit on it, vomit on it, eat it, give birth to it.” — Dom Guyot
Describe your favorite and least favorite part about being a singer-songwriter.
I love making music so much. The entire process, from writing the song to recording to having it produced to just everything in general, makes me feel alive.The only thing I don’t like about it, especially since I am an independent artist, is the spending. Music is expensive, but don’t we all go to great lengths for the things we love?
In marketing, advertising, and even academic writing, advertisers (or marketers in general) are taught to speak in ‘YES’ language or in positive phraseology. This is regardless of the point of the message that they want to deliver, whether they be negative or positive. Knowing that this is your debut album, what made you take the risk and ultimately decide to go with ‘Unbeloved,’ a title that implies a dismal human experience?
That is a very good point, but I went with ‘Unbeloved” because truly at the time I wrote my album, I felt that way. And I know as a society, we are taught to celebrate the wins and be ashamed of our losses, but I think we should go about it the other way around. We should celebrate our wins and be proud of our losses. Acknowledge how much strength and courage we had to put out to get through all this. Because my loss in love gave birth to the body of work I am most proud of, and I know will help a lot of people cope with the feeling of being Unbeloved.
You mentioned that ‘Unbeloved’ is your personal journey of finding love, falling in love, and losing love. ‘Love’ being the universal theme of music time and time again, what makes this type of love… your type of love different?
As a gay man in the Philippines, I never really had the representation that resonated with me in the mainstream music and media growing up. Being gay was frequently used as a derogatory inflection mostly for comic relief in film and music. I wanted to change that. I wanted to show my point of view and my story as a gay man in love. It’s different because it’s real. I am not here for comedy, satire or for satisfying what society thinks I should be. I am here to be unapologetically queer.
Would you say that your album caters to only a specific demographic? Please elaborate further on why or why not.
Although my album is based on a queer story, the beauty of it is everyone can relate because as I said queer people are normal people. We have the same experiences with love just as much as the next hetero guy/gal. It is for every person who has ever felt unbeloved, because I believe music knows no race, gender, ethnicity or age.
Talking about your advocacy, why do you think this type of representation is very important now?
I think it’s because we need a change. Specially with the rise of the popularity of BL series all around the world, I still see a huge chunk of the entire LGBTQ+ spectrum that is not well represented in the media. A lot of these series portray stories of “Masc” gay men and cast straight actors to play these gay roles. I believe its time for a real queer and effeminate artist, pushing heteronormative boundaries, giving the queer kids the representation they deserve, casting real queer artists to play queer artists. I believe it’s time to let boys be feminine.
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