A native of Tucson, Arizona, Dominic Valencia (the man behind Maple Years) has been a southeasterner all of his life – and more than that, he’s been a musician constantly interested in making music and developing unique and worthwhile sounds. With artists for parents, Dominic grew up surrounded by visual art, from which he developed a musical background and then some over time.
From there, with a vast and deep appreciation of the arts and what it has to offer people, he developed different genres and styles of music that he could call his own. In addition to his musical career, too, Valencia is no stranger to hard work and the life of an artist – he’s a DJ throughout Tucson, producing many tracks for local rappers in and around the Tucson area. And, he’s also a student at the University of Arizona, majoring in fine arts and working to understand better the relationship between music, art, and life.
His sounds are unique, as the roots of his melodies sample across multiple genres and can’t simply be categorized as one specific thing. In fact, he ranges from sampling video game soundtracks, to classic old Detroit Mo-Town soul beats familiar to all.
His music may feel like hip hop thanks to the heavy and formidable drum beats, but don’t let that alone fool you from looking deeper – he’s got a much more talented cadre of beats and backings in soul, R&B, rock, and more to just be categorized as a hip hop artist.
He credits J-Dilla, a hip-hop and rap producer from Detroit, as being his most significant musical influence, and for good reason – Dilla has a very unconventional method of sampling various sounds, beats, and instruments in unique and original ways that play right into Valencia’s hands in his own work across the board.
Valencia, then, works to create unique music sampled from many different tracks and areas, instead of sitting back into one sweet spot to create something for himself and those around him. He identifies with a good deal of independent musical artists, acts, and labels, as his favorite groups and bands include Twin Sister, Warpaint, and other indie acts that are well known throughout the scene for being innovative and through-provoking.
Young and impressionable himself, Valencia is no pushover – but he is working hard to innovate across the board when it comes to his own unique sound and that of the music around him. Always working to change it up, he is never betrothed to one style of music, instead opting to consistently sample a wide range of musical acts across the board to his liking.
You can pick up his EP The Maple Years right now on Tunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, or through a variety of other major digital retailers and places to purchase music, as you enjoy this new and unique breed of musician channeled in by Valencia himself as a unique response to the also-ran musical acts that dominate the airwaves in and around Tucson and the rest of the country today.
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