Producer Spotlight: Dominant One “The Dominator” – From a teen with hoop dreams to setting Hip-hop standards

Dominant One’s journey wasn’t always paved with beats and rhymes. As a struggling teen, music became more than just an escape—it became his calling. Fuelled by a desire to innovate and contribute, he carved a path where fitting in was replaced by standing out – as evidenced by his style of production, lyricism and delivery.

Dominant One in his element

Before the mic, there was the court. A teen with hoop dreams, he earned himself the moniker “Dominator” from his friends, which he later refined the more apt “Dominant One” as his musical aspirations took centre stage.

Dominant One’s dream collaboration would be crafting beats for none other than Black Thought of The Roots because his experimental production seems destined to gel well with Black Thought’s lyrical finesse and conceptual prowess.

Black Thought of The Roots

He cites Gangstarr’s Moment of Truth as his top album pick and not just for the beats and rhymes; but for the late lyrical guru’s wisdom combined with DJ Premier’s legendary production, serving as both a lifeline and guiding light during his formative years.

His most hilarious career moment? Flashback to 2006, where he was jeered off the stage at Kamuzu Institute for Youth. Fast forward two years later, and he was basking in the limelight as one of the country’s biggest acts. D1 laughs at how life has a wicked sense of humour in how it things turn out.

African Diamond on Spotify

As to rating his own projects to date, there’s no picking favourites for Dominant One. To him, every project is his canvas of growth and evolution, a testament to his relentless pursuit of artistic excellence.

When asked about his thoughts on the current state of Malawian music; D1’s take is it’s a mixed bag of talent, passion, and untapped potential. He sees the need for more direction, mentorship, and economic stability as major keys to elevating the industry. But amidst the challenges, he reckons there is hope for crafting our own unique sound that resonates globally.

The future of Malawian music? 

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“Mentorship, education, business structure—these are the cornerstones for success. Artists need a united front, education facilities, and a solid business foundation to thrive beyond passion alone,” says Dominant One. 

From being a dropout to a street hustler, D1 has weathered rejection from family because of the path he chose (music) and has had his fair share of life’s storms, fueling his sense of discipline and ambition. These experiences have been driving forces behind his resilience and consistency on his music journey. 

In a world where artists are both revered and scrutinised, D1’s word to the wise is: finding balance is key to staying grounded, true to self and navigating the complexities of being an artist with grace. To him, living a simple life is central to not losing direction as the role of being an artist comes with many responsibilities and obstacles.

Dominant One’s journey through hip hop isn’t just about beats and rhymes—it’s a testament to resilience, growth, and the power of passion. At this stage in your life-story, remember to give yourself grace and the patience you need to grow in the right direction; develop a strong sense of self-belief and create an action plan to making your dreams come true.

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