Get to know 2023 Rap Single of the Year nominee, Dom Vallie in our “7 Questions With” series where we speak with first-time JUNO Award nominees from all genres.
Dom Vallie, formally known as Dominic Turton, is a 22-year-old rapper, singer, and songwriter born in Toronto and raised in Kitchener. At age 12, Dom started writing rhymes and only 2 years later, he recorded his first song on a Blue Snowball USB mic given to him for his birthday. In the summer going into grade 9, he started to take his music seriously after his mother grounded him leaving him stuck inside for the whole summer. This gave him the time to start and hone his skills in music. His JUNO-nominated single “Been Himma” was originally made as a joke, but it quickly gained popularity, climbing to over 5 million streams on Spotify.
1. How does it feel to be nominated for a JUNO award?
It feels validating, especially it being my first time. We put a lot of time & effort into making the music, so to finally get the recognition from it at such a prestigious level is really cool.
2. Tell us a bit about your JUNO-nominated project.
It’s completely unexpected. The name “Been Himma” came from a joke I said while freestyling live on Twitch. I never expected the song would make it here. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s deserved, it’s super hard.
3. What has been the craziest moment of your music career to date?
I would say tour. Being able to see my whole country and at the same time, meet the people who have been interacting with my music online. Seeing how they react to it in person is really beautiful.
4. What’s your favourite lyric from this project, and why does it resonate with you so much?
“talking big like you been him, I been himma*.” Not sure if there’s much to say. If these other guys think they’re him, that’s fine cause i’m himma*. (*see urban dictionary for definition)
5. Which Canadian artist would you like to collaborate with and why?
I think the answer is obvious but, Drake. For two reasons; one being that he’s a huge role model of mine and I’ve looked up to him since I was a kid. The other being that; I think I could compete with him.
6. What would you like music fans to know about you? How would you introduce your music to
new or soon-to-be fans?
I don’t like to stick to one sound for too long, I really like experimenting. So if you find something you like and are upset I don’t make something like that again I’m sorry lol. But I promise I have something for everyone.
7. What’s next for you?
My album “Turn the Quiet Off”, my mixtape with Tomb: Nights 2, maybe a rock project and lots lots of other music. Hopefully another tour soon too. After that? Take over the world probably.
Rewatch every performance and memorable moment from The 2023 JUNO Awards broadcast, on CBC Gem, CBCMusic.ca/junos and The JUNO Awards social channels.