Introducing Pop Music Sensation - Dominika Stará
Pop Music's newest singing sensation is Dominika Stará, and there is more to this young singer than meets the eye.
The year was 1993 when Dominika was born, the same year that her country, Czechoslovakia, was split into two nations, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
It seemed as divine purpose then that Dominika was blessed with an extraordinary voice.
At age 6 years old Dominika was delivering impressive renditions of local folk songs taught to her by her father. From that point on Dominika wanted to become a professional singer and her parents knew she had the talent and determination to embark on such a challenging career path. Fully supporting their daughter’s ambitions, Dominika’s parents enrolled her in singing lessons in preparation for her entry into local singing contests.
At age 12, Dominika’s dazzling interpretation of Belgian singer-songwriter Lara Fabian’s “Je Suis Malade” earned her first place in her hometown’s singing competition. Fabian has had a significant influence on the development of Dominika’s style as has Whitney Houston, whom she describes as “the greatest”, Beyonce, (“amazing”) and Bruno Mars. “I love his tone, his live performances and the honesty in his songs,” says Dominika.
Over the next few years, Dominika won nearly every local contest she entered. Then, in 2009, at 16 years old, Dominika auditioned along with thousands of hopeful singers and was among the few chosen to compete on the national TV program Czechoslovakian Superstar, her country’s version of American Idol.
The competition was grueling but Dominika’s hard work paid off: viewers’ votes poured in for her weekly performances and by the contest’s conclusion, Dominika was awarded first place among the female contestants and third place overall.
Dominika’s long held dream of becoming a pop star was now beginning to take shape. “It was always my dream to enter the competition but I was too young,” Dominika reminisced, “so when I finally turned 16 and saw a commercial for it, I said, mom, dad, I'm going! It was a lot tougher than I expected: sleepless nights, no days off and no family time. We were in a crazy cycle for 3 months but it taught me a lot. I'm braver, wiser, and a better artist because of it, even though I still have a lot to learn!”
Subsequently, through mutual friends in Slovakia, Dominika was introduced to Ray Pouncey Sr. CEO of the New York area based Poncini Entertainment.
After watching several of Dominika’s videos, Ray contacted Dominika’s father about managing her career and bringing her to the U.S. for additional training and her overall advancement. “I was only 17 at the time so I couldn't really make the decision whether or not to come to the United States; my parents were the decision makers and I am very happy they said yes,” Dominika explained. “I'm proud to say I have the best manager in the business and the best team! I have met so many famous people and have been through so many amazing things that have made me grow as a person and as an artist. I have visited schools in New England, speaking to students on the importance of education, and positive influences in relation to pursuing their dreams because I have done many things I was only dreaming about until I came here.”
Dominika has also spoken to young people about depression, mood disorders and suicide prevention, as well as advocates for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Dominika is very passionate about reaching out to young people. She loves having the opportunity to connect with and encourage these young men and women.
In September 2012 Dominika released an EP “Mixed Signals” which includes the sultry, up tempo single “Thinking Of You” which earned her Best International Singer honors at the New England Urban Music Awards, held annually in Boston, Massachusetts. Other singles by Dominika include the comical commentary “These Dumb Dudes”, the jazz influenced “Wrong” and the retro-pop dance flavored “Take Me”.
From 2012 to 2016, Dominika made the very wise decision to focus on her education, ultimately receiving her Bachelors degree in Business Marketing, and subsequently obtained her MBA, all while traveling between Slovakia and America recording music regularly. Dominika has appeared on magazine covers and television shows in her home country of Slovakia as well as in neighboring countries. A memorable moment was when Bruno Mars' father, Peter Hernandez, said to Dominika, "You are a star... I can see it! Keep going, I've got my eye on you!"
Dominika aka Stara recently shot a video for her latest single "Keep It Coming", which is rapidly being picked up and played on major radio stations across the United States! She has recorded several new tracks for her debut album, “My Time to Shine,” which she plans to release in 2018. This album will feature her power ballad, “When Love's All Gone.” “Right now we are recording more EDM tracks but I also love ballads, mid-tempo tracks, pop-rock, R&B,” she enthuses, “and I'm open to trying new things.
I caught up with Dominika to discuss her new music and career.
Q&A with Dominika
Thanking you Dominika for taking time-out to allow our readers here on HubPages to learn more about you as one of Pop music's newest singing sensations.
Q) One of your singles is called, "Colorblind". What's the meaning in the song for you and what do you want people to take away from the message?
A) Colorblind is a song I wrote about racism. The title is a metaphor. When you listen to the song, you’ll get the message. I want people to see the color. I want people to see the beauty in every single color! But I want people to be colorblind to the thought that one color is better than the other.
Q) You were born in Czechoslovakia. What was it like there for you and when did you move here to the States?
A) I was born in Slovakia - Czechoslovakia split 8 months before I was born :) Slovakia is amazing, beautiful! I love the people, my whole family still lives there, Slovakia is my home! I am now traveling between Slovakia & USA because I’m pursuing my dreams. In the US I’m working on my music, developing my sound, my writing skills, getting better in every aspect of being an entertainer. I love all those great opportunities United States can offer me.
Q) At what age did you know that a singing career would be your calling?
A) I think I have always had a strong passion for music. I grew up in a singing family, my parents brought me up to love music & the gift of singing that I have. But I realized I want to do this for the rest of my life when I was 11 and I saw our first season of Slovak Idol.
Q) Who were some of your influences in music as a young kid coming up, and who do you like now out there?
A) Whitney Houston was my first inspiration. Her songs are on my parents wedding video tape, I remember watching it just to hear her voice! I also love Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Diana Ross. I also love Beyonce, I grew up singing her songs like Listen. Now, my No. 1 artist is definitely Bruno Mars. I love his voice, his writings skills, the honesty in his songs.. I had a chance to see him live twice and I was blown away! The best 2 shows I have ever seen in my life!!!
Q) We are all unique artist, but if I were to compare you to any singer on the music landscape right now, who would that be, and why?
A) I’m me. I’m Dominika Stara. I don’t compare myself to nobody and I don’t want to be compared to nobody. I am working on my own sound, unique sound that is typical for me. I don’t only sing one genre of songs, I sing whatever I can relate to. I think that’s unique and typical for me. You can hear me singing pop, R&B, dance records, ballads. On one of my songs I even rap! I’m like an iPod.. You don’t only have one type of songs on it, do ya?
Q) What's your goal with your music and where do you plan to be five years from now with it?
A) I want to do what I love. I want to inspire people. I want to entertain people. And I want to be happy.
Q) Are you also pursuing acting? What's your favorite movie and TV show?
A) Yes, I am but my No.1 love is definitely music! I like different movies.. Like White chicks is my top fav movie! And TV shows.. I’m currently hooked to “Jane the virgin”. Love it!
Q) What are some of your other hobbies?
A) I love cooking! I’m vegan so I like trying new recipes, I like trying my own recipes and veganizing my whole family, lol! I also love exercising.. Running, roller skating, swimming.. I like being active.
Q) Are you working on new music now? What's your latest single release called, and how can people find it?
A) Yes, me and my team Poncini are constantly working on new material, consistency is important in this business. My newest single is called “Papi” and you can find it everywhere, you name it.. iTunes, cd baby, Spotify, apple music..
Q) Where can people follow you on social media?
A) Both, my Twitter & Instagram are @dstaraofficial and on FB I have a Dominika Stara Official Fun Page
Q) Finally, if you were speaking to a group of young kids, maybe at a performing arts high school, who have the dreams you are now pursuing, what advice would you give them?
A) It’s simple.. People will try to talk you out of pursuing your dreams, take you down the wrong path, distract you, make you fail.. So! Stay focused on your goal! Chose your friends, your team wisely! Surround yourself with the right, honest people - no yes men! Stay humble! Work very hard! Never stop learning, studying your craft! And never, ever give up!
Thank you Dominika. I am sure we will be seeing you in a very big way soon!
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- Dominika Stara (@dstaraofficial) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from Dominika Stara (@dstaraofficial): "International kissing day when you’re 4.5K miles from the handsome man you need to kiss
People will try to talk you out of pursuing your dreams, take you down the wrong path, distract you, make you fail.. So! Stay focused on your goal! Chose your friends, your team wisely! Surround yourself with the right, honest people - no yes men! Stay humble! Work very hard! Never stop learning, studying your craft! And never, ever give up!"— Dominika Stará