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Love at First Listen: Dominique Pruitt

If there ever was a sign that the universe wants Dominique Pruitt to be a singer, it’s the constantly up-ticking YouTube view counter for her new video. In its first week of release, “To Win Your Love” has racked up more than 155,000 views — a mind-blowing number for a young unsigned artist — especially one whose sound is far removed from current crazes like dubstep and teen pop.

The moment the video started, I could see what the buzz was about. By the time the first hand-clap fueled chorus rolled in, I was head over heels in musical bliss. Pruitt’s style, smile and modern/retro sound immediately recall several generations of pop crushes. She’s Rosie the Riveter, a USO showgirl, a young Wanda Jackson, Kirsty MacColl, Pinky (Roz Kelly) and Leather (Suzi Quatro) Tuscadero, MTV-era Tracey Ullman and Cry-Baby-era Traci Lords all rolled into one. When the video was done, I had the sudden desire to bust out my tattered Rachel Sweet 45’s and play them all night.

The video is simple, delirious fun — a 1950’s vacation movie shot on HD. Pruitt mugs for the camera and frolics around a beachside carnival. Bright vivid colors pop from the screen as she shows off her best vintage fashion scores from Silverlake thrift stores.
Popdose caught up with Pruitt on the eve of her September 16th performance at Hotel Cafe: Hollywood’s landmark singer/songwriter haven where the likes of Katy Perry, Sara Bareilles, Brooke White, Eric Hutchinson and Lissie all played before (and after) making it big.

“To Win Your Love” is the perfect remedy for “Call Me Maybe” earworm fatigue; how did it come to be?

This is the first song I finished from my first real album. It came out so good I wanted to get it out immediately, so I just put it on Soundcloud, iTunes and Amazon. My friend told me I should make a video for it, so we shot one over a weekend by just going to places I like. I put it on YouTube and it just went crazy. I’m kind of freaking out. I can’t wait to get more songs done so people can hear more, but I don’t want to rush the record.

Your retro look and Slushie red hair perfectly accent your Americana sound.

I am completely obsessed with all things vintage. I love vintage fashion, music, cars, architecture, furniture, movies, EVERYTHING. My favorite eras are the 1940s-1960s. To me, heaven is a flea market. I could pick for treasures FOREVER! Although I love vintage clothes, I’m really passionate about fashion — I absolutely LOVE dressing up.

I read John Waters was another inspiration…

I saw the movie Cry-Baby when I was eight years old, and it made me fall madly in love with the ’50s. Without a doubt, it’s my favorite movie of all time.

Is your record collection also frozen in yesteryear?

I love and am inspired by tons of old artists: Patsy Cline, Connie Francis, Wanda Jackson, Ricky Nelson, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Janis Martin, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Clyde McPhatter — really, this list could go on forever. I also love some newer more folky artists: Neko Case, First Aid Kit, The Living Sisters, Lissie, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Karen Elson. There’s lots in between that I keep on heavy rotation: Morrissey and The Smiths, Spoon, Allison Krauss, Amy Winehouse, Adele, The Avett Brothers, Jenny Lewis and Rilo Kiley, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Depeche Mode, Oingo Boingo, X, No Doubt, Ella Fitzgerald, The Doors, Johnny Cash, Mazzy Star, R.E.M., Dolly Parton. Again, this list could go ON FOREVER! I even named one of my cats “Danzig.”

That’s quite the list. Before we wrap up, are you sure you haven’t left anyone out? Bieber? Tone Loc?

I am currently very inspired by Lady Gaga. Not only do I think she is a great singer, and a fun performer to watch, but I really admire how hard she works in every aspect. Music, charity, equality, etc. She lets her freak flag fly and I LOVE that.

“To Win Your Love” is available on iTunes, and for a limited time, it’s on sale for only $0.89 at Amazon MP3.

Proving that she’s no one-hit wonder, Pruitt provided Popdose with an exclusive new track; a stellar song that will hopefully make her upcoming EP or album:

Dominique Pruitt – He’s Got It Bad

I personally can’t wait to see what’s next, whether she goes it alone or signs with an adventurous label. If any A&R folks for the likes of Third Man, Yep Roc, Bloodshot, Saddle Creek or Rounder are in LA this weekend, I highly suggest they beeline for that Hotel Cafe show — or just watch those YouTube numbers climb high into the sky.

Fashion photos courtesy of StyleLikeU.com. Dive deeper into Dominique’s closet right here.




  • stevec

    What a refreshing change from the soulless, generic pap that rules modern pop music!

    Plus, anyone who lists Boingo and Buddy Holly as influences is a winner in my book.

    Thanks for this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/WeeTot Neil Mathews

    meh………Katy Perry wannbe without the failed Christian Rock credentials or R. Brand baggage………….pass

  • Paul

    Funny…Doesn’t sound anything like Katy Perry to me. Sounds more crunchy and a bit country.