Singer Domino Kirke is no stranger to the spotlight. From performing solo gigs in nightclubs as a teenager to going on tour this fall, Kirke’s sound has grown up with her. On Nov. 18, the British songstress will take the stage at Great Scott to perform her first solo album, Beyond Waves. We caught up with Kirke to discuss her new album and lifelong passion for music.
What got you interested in the music industry? I started playing piano when I was 6. My father was on tour a lot, and my reality was that the music industry was very much a huge part of my day-to-day life. I think, like many kids, I sort of aspired to find that thing that connected me to my father and it was that we had music in common. A lot of my time spent with him was listening to music and playing it and singing him songs that I wrote, so for me, music was just a way to connect more deeply to my family. I was just obsessed with music from such a young age and I really never had another plan to do anything else.
The lyrics on your solo album Beyond Waves are deeply personal. Do you get nervous performing them in front of a crowd? No, never. I actually find it easier to connect to people when I’m singing these songs—more than any other songs that I’ve ever written or any show I’ve ever played. Performing this record is actually the easiest time I’ve ever had on stage.
Why do you think that is? I think because there’s nothing between us. I’m just telling them stories that are so intimate and so deeply mine and there’s no buffer. …I think writing these songs was a way for me to really tune into myself and ask myself what I wanted from music now. I think when you’re that honest with yourself, and you’re that honest with your audience, then it’s kind of a win-win.
What tracks off your album speak to you the most? I think the songs Friend of the Family, Black Jack and Half Blood. …Those were the three that really came from my soul in terms of speaking to my family and sending these love letters to them. Those three were the most personal to me.
You started doing solo gigs in your teens. How has your outlook on performing changed since then? Now it just feels really natural to play in front of people. Not because I’ve toured the world or anything, but because I’m older and wiser and a lot more in my body when I’m playing music. I think when I was younger it was more of a performance and I didn’t really know how to connect to the audience. I just sort of went up there and went through the motions. Whereas today, I think I get up on the stage and I feel nervous but I don’t feel like I’m pulling one over on people.
Domino Kirke takes the stage at Great Scott on Nov.18.