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Art & Life with Dominique Arciero

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dominique Arciero.

Dominique, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born to, for all intents and purposes, “not artistic” parents who raised my three sisters and me in an incredibly creative household. Meaning, when we showed interest in singing and playing instruments, acting and putting on plays, they provided everything we needed and would seek out opportunities for us to perform and hone our skills (like allowing us to put on productions of musicals like “The Wizard of Oz” in our backyard for 300 paying guests!)
I was 12 when our quartet officially formed in 1999 (a country band with original songs) in which we hired a backing band until I played piano, Olivia- guitar and our littlest- Gabby on drums.

That year Jillian (our lead singer) was cast in Kenny Roger’s Broadway musical that all four of us proceeded to tour with for years after (thank you Kenny for the incredible experience!) The Little Women Band recorded albums and worked with various producers who saw something in our four-part harmonies and pop-country sensibility, eventually attracting three of the four of us (The Lunabelles) to Nashville — where we signed to Sony’s BNA Nashville. We took our first ever hiatus in 2013, after over 14 years of performing, writing, recording and living together — wherein I began writing and recording my own music… living alone! Running my own business! Playing solo shows! Lots of firsts, lots of new, scary, exciting and rewarding frontiers… that all led me to the incredible land of creatives in Los Angeles!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
After my band with my sisters broke up in 2012, I suddenly had all this time to write and sing solely for myself— and though I had always tried to pull from my real life experience, I felt like I could finally be truly myself at the piano or with a guitar as I worked through ideas — often catalyzed by difficult moments, my struggle with self-acceptance or my attempt to write about what I myself needed to hear.

Your Bones was one of those songs that came out feeling like a letter to my sister and my mom (for different reasons) and that I later realized was also to myself— in which the message is: “Life feels very heavy right now and you feel stuck and limited but look at all that you’ve done, been through and made it out of before. You can do it again. You’re stronger than you think or feel at this moment and there is something deep in you nobody can take away that will pull you up and out of this.” Personally, for me, “the strength in your bones” is not just about your life experience/drive/resilience, but also God’s energy/love/power (however you choose to name it) that animates us all.
This is a theme I come back to— songs that comfort us and remind us of our basic nature, what we’re made of and who we’re trying to be. Songs about struggling or broken homes and those relationships that shape you and challenge you. Reminders that the most tragic losses can be our most beautifully rewarding teachers.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I think it’s the same thing that it’s always been. Believing in yourself and doing what comes naturally and authentically to you. That is most challenging as we navigate how to create and share our ideas. More than ever though, we need to be reminded of this. You matter and your own unique voice matters, despite the sheer volume and availability of other work that’s being created and shared in so many ways — sometimes it seems like there’s too much to consume- or that there are already enough songs, for that matter.

Ha! So, my greatest challenge has been trusting that what I have to say will find the ears and hearts that need it. Most artists hope people will receive their work and appreciate it as much as they poured into it. And as rewarding as that connection with the receiver can be, at the end of the day, to make good work we must be honest with ourselves about what is true for us— and that is a wonderful part of the journey that being an artist invites us on— to be brave and follow the yellow brick road 🙂

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
“Second Lives”, my second EP, is available on iTunes, Spotify etc. (with a few music videos on YouTube) It was produced by my favorite person and collaborator Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek, Watkins Family Hour, Fiction Family)— an incredible songwriter and one of the world’s greatest bluegrass guitar players. We met at his monthly show at Largo in West Hollywood- which absolutely blew my mind and made me realize Los Angeles was a place I could thrive in- not just because of the great talent surrounding the place but the kind of people. The support, warmth and inspiration that we find at the Watkins Family Hour show was something I never expected to find and am so thankful I did.

Sean and I are now making my next record and bringing in a few of our favorite LA musicians this time like Tyler Chester, James McAlister and Benmont Tench. I plan to release a documentary edited by me and scored by my new songs in 2019. And through the wonderful world of musicians I’ve met from Largo and by teaching at a music camp in Shasta, CA, I’m currently producing a record for the great new singer/songwriter, Elise Leavy!

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Joy Photo
Roman Cho
Juan Patino Photography

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