The Animalistic Sincerity of Dominique de Witte

A retrospective look at the flourishing career of a Trebas Institute alumnus as he celebrates the release of his third studio album.

The possibilities of expression pulled a young Dominique de Witte towards the music industry and when he entered Trebas Institute in the fall of 2007, he brought with him a creative passion and drive to succeed.

Arriving from his native France, Dominique laid down roots in Montreal as he joined the Studio Recording and Live Sound programme, noting the experience as being “one of the happiest years of my life”.

With a strong foundation in musical arts, Dominique gained the opportunity to expand his knowledge on the technical aspect of the industry. Working in the on-campus, professional grade recording studio, and learning the ins and outs of the console and the analogue hardware was an invaluable teaching experience in the world of software and virtual plugins. Armed with grade-A equipment, which he describes as being “the real deal”, Dominique was further guided by his skilled instructors who are well established within the business, and from whom he was able to absorb skills and experience, which proved to be a “major asset” in forming his own style and sound.

To this day, Dominique still attributes some of his best memories at Trebas Institute to learning alongside his instructors in the recording studio, the late Nelson Vipon (pictured above) and continuing instructor, Michael E. Delaney, whom he credits as being “two extraordinary engineers”. 

Having graduated with honors, Dominique has since returned to France. In the years following his time at Trebas, he has released three albums, with the third released on October 4 2019. The title track, ‘Animal’, reflects the eclectic ménage of sounds and influences which carry throughout every track to create a truly timeless pop-rock record.

Dominique said: “After graduating from Trebas Institute, I did not have any problems working in the industry and creating my own business because the courses are varied and complete. You have enough knowledge to make a good start.” This is exactly what he did and has not stopped yet.

He also mentions that “The team at Trebas Institute is here to help you find a contract by offering job offers - precious help.” It was with these initial jobs in the field that led him to where he is today, now with three albums under his belt, the latter of which he was able to produce 100% on his own, along with the aid of his wife and business partner, Viky de Witte.

He wrote, composed, and played all the instruments while also acting as the sound and mixing engineer and designer, with his wife recording his vocals. Moreover, with his confidence and finely tuned skills, he was able to comfortably master the entire album in the renowned mastering studio in France - Globe Audio Mastering.

Since the completion of the long and strenuous process that is producing an album from beginning to end, the title track, Animal, has begun to play on top radio playlists.

Dominique’s influences include the likes of Flemish Baroque artists, Anthony Van Dyck and Peter Paul Rubens, whose art emphasized color, movement, and sensuality—attributes which strongly correlate to Dominique’s music.

When asking Dominique, a song of his choice which he could play on repeat for the rest of his life, he is quick to answer ‘Teenage Wildlife’ by David Bowie, another artist to whom he can be compared. With many influences on the technical aspect of producing music, Dominique was lucky enough to have worked with one of his idols, the legendary, Mark Needham. Needham has produced music for artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Killers, and Imagine Dragons, as well as side by side with Dominique to produce his sophomore album ‘Supernova’. Working with such a renowned producer and implementing his knowledge learned at Trebas and in the years following, brought Dominique to where he was able to conquer the process entirely on his own.

Even with all his recent success, Dominique admits to dealing with performance anxiety every time he puts on a show: “And that’s normal - you must prepare yourself and everything will go well; a concert is never perfect; the most important thing is to know how to deal with the unexpected.”

This is something a decade’s long career can help with. Dominique goes on to advise any Trebas students who wish to follow in his footsteps: “Be passionate and keep learning at Trebas and after your graduation. Take notes and ask questions; be curious and help yourself. Internships are also important for immersing yourself in the musical world. Be serious and have fun - do not be afraid of failures and trying things; success is on its way!”

Success is a characteristic that Dominique has earned the right to speak on, working tirelessly to bring him to this point in his life. Now in the next phases of his career, with the addition of starting his own independent record label with his wife, Mauve Records, things prove to not be slowing down any time soon.

Dominique is a stellar example of how hard work and perseverance always pay off, and how his time spent studying at Trebas was indispensable in cementing his place in the music industry of today and most certainly of tomorrow.

Be sure to follow Dominique on social media and check out his music and videos using the links below:

Written by Al Brunet.

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