California native Dominic Balli’s chosen musical identifier--as purveyor of “CaliRockReggae”--quickly gives one a glimpse of the sonic style residing within the man’s output.
“Art is an expression of who you are,” Balli says. “I’m just a half Italian, quarter Greek kid from California, but somehow inside of me there’s this little reggae dude just trying to get out. The most common comment I hear is, ‘I don’t even like reggae, but I love your stuff.’ I love that because it means that my music has become accessible to fans that might otherwise totally shy away from anything even reminiscent of reggae.”
That accessibility led fans to snatch up more than 20,000 copies of Balli’s independent debut, Public Announcement, making it one of iTunes’ Top 30 reggae albums of 2008. Such visibility on the sales charts combined with Balli’s electric live show, afforded him the opportunity to perform on stages around the world, alongside a diverse set of artists including Ziggy Marley, Natasha Beddingfield, Jason Mraz, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, George Clinton and the P-Funk, Hawk Nelson, Lecrae, and tobyMac.
But a handful of oft-repeated phrases have come to uncover a great deal of truth about Balli, both on a personal and professional level.
Consider the saying “You can’t always get what you want.” Balli’s life has a parallel example. “When I was 13 years old, I wanted to play the drums, even though I was a kid who had no sense of rhythm at all,” Balli says. “My dad told me that if I took guitar lessons for a year, he’d buy me a drum set. I resisted, because I thought only country singers played acoustic guitar!
“I reluctantly started the lessons and eventually fell in love with the guitar. I never did get that drum set.”
Stepping onto the music scene nearly six years ago, Dominic Balli hails from Oxnard, Calif. With influences ranging from Stevie Wonder to Bob Marley to Lauryn Hill, Balli’s music is a combination of soulful melodies, gripping lyrics, and make you move grooves. His first independent release, Public Announcement (2008), sold more than 20,000 copies, landing Balli’s debut effort among iTunes’ Top 30 Reggae Albums in 2008 and 2009. The project additionally produced a Top 30 Christian Hit Radio single with “All We Need Is Love” in 2010.
Balli’s follow up album, American Dream, features multiple collaborations, including Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D. on the title track as well as Nengo Vieira on “Favela.” Released July 26, 2011, American Dream debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and No. 3 on the Billboard Current Contemporary Christian Albums chart. Additionally, it ranked No. 147 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, tracking albums across all genres.
Listen to Dominic Balli here
|American Dream||2011||Lion of Zion Entertainment|