Domi & JD Beck’s Official Bio
If you were to visit the website of DOMi & JD BECK—the astoundingly virtuosic Gen-Z jazz duo—you’d be told a dubious story about a 12-year-old saxophonist/physicist (DOMi Louna) and a 6-year-old sheep investigator/physicist (JD Beck). Let’s fix that. “My philosophy of life is don’t take shit too seriously,” says DOMi Louna, born Domitille Degalle. And that’s fair. But the vibrant world she and her collaborator have given us demands exploration. DOMi & JD BECK’s music finds both humor and greatness in harmonic complexity, rhythmic shiftiness, and speed. She favors sounds that evoke ‘70s jazz fusion and the colorful blips of 2000s Pokémon soundtracks, while he tunes and plays his snare in ways that can sound electronic, channeling IDM and boom bap. Sometimes they’re stuffed into a bathroom and sometimes the drums are muffled by pretzels stacked on the hi-hat, or toilet paper tossed on the snare. Their acclaimed debut album—NOT TiGHT, released by Anderson .Paak’s new label APESHIT in partnership with the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records—is an attempt to bottle their goofy magic. They offer winking breaks and gleeful pivots, but the album is more composed than anything they’ve done before, toying with pop structures and pretty restraint. That befits their origin story. The duo first played together in a room full of blaring demos at a trade show, but they bonded over gauche keyboard FX and mom jokes. Over the next year and a half, they wrote and recorded much of NOT TiGHT at JD’s house in Dallas on drums and a 49-key MIDI board with just a few mics. The album—which earned them two GRAMMY nominations including Best New Artist—features the likes of Thundercat, whose deadpan funk is their closest antecedent, Herbie Hancock, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Mac DeMarco, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and .Paak himself. The duo has since performed an unforgettable NPR Tiny Desk Concert, made national TV appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live, and been featured in the line-ups of music festivals across the world from Coachella to the North Sea Jazz Festival. Along the way, DOMi & JD BECK have sat in with Hancock and backed Thundercat, Ariana Grande, Eric André, and more; they also co-wrote “Skate” on .Paak’s GRAMMY-winning album with Bruno Mars as Silk Sonic.
Domi & JD Beck’s Music
I first stumbled upon Domi & JD Beck after becoming a mega-fan of Thundercat. While watching some of his live videos, I found one of him playing his song Them Changes in front of a video of Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force dancing. Not only was Thundercat accompanied by Ariana Grande to sing the tune but I also noticed two other unfamiliar faces. Someone on keyboards and another on drums who were absolutely tearing it up. I was intrigued.
After doing some research, I found out that this was none other than Domi & JD Beck. A duo of absolutely brilliant musicians taking the modern jazz scene by storm. But, as mentioned in their above bio, to simply call them jazz is a disservice to their music. Blending elements of jazz, funk, soul, and hip-hop, they create a diverse soundscape with their music that is masterfully crafted. Though they are both virtuosos at their instruments, they don’t let that get in the way of their song writing.
After exhausting Youtube of their videos, I was beyond thrilled in 2022 when they announced their first official album together, NOT TiGHT. It was one of those albums that I instantly pre-ordered the vinyl for because I didn’t want to miss it.
As I waited for the album to drop, I kept their singles on repeat. The first of which being Smile, which is not only my favorite track on the album but also my weekend alarm song.
After listening to the beautiful instrumental groove of Smile, I was absolutely surprised when they released the second single from the album, Take a Chance. Not only did it feature Anderson .Paak, who I love, but it also featured the vocals of Domi & JD themselves for the first time. The vocal harmonies on the chorus paired with the amazing lyrics can easily bring a tear to the eye, and I openly admit that it has for me a time or two.
Once the album was released, I immediately put it on my headphones after I woke up (I wanted to wait for the album but with the delay in vinyl production it was going to take months after the album release and I was not going to wait to enjoy this). I was absolutely blown away by this album from both the perspectives of Domi & JD’s musical talents but also the contributions of their collaborators.
If you tell me a track has Thundercat on it I’m instantly there. Throw in Mac Demarco, Herbie Hancock, Anderson .Paak, and Snoop Dogg and I’m even more intrigued. Some of these names I never thought I would see on an album that is big in the contemporary jazz scene.
If you are looking for musicians that can produce songs with out-of-this-world musicianship but are also willing to not take themselves too seriously then this is the group for you. Just listen to the lyrics of the song U Don’t Have to Rob Me and you will instantly know what I’m talking about. Then go watch some clips of them driving Kenny Beats insane with Thundercat on Youtube.
Overall, Domi & JD Beck have become a mainstay of my turntable since the release of NOT TiGHT and easily my favorite album of 2022. I’m beyond thrilled to see the success they have achieved over the last few years (give their bio above a glance if you haven’t already) and can’t wait to see what’s next in their careers. I certainly hope a show in Austin is on that roadmap because I will be in the front row if it is.
What’s Up With Domi & JD Beck?
Domi & JD recently performed a stellar set at Cochella 2023 and are hitting the road on a world tour to continue to support NOT TiGHT. If you can catch one of these shows you definitely should! Tour dates and tickets can be found at https://www.domiandjdbeck.com/#/tour
If you like what you’ve heard in the above videos and want to check out more of the band, you can listen to their album at https://domiandjdbeck.lnk.to/NOTTiGHT
Also, if you’ve made it this far, check out their Tiny Desk performance. It’s a great example in one spot of their talent and humor.