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Dominique.  America’s  Next  Top  Model.  

Does  this  ring  a  bell?  If  not,  it’s  about   to  be  emblazoned  in  your  memory  from   her  new  song  and  music  video  “On  Top   of  the  World.�  Most  people  remember   her  best  for  her  participation  as  a   contestant  but  as  it  seems,  she  has  more   talents  than  just  “striking  a  pose.�  

The  model-­now-­turned-­singer  shows  us   that  she  knows  how  to  entertain  us  with   our  ears  instead  of  our  eyes,  unless  you   watch  the  video—then  you  get  the  best  of   both  worlds.  One  of  the  best  quotes  from   this  beautiful  vixen  of  song  was  “Modeling   is  not  about  being  perfect,  it  is  about   creating  the  illusion  of  looking  perfect  in   front  of  the  camera  to  get  that  one  shot.â€? This  is  something  most  of  do  at  home  for   our  Facebook  default  pictures  and  our   Instagram  accounts.  However,  maybe  she   has  a  point.  It’s  not  about  looking  perfect   all  the  time,  instead,  maybe  it’s  more   about  knowing  how  to  carry  yourself  at   the  precise  moment  that  you  are  trying  to      "     to  do  with  being  beautiful  in  your  own  way,   or  just  being  downright  model-­material,   most  of  us  can  relate.  I  know  I  have  my  own   fair  share  of  pictures  with  no  smile  that  I   choose  to  broadcast  simply  because  I  like   to  give  a  show.  Whether  it  is  one  of  upbeat   silliness  or  downbeat  sadness—I  am  guilty   of  foregoing  the  cheesy  “smile  and  stare.â€?   Getting  back  to  our  new  songstress,  she   has  proven  herself  as  someone  not  to  be   forgotten.  She  kept  determined  even  though         "  on  ANTM  and  kept  delivering  the  goods.   This  is  what  gave  her  the  opportunity   to  keep  coming  back  in  different  spin-­ offs  of  reality  modeling  television.      ! " about  this  dazzling,  charismatic  beauty,   so  we  did  a—you  guessed  it—interview:

So,  Dominique,  what  made  you  choose   a  career  in  music  instead  of  a  career  in   modeling,  seeing  as  you  are  obviously    %      As  a  child  growing  up,  I  have  always  wanted   to  sing  and  model.  I  would  practice  my  model   walk  one  moment  then  pretend  to  be  my   idol,  Mariah  Carey  the  next!  I  have  always   wanted  to  live  out  my  dreams  as  a  little  girl   and  now  that  I  am  an  adult  I  plan  on  doing   so!  I  do  not  want  to  have  any  regrets  in  life.   I  also  believe  that  as  an  entertainer,  your   career  has  to  evolve  and  I  am  doing  just  that. Would  you  say  that  you  prefer  a   musical  career  to  that  of  a  modeling      No.  I  believe  they  go  hand  in  hand;Íž  one   enhances  and  complements  the  other.   Photo  shoots  will  never  go  away.  Right   now,  I  have  chosen  to  direct  my  focus   on  my  music  career.  My  goal  is  to  reach   my  full  potential  as  an  entertainer. If  someone  were  to  ask  you  who  your   favorite  model  and  favorite  singer  is,    !   !   My  favorite  model  of  all  time  besides  the   one  and  only  Tyra  Banks  would  have  to  be   Sophia  Loren.  I  love  her  classic  beauty  and       "  favorite  singer  of  all  time  is  Mariah  Carey!  I   always  felt  like  I  could  relate  to  her  growing   up  and  fell  in  love  with  her  personality  and   the  message  in  her  music.  There  is  not  one   song  that  she  has  made  that  I  do  not  like. Since  you  were  a  part  of  a  few  reality   television  modeling  competitions,   could  we  assume  that  you  also  watched   "  $  #   I  absolutely  love  that  show  and,  yes,  I  do   watch  it  when  I  can!  Honestly  speaking,  I   would  love  to  be  a  judge  on  that  show! If  you  were  to  pick  your  favorite   hairstyle—as  we  see  you  can  pull  off   many—how  would  you  do  your  hair  for       My  favorite  hairstyle  would  have   to  be  big  hair!  I  love  big  hair!  The   bigger  the  hair  the  better! I  have  to  ask  for  our  readers:  Gaga  or   !   Gaga!        Madonna!

!    Madonna! What  do  you  think  is  the  most   controversial  issue  of  this  decade,   which  you  feel  strongly  and   passionately  about  in  one  way  or      I  will  relate  it  to  modeling  and  say  the   banning  of  using  models  under  the  age   of  16  led  by  Vogue.  I  am  an  advocate  and   promoter  of  living  a  healthy  lifestyle.  It  is   unfortunate  that  we  have  lost  young  lives  to   eating  disorders,  but  it  is  time  we  take  a  stand   against  it  despite  the  fact  that  some  people   in  the  industry  feel  it  will  diminish  jobs. I  can’t  help  but  notice  that  your  song   sounds  like  a  perfect  Friday  night,   middle  of  the  summer  dance-­thumper      !    Yes,  I  love  this  song  because  it  is  a  feel-­ good  song.  It  is  meant  to  empower   and  generate  a  burst  of  energy! Tell  us  how,  in  your  mind,  you  picture   people  dancing  to  this  song  when  it   comes  on  in  the  clubs!   This  is  a  song  I  feel  everyone  can  relate  to.   I  feel  people  getting  a  burst  of  energy  and   going  off  with  their  own  swag  dance  moves‌   "   everywhere!  It  gets  you  pumped  and  inspires   you  “Not  to  apologize  for  who  you  are  and   to  live  your  life  on  top  of  the  world!â€? We  don’t  know  if  you  have  a  personal   trainer  or  not,  but  what’s  one  easy   workout  that  you  can  recommend  for   our  readers  to  do  in  your  own  home  to       I  am  an  outdoor  kind  of  girl  and  I   love  to  get  out  for  a  jog  and  enjoy   nature.  I  am  a  cardio  queen! Did  the  making  of  your  video  remind   you  a  lot  of  being  on  the  set  of  modeling      It  sure  did!  I  think  in  order  to  be  a  singer  or   model,  you  must  know  how  to  act  and  feel   comfortable  in  becoming  different  characters! Would  you  say  that  modeling  is  an          I  think  acting  is!  Always  thinking  outside   the  box  and  constantly  developing  new   ways  to  be  creative  and  entertain! What’s  your  favorite  song  to  dance  to   in  a  club—the  one  that  really  gets  you      Right  now  “On  Top  of  the  Worldâ€?  gets   me  in  my  zone!  Hector  Fonseca  just  did   a  sick  remix  for  “On  Top  of  the  Worldâ€?   and  it  has  me  dancing  non-­stop!!! Is  there  any  parting  quote  you  would   like  to  leave  the  readers  with  for         Yes,  DREAM  BIG!


How  have  you  been  recovering  now  that   the  surgery  is  complete?   Before,  I  felt  tired  and  burnt  out.  Now   I  feel  recharged  and  rejuvenated!   I’m  seeing  things  more  clearly  and   positively,  and  I’m  more  laid  back. What  role  did  your  family  and  friends   play  in  your  condition  and  the  recovery   following  surgery?   Actually,  my  father  passed  away  in  2004  from   the  same  heart  condition,  but  I  was  surprised   to  see  how  many  people  really  cared.  I  had   family  who  had  shunned  me  before,  but  in   my  time  of  need,  they  were  by  my  side. After  this  recent  surgery,  what’s  the   hardest  part  of  bouncing  back?   There  are  metal  wires  in  my  chest  and,  at          moving  separately.  Your  skin  is  glued.  You  can’t   exercise  and  I  couldn’t  shower  for  a  month.   However,  the  body  has  an  amazing  way  of  trying   to  heal  itself  back  to  the  way  it  was  before. If  you  could  describe  yourself  from   diagnosis  until  now,  what  3  words  would   you  use?   Charismatic.  Evolved.  Complex. What  would  you  want  FLAME  readers  to   know  about  you?           with  honors.  I  graduated  from  the  University  of   Michigan  in  Ann  Arbor.  Rodney  “Rod  Squadâ€?   is  an  entertainer.  I  sing  and  act!  I  have  done   some  independent  movies  for  U  of  M,  as  well   as  getting  to  be  in  the  movie  “Hardball.â€?  I   have  choreographed  for  three  local  recording   artists’  music  videos  and  I  also  have  a  YouTube   channel  (youtube.com/rodneyrodsquad),             doubted  me  because  of  my  heart  condition. If  you  could  reach  out  and  take  a  platform   for  the  LGBT  community  what  would  be   your  message?   My  message  would  be  that  life  can  give   you  second  chances!  Before  my  surgery,   I  was  hyperventilating  thinking  about   death;Íž  all  you  really  have  is  your  health,   but  perseverance  helped  me  get  through   it...  Since  the  surgery,  I  have  grown  closer   in  faith  and  know  believing  in  something   or  someone  helps  to  get  you  through  it. All  gays  know  that  Madonna  is  the  pop   diva  queen,  who  do  you  think  is  next  in   line?   BeyoncĂŠ  is  the  ultimate  entertainer!  Jessie   J  is  my  Madonna.  She  is  a  true  artist  and   I  love  her  voice  and  personal  style.  Kelly   Clarkson’s  songs  have  awesome  messages.   Sara  Bareilles  is  complex  and  her  lyricism   speaks  to  me.  Lastly,  I’d  say  Kerli;Íž  she  is  up-­ and-­  coming  and  fun.  At  Motor  City  Pride   2012,  she  gave  me  a  shout  out  stating  that  life   can  give  you  second  chances  so  embrace  it! Do  you  have  any  last  words  to  our   readers?   Never  judge  a  book  by  its  cover!  Things   can  happen  to  you  to  change  your  life!


Flame Magazine Jul 2012  

Michigan's Premier LGBT Lifestyle and Entertainment Magazine

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