Dazed's ultimate guide to US creativity
As part of our States of Independence summer takeover, 50 American indie icons have volunteered to take the Dazed Pop Quiz; a quick-fire Q&A about what they love and loathe about life in the USA. Check back here every day for more from the series.
With three coruscating mixtapes of heavy bass and relentless electronica grinding beneath razor sharp bars, Dominique Young Unique has been slaying on the underground since 2009. Lending her voice to collaborations with Diplo, DJ Fresh and Le Youth has brought the 23 year old model, rapper and former stripper to a wider audience, readying the world for the Tampa native's major label debut. "Throw It Down" was no sell-out, big corporation compromise – it swaggered, stuttered and let you kiss her assquake – guided by the steady hands of Benga and DJ Fresh to stay true to Unique's roots. Dominique, who, for a fact, has never taken a road trip across America, loves Iceland (the country, not the UK's hot spot for frozen goods) and detests London's weather, took the Dazed pop quiz, which she declared as “fucking crazy”. Strap in.
Whose face should be on the $100 bill?
Dominique Young Unique: Of course, my face, why not! And I'd have big hair, like in my "Throw It Down" video.
What is your favorite quote about America?
Dominique Young Unique: Wow, these are some crazy questions.
What three words define the States today?
Dominique Young Unique: America's very strong, fun. It's way more fun than London, sorry!
Who gave you your first break? Do you still talk?
Dominique Young Unique: I met a friend from London, David Alexander, my producer, and we're still close friends. We talk, when he's here he comes over, we go out to dinner, we talk, we text, we Skype. I've known him for 7 or 8 years now.
When and where were you the most happiest?
Dominique Young Unique: At home, you know, because my family is there. Tampa, Florida is very hot and lovely, you can go on the beach, it's so nice. It's not so much the people but it's the weather and it's really beautiful. There's lovely restaurants, and those beaches.
Which living American do you most admire and why?
Dominique Young Unique: I admire Beyonce. She really inspired me in music and fashion. She's such a strong, independent woman and that's what inspires me.
What high school clique were you in? Do you stay in touch?
Dominique Young Unique: In school I was always the kid to start drama. Me and my crew, we would start dramas with different girls and stuff. It was quite fun but, I don't know, there would be people hating on me and I used to get in a lot of fights. I was young, and it wasn't right to do, and now I'm older and more mature, I look back on that...no one's perfect in life. We're cool, my old friends message me on Facebook or tweet me to see how I'm doing, we'll talk for a little but I'm pretty busy. I hang with them when I have time but it's very hard to do that.
What food reminds you of home?
Dominique Young Unique: Shrimp pasta. I love spaghetti with seafood – oh my god, I love seafood!
What smell do you associate with the city of your birth?
Dominique Young Unique: The weather. Heat, heat, heat – that's what I've been around all my life.
Where did you first fall in love?
Dominique Young Unique: Yeah, it was in Tampa. I started travelling when I was 18 but I first fell in love at 17.
What would make you leave America forever?
Dominique Young Unique: That's crazy! Azealia Banks (laughs). She just fucking insane! She needs to leave America, she's starting too much drama. I would like to see her face-to-face, yeah.
Ultimate American album?
Dominique Young Unique: Jay Z – The Blueprint.
What noise reminds you of the States?
Dominique Young Unique: Flights, airplanes.
What is your favorite American building?
Dominique Young Unique: The White House.
Ultimate American film?
Most overrated US tourist attraction
Dominique Young Unique: Ybor City [Tampa's Latin quarter]. It's so boring, there's a lot of old buildings and stuff and people go cos it's like historical, but it's so boring.
Favorite slang phrase?
Dominique Young Unique: When I get pissed off I have one but I don't wanna say it. I can't, I can't! It's like, fuck you...it's like, pussy nigga.
Where in the States would you ride out the apocalypse?
Dominique Young Unique: The White House!
When was your last run-in with the cops? What happened?
Dominique Young Unique: Never! I wasn't that girl!
If you could change one thing about the US, what would it be?
Dominique Young Unique: Hate! I'd teach everyone to love.
If you could vote for Obama again, would you?
Dominique Young Unique: Of course, I would! Obama, he is a very strong man, he's doing the right thing.
If you lost it all tomorrow, what would you do the day after?
Dominique Young Unique: Rob people.
What will America look like in 2050?
Dominique Young Unique: Flying cars. I think the buildings will sit on air. We'd have boots and push a button to fly up to get into the building. Everything is gonna be in the air, the restaurants and the tables.
Does the American Dream still exist?
Dominique Young Unique: Yeah, of course. That's me. I've still got a lot to achieve, I'm just starting. I wanna do a lot in life. My plan A was to be a model, my plan B was to be a music artist. I love modelling and I always used to look at The Tyra Banks Show and it was so inspiring, but plan A and B worked cos now I do both.
Follow Taylor Glasby on Twitter here @_xtgx