The retro pop starlet has an ear for bygone eras.
When listing her influences, singer Dominique Pruitt points to past acts like Patsy Cline, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis as well as the modern soulful sounds of Amy Winehouse, The Black Keys, and The Raveonettes. But she was impacted most by her father and the movie Cry Baby. When she was 9, she saw the John Waters film, and from then on she fell for all things from the mid-20th century, including the sound.
Now, about her father: He is her song-writing partner. In fact, he wrote one of her most gorgeous songs, “To Win Your Love,” more than 30 years ago. “My dad wrote it about my mom when she had a boyfriend but he was in love with her,” Pruitt says. “Well, apparently the song won her over and they’ve been married 31 years now. My mom sang the original demo of the song before I was born, and I loved that song growing up. When it came time to record my own album [she is in the process of recording her full-length debut], it was a no-brainer that I would do it, with my own spin.”
As a performer, Pruitt knows that half the musical experience is about presence, and she has that not only in spades but in clubs. “If you love a record and go to see the band live and they aren’t very good, or they’re totally boring, it’s really disappointing!” says the singer who is known to knock back tequila shots mid-set. “Also, it can be a killer for a band who is great live to have a meh album, of course. It’s very important to me that the album translates well to stage, and vice versa.”
The first thing you notice about Pruitt’s image is her vibrant red hair. As to whether redheads are more exciting? “I know that I have way more fun as a redhead!” she says. “I’d been red for years, and two years ago I dyed my hair platinum to mix things up. I loved being blond too, but I missed my red way too much and went back after just a few months. I felt like I wasn’t myself when I wasn’t a redhead.”
Adding to the effect of her fiery red ’do are Pruitt’s nine tattoos. “I support the mantra of Let your freak flag fly—and truly believe in just being myself,” she says. “My tattoos and my personal style are both very colorful, and a little bit kitschy. I’m expressing myself through how I dress, and just consider my tattoos lovely extra accessories.”
Her favorite piece, the roses and gypsy on her left thigh, was done by long- time friend Dr. Woo at the Shamrock Social Club in Hollywood. Her first was the peacock on the same leg. “The idea just popped in my brain, and I went with it,” she recounts. She plans on getting a couple of great individual pieces on her arms as well as filling up that left leg. As to why she started with her leg, she answers, “Probably also because I’m a born and bred southern California girl—I love my short shorts and showing some tattooed leg.”