Contributor’s Note: Holy Gifts is an intoxicating blend of spiritually, creativity, and chutzpah. Dominick John Digilo is a talented songwriter who is making something that feels unique. I love this music and I think you will too. Fans can find Holy Gifts at the following locations:
Q: How do you write your songs? Where does your inspiration come from?
A: I write songs in either two ways; either it takes me days, months, and on a rare occasion; years to finish songs. They usually start on acoustic guitar for the majority of the time and rambling to myself until I finally go “Oh wait, I should do something with this and try to remember as much as I can with what’s going on”.
Inspiration comes from a myriad of different things. A lot of the time, ideas come out of the negative space — doing dishes, riding on public transit, waiting on line somewhere, spacing out, the space of time before falling asleep. Sometimes ideas jump out when my thought is totally empty. Also as of recently, meditation and reflection has brought a lot of inspiration.
Q: As a songwriter, what is important to you? What messages or feelings do you try to impart with your music?
A: It’s important to me as a musician to impart some truth and compassion into the world. The world can be… well, rough. It can really knock people down. And for me, I think making music (creating in general for that part) is my way to help other people among the millions of things you can do for another human being. I think if you can write something or show someone one tiny piece of gratitude, in the form of music or live music for that matter; you can really change someone’s outlook for the better. I’ve played so many bad shows, ready to leave disgruntled and annoyed. And what made it was one person coming up to me afterwards to say “Thank you because you connected x-y-z to me”. That’s why I make music.
Q: I know that you’ve struggled with mental illness, how has this affected you as an artist?
A: Having PTSD and clinical depression, it’s affected me in a bittersweet way. Great material to work off to write that next great emo record. (I’m watching you, American Football…)
But also it’s made things like my focus difficult when working and recording. And also it’s ruined my moral at times. Due to a lot of things going on at once, especially with my mom passing away in 2015; it got so bad, I stopped making music for a while. But on the flipside, my mental illness gave that time to focus on the album that came out in 2017. So again, it’s a bittersweet thing. Sometimes it’s helpful and cathartic and sometimes it’s derailing to say the least.
Q: Most people in the indie music scene tend to distance themselves from spirituality but you welcome it. How does it influence your songs writing?
A: It influences me a lot, if I’m being totally honest. Going back to what I was saying about what’s important to me as a songwriting — a lot of that comes out of spirituality.
I’ve been practicing a loosened form of Zen Buddhism for a couple of years now. And brings a lot of influence, especially in the themes of the music I’ve written in the past handful of years. The big questions as themes, y’know?
Q: Tell me about how Holy Gifts came to be?
A: Holy Gifts came to be about 2-3 years ago. Since around 2011-2012, I’ve been playing music live. I started out playing music as a solo artist, opening for bands in my hometown in New Jersey. But after a while, I wondered what was beyond the solo aesthetic and if I was able to create a project that could go beyond me in some way, that could speak for itself. So with that, came Holy Gifts.
Q: What’s next for you guys?
A: We’re currently starting to get together to go over the songs for our next album. So practicing and demoing and hopefully playing some shows to test the waters of the material that’s coming up. Hoping to have said album out by the end of the year at the most, but more than likely sooner. So maybe late spring into early summer.
And there you have it! Check out their live music performance of their songs “Plastic Mary” and “Lights” from Brick, New Jersey below:
On Friday, March 1st, Holy Gifts has a gig along with Overwinter and Psychic Agency at Pickle Rehearsal Space in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For tickets and further information on the show, click here.