FAIRFIELD — Rapper Sage the Gemini – 21-year-old Fairfield native Dominic Woods – is a local success story, with a platinum single “Gas Pedal” and a follow-up gold single “Red Nose” under his belt.
The next step in his career is the release of his debut album “Remember Me” on Tuesday.
While pleased by his rapid success, Woods didn’t exactly lay out a blueprint for it. That’s not his style, he said.
“My plan was not to plan,” he said. “It was kind of like to go with the flow. With ‘Gas Pedal’ I knew I wanted to have . . . a song that everybody would listen to in this moment in time. I knew it would take off a little, but I didn’t know it would take off like that.”
His follow-up song “Red Nose” popularized a dance craze called “yiking.” It can be described as extreme twerking – referring to the derriere-shaking dance Miley Cyrus performed at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
The title of the song refers not to Santa’s shiny-nosed bullied reindeer, but in the context of the song is a simile that compares the rhythmic shaking of woman’s rear end when dancing to the way a red-nosed pit bull shakes its head from side to side.
Woods teamed up at the end of 2013 with none other than pop phenom Justin Bieber on a remix of “Gas Pedal” that met mixed reactions.
“A lot of people didn’t like it because Justin Bieber was rapping on my song, but a lot loved it,” he said. “Personally, I liked it because he sung and he rapped on it so it was great and it’s moving and lots of people love it.”
Woods is part of a Bay Area rap collective called The Heartbreak Kids or The HBK Gang.
“They are a very talented and diverse group of artists who love music for what it is and not the negativity that some portray it to be,” Woods said. “We are all about positivity.”
Success has been especially sweet on a personal level because of so many who were less than encouraging earlier in the rapper’s life.
“A lot of people don’t like the success that I have, but a lot of people do. I went to school at Cleo Gordon, Dover, Fairfield High and Mary Bird. A lot of my teachers are proud of me but I also proved a lot of my other teachers who said I would never amount to anything, wrong.” he said.
He performed “Gas Pedal” in February on national television twice – on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Arsenio Hall Show.”
“I grew up less fortunate – we didn’t have cable, so we watched DVDs like ‘Coming to America’ – so for me, to be on TV was beautiful and to meet Arsenio and him be a big fan? It’s crazy, it’s weird, it’s a blessing,” Woods said.
“Remember Me,” the Fairfield rapper’s first full-length album, will feature his first two singles as well as a track released in February for presale called “Down on Your Luck.” Vallejo rap legend E-40 makes an appearance on the disc as well.
“It was unheard of for me to do what I did coming from (where) I am from and at my age to go platinum and gold,” Woods said. “I love Fairfield, California, and I give a shout out to Fairfield everywhere I go so we can get that recognition. I believe there are a lot of talented artists here.”
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.