Atlanta, GA – Domingo Guyton is a married father with children in the Atlanta area. He has a Master’s Degree, is an award-winning film producer who has claimed ten film festival awards, and boasts appearances on HLN, BET, CBS News, The Source Magazine and many other national platforms. He has numerous recording albums to his name, and even toured for six years as a drummer with two-time Grammy Award Winning R&B/Soul and Funk band, Tavares.
These are major accomplishments, especially for someone who could have lost his life as a teenager in the rough streets of Boston in the late 1980s and 90s. During that time, Domingo was frequently fighting and getting expelled from school. He was once robbed at gunpoint and even stabbed four times by gang members. To add insult to injury, he faced jail time on an alleged gun charge.
However, despite being an angry and rebellious young man, he was also a gifted musical talent inspired by rap legends like KRS One, Ice Cube, A Tribe Called Quest and others. He had a much larger purpose; but his failure to realize it nearly cost him, big time.
“A lot of crazy things were going on in the streets in the 80s and early 90s,” said Guyton, 46. “My mom and grandma did everything they could to keep me in the house, but I loved being outside and feeling the pulse of the street. They bought me a drum set, a Nintendo Gameboy, a little pocket TV, and all sorts of other things to keep me inside. The older I got, the more I wanted to be outside with my boys. That got me in a lot of trouble.”
Guyton contended with most of the ailments that plague inner city black and Latino youth, however, while he often disregarded it, his family had a strong foundation in the community and in the church. He had people willing to help him, but it would take numerous setbacks and interventions from family members, classmates and outsiders for him to get the picture.
By age 17, Guyton sought to escape his neighborhood after being threatened by gang members. Surprisingly, he enrolled in Worcester State College where he met friends who were also interested in music. They went on to produce songs, participate in competitions, and release a rap album in 1999. Performing under the moniker, “Mingo,” Guyton’s nights consisted of partying and women as he and his team gained local and national recognition for their music. However, even with the music taking off, once he graduated from college, something more significant was taking shape.
“I was hired by the YMCA as a teen and skate park director in Worcester, Massachusetts. I oversaw teen clubs, basketball leagues and learned a lot about balancing budgets and hiring staff,” he recalled. “I was able to incorporate some of my own talents and skills into the programs. “Two young women that worked with me were always ministering to me, along with other brothers.”
Despite his initial resistance and inner battles, the death of his grandmother and his desire to be a better person kept tugging at Guyton. He vowed to produce music without profanity, attend church, and become more active in the community.
Fast forward to today, and Guyton is the founder of Wake Up My People Publishing. Through the imprint, he releases music and films that deliver powerful and uplifting content, as well as spreading God’s message. He is a community leader who mentors young men, speaks across the country at schools, conferences and churches. The streets, guns, drugs and clubs transitioned into a man of perspective, intent on sparking change in communities across the country.
“When I made the transition, I was finally able to become educated about myself,” Guyton said. “As that started to happen, I began to use my music for good and to share how I got to know my personal Lord and Savior.”
His newest endeavor is a major feature film entitled, Yesterday Today Forever. It is a riveting and modern interpretation of the story of Peter in the Bible – and production is nearing completion.
“At this stage in my life, I know that I cannot complete this journey on my own,” he said. “I am just going to do what God wants me to do.”