Dom Zeglaitis, better known as Durte Dom, is a popular influencer and musician. Zeglaitis is most famous for his work on YouTube through his involvement with David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad, but has since created his own verified, self-titled YouTube channel.
Aside from vlogging, Zeglaitis creates merchandise through his website and spends time furthering his music career. Zeglaitis not only is a rapper, but produces music as well. When he’s not working on creating content, Zeglaitis spends his time trying to connect with his fans.
The Post sat down with Zeglaitis to discuss his experience in the Vlog Squad, his content creation and more.
The Post: What does a typical day look like for you?
Zeglaitis: I wake up, work out and after that is when I kind of start my day. Then it usually depends. Some days are filming days where I’ll only be filming stuff for, like, YouTube or TikTok. Other days, I’m just kind of working on merch or side businesses I’m working on or any other endeavors that I’m doing. The other days are just like a little bit of everything … It’s a little bit random. That’s kind of the great thing about doing social media; you make your own schedule.
P: Did you always know you wanted to create content for YouTube?
Zeglaitis: Yeah, for sure. When I was like 13 years old I started making videos, stupid little skits, just being dumb and messing around. After I graduated high school I was like, ‘You know, I want to go and do videos,’ but I didn’t really have a plan. I knew I wanted to do some type of YouTube stuff ... but I didn’t know exactly the plan.
P: How did you become friends with David and the rest of the Vlog squad?
Zeglaitis: We went to high school together, and I met him probably, like, sophomore year. I was really the only kid doing, like, video-internet stuff, and then he started doing Vine, and he really took off on Vine. After high school he wanted to move to L.A. ... so I was like ‘Dude, let me frickin’ go with you,’ because he needed a couple other guys to split a room with. So it was me, Alex Ernst, David and our old roommate Nathan. Then we went to that apartment that everyone knows now, and the rest was history; we just all had a dream of coming out to L.A. and doing something.
P: How much of the videos are scripted versus actual personality traits and events that happen?
Zeglaitis: I’d say it’s probably like half and half. David has a direction of how he wants to do videos and how he wants people to be portrayed. I might say something about doing this or that, but it won’t make it into the video because it’s either not funny versus me saying something stupid about smoking weed. By scripted, it’s a lot of improv, and we’ll do multiple takes, so it’s like it’s still real. We’re not reading off a script and being like, ‘Oh yes, now this moment of the video say this line,’ but it’s more like, we’ll do multiple takes in the same scenario and kind of throw jokes at each other, you know?
P: Why do you think that people became so attached to you and the Vlog squad? What do you think the secret is?
Zeglaitis: I think it’s just the likability and relatability of the different characters. That’s the thing about big group dynamics is there’s someone you can always look up to. There’s Jeff, the hot, bad boy, or Todd, the poetic cute guy, and Jason, the old dad trying to make it in Hollywood and then there’s me, Durte Dom, the crazy, weed-smoking lunatic. There’s a lot of these characters that I think we see in our day-to-day life that just fit into the bubble of what the Vlog Squad is.
P: What’s been one of your favorite memories from being in the Vlog squad?
Zeglaitis: My favorite one is probably when we had all those clones of Durte Dom. We went to a party and had like 15 Durte Dom clones with the durag and the glasses. Or the Christmas bit where I took all these Christmas trees and I put them inside the apartment, and I was pretending like I’m holding them until next year to sell them.
P: What type of content is your favorite to create? Do you have a favorite video you’ve made or project you’ve put together?
Zeglaitis: I feel like I’ve kind of stepped aside and have been focusing on a different aspect of my content that I’m presenting. I really like music videos. I feel like they have more longevity. They’re some of the best videos that perform on my channel as well. Just having a dope song and shooting music videos for it has always been something that even before I lived out here I would do. We did a music video, me, Jonah, Big Nik and Seth, that was really fun. It’s been up for maybe, like, two years now and has racked up almost like 3 million videos, so it performed really well, and it was a fun time filming with all the guys who are super awesome. Then also realistically just, like, any type of improv skit comedy I think is always fun for me to film.
P: How did you get into music/rapping?
Zeglaitis: I’ve been producing music for like three or four years now. I started learning online and just taking little videos and doing what they were doing in the video to get an understanding of it. Then I was always getting different flows in my head, so I was like, ‘Let me put some bars on the beat.’ I personally prefer producing songs more than rapping because I feel like I want to let the artist shine, and there’s a lot of dope artists out there that can sound way better than I do on the track. It just kind of depends.
P: How has the pandemic impacted your Durte and Dangerous tour? Are you working on any projects right now during the quarantine?
Zeglaitis: It’s at a full stop right now. I had like three or four locations lined up all during spring break like March and April, and it got put on hold. While that’s going on, I’m just going to keep working on music content because originally I was going to go touring and be an entertainment act. I want to get a couple records out there so I can actually tour as a DJ. It’s a little hard to sell yourself as being the dude that’s going to come and party with people and then leave, versus if you can be the full package: the music and the entertainer for the night. I feel like it’s a lot more worth it. I’m also working on a cannabis CBD brand. People already know I’m the weed dude, so I feel like I have to monetize that somehow, so I’m working on my weed brand called Gassy.
P: What’s something about you or the Vlog squad that no one knows?
Zeglaitis: I think everyone thinks that what they see on camera is what’s really going on, or like, because they think that this is how someone is online, that that’s how they are in person. I feel like there’s a lot of misconceptions about people in general, online versus in person. A lot of people are going through the same stuff that normal everyday people are going through, and maybe they just don’t show it on social media. People don’t think these people are vulnerable … or that they don’t have emotions, you know? Even influencers are people, and a lot of times they have more feelings than regular people because they either get constant hatred or constantly criticized for content or constantly praised. I think just keeping an eye out for people and knowing that everyone is different, their own person. You shouldn’t take what you see online too seriously.
P: Ultimately, what’s your biggest dream or goal in life?
Zeglaitis: I’d say somehow figuring out how to mix business with the music. Half the day I’m shooting content on the influencer side, and half the day I’m working on the behind the scenes stuff, whether that’s like starting up brands or working on clothing. Realistically, I would say for my business to flourish and for my music career to flourish as well. I think those are the two on my checklist.
P: Is there anything specific that you want readers to know about you?
Zeglaitis: Taking time to focus on yourself, and build up your own brand is important. I’m just taking a step away, even with vlogging and stuff like that, focusing on vlogging a little less and working on the music stuff more. I want to try something new that gives a new light to myself, you know?