DANiiVORY releases ethereal album ‘Dreamland.’ Dani is currently planning her next releases and shows and is on tour with Vance Joy across the globe.
You can listen to ‘Dreamland’ here:
Hi Dani! So nice to catch up with you again! We have loved hearing the new album – what are the main themes and messages you want your listeners to take away from this project?
Dreamland is a collection of songs I wrote about the different layers of consciousness – between reality and fantasy; love and light; desire and darkness; daydream and nightdream; good verses evil; struggle and strength. The first song I wrote for the album was “Don’t Wake Me Up” and that was based on an actual dream I had when I was a sophomore in college. The dream was so vivid that the details never escaped my mind and I was happy to finally make a home for it in the song. Main themes I would like listeners to take away from this album is to explore your life boldly, dream big, and go places you wouldn’t dare go because amazing things will be found even if that thing is a lesson to be learned. Do not be ashamed of yourself or your journey of growth. Push back and obstacles are inevitable but you will never win if you don’t fight to win. Love yourself, love your life: the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly.
Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations?
I could go on and on about musical inspirations based on the various stages of my life thus far, but my earliest memory of a musical inspiration comes from Stevie Wonder when I was just an itty bitty. Then moving through adolescence, teen years, and young adulthood, I would say The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Beethoven, Madonna, Chopin, Fleetwood Mac, Miles Davis, Mariah Carey, Sarah Vaughan, Aretha Franklin, Nirvana, and Erykah Badu. Currently, I am inspired by so many musical artists! It’s hard to name them all because there are so many incredible artists out there making the most incredible music. Anything from Lana Del Ray to Kacey Musgraves to Bruno Mars to Taylor Swift and beyond!
How did your time at Berklee shape your career now?
The relationships that I forged at Berklee strongly influenced the onset of my career as a professional keyboardist and backing singer. Certainly, the musical education developed my skill and repertoire knowledge as a singer and certain classes blossomed my abilities as a writer and producer but it really came down to the people I met. As the cliche saying goes…it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Because of my friends, I was recommended to audition for certain jobs and tours. The tour I am currently on basically came about because one of my best friends (who I met at Berklee) introduced me to one of her childhood friends many years ago when I lived in LA. He is a drummer and played with me in my original music project. He introduced me to an incredible guitar player, who has been touring with Vance Joy for a while. They needed someone to fill this position for North America and he recommended me. The rest is history.
Who are some of your favorite artists right now? Any that you dream about collaborating with?
I love The 1975 and Bruno Mars as well as Lana Del Rey. I would love to do a collab with Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson.
You’re currently on tour with Vance Joy! Tell us about your experience so far, any stand out memories or shows so far you can share with us?
I have nothing but praise and love for the Vance Joy camp. I feel blessed to be in the position I am in. I played about 10 shows with Vance Joy back in May/June and there were two particular stand out moments. The first was performing at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. I live in Nashville now and The Ryman is a prestigious venue. I had played there before as part of the opening act for Sufjan Stevens but this time it was different because I was part of the headlining band and it was sold out. I was able to have my daughter (who was 3 at the time) come to sound check and see/hear what Mommy does for a living. James (Vance Joy) gave her a Ryman Backpack and she was just swooning. The second stand out moment was playing at The Budweiser Stage in Toronto (it used to be called the Molson Amphitheatre). The venue is particularly beautiful because it sits on the water and you have to walk over a bridge to get to it. The rain had been falling all day, then right before our show the clouds parted and a beautiful rainbow cascaded across the sky. We snapped a band photo then went on stage and played to a sold out crowd of 16,000. The show was live streamed and there was such a magical electric feeling in the air. I’m pretty sure you can still find the live stream on youtube.
What is next for DANiiVORY as an artist?
I am promoting the album now and would like to start playing live shows in Nashville and around the East Coast. I am also beginning to work on my next album.
Dreamland is definitely a multi-genre album – how do you keep songs in a body of work cohesive while still keeping diversity in the sound?
I think the cohesiveness comes from the consistency in production and vocals. Everything was written and sung by me, which creates a consistency. I only worked with one producer and was in my home studio with him the entire time honing and shaping the sounds for each song. Most of the instrumentation is played live with real instruments and minimal VST instruments.
What do you like to do when you’re not making music?
When I’m not making music, I am spending time with my daughter and my husband. Being a mother is a full time job in itself! I also enjoy exercising (jogging, athletic conditioning, biking), watching historical drama shows and movies, reading inspirational books, arts and crafts, and DIY house projects.
To keep up with DANiiVORY and her tour dates, find her at www.daniivory.com.