Features - Interviews

Inbound: DANI


DANI brings something extremely unique to the term “singer-songwriter” here in Northern Ireland. Dabbling between slapping and tapping her guitar strings, her songs are gentle, charming little pieces which ring softly in your ears with their raw, dream-like textures. I caught up with her to discover what’s in store for her in the coming months, including her new EP in which she is collaborating with none other than Mike Mormecha of Mojo Fury and Malojian.

Hi Dani. Last year you released an EP, It Speaks for Itself. How have things changed since then? Have you got anything in the works?

Yeah,  I released it in June last year. About two months later I was signed to an independent record label that has yet to be announced. So we’ve just been working towards the new EP, and with that we’ll be doing a bit of touring. We’ll be spending some time in Dublin, and then moving across to Galway and come back and just be building up the “DANI” brand and getting the name out there.

I’ve played gigs with The Emerald Armada, supporting them at the Limelight, which which was fantastic. Those boys are absolutely phenomenal. I supported Malojian in an absolutely gorgeous church in the middle of nowhere, which was even better. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to releasing the new EP. I’ve been working more with different sounds, and a magical man who plays every other instrument!

That sounds awesome. So, for those who have never heard your music before, could you describe your sound?

Well, I was sort of brought up on folk and trad and blues, so that’s where it all comes from. I’d say folk first and foremost, but definitely a few gritty riffs in there – I’m a big Zeppelin fan! So yeah, working towards getting a bigger sound. I’ve got Yaz, my double bassist, who owns a banjo and a kick drum and everything – kind of like a one man band.

Are there any artists that you have taken inspiration from or you are influenced by?

Yeah, definitely. I have an album cover tattooed onto my wrist. This tattoo I decided very last minute to get it done, but it’s my favourite artist – I can’t believe I’m doing this! She’s called Wallis Bird and I’ve met her a handful of times. She’s really big in Germany, she’s from Wexford and she’s just so sound. Her albums have progressed; they started off as folk and the latest album, kind of, went towards dance and she just comes at everything with such a good sense of attack and kicks ass! I also listen to people like Joni Mitchell, Cat Power and Rodrigo y Gabriela – all those kinds of wonderful people.

Where would you like to be in a year’s time? Obviously, you’ll be releasing the new EP, but after that what do you see yourself doing?

Well, I’m moving to Scotland now in September, so like I’ve said, I’ve already been based in Belfast since about 2012 and I released that EP in 2013. I’m going to do a course in Sterling, which is about forty minutes from Glasgow and I’m really looking forward to getting into the network and doing it all over again; building my profile and coming back here to do a couple of gigs. I’ll hopefully be going on tour, but I’m keeping that a secret for now!

In saying that then, what would be your dream venue to play?

Oh wow. Actually, when I started out playing music, I had no expectations – all I wanted to do was play in The Empire. That was actually one of my first gigs and I was just so chuffed. A dream venue for me would probably be in Dublin, in the Academy. It’s an absolutely phenomenal venue.

Like you said, you have the EP coming up, so is there anything else you’ve got planned for the rest of the year?

Videos, videos, videos. Also, like I’ve said, the EP has a very different sound so we’re working really hard on that for a year. I was hoping for six months, but things got pushed back a bit! So I’ve written quite a bit of solo material as well. My plan is to release those as free downloads, just to get the name out there and just building, building, building to release all the time.

Great. So finally, how can people find you or get in touch with you?

First and foremost, the website: daniofficialmusic.com. You’ll be able to find links to everything on there. There’s my email on there, if anybody wants to get in touch and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Follow DANI on Facebook here and Twitter here.

Photo by Carrie Davenport.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.