I admit it.. I am a fan and a huge supporter of artists who I see out here grinding it out. With that being said if you are in the Detroit area, then you have by now heard of or seen DANI DARLING . If you haven’t, then like the weather in Michigan, wait a second, and I am sure you will. DANI DARLING (DANIELLE DAVIS) is a darling of the indie scene in Southeast Michigan. She has blazed a trail with her band in tow and seen her touch every stage (Music Hall to The Ark and Blind Pig in her native 734 region (Yspilanti/Ann Arbor); major festivals like Arts, Beats and Eats, Top of the Park And Ann Arbor Art Festivals, print magazines such as Detroit Staple Alternative Rag, Metro Times and featured on Local Detroit News Programming on Fox 2 (Fox affiliate) and Channel 4 WDIV (NBC affiliate). And had songs aired in simultaneous years on Detroit NPR station WDET, as well as made their lists for up and coming local artists. Whew! All from grinding it up and down I – 94 and more. I first got wind of her when she was going by the moniker of “SoulGalaxyGirl” which more than describes her ethereal sound that mixes acoustic soul with ambient, a little folk, chill and lofi.
As we begin the conversation , I get right to the origins on Danielle Davis. I find out that there isn’t just one of her.. But she came here in triplicate!! “I’m a Triplet. Yup There’s Three of me! And we’re all musical in different ways.” Says Dani who not only shares her Birthday with Identical sisters, but, shares the Day with his Purple Badness Himself. Legendary Artist Prince, Being born on June 7. ” I feel like we were supposed to meet. Like he was gonna meet me and Ima be like Ahhh,.. and he’ll call security. But I feel like we will still meet in the Upper room. Because he is such an inspiration and I write a lot of songs too.” The sisters started out as a trio, endorsed and nurtured by Grandma as she saw their musical aptitude and immediately began urging them take advantage of their natural gifts. ” It started when I was 3, My Grandmother noticed our musical abilities, and immediately began putting us in singing lessons and instruments and the whole nine.” States the vocalist and guitarist. They began a trek of performing everywhere. Church functions , community centers and even Nursing Homes. As they got older and more serious. “We studied all kind of instruments like violin and cello and guitar. We took music theory and even Opera.” Says the vocalist who has enjoyed the journey as much as the rewards. They became a trio girl group making videos online and eventually would go on to audition and compete for a spot on Reality Show Music competition for X- Factor. “We won a front of the line pass that had us bypass the remainder of the local rounds and got us right to the front for the regional in Chicago. But unfortunately that was as far as we went”, according to the talented guitarist about her time as a trio with her sisters . “After it didn’t work out with X Factor, we were so broken up about it , so distraught, that we took a break and never came back as a group. That’s when I decided that if it was going to be done I was going to have to be solo. So that’s when the solo thing started.” Says the Gemini who cites Lianne La Havas as one of her all time favorites..
As a soloist since around 2016, she has not looked back. Focusing primarily on live performance opportunities. Darling, Has seen her notoriety increase with every performance. She began as an acoustic performer, with only herself on guitar as accompaniment. Performing in and around her natie Ypsilanti/ Ann Arbor , she soon built a following and was joined by like minded individuals to form a full band. In fact like one of her influences, Sade, the band itself is “Dani Darling”, and not just backing her up. “Bassist Noir and I met at the Dreamland theater. Thing is, I work with my band collaboratively. They aren’t just my backing band. We write together. Dani Darling is the band as a whole.. Not just people I hire to hit with me” says the Outstanding artist who has become a solid festival performer and draw in and around Southeastern Michigan over the years.. She got her name “Dani Darling” from the era of big band sounds such as Frank Sinatra Dean Martin in the light because she like the way that they always use the word Charlie or Cat for guys, and often would call a woman “Darling” as opposed to just a woman. The nostalgia and class to it struck a chord. She loved the name and it stuck. Dani Darling itself, is the name of the full band not just her. Darling is also a very modest yet strongly engaged person. Talking to her is like talking to one of those cool worldly Hippy chicks. Not in a stoner kind of way, but Like the kind of girl you figure H.E.R. or Erykah Badu is in person. She has Star quality, yet is grounded in the surreal and soulful and celestial plane of things. She knows some things. And it all comes out in her music. A thoughtful and engaged songwriter, Dani believes this, is one of her strengths as an artist. “What makes me stand out, is my songwriting.. (incorporating) poetry.. makes me stand out. I’m really confident and I put a lot of thought into it.” She also in fully embedded and respects what she presents as her art and who she is as an artist. Instead of being a cookie cutter Neo Soul or Indie artist. She prefers to blend it all into one package that touches many simultaneously. According to Dani, “People ask that all the time, and they appreciate, that I am a genre bending type of artist. Its a blend. But I would say that I am indie, or indie soul which would (probably) be the most accurate. “ Citing influences from many of her own personal favorites including Singer/ Songwriter Lianne La Havas, Sade, Frank Sinatra, Radio Head, Julie London, Solange and more. “I gravitated to Cece Winans especially when I was listening to a lot of gospel. She never over sang or wailed like a Yolanda Adams and such. I thought wow I sound like her!! I Like Her!!” Reflecting back on her love, influence and experience with Gospel
Lately as she has solidified her self as not just a performer, but as an artist with Great original songs. She has worked with an outfit called Black Opera out of Michigan to help sharpen her pen game as well as her Industry acumen. “I’m all about Vibes, I’m a Vibestress.. the Black Opera came up with that for me..” says Darling whos last single call “S&M” which she created with Black Opera, has streamed over 27,000 on Spotify as well as the newly release “All Stars” (Oct. 2020) and Is a part of a new forthcoming EP that she will be putting out by late 2020. “Our first EP nocturnal, was listed as one of the best local albums by Metro Times in 2018” speaking on her success thus far and getting used to the recognition..and the work that comes with it as an Indie artist..“I like being an independent artist. I understand about the financials. But one of my goals is to get a Grammy one day. I’m starting to work more in the industry.. Working with marketing and a publicist, but I wanna maintain the independence.” You can always see and feel what Dani is talking about as well as where she is coming from. She is a Heart on her sleeve kind of person and artist. And, she is also a Mom!! Imagine that!! Although she doesn’t look to far removed from High School herself, she is an amazingly involved and supportive Mom who idolizes her daughter as an individual with her own talents.. But, she stops just short of recommending her daughter follow in her musical footsteps ..“I would tell her Nooo.. I don’t believe in lying to kids. Shes got her own setup of talents. Shes got her dads height and is good at her soccer ..pursue your dreams but not music.” says Momma Dani. Relying on some of her own experiences within her journey. “I don’t like the Misogyny. Its just too hard as a woman. And the more you get advice from people who want to be more invested in your career. There are just experiences I’ve had that would not have gone the way they did, If i was a man as opposed to being a woman.” she says, “Whats good, is how much you can accomplish on your own. Like getting out there with my band and reaching people directly and instantly.”
As we watch her star rise thru her many performances at Regional festivals and venues. She sees expanding to more storied and nationally recognized opportunities . “I would love to one day do Bonnaroo, Afro Punk, Coachella and other larger Festivals. Bigger shows.” notes the Vocalist and songwriter who also has several other talents to nurture in her creative Gemini bag.. “Writing and acting is another passion. I wanted to write a novel. Creative writing since high school Play writing or screenwriting. But if it wasn’t music, it would be writing still as a creative output. “ speaking of her other creative talents and endeavors.
I come away knowing that everything you may have heard or seen from Dani Darling.. is exactly what she is. A talent who lives and sings in her truth. The Vibestress, gives her audience what they crave and some things they discover they need. Its an earthly vibe that may seem suburban and urban, Hippy Chick and traditionalist. She is the Girl next door that you don’t see how beautiful she is until you see her inner spark. The Deepness in her isn’t drowning as it is uplifting and inviting. . I can say I dig her, musically and as a person out to take the world on a journey with her. – Terry Martin for RnBInTheD.com Photo Credits – Mark Samano
Google – https://g.co/kgs/SWZaKD