Dani Ella Takes It Personal

“I’m not gon’ give up,” Dani Ella belts out the opening line of her new single, Personal, and sets the tone for the entire song. Laced with layers of decadent harmonies reminiscent of Brandy over a beat that carries the flavor and soul of early 2000s r&b hits, this song is everything we need right now. The hook is strong and to the point, “Want me to let it go? I bet I don’t. You know I’m not the one. I take it personal.” These are fighting words – words that so many can relate to, myself included. I’ve heard and enjoyed many songs by this artist, but this one hit different. I sat down with the songstress to hear the story behind it.

Gabrielle Solange: “Man! When you first said the word, personal… that low note!” *laughs* “This song is my jam – like the theme of my life this season. I’m so excited and I want everyone who’s fighting to keep their faith or hold onto their dreams to hear it.  What’s the story behind this song?

Dani Ella: “Thank you so much for taking the time to listen! I admire you so much! I wrote Personal during a time where I felt I was being doubted, even by people I considered to be close to. There was a long gap between my musical releases, and it was looking as if it was over for me. I usually do not write songs about myself in this manner. I keep it more general so more people can relate, but I felt the need to express publicly that I am still here! This concept can apply to anyone who has been in a situation people didn’t think they’d come back from, but they fought through it.”

Gabrielle Solange: “You’ve always been a strong songwriter. Describe your creative process.” 

Dani Ella: “Thank you! I freestyle a lot of my songs. I like to listen to a body of music and begin to hum/ sing along, and whatever comes to mind I go with!” 

Gabrielle Solange: “What is music to you? A profession? A hobby? A calling? Survival?”

Dani Ella: “At this point in my life, music is just a part of who I am and I can’t say much more. I have always been this way – writing songs, melodies, blending harmonies since I was 8 and I can’t shake it, no matter what’s going on.”

Gabrielle Solange: “Was there ever a time that you did officially give up? If so, what happened, and what brought you back?”

Dani Ella: “I remember one time I took my keyboard, walked down the driveway and threw it in the dumpster. It was because of a major deal gone bad and I was so devastated. I felt so unappreciated and disappointed; I wanted nothing to do with music anymore. That was an early lesson in acceptance. I had to accept what happened and the fact that I still had a story to tell. I still had talent, I still had joy to chase – creating songs is such a huge part of who I am. It makes me happy, and it’s something that won’t go away internally. I had to differentiate the outside from the inside.”

Gabrielle Solange: “I love that. I know that time was insanely hard. Not many can relate to getting so close to their dream just to have it ripped away from them and then be expected to just go back to normal and assimilate into life the way it was. But what you said is so good. I’m so proud of you for the person and the artist you have become. It is an incredible story of overcoming and an example of what true freedom looks like.  How would you sum up the most important lessons – out of everything you’ve learned on your artist journey?”

Dani Ella: “Make music because you like to do it and nothing else!”

Gabrielle Solange: “What are your inspirations in life?”

Dani Ella:  “Definitely 1 is my daughter, Kadyn, and 2, the will to live. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! I’m very inspired by the chance of getting better every day.”

Gabrielle Solange: “Who are some of your musical influences?” 

Dani Ella: “My favorite is BRANDY. I grew up on a lot of new jack swing, gospel, classical, and jazz.”

Gabrielle Solange: “Haha, yes, I could have guessed that! We have that in common! I love the diversity in your musical background. What is your goal as a musician?” 

Dani Ella: “My main goal now is to never think I am too old or tired to write songs. I just want to enjoy it. I want to tell stories that let people know they are not alone!”

Gabrielle Solange: “I hear you. I’m with you. I love this energy and I want more! I’ve seen you perform and enjoyed it!  Will you be doing that any time soon or just focusing on recording?”

Dani Ella: “Thank you! It’s been on my mind to do more intimate performances.  I prefer small acoustic opportunities rather than a huge show these days. I am hoping to release an album this summer and I want to keep recording for another one after that. I have a lot of ideas I want to get out!”

Gabrielle Solange: “Speaking of performances… have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage? If so, how did you overcome it and keep going?”

Dani Ella: “I absolutely forgot words on stage before, it was terrible. I just never let it happen again because it made me feel so horrible!” *laughs* “I will make up words before I freeze!”

Gabrielle Solange: “What do fans and supporters mean to you?  How can they support you the most?”

Dani Ella: “Supporters mean soo much to me and sometimes I can barely believe it. I have been doing this for a WHILE, and it’s a great feeling when people can recall your history and be excited for your work. The most support comes from the willingness to listen and relate! I love that.”

Gabrielle Solange: “Describe a favorite moment with a fan.”

Dani Ella: “I don’t have one in particular, but I always love when people come up to me and start singing my songs!” 

Gabrielle Solange: “Why should people follow your journey and listen to your music?”

Dani Ella: “It’s a journey of perseverance. I want to be an example of following your heart and fighting through all circumstances”

Gabrielle Solange: “What can we expect next?” 

Dani Ella: “Musical expansion and expression, telling my story in order to encourage others. Looking to release a full album this summer and get back on stage!”

You heard it here first! Check out Dani Ella’s new song, Personal and follow her journey on Instagram!

Author : Gabrielle Solange

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