Known for her dynamic performances and infectious energy, divaDanielle started her career after catching a record that the infamous Darren Emerson threw into the crowd in 2003 (Grant Nelson’s “Free & Switch” for those who were wondering). After many years in the LA underground scene, she started releasing original tracks through InStereo Recordings. Her debut track (and now Diva theme song) “Work” spent 6 months on the Beatport House 100. In 2015 she struck gold with “I Got A Man,” a collaboration with DJ Dan, spending a month in the House Top 10. She has since released charting Funky House, Tech House and Bass House tracks on labels such as WyldCard Records, Fort Knox Recordings, Late Night Munchies and Wulfpack as well as put out numerous bootlegs, including a Tech House remix of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”. With forthcoming releases on InStereo and Admit One Records, she continues to consistently place in Beatport and Traxsource’s Top 100 charts and be featured in their curated Best Of and Staff Picks lists.
Provide Background of your music career that not many know about:
When I was 17 years old, I went to Europe for the Summer between high school and college. I had never heard dance music before really. Maybe in a movie. There was a hole in the wall bar down the street from where my aunt was living at the time. I walked in and it was like no neighborhood spot I’d ever seen. There were lasers and trance music playing. I was blown away. It was unreal to me at the time. That’s what set the stage for my love of dance music. I spent the Summer searching for it. When I moved to Boston for college, I immediately got a job doing coat check and tickets at the largest club in Boston. I had no idea that I would ever become a DJ or learn to produce music but it is really the seed that started it all. I always laugh and tell people – I have no clue how I convinced my parents to let me go romping around Europe by myself at that age. I also had no idea the life that it would lead to!
What has given you thick skin throughout your career?
Any kind of artist has to have thick skin because the entire world is the peanut gallery. Insecurity is a creativity killer. So it’s a constant practice of continuing to do it no matter what I do. Especially if you have an online presence, people tend to forget that you are a real human being with feelings. People have no problem commenting on what they like or don’t like. No problem commenting on your body. There is something so connective about social media and at the exact same time, so dehumanizing. Every time I put something out there, I get nervous. In a weird way, it’s also been a very prolific teacher. At every moment, I have to learn to believe in myself.
How do you level with yourself when something doesn’t feel right in your music making?
I think I’m pretty good at this now. I’m not afraid to start over. I used to question myself more and have a hard time making decisions. But now, I go with my gut. And if I’m really struggling, I go to my mentor DJ Dan and ask him for advice. He seems to always know the right thing to say.
There is a lot of celebration surrounding your music, how are you celebrating all the success?
By making more music! I think right now, the creation is the celebration. It’s an incredibly creative time for me and I’m taking advantage of it. I’ve actually taken a little break from constant touring so I can work on a ton of music production. I needed to let my body relaxa bit, and feel comfortable at home in my studio. Create space in my busy schedule. The space, not feeling like I constantly have to be in the hustle, is a celebration of how far I’ve come. I can give myself a little break to focus on production.
What is the next big challenge for yourself in this industry?
Working on a full length album. It seems daunting but I’m putting it out there. Please, hold me to it!
Your journey is special, how would you define it in your own words?
As a woman in the music industry, it feels like an uphill battle some days. I’ve had wins and I’ve had losses. And, I think I have always kept my integrity no matter what. I’ve done the things I said I wanted to do and I stood up in the face of disappointment and kept going. For all of that, I’ve created a career that I love. I believe I have been an inspiration to other women who are thriving right now. Beyond just my love for music, that is what I wanted to do when it really came down to it.
Trying day in and day out to make sure your music is magic, how do you keep the magic within yourself to keep creating?
Well, all my friends say I’m a unicorn so that means I am magic right?!?!? Seriously though, if you keep an open mind and an open heart, if you view the world around you as a little magic, it’s impossible to lose. So many times I have just been in the right place at the right time or met the right person. So many times, things just feel into place. I take notice of it all. I’m grateful for it all. I truly believe that life is magical.
You are spectacular, truly. Give the fans everything they need to make sure they don’t miss out on any of your music!
End of Interview