RESPECT. Interview: DaniLeigh Talks Working With Prince, New Music & Upcoming Tour With Jeremih

Photos via DaniLeigh.

DaniLeigh is a signer and dancer from Miami, Florida that’s rising to stardom at a rapid pace. Her Hispanic upbringing naturally pumped a love for music through her veins. At an early age, DaniLeigh began recording covers to songs and uploading them to YouTube. Since, Dani’s resume has become extensive. She has worked with artists like Pharrell, Nelly Furtado and Meghan Trainor. Dancing on stage with artists was a regular gig but soon she would step to the microphone as a musician.

In September 2017, DaniLeigh dropped her first project, Summer With Friends. You can hear the vibes of vibrant, feel-good sounds flow through every song. The popular track, “Lurkin,” was even featured on the second episode of Insecure’s Season 2. DaniLeigh has taken her career to new heights and is proving that she won’t be denied. 

RESPECT Magazine contributor, Miguel Crespo, had the pleasure of speaking with DaniLeigh to talk about the successes of her recent project, Summer With Friends, working with Prince and what the future holds for her.

When did you know you loved music and wanted to sing for the rest of your life? 

I can’t really picture my life without music.. I’m not a sit down at a desk type of person.. Music is what moves me.. And I’m not super vocal personally, so letting it all out through my music is my outlet to express myself the most.


What was it like growing up in Miami musically? Do you feel moving to LA played a big part in achieving your goals? 

Growing up in Miami gave me that Spanish culture. Always at my Dominican families house and experiencing the beach, etc. Moving to LA definitely helped me. Everyone in music I feel like is here, so networking and collabing with different artists is way easier.


You’re not only a talented singer, you’re a dancer that has shared the stage with artists like Pharrell and Meghan Trainor. How has that experience helped you in your career as a musician? 

I believe it showed me the lifestyle of being an artist. I saw Meghan Trainor blow up after her hit song and how everything started moving for her. I saw what was needed for an artist, etc. I appreciate being behind the scenes a lot.


You signed with Def Jam in 2017. How did you get your start? 

I did. I believe my start in the industry was when Prince discovered me at 18. I moved to LA when I was 16 but that moment was crazy for me. I had been on blogs, press, MTV, Vibe, etc. After that, I was really focused on starting my music career.


Your project, Summer With Friends, released in September. From release day to now, how has the feedback been? 

So great! It’s crazy how people are starting to discover the project now. The numbers are steady going up and I’m gaining more and more fans every day from the project.


What was your favorite track to make and why? 

My favorite track on the project was, “On.” It was so fun to make! I loved the bounce and how much life it has to it. I feel like I sound so different on that record.


Who are people that influence you? What are things that inspire the music you create?

My biggest influencers are Aaliyah, Rihanna, and Drake… The inspiration I get from my music is all through my life and story. I’m picky when it comes to choosing production, but once I hear the right beat I always write about what I’m going through. I’m a visual artist as well so I always have an idea of what the music video would be prior to me writing the song.


Who are some artists you would like to work with in the future?

I would love to collab with Drake, Byson TIller, Rihanna, SZA, and 6lack is dope.


You mentioned you were mentored by one of the greatest artists of all time, Prince. What was it like to have somebody of his stature in your corner? 

It was unreal honestly. I picked up a lot of traits from him. I’m smarter on business decisions that I make, my pen game is stronger and I’m just overall grateful. He really believed in me as an artist and I really look into that as something special. Makes me realize that I am made for this.


What is some advice you would give aspiring artists trying to make it in the music industry? 

Work hard and have the most confidence when it comes to your artistry. Find a team that believes in you 100%.


Do we have any new music to look forward to soon? 

Yup! June I will be dropping a continuous project called, “Summer With More Friends.” Got special features on there and new vibes! Can’t wait to drop. And then my debut album will be dropping in the Fall.


What’s next for DaniLeigh? 

New music, new visuals, more shows, and a tour! 🙂

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