Posted On 19 Sep 2017
Dani Robert is a 25-year-old singer-songwriter who lives in Toronto, Canada. She’s originally from the farmlands of Pain Court, where she began developing what would become her own sound: a fusion of piano-based, alternative pop, and EDM.
At the young age of five, Dani began learning to play the piano. By the time she was seven, she was writing her own music, taking inspiration from personal experiences. Songwriting has always had a central place in her life. That passion led her to become a music therapist, helping people to express themselves through music.
“The opportunity to use my songwriting as a way to not only express myself, my thoughts, ideas, my purpose, but to do that for others is undeniably one of the greatest gifts I have been given,” says Dani. Dani Robert continues to develop her craft, playing a series of venues across Canada (Toronto Centre for the Arts, The Hard Rock Cafe).
Her debut single ‘Clouds’ was released on June 27th and has already garnered 100K streams on Spotify. The track produced by Kyngs, Mic Tee (AMAG/ Cash Money/ Rich Gang), and Bryan ‘BC’ Cockett was featured on New Music Friday playlists in 10 countries all over the world (Canada, Sweden, Singapore among others). It is an upbeat song with intimate vocals — a unique blend of piano- based pop, folk, and EDM with a summer feel.
Speaking of the creative process, Dani explains, “Clouds demonstrates the challenge of speaking what’s in your heart, exploring vulnerability, the subjectivity of human connection, love, and time.” The music video tells the story of a lifelong friendship, featuring snapshots into their lives as toddlers, teens, and young adults, as they gradually develop feelings for one another.
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Learn more about Dani Robert in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How has 2017 been treating you? Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year?
Thanks for having me! This year has treated me so well. We just put out my first single ‘Clouds’ and it’s been getting an unbelievably positive response. Just hit over 160K spins on Spotify!
This year has definitely been different, I got a new management team and they’ve pushed me into so many new places creatively. I’m super grateful! I think I’ve just grown up a lot in the past year which is really evident in the big change of sounds. We really got a cool thing going with the music we’ve been able to create and define myself with.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What kind of music do you listen to when you are working? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
Right now, I’m at Jimmy’s coffee in downtown Toronto and some kind of nostalgic oldies song is playing in the background. I love it! When I’m working, I usually just prefer silence or white noise. I’m so connected to music that I can’t concentrate on my work! However, the lovely Leif Vollebek sometimes helps me get my work done with his relaxed and beautiful music! I can’t help but to smile when I listen to Chance’s song “Blessings” or any of his songs on “Coloring Book.” That’s probably my instant happy mood music!
Growing up, have you always wanted to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? I read that you began writing music at just 7-years-old! What was that music like? Do you still have any of these compositions?
I wanted to be a musician ever since I was probably five or six years old. I always knew that I was meant to be a part of the music world somehow! My earliest memory is probably when I was around 3 or 4 years old. I can remember standing on the chair in the kitchen holding a toilet paper roll and singing along to oldies songs on the radio while mom was cooking! The music was all on the piano, sounded similar to Sarah McLachlan, with lyrics that were surprisingly deep for a kid I would say! The first song I wrote was called “Man-Made-Hill.” I still have some of them recorded on an old hand-held recorder somewhere!
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
I could see myself being a painter. Time to time I’d paint images that I get while spending time alone and I know that that’s a part of me that can be blossomed and explored! Probably would be fun too!
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think growing up in your hometown in Canada effected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
Growing up in the farmlands of Pain Court, where your neighbours were way down the road, I spent a lot of time being by myself, reflecting, going out to the forest. Often I received inspiration from the nature around me, which seeped into my songwriting. I got inspiration from things like bent trees, birds flying around and even the clouds in the sky – which helped inspire my first single, “Clouds!”
Let’s talk about your recently released single, “Clouds.” How did this song first come together? What was the inspiration for it? Have you been surprised at all by the big positive reaction to it?
“Clouds” first started with a melody that I was playing with on this old colourfully painted piano at the Daniels Spectrum in Toronto! Then going back home to my own piano, I caught the concept while improvising on some chords and the lyrics kind of flowed pretty quickly after that. The inspiration for it was based on a personal experience I had of having feelings for a boy who I kind of sensed had feelings for me too. We never talked about it but it was always floating around, kind of like a cloud! And yea! I’ve been so surprised by the positive reactions to it! This is a song that means so much and really represents this new sound I’m diving into, so for so many people around the world to love it so much really just excites me to bits!
What was it like making the music video for “Clouds”? How creatively involved were you with the whole process?
It was so incredible, working with all the wonderful actors involved, I remember when we wrapped the video we all came together and I shared my gratitude for everyone. Their involvement and passion for being apart of the project just brought me to tears. It was such an awesome process to be apart of and witness! I was pretty involved in the whole process from the conceptualization, to searching and choosing the actors, to the actual on-set direction for the actors as well as the production! I loved being able to wear so many hats!
When do you hope to release more new music and full-length album of new songs? Are you working on that now?
I have more songs coming up that are already finished – tied in a bow and ready to go! To tell you if the release is going to be an album or in another form like an EP is yet to be determined! My management team and I are just in the process of talking to some record labels right now, which is exciting so for now just know new music is coming soon!
What are your plans for the rest of the summer? Do you have any tour dates currently lined up?
Ah I love the summer! My plans are just to continue writing songs, going to the studio and visiting home in Pain Court to see my awesome family! I’m also looking forward to performing in Montreal on August 30th! My management team and I are in the beginning stages of talking about touring within the next year, which is really exciting! You can keep posted on all the exciting adventures coming up by following my social media platforms @danirobertmusic.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I’d say the musicians that continue inspire my music are Anna of The North – I love her melodies and overall sound! Alessia (Cara) too! Her style and songwriting is awesome. Of course I can’t forget Sarah McLachlan. She’s always been such a big influence on me since I was a kid! I would love to work with all these artists, Chance (the Rapper) and Pharrell (Williams) would be cool too! The list is so long!
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I remember my manager, Mic and I talking about this very thing while driving on our way to the studio one day – we both realized that a lot of my music holds a message of becoming free and finding hope. At the end of the day, I just want people to take something good and positive away from it. If I can effect someone positively by expressing myself through my music I’m happy!
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
Get to know yourself. This will inform your songwriting, the people who you work with, the sounds you chose, the daily decisions you make and your overall vision for your career. You don’t need to know all the answers; you just need to know yourself! My super inspiring manager, Mic Tee always tells me, YOU steer the ship. The people who are on your team are just there to help guide and get you to your destination!
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
As oddly as this sounds, I really think pigeons are awesome. My love for them started when I lived in Montreal for a year. Those feathery friends always slept on my windowsill and I got to see another side of them- their peaceful beauty!
Also, thank you to everyone who has been showing me so much love! If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out my single “Clouds” on Spotify and the official music video on YouTube right now!