Singer-songwriter Dafna has just released her debut album I Love You. While three singles have already hit from the album, there is much more to come. Through the songs, she is celebrating what has gone and anticipating what is still to happen. We sat down with Dafna to talk about the album, her creative process, mobile apps, music and much more!
OSR: Was there a moment that made you think that you want to create music?
Dafna: Music has always been a really big part of my life. My parents signed me up for classical piano lessons when I was just 4 years old and growing up I always saw my two older siblings making music and singing original songs. I started writing poetry when I was 9 and when I found out that writing songs was pretty much just poetry with music, I got way more into that. I think the specific instance that made me realize I wanted to create music for the rest of my life was when I sang an original song for a school talent show when I was 14 and just had such an exciting experience sharing my music with others.
OSR: Is there a theme or backstory to your debut album I Love You?
Dafna: To be completely honest, I’ve never actually been in love. I’ve never been in a relationship and anything I’ve ever had with any guy has been pretty short-lived. That being said, I have had some massive crushes on some guys and this album is largely based on one person that I was pretty close to and couldn’t stop thinking about. I view this album as a sort of “chapter” of that point in my life. This guy is no longer in my life and I no longer hold strong feelings for him, but each song on the album reminds me of the feeling I felt in each moment with him. Also, if the album cover and music videos don’t make it too obvious, I just really like pink.
OSR: The album title is an acronym for each song title, what made you decide to do this?
Dafna: For some reason, I’ve always loved acronyms. Even my website is an acronym of my name, you click on each letter to navigate to each page. I also think making the album an acronym made for a super-easy way to tie together each song and show that although each song is different in itself and has a different moment or feeling it’s describing, it’s also a part of a bigger picture and story.
OSR: What was your creative process for this album?
Dafna: I wrote a lot of these songs before I even realized I was writing them for an album, but as soon as I realized I was making an album everything kind of fell into place. Some of the songs actually started as titles (‘Yours Someday”, ‘On My Own’), and before I really figured out what the songs would sound like and what they would be about, I just knew I wanted them to be a part of the acronym.
OSR: How has the pandemic affected how you create your music?
Dafna: I already make all of my music in my bedroom with my own equipment, so the pandemic didn’t really affect any logistics when it came to creating my music. If anything, it gave me more time to really focus on the album since it minimized external distractions and forced me to have no other hobbies. I did struggle a bit creatively since nothing was really happening in my life, but luckily most of the songs were already written before quarantine and I can usually take myself out of creative ruts by reading and watching movies in order to feel like I’m living someone else’s life. Is that sad? I don’t know.
OSR: You have released three singles and music videos from the album, how did you determine which singles to release?
Dafna: I think it was always obvious to me which singles I would be releasing since they’re the songs that I feel really encapsulate what I wanted the album to sound like and what it represents. They’re also the songs I finished the quickest, and since I release music independently I could choose to just release a song as soon as I finished it.
OSR: What was the biggest challenge you faced when creating I Love You?
Dafna: I had a lot of self-doubt during the process and a lot of instances where I would write and record a song only to completely hate it. I rewrote ‘On My Own’ at least four times and only finally landed on a version I was happy with a week before I had to submit the album. I still listen to it and hear things I could have done better and I still don’t think any of the songs are 100% perfect, but I had to take myself out of the mindset that achieving 100% perfection is even remotely possible.
OSR: If people could remember only one thing about your music, what would you like that to be and why?
Dafna: Making music is a very personal experience and I really mostly write about things I’ve personally experienced, but I hope that when people listen to it they feel as if they also lived it. For me personally, I love a song or album the most when I’m left with a physical feeling after I listen to it, so I hope that when people listen to my music they get at least a little bit of a physical feeling.
OSR: You are releasing a mobile video game based off the theme of the album, why did you decide to do this?
Dafna: Another huge part of my life is programming and I wanted to find a way to incorporate that with the album, so I decided to develop a video game! I love learning how to mess with different software and learn new programming languages (I created the game using Unity and C#), so I’ve been having a lot of fun creating it. I actually originally wanted to create the video game as a part of a music video, but ended up having the idea to make it into an actual playable game instead.
OSR: What else can we expect from you in the future?
Dafna: More music! I’m hoping to graduate college in the next two years so I can put even more effort into my music, but I’ve already started working on my next project and I can’t wait to put that out into the world.