A Chat with Dani Le Rose (23.02.18)

Stepping away from the piano, the beautiful Dani Le Rose takes time to speak with OSR writer Nicole Mendes about love, music and bad habits. Here is what she had to say:

OSR: Hi Dani, thanks for speaking with us.  For our first question, I’d like to ask how and why you chose to become a musician?

DLR:  Hi Nicole, and thank YOU for chatting with me.  People ask me this question a lot, and I don’t feel like a chose to be a musician, it was kinda always there when I was growing up.  My mom was a piano teacher and started me when I was four!  My parents believed in the discipline aspect of the arts and being held accountable for something.  I was awful at sports, so it was the most comfortable thing for me.

OSR: As a new artist, what would you say is the most difficult aspect of entering the music industry?

DLR: Well, I think being a new artist is hard for anyone these days.  The industry has changed a lot over the past ten years.  I suppose it’s great in a sense that you can do a lot of things on a budget, like music videos, recording, even posting a song online; but when it comes down to it, you definitely need a great team behind you.  It also doesn’t help that there are literally thousands of amazing artists who we’re competing with.

OSR: How did you develop your musical style?  

DLR: When I was young I used to listen to artists like Boyz II Men, Janet Jackson, Lauren Hill, Fiona Apple, and those artists really spoke to me on an emotional level.  As for lyrics, melodies and overall vibe; the songs are very emotional and deep.  I’m a very positive and outgoing person on the surface, but sometimes I feel like my music is the real me and how I’m really feeling deep down.  You’ll notice the songs and videos can be a little dark but evocative at the same time and I really love that juxtaposition to myself.

OSR: Dani Le Rose is a rather elegant name.  Is it your real name or a stage name?

DLR: Well, I was going by DANI when my project first came out, but we had to change the name because no one could find me on Spotify, Itunes, etc.  I picked Le Rose because I felt it best reflected myself as an artist.  My mother was adopted, and although we couldn’t get all the history of her birth parents, we did find out that her mother was French.  I feel there’s a whole mystery to my family background that I have yet to discover and maybe the name somehow reflects that.

OSR: You recently released a single called ‘Vertigo’.  Can you tell us about the song?

DLR: The song ‘Vertigo’ is about ‘falling’ in love with someone while at the same time ‘falling’ from love.

OSR: All of your songs refer to some form of abusive relationship and the emotions involved in them.  Are they based on real-life experiences?  

DLR: I actually have been in some pretty messed up relationships in my past.  Although I’ve grown and learnt from them, I still draw from those times to write music sometimes.  I’ve noticed a lot of the new stuff I’ve been writing (which will be on the new record) is more about feminine power and not being afraid to use our sexual energy.  When I was younger, I lacked a lot of confidence for some reason.  We could literally talk for hours about this topic; but to make it short, I love growing older and learning to allow myself to unfold as a human being and be able to share those experiences and feelings with people who are listening.

OSR: When researching your videos, we found that you are very involved in the creation process.  How do you come up with the concepts for the videos, and what are the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of filming?

DLR:  I absolutely LOVE the creative process of putting together ‘mini-movies’ as I like to call them.  The first video we did was my absolute favourite, only because the location was breathtaking and isolated which really reflected the song.  While filming that video, I literally had to stand on the edge of a cliff in heels while a drone was flying around my head – probably one of the most terrifying things I have ever done.

The ideas sometimes come to me when I’m writing the songs.  A lot of times the emotion of the song will birth a scene for a mini-movie in my mind, and then I start writing down different ideas.  I can’t take all the credit though as I do have an amazing team who helps me bring all my crazy ideas together and have them make sense.

OSR: As we said, your songs tend to refer to relationships.  Do you think falling in love and romance is important in a person’s life?

DLR: Love is life, and that is everything we live for.  We’re programmed as human beings to search for a partner to recreate life.  For a lot of us, having a crush on someone might be the only reason we get up in the morning, the only reason we go to a certain cafe, why we workout that morning or decided to get a haircut.  Love is motivation in all of our lives, and I think the relationships we have, being sexual or non-sexual, are the most important things.  If you ask someone who’s on their death bed what they wished they would have done differently in their lives they start mentioning things like spending more time with loved ones, travelling, and experiences rather then items and possessions.  It just shows what becomes important.

Falling in love is one of the most vulnerable experiences.  It can make you see sides of yourself you don’t want to see; it can help you learn how to be a better person and be accountable for your shit.  I know for me, it’s really helped me grow as a person.  Sometimes even if the romance/love isn’t meant to be forever, we take something away from each relationship we have.  I could talk about this for hours.

OSR: You are constantly compared to Lana Del Ray in the media, how do you feel about this?

DLR: At first I didn’t mind because I think she’s a really brilliant, captivating and beautiful artist; but my intention was never to sound like her.  It’s frustrating in that way because I would like to be defined as my own artist rather than compared to someone else.

DLR: I’m actually working on an album as we speak!  I’m still an indie artist, so it’s taking me a lot longer than it should as I don’t have the financial support I need to be able to release an album properly.  I’ve applied for funding and am hoping I’ll get it.

OSR: And what about touring?  Any plans there?

DLR: I would love nothing more than to go on tour.  Hopefully after the release of my album I can do a tour.

OSR: If you could perform with any artist, who would it be?

DLR: James Blake, Banks.  So many I just love to share the stage with.

OSR: What do you think is your worst habit?

DLR: For me, it’s my self-talk.  I’m constantly worried that people are judging me, almost to the point where I don’t like socialising.  The funny part is that people are probably more worried about their own shit to even notice mine.  My mind is always saying that I’m not good enough for this or that and I really think it holds me back in life.  I’ve actively been telling that part of my mind to shut up, but it’s a daily struggle for me.

OSR: If you could give a message to your fans, what would you say?

DLR: The most powerful thing we possess is our uniqueness.  It’s better to be yourself and have people hate you than pretend to be someone else to make them like you.

For more Dani Le Rose, listen to her on SoundCloud and find her on Facebook.
Images courtesy of Dani Le Rose.

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