Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Danielle Martin. I am an Alternative Soul singer from New Jersey. I recently released my first project, my EP “Wanderlust” produced by Sonatic Music Group and Marques Durieux. These songs have been with me for quite some time and it was great to finally be able to share them with the world!
You wrote your first song at the age of 12. What prompted you to start writing music?
I’ve always been a writer. When I was young, I used to write poetry in my journals and from there it just turned to music. I’m an only child, so that’s really how entertained myself. Singing and writing in my room.
You were introduced to DJ IRS by a college friend and you two started collaborating in his kitchen pantry of all places. What was that experience like? It’s an interesting origin story.
Yes, I met Irs through my friend and college RA Lyle aka MC Enigma, who was hosting an open mic on campus. IRS was the DJ for the event. I honestly don’t remember if I performed that night or not. I was really shy at the time and singing in public was still so frightening to me. At the end of the event, Lyle and I spoke and he introduced me to Irs. He said we should collab and that he could see us working well together. At the time IRS was mostly, I believe making beats for hip-hop and spoken word artists and he was looking to branch out and collab with more singers. Working with someone else on music was a very new experience for me. Growing up music was usually something I did by myself.
I learned a lot from IRS and his wife at the time, singer-songwriter M. Josephine. They lived in Jersey City and I would take the bus over from campus to their apartment. He had his makeshift studio set up in their pantry off to the side of their kitchen crammed with all his music equipment and CDs. It was wild. I loved it there. We experimented with so many different sounds that were really out there, especially at the time and recorded so many demos, including the last track on my EP “Somewhere Down The Road”.
How would you describe your musical style?
I’ve always referred to myself as an ‘Alternative Soul’ singer. That’s the closest way I know to describe my music. Vocally I know I lean more towards Soul/Rnb but when I started recording, a lot of the beats I was given and ended up writing to at the time were very experimental, chopped and screwed and very unique. All that influenced my sound early on and still to this day.
You released you debut EP “Wanderlust” late last year. What can audiences expect from this EP if they’ve yet to hear it?
At its core, this project is about love, longing, and relationships. It’s also about growth. The first track “Dreams” is kind of an anthem for me. It’s a song all about owning who you are as a person. And not letting anyone stand in the way of your goals. It was really important to me to have that be the first song because that’s the constant theme throughout. Believing in and loving yourself in spite of everything.
You’ve recently released a video to your second single off “Wanderlust” called “The Wanting”. Talk to us a little bit about the song and the video behind it.
“The Wanting” is such a heavy song but it’s my favorite of the EP. It’s a song about one of those really draining soul-crushing relationships that make you doubt yourself. When you love someone, it’s natural to want to give them your all. But what happens when everything you are just isn’t enough for that person. We really tried to explore that in the video. My director Deron Griffith aka Mavrolos is amazing. This is my second time working with him and I really loved how the video came out. I got to cast all of my friends and they really did their thing.
Might we see a full-length album on the way?
Possibly! I’m working on new music at the moment but I’m not in a rush to release an album. I think that if anything I will work on releasing some new singles.
Do you have any plans to go on tour? If so, what can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
I started off this year with a small tour in support of the EP. The highlight being when I got to open for BoyzIIMen at NJ bergenPac. These last two months I’ve taken a break from performing to record new music. Most recently, I collabed wi4th singer Jonny Parks on his latest single “Young God”. I’m working on shows for the new. I like to have fun at my shows! Especially when I have my band. I love their energy and the crowds. It’s magic.
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
The best advice I can give is just to practice. If you’re a singer, you should be practicing every day. Same for if you’re a writer. Don’t just really on your natural talent. Make sure you’re always trying to improve yourself. I
What’s your life like outside of music?
Life outside of music? What’s that hahaha. Honestly, music is my main focus. When I’m not performing or recording, I’m at open mics or shows supporting my musician friends at their events. When I’m not at work, I keep it low key and spend time at home or hanging with friends
Let the readers know where to find you online.
@deviousDaniD on Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat