Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been playing and creating music since I was five years old when I first started taking piano lessons. I studied and practiced classical piano for years, but I used to spend all my free time writing songs and seeking out audiences to share them with. Both in my formal music training and in my everyday life, I was never strictly bound to one genre of music. I really enjoyed country, rock, metal, blues, and gospel growing up, and I think there’s a lot of evidence of that in both my performances and creation. I’ve written over 600 original songs, and I really don’t like limiting myself to one specific genre because of all the different influences that make up my artistic expression.
How did you first become interested in a music career?
My interest in music first stemmed from my sister. She began taking music lessons, and eventually, I followed in her footsteps, starting to take piano lessons at five years old. Around the same time, I started taking lessons, I also started writing music and performing. This grew into a way for me to express myself, and eventually, I realized that there’s nothing else I could imagine myself doing.
How would you describe your musical style?
My musical style is kind of all over the place. I’ve never tied myself to one specific genre, just because of the nature of my writing process. I think most people place it in the “pop” genre, but I do pride myself on fusing various elements of different music within my work.
What can audiences expect from your debut EP, “Aura”?
Aura is a project I’ve been working on for about a year now, and it’s my introduction as an artist to my audience. It’s kind of this encapsulation of my identity in a way, showing the different influences that are at play in my work, as well as my journey to a sort of acceptance with negative experiences and relationships that I’ve lived through. Much of the instrumentation and metaphors that are used within the tracks are very carefully chosen and deliberate. For example, I wrote the song “Laundry Day” in a specific style that I knew the people I wrote it for would have stuck in their heads. A sort of irony that I find really entertaining, especially as I’ve been taken to a dark place by people who don’t really understand the gravity of their words. It’s one of those songs that I find can lift me up when I sing it, and that reminds me of why I’m doing what I’m doing. In the context of the whole EP, it’s one that I needed to put on there, to sort of lighten the mood on a lot of the dark thematic content of the rest of the album. I hope audiences can take away this notion that I’m a multifaceted artist and that I really like pushing the limits of what people think they know about me and my music.
How did growing up in Toronto influence your music career?
Growing up in such a multicultural city definitely shaped the way I think about music and art. I think it’s fascinating how different people express themselves through the arts, and seeing a lot of cross-cultural work in my community helped grow my interest in crossing barriers when it comes to genres. I was always surrounded by different kinds of music, and that’s always translated into both my writing and recording process.
How has COVID-19 affected your career?
Honestly, COVID-19 came right around the time when I was supposed to be finishing this EP, which eventually delayed my release by a few months. Recently, I’ve been inspired by everything, but it hasn’t been like that all year. When the year started, and this pandemic hit, I was consumed by a lot of different thoughts and emotions and I took a bit of a hiatus from any creative work until it felt natural to do so again. The uniqueness of this whole 2020 situation has really made it possible for us to be left alone with our feelings, which has had a lot of different effects, but it’s also given me an opportunity to let my imagination run wild. It’s definitely been a challenging year for many of us, but I’ve found comfort in creating.
What’s next for you?
There’s going to be a lot of new music and new videos coming up, especially in 2021, and I’m really hoping to continue collaborating with artists and creators in my local community.
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
Write about everything, not just your experiences.
What’s your life like outside of music?
I’m actually a university student studying at Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as a music teacher at Fortepiano Music Studio in Mississauga. I do a lot of freelance work, and most days it’s really hard to find time for myself. That being said, the only thing that gets me through and keeps me grounded is keeping myself creating and making music.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
You can find me almost anywhere as @itsdanikristina or @DaniKristinaMusic, but a good place to start would be my website, www.danikristina.com