Happy Monday (and Fourth of July), readers!
Meet our newestÂ MusicÂ MondayÂ artist this week,Â Danae.Â
DanaeÂ is an alternative-pop artist based in Nashville that is finally letting the world hear what she’s been working on for many years. Her debut EPÂ DirectionÂ was released this past Friday (July 1st) and it reallyÂ showcases her new indie edge while pulling inspiration from a childhood spent in Russia with her pastor father.
The singer/songwriter is very passionate about her beliefs in Christianity, saying that she “hopes herÂ music encourages people to live out Colossians 3: to pursue kindness, patience, and a compassionate heart in the world.”
Celeb SecretsÂ caught up withÂ DanaeÂ recently to talk about her music, God, and what its like being a pop artist in a country music town. She also tells us why YOU should purchase her EP and a really cool fun fact about herself — make sure to read the full Q&A below!
Celeb Secrets: Your EP Direction just came outÂ this Friday — what can you tell our readers about it?
Danae: â€œI created the Direction EP during a significant transition in my life; I was moving to a new city, building new friendships, launching a new phase of my artist career, and every day I discovered yet another area of my life that I needed to grow in. These songs are about the journey towards a fresh beginning, the importance of change and the resistance everyone encounters when embarking on a new undertaking.
To be honest, I didnâ€™t start out having a direction for this EP; the theme and stories revealed themselves as I created the music and lived life.â€
Celeb Secrets: You are open about your Christian beliefs — does your religion play an important role when you’re writing and recording songs?
Danae: â€œThe call to love my neighbor and to create good and beautiful things in the world is what I think about daily. When I enter a songwriting room and dig into my heart to write authentic lyrics, themes laced with my personal faith often come out. Sometimes that means I write a song to mend my own broken heart or address the struggles that I face. Other times, I may be reading a story in the Bible and those stories, ideas, and metaphors naturally work their way into a songâ€™s story.â€
Celeb Secrets: You live in Nashville and are a pop artist — what’s it like living in a country music town as a pop artist?
Danae: â€œIâ€™ve been delight to find the Nashville pop community is a thriving part of Music City. Even though Iâ€™ve been in town for over two years, I meet new people everyday who work primarily in the pop space.
Working in any part of the music industry is crazy hard, so doing that work with talented people who are looking out for you and want you to succeed is a huge part of keeping your spirits up and focus strong. I love working with Nashville writers who have the distinctive Nashville spirit of collaboration. Iâ€™ve found that the spirit and energy of Nashville flow into the pop music scene as well.â€
Celeb Secrets: Do you have any favorite spots you like to go to around town?
Danae: â€œMy new favorite spot is Revelator Coffee. Itâ€™s a simple, clean aesthetic with lots of power outlets. That way you can go in the morning and stay on your computer for the entire day. The coffee is awesome and they have baked goods from Dozen â€¦ one of my other favorite local spots.â€
Celeb Secrets: What’s your favorite song off your new EP and why?
Danae: â€œThat is such a tough question. Itâ€™s like asking a parent which of their four kids is their favorite. . . you love them all the same. But, to be good and answer all your questions, I think I would have to say â€œGold in the Dirt.â€ The lyrics, melody, and vibe are exactly what I need to hear when I feel like my strength is waning. Iâ€™ve had so many friends tell me â€œGold in the Dirtâ€ has become their stay strong jam. So, I love the song because itâ€™s speaking to me, and speaking to other listeners.â€
Celeb Secrets: You are an up-and-coming artist on the rise. How would you describe your hustle when you’re making music or out playing live shows?
Danae: â€œHustle … thatâ€™s a word Iâ€™ve been thinking about lately. I used to say that I knew how to hustle, how to â€œcrush it.â€ But lately, Iâ€™ve been learning that a career in any industry–music, business, tech, ministry–is less about constant hustle and more about consistent hard work and the wisdom to double down when the time is right. Itâ€™s about rhythm and pacing, just like music. Itâ€™s about having space in the right places and then locking in the beat, building it and exploding at the right moment.
Thatâ€™s a bit of a roundabout answer to your question, but I hope that more than being known as a hustler, Iâ€™m known as a builder. Just as much hard work, but a little more strategic, intentional and paced.â€
Celeb Secrets: Why do you think our readers should purchase your EP?
Danae: â€œIn todayâ€™s age of music streaming, I believe the act of purchasing an EP is like sending a â€˜thank youâ€™ note to the artist. If someone gets joy, courage or simply good vibes from a song, taking a minute to spend that $5.00 on an EP is one of the ways you can say thank you to the artist for pouring their heart, time, energy, and money into creating that music for you.â€
Celeb Secrets: Do you have any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Danae: â€œActually, yes! Iâ€™m currently working on a cover of Journeyâ€™s classic, â€œDonâ€™t Stop Believing.â€ It will probably release sometime in late July. My friend and producer Nilo-G is creating a sick track for it, and I canâ€™t wait to share it with people.â€
Celeb Secrets: Since our website is called Celeb Secrets, can you share a secret about yourself with our readers?
Danae: â€œWell, I was a Political Science major in college and during my freshman year International Relations class I met a CIA analyst. He told me all about careers at the CIA and eventually I got an internship and job there. If any of your readers are in their freshmen year of college and are interested in International Politics, they should be sure to check it out.â€