Danni Baylor says She’s Starstruck Over Songwriters & Announces NEW Music!

What about singing and songwriting do you love most? And and what have been some of your favorite self-made pieces of all?

I love the creative process of making something that wasn’t there before. I’m very vulnerable in my music so I also love being an open book. I see it as my service to God and humanity.

Your style is immaculate! – How did you develop your style and unique sound?

Awww thank you! That’s so sweet. I think it’s a culmination of so many vocal influences from multiple genres. I’ve had these phases of listening to certain artists during a concentrated time period. “Off the Wall” had to be my first deep dive into an album. It’s almost like different artists would resonate with me at the moments I needed them most and would rub off on me (creatively) in the meantime.

For example: When I had my first real heartbreak, I couldn’t stop listening to Karen Carpenter’s “Love lines”. One of my dad’s best friends is Herb from “Peaches and Herb” and he told me to dig into the richness of Karen’s tone (which I always loved). So I’d just listen to her only solo album and cry. Coincidence? Maybe, but she seeped in and I’m grateful for the timing.

What advice would you share for singers looking to define their SOUND?

I’d say finding your sound can be tricky and takes a lot of focus and diligence. It’s important to trust the gift that God uniquely gave YOU. By all means, have influences and artists you glean from but make sure that you’re not funneling yourself solely through their sound. Take the time to sit with your voice in the raw. 

Have you had any mentors or artists of inspiration along the way that keep you motivated to create?

Yes! When I was younger I’d look up to the artists but now I’m starstruck over songwriters.

They are Friggin rockstars and don’t always get their just due. Some of the writers and artists that have influenced me are Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Mary Mary, Jon Gibson, Karen Carpenter, Dawkins and Dawkins, Beyoncé, Brandy, Amy Winehouse, Priscilla Renee (now Muni Long) Julia Michaels, The Beatles, Rihanna , Adele, James Taylor and Carole King the list goes on and on!

Tell us about your guitar!!! – When and how did you learn to play and how does your skill there impact/enhance your artistry?

I picked up the guitar in 2013 and immediately started writing songs. I’m mostly self taught but had guitarists that I admire share some tips with me. I also tore YouTube UP! lol I started incorporating the chords I was focusing on in my music and the rest started to come a lot easier. One guy named Rob Sullivan from a band I used to sing with was so instrumental in making sure I had charts and even gave me the book he‘d learned guitar from. I would have to say that guitar is a HUGE part of my songwriting process!

If it doesn’t sing well on guitar it won’t sing well.

Danni Baylor

It’s a great litmus test for what works in my option. Either that or piano. I start every song on one of those.

As a WOC in music, have you experienced any related challenges or obstacles that you can share insight or advice on for the community?

First of all, I’m so proud to be a WOC in the music industry. I love advocating for and watching us win. That being said, this industry can be a beast. I’ve run into people not understanding my vision simply because I’m a black woman.

I remember specifically making records that I felt would set me a part from the typical sound a record executive would expect from someone who looked like me and they would constantly try to push me into those genres (that I respect and appreciate) but it just wasn’t the vision I wanted to push for myself. You know?

I definitely want to break barriers as a back woman. I don’t want us to just be labeled “Urban” at first sight or automatically boxed in. We are beautifully, multifaceted beings with the potential to do whatever we set our minds to.

If you could work/collab with anyone in the industry, right now, who would make your top-5 list?

  1. Adele 
  2. John Legend 
  3. Taylor Swift
  4. JVKE 
  5. Mark Ronson 

What do you think about today’s music culture scene? What do you like/dislike about it the most and what would you like to see more of??

I think music is more widely accessible than it’s ever been which makes me happy.

Danni Baylor

But its value doesn’t seem to be where it used to be which makes me sad. Overall, I love that there are so many amazing artists out here making waves with limited resources. Although over-saturation is a very real thing, I’m confident that there’s room for us all!

How do you stay innovative and where do you pull inspiration from when creating new music?

I say a prayer and ask God to give me something else and He always does. I also found that Motown inspires me especially being the kind of writer I am. Every now and then I’ll switch up the scenery and explore new artists (whether they’re super new or just artists who are new to me.)

Inspiration is in everything. Tv shows, movies, car alarms, my tea kettle etc… I try to keep my ears open at all times and voice notes close. Lol

Do you have anything exciting happening soon that you’d like to share with our readers? – How can folks get connected with your news and updates?

Yes! I’m gearing up to release new music next month! I try to keep my social media pretty up to date. Instagram and Tik Tok are my main platforms. My latest single “WRINKLES” just dropped and is available on all digital outlets!

Also, just had a song that my husband and I composed with a friend for Disney premiere at the grand opening of Disneyland’s “Toon Town” on March 19th so that’s definitely something I’m extremely proud of as well.