Introducing fellow L.A. native singer/songwriter LISA DANAË who today is premiering her video for her single "I'll Lie Here". I came across this beautiful songstress' music recently when I heard her song "Big Bad Wolf" which resonated with me and I got the chance to interview her and learn more about her music, her debut video and her obsession with Disney which you can read about below:
MHB: How old are you & where are you from; can you touch a little on the music scene there and what you like about it?
Lisa: I’m 27 years old and I’m originally from Ladera Ranch, CA. The music scene in southern Orange County is a little slow and very laid back so I moved to LA in 2015. With LA being one of the music capitals of the US, it’s obviously very competitive and fast paced. I really like that because it motivates me, but I also think that for some people the city might swallow them whole. It’s hard, but when you find the right people to work with, you can accomplish a lot.
MHB: How long has music been a part of your life and how did it come to be a part of it?
Lisa: I was 3 years old when I started singing. Disney was a huge influence to me. I used to watch the Disney Sing-along tapes, line of my stuffed animals in front of the TV and stand on the couch and perform for them. My parents also educated me musically and made sure I was well-rounded. My dad loved KISS, Queen, Michael Jackson, AC/DC and more whereas my mom showed me Etta James, Toni Braxton, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and more.
MHB: When was it that you realized your voice could be used as a special instrument and that making music was what you wanted to do?
Lisa: When I was 6, Santa gave me a boom box and microphone for Christmas. I was ecstatic. When I held that microphone for the first time, that’s when I knew I wanted to be a singer. I didn’t want to let go of it. I was very shy, but when I was on stage, I felt at home and in my element. As I got older, I started writing and I was able to record songs that I’ve written and share them with people. I remember there was one song I wrote called “I Don’t Want To” and someone told me that song helped them get through their divorce. That was probably the true moment I felt like my music had meaning. I think there are a lot of people that don’t know how to express themselves, so they tend to keep things in which could have a negative effect on a person. People turn to music because that’s something that you can do on your own and you can control yourself. I just want people to know that there is someone else out there going through or have gone through whatever they are dealing with at that moment.
MHB: Who were some of your biggest musical influences growing up and who are some current artists who are influencing you and your music?
Lisa: Growing up, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Etta James and Christina Aguilera. I know Christina could be a current artist, but I was 8 I think when “Reflection” came out and I remember thinking “Oh my gosh, I want to be her.” Current artists would be Katy Perry, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. I listen to different genres though, so I think even country and hip-hop artists influence me, especially lyrically.
MHB: Without using any musical terms, how would you describe your sound to a new listener?
Lisa: Relatable, vulnerable, strong, haunting, inspiring
MHB: Can you tell me a little bit about your creative process? It is typically the same or does it differ?
Lisa: My process is pretty much the same, but I’m sure as I start to work with different writers and producers it will evolve. But basically I am always writing. Whether it’s just one line or a whole chorus, I’m always typing something in my phone. I have A LOT of notes in my phone with random verses or even just a concept, but when something keeps popping in my head, that’s when I sit down with a pen and paper to piece it all together. After the lyrics, that’s when I usually go into the studio and take it to the producer with an idea of what I want the song to sound like and then we will work together to perfect the lyrics and melody.
MHB: Lets talk about your latest EP "Patience".. How did it come together and what was the inspiration behind it?
Lisa: I think I wrote 10 songs during this process and there are only 5 songs on it plus an intro. Each song on the EP is about different stages of relationships. You have “Big Bad Wolf” which talks about a being with someone who is fake and manipulative then you have “I’ll Lie Here” which talks about being with someone who you are madly in love with and never want to let go. The title behind that EP relates to a relationship as well, but I also chose that title because of the process as a whole. I started writing and working on this EP in 2014 and I had to wait around for studio time and even getting the final mixes back for the songs because I wasn’t looked as a priority. Even just fulfilling my dreams of making music my career, I have to wait. This industry will definitely test your patience and there’s a constant back and forth of do I want to do this? But yes, I do and I don’t want to give up. I have to do everything I can control myself which would be social media (posting cover songs, live shows, being active) and then studio time I have to push as much as I can and take every opportunity that is presented to me because I won’t know when someone will make time for me again.
MHB: And your latest video 'I'll Lie Here', what was the inspiration for its concept?
Lisa: I have a lot of veterans on my dad’s side and with “I’ll Lie Here” being a love song, I wanted a video that could really drive the emotions that you have when you just cannot let someone go. I also didn’t want the video to be literal and just tell the story about falling in love. That’s why I decided to go with the concept of the man going off to war. My papa fought in the Vietnam War and my uncles had to go to Iraq multiple times, so I really wanted to capture that feeling of having to say goodbye to your loved one and not really knowing what could happen to them.
MHB: If you had the opportunity to collab with any artist of your choosing, who would choose?
Lisa: Hmm… this is really hard. I actually have friends asking me this question all the time. I have a lot of artists that I would love to collaborate with, but if I had to choose one on this very day it would be Drake. I’ve loved Drake for years, but I really love his lyrics because they’re actually pretty vulnerable and I would love to write with him.
MHB: What can we expect to see from you in the coming months?
Lisa: Lots of videos! Whether it’s of cover songs or originals. Lots of activity on all of my social media platforms. New music and live shows. Make sure to stay connected on all of my social media
MHB: Where do you hope to see this project in a year from now?
Lisa: Well, I definitely plan to release new music throughout the upcoming year, but I hope that people do pay attention to Patience because I think it has some really great songs that introduce me and what I have to offer in this industry. So I guess I hope that it does just that… Introduces Lisa Danaë.
MHB: What advice would you give a new artist trying to make it here in Los Angeles?
Lisa: Hustle, hustle, hustle. Don’t compare your project to anyone else’s. Focus on yourself and your personal end goal. Support others if they ask for help. Trust your instinct. And yeah, just do it.
MHB: Can you tell me one random fact about yourself?
Lisa: I am a Disney fanatic. I live by “Dreams do come true.” I have Sleeping Beauty’s castle tattooed on my left thigh with the quote “A dream is a wish your heart makes."
MHB: What does music mean to you?
Lisa: Everything. It is the way I express myself. I feel more comfortable singing my thoughts than talking to someone about my feelings. I would honestly go insane if we weren’t allowed to listen to music.
MHB: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself and/or your music?
Lisa: I have been pushed around and taken advantage of almost this whole time, but I am stronger because of it and I have learned how to take control of who I want to be as an Artist. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me and I know great things are to come for me.
Check out her sweet debut video for "I'll Lie Here" below: