DaniLeigh gives SHEEN an exclusive one of a kind look into her life, music, and the motivation of behind her art.
By Britni Moore
“Perfect” by Cousin Stizz and City Girls is on repeat in the background and DaniLeigh has just slayed another look. The downtown LA studio loft sits in the fashion district, inspiring the direction of the photo shoot. The atmosphere is full of energy, creative beings, and good vibes. Her beauty is timeless and undeniable, with a deep smokey eye, flawless complexion and slicked back hair that captivates everyone in the room. Of course, Dani is orchestrating the way the studio feels – from bursting out into choreo to involving everyone in the room – she is the vibe.
This triple threat isn’t your typical artist. DaniLeigh has given the industry a much-needed vibe upgrade, catching the eye of top artists. With a breakout hit making all of us want to be someone’s “Lil Bebe,” and a car bop like “Easy” featuring Chris Brown, she has shown us range through her a cappella and fly-ass dance moves. DaniLeigh may as well be a veteran in the game.
Originally from Miami, FL – DaniLeigh feels like she “made it” in LA. As a young girl she knew her passion was in music and wouldn’t stop until she got there. It just happened to work out, as she dove straight into pursing her career.
In our intimate interview, DaniLeigh and I share a moment that was unique. I was able to watch her movement as we carried the vibe of the shoot into our conversation. It was incredible to see her sashay through the fashion district while onlookers gazed in amazement, and then to experience her in this very personal interview.
Take us back to the moment when you directed Prince’s “Breakfast Can Wait”. YHow did that define your career?
It was a huge moment, because I was an 18-year-old dancer being introduced to something so new. I was so excited to be wearing the hat of a director and exploring new opportunities.
How do you incorporate movement and dance into your everyday life?
I think a lot of my music is movement driven. I think if you can’t dance to the beat then it’s not really a “Dani” record. Even if it’s R&B, you can still vibe to it. I incorporate that into my shows. I’m a dancer, it’s who I am.
And how do you give full out performances with such vocal control?
Girl, (laughs) because I’m outside doing festivals a lot of the time! Honestly, I have really good stamina doing what I do because I really sing, I don’t use the track and I dance the whole time. Sometimes I’m on the mic stand chilling, but I’m singing the whole time.
How do you ensure you have a message when you are writing songs?
They just come out of me, I let my feelings speak rather than letting my mind speak.
Who are some of your vocal influences?
I used to love Aaliyah when I was younger. Alicia Keys, Jhené Aiko, I was definitely inspired by them, Ciara for singing and dancing, and definitely Rihanna.
I was always watching Chris Brown. I love Missy Elliott. Her videos are awesome, she always heavily incorporates dance.
How do you balance dedicating time to both major crafts?
Well I mean, I think that’s all in one. I do music, but dance is a part of my brain. It’s just me, you know?
How do you find clothes to break it down in like you do??
Girl don’t even say that! I rip my pants like three times per show! My stylist be over it! (Laughs) I definitely try to wear more baggy pants when I perform so I don’t have to deal with that. But sometimes, you know, the drip gotta be right, and you have to do what you have to do! (Laughs)
What are you secrets to flawless skin? Do you have any go-to products?
I use Kiehl’s moisturizer and face wash. I use their products all the time.
What’s some useful advice that you like to use in your journey?
Never give up, man. Everyone has a different journey, a different path. Be patient, work hard, and have a good spirit.
I know your fans are super ready! What can we expect from the album?
Fire! (Laughs) It’s definitely super personal, talking about my relationship. It’s really relatable, just about my life. The struggle, the people who turned on me, love, lies. It’s a vibe. Even with the songs that are sad, you can still kinda turn up to them, that’s a cool thing I do. I have a couple features that include DaBaby, Yella Beezy, Ty Dolla $ign, Jeremih. It’s going to be dope.
What can we expect from you in the New Year?
Yes, 2020 is about to be lit! I have my album dropping at the top of the year. I have a whole visual album actually. Then I’m going on tour in March, so we’re starting the year off with a bang.
And with that our interview came to an end but it didn’t stop the amazing energy as we packed up and headed on our way.
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Makeup and Hair by Nichole Ray
Styled by Winnie Stackz
Photography by Joseph Ford