DANiiVORY: “Take breaks and trust the process”

Take breaks and trust the process. Overnight sensations take 10 years to make! It’s okay to have family time or “me” time and recharge your battery. I know a lot of people in the entertainment business have the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, but I find that to be extremely dangerous and detrimental and […]

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Take breaks and trust the process. Overnight sensations take 10 years to make! It’s okay to have family time or “me” time and recharge your battery. I know a lot of people in the entertainment business have the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, but I find that to be extremely dangerous and detrimental and may even cause a premature death. Work hard but allow yourself to have moments of peace and zen. Also, speak your desires into existence. I believe if you can make a clear vision of what you want and actually say it outlaid the chances of it happening are much greater.


As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing DANiiVORY.

Singer-songwriter DANiiVORY is an independent, R&B/soul pop artist who has had an absolutely stunning career in the music industry. Hailing from Wexford, Pennsylvania, Dani always had music in her life. Ivory’s mother was a music teacher and a liturgical minister and encouraged Dani to pursue her passion for music. Dani then went on to obtain a higher education at Berklee College of Music and graduated with a dual degree in Contemporary Writing and Production and Vocal Performance.

This immense passion and drive for her artistry and craft would lead Dani to gain colossal accolades such as touring with Beyonce (performances at the 2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show and on the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour), Cee-Lo Green (performances on The BBC, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Saturday Night Live), Rhye (performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series), Imagine Dragons, Bridgit Mendler, Gallant, and K-Pop group 2NEI, Dani is not only a talented performer and artist but has an impressive resume to back it all up.

Dani’s last single, “Blackout,” charted in the top 50 on the Starfleet Crossover music chart.

Ivory currently lives in Nashville TN with her husband and daughter where she continues to write and record music from the comfort of her own home studio. Dani has performed on stages of every shape and size — from club gigs to stadium shows, DANiiVORY is one of the few independent artists who can say she has done it all. With influences that range from Janet Jackson to The Beatles, Dani has crafted a dreamy electronic-pop sound that is all her own.

Her most recent single “Pink Lightning” exclusively premiered on CelebSecrets.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/93e0221dd867e681a7c1cce3c3cc90db


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA as he youngest daughter of four. My Mother is/was a piano teacher and a liturgical musician and my Father, now retired, was an Electrical Engineer. My mother was active in the Catholic Church as the Music Director, Choir Director and Organist and much of my childhood was spent singing or playing hand bells in church. I started cantering masses, weddings, and funerals when I was eight years old. Music surrounded my childhood and adolescent years, but I was active in arts and crafts as well as sports. I was a dancer (my favorite was tap) and an athlete playing softball and basketball as a youth then lacrosse and field hockey in High School for which the latter I was awarded scholarships to Division II and III Colleges. Summers were spent at the pool and playing outside in the creek down the street in the cul-de-sac and winter was spent sled riding! Although I was born in July, my favorite season was always fall because of the beautiful foliage especially in western Pennsylvania and the excitement of Football season coupled with warm apple cider and pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING!

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was always a good student achieving good grades however, I always felt something inside that wanted to explore the world outside of where I grew up. I knew the best way of doing that would be to use my talent as a singer and musician. I have diary drawings from when I was only in first or second grade of me singing to crowds. It may have something to do with the fact that I grew up around very talented singers, for example, Christina Aguilera was a childhood friend. When I heard her voice and saw how it impacted other people, I knew I wanted to have that same impact on others. Despite all my other career interests, being a professional musician took the cake.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I’ve had a lot of wonderful stories and experiences as a professional musician and touring keyboardist/singer. I think the most excitement I felt was when I found out Beyoncé was interested in having me be her keyboard player. I remember my manager at the time told me I received a message via Twitter that someone was interested in having me play keyboards in their band. I was skeptical thinking it may have been a scam but told him to find out more information. Eventually, I found out it was Derek Dixie, the Music Director for Beyoncé. I was FREAKING OUT! I had dreamed about performing with/for artists like Beyoncé and Mariah Carey when I was studying at Berklee, but this was a full circle moment for me. I submitted my video and shortly after received a phone call that I made the band! Out first performance was a private performance on NYE at The Wynn in Las Vegas for Steve Wynn and a select group of audience members, and our second performance was for the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show. I’d say that was one of the best highlights of my career! Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I have been writing a lot of songs for this company called “Songlorious” and it has been an awesome way for me to keep up my songwriting and producing chops while things kind of slowed down in the touring industry from the pandemic. Also, the release of my album which is coming later this year is of utmost excitement to me. I’ve spent a lot of time and heart, soul, and money on this project and am sooooo thrilled to finally be able to share it with the world. Music videos and shows are expected to come soon as well. Once “Dreamland” (my album) is released, I have plans for the next album!

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Three reasons why diversity is important in film and television…

1. To gain awareness and understanding between different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds

2. To promote respect and appreciation for cultures and ethnicities outside one’s own circle

3. For expansion and growth. If we can bridge gaps between cultures, the sky is the limit! I believe humans are stronger together rather than individually.

Our culture will be better the more we can understand where another culture comes from. PEACE and HARMONY and WORKING TOGETHER is what springs a society forward. I believe seeing this represented in film and television can help promote that and eventually shun all hate and discrimination.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Believe in yourself. No one else will ever believe in you more than you do.

It helps to have a team, but in the end, you are the one who will need to make things happen for yourself. Don’t hesitate! Produce, produce, produce and don’t over critique.

You have to have good business sense. It is not ALL creative. Without the business, you wouldn’t have a music BUSINESS.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Take breaks and trust the process. Overnight sensations take 10 years to make! It’s okay to have family time or “me” time and recharge your battery. I know a lot of people in the entertainment business have the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, but I find that to be extremely dangerous and detrimental and may even cause a premature death. Work hard but allow yourself to have moments of peace and zen. Also, speak your desires into existence. I believe if you can make a clear vision of what you want and actually say it outlaid the chances of it happening are much greater.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to help people recover from emotional, spiritual, and physical strain through awareness, diet, and exercise. I think our society puts a lot of emphasis on “get it fast” and/or “take a pill for this or that and it will solve all your problems”, but in my opinion the only way to live a satisfying and healthy life is to put in the work to do so. That means being ACTIVE (exercise) and REST (sleep) and try to be aware of the nutrition you put into your body. After all, we are what we eat! I think a total body transformation movement that incorporates diet, fitness, mental health, and spirituality would be of great interest to me.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I would have to say two people, my father and mother. My mother because she brought music into my life and if it wasn’t for her giving me my first voice and piano lesson and/or urging me to continue my lessons even when I wanted to give up, I wouldn’t be a musician today. My father because he was always encouraging and believed in me and my talent whole heartedly. My freshman year in college when I asked for “fruity loops” as a Christmas gift, he came home from the store with a brand new Macintosh computer, logic, and a midi keyboard. That was the beginning of me creating/recording my own music as a producer. His support both emotionally and financially has been one of the reasons I have been able to continue to grow as an artist and musician.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Don’t know, don’t mind.” I had a spiritual advisor for a period of time when I first moved out to Los Angeles and he was always giving me mantras. This was one that stood out to me and REALLY changed my perspective on daily life. I was always worried about EVERYTHING. What people thought of me, what others were doing, how they perceived me. Anxiety and worry would often times get the best of me. But once I honed into the meaning of this mantra, I was able to lovingly detach from all unnecessary worries and focus my energy on the positive things that life had to offer right in front of me.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

This is honestly a difficult question for me, but I think at this point in my life it would be incredible to have an opportunity to meet Deepak Chopra. I thoroughly enjoy his teachings, philosophies, and meditations and would love to gain more insight from the source itself!

How can our readers follow you online?

WEBSITE: www.daniivory.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/daniivoryartist

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/daniivory

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/daniivory

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/daniivory

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOnr6MeoTN1PGkoplxLtMpA

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1pRttxFqgfmdrapNSTizGR?si=IgmZCOMkQ2uUxZBG1nBRZg

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