Toronto’s Dani Robert is on a mission to sooth you and your ears with her therapeutic pop.
The 25 year old music therapist has recently dropped her first single “Clouds,” an eclectic fusion of EDM piano pop. It’s an introspective, mellow banger with the poignant lyrics’ perfectly representing Dani‘s therapist background: “Are we scared? Are we scared? / We can’t hold on, hold on / To the end… Should we float around instead / Like nothing ever happened?” she asks in her breezy yet emotive voice.
Turning the tables around for the music therapist, I was able to get Dani opening up about “Clouds” as well as the positive effects of music on our mental health.
“Clouds” is your debut single, but was already featured in ten of Spotify’s New Music Friday playlists and has racked up over 120k* streams. Were you surprised by this, considering you are a new artist?
Yes! I was definitely blown away! My team and I weren’t expecting so much love so quick! I am so humbled by your responses. This is only the beginning though, I have so much more music I want to show you all!
What personal experiences inspired “Clouds”?
“Clouds” is literally based on a personal experience I had in my own life. It’s the point in life when you like someone, sensing that they feel the same way but never really having the courage to say anything about it. They’re there but are also just vapor – it’s like a cloud. They can create storms at some points but eventually they just fade away! So let’s talk about our feelings!
You are also a music therapist. Did you find “Clouds” therapeutic in any way?
Yea for sure! I mean, so much about music and making music is therapeutic. “Clouds” specifically after going through the experience, putting it down on paper and then listening back to it; it was like a therapy session through making music! Music has a really cool way of helping you gain perspective on life and the different emotions you encounter in life.
How effective is music therapy?
It can be very effective! I’ve seen the benefits first hand! There are more and more studies happening that are showing how music can affect so many parts of the brain, including motor, emotional and memory centers. This is why you see people with Alzheimer’s who are able to sing back a tune they heard from their childhood, yet are not able to remember their spouse’s name. Music can be so powerful!
In what ways does music impact our mental health and general well-being?
Professionally speaking, I can say that music can help maintain and improve emotional, cognitive and physical well being – especially within the context of music therapy. I have such a cool opportunity as an artist to express my emotions and my thoughts all on paper and in the studio. That outlet has definitely been awesome for my own peace of mind!
Could you sum up your artistry? What genres and sounds do you enjoy the most?
My sound is always evolving and changing as I evolve as a person so it’s tough to say, however at the moment if I had to choose I’d probably say it’s currently a cross-fusion between indie, pop, folk and EDM. A lot of my songs are also based on the piano because I love the sound and have been studying it since I was five years old!
I can appreciate all kinds of music though – I’m really into alternative electro/dream pop right now! My ears are happiest when they hear synths and electronic sounds, mixed with some reverb and even sprinkled with some nature samples!
What uniqueness do you aim to bring with your music career?
Probably my musicality! I’ve studied the piano for so long and wrote songs since I was seven so I think that appreciation for music makes me a little different to work with in the studio. I think there’s certain wisdom from having lived in wide open spaces on a farm too. I take a lot of time by myself strengthening my mental and spiritual being to make sure everything you guys hear is real and true to me.
Would you sign with a major label if approached by one?
Yea! A few labels have actually approached us since the release of “Clouds.” For me, if our respective visions align, and everything makes sense, for sure! They just need to love me for me!
At times, your voice sounds similar to Lorde’s. Did you enjoy Melodrama?
Oh wow, thank you! That’s a huge compliment! I think Lorde is an incredible artist. I love the tone of her voice. I thought Melodrama was absolutely brilliant. Go Lorde!
Which female musicians inspire you the most? Who are you into at the moment?
I am definitely inspired by Alessia [Cara]! The types of songs she writes, the impact she is having – especially on women. She drives home a much-needed message of self-love and acceptance!
What issues do you think female musicians are facing today, both generally and in terms of portrayals?
I think female musicians are facing pressures of all kinds – a lot to do with the idealization of sex appeal, which falls into having a certain body type, certain fashion sense etc. This also seeps into songwriting as well sometimes. I find the most successful artists in general though are just true to themselves; so for me I just try my best to be honest with my music. Don’t let other people decide who you are!
What’s next for you in 2017?
Right now we are just in the process of soaking up the success of “Clouds.” My management team has been in talks with some booking agents, labels and a whole bunch of other people! I definitely want to show you all more music though! There’s definitely lots happening just keep following the journey by staying in touch on the all the social media platforms @danirobertmusic. DM me, comment, I try my best to always reply back!
*Just wanted to point out that since this interview took place, “Clouds” has gone on to be streamed over 260k times on Spotify.