DaniLeigh, aka Danielle Curiel, began catching industry eyes after she directed the late Prince’s video for “Breakfast Can Wait.”
Prior to working with her mentor Prince, the 22-year-old South Florida native’s journey as an entertainer seemed destined. Her mom was a dancer and many other family members sung.
Over the years, Dani, of Dominican descent, developed her talent as a dancer, choreographer, and singer and in September (2017), she released her debut EP, ‘Summer With Friends.’ She describes the Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, and Drake-inspired project as “just having fun and working.” The set features the singles “Lurkin,'” featured on the second season of HBO’s ‘Insecure,’ and “Play” (visual below).
Singersroom had a quick chat with DaniLeigh about her burgeoning career, her debut EP, working with the late Prince and more. “I always say I wish Prince was here to see all of this happening with me right now,” she says. “It’s okay though. I know he’s watching.”
Check it out!
Tell us about your upbringing and how music started for you?
My family’s background is all musical. My mom was the dancer and model, and my dad has sisters that sang in church, so it runs in my blood.
What was it like working with the late icon Prince? What’s your fondest memory of him?
It was incredible! A moment in my life that I will never forget. Something I will always remember with Prince was when he took me and my family to a salsa restaurant… It was so refreshing to see him in a normal state and to see how cool he was.
Being of Dominican descent, how does that part of your culture influence your music and sound?
I grew up listening to bachata, merengue, salsa as my family cleaned up the house or at house parties — that will always influence my music because it’s in my upbringing.
We’re in an ever-changing time now for music and the way it reaches fans. When creating your art, are you influenced by what’s trending or do you close the blinds and step into your own creative realm?
I do always make sure I know what is poppin’ in the culture and time for music. It’s good to be knowledgeable as an artist; you want to make sure you’re relevant while still incorporating your sound.
Tell us about your recently released EP, ‘Summer With Friends.’ What’s the motivation and message behind this project?
The motivation behind the ‘Summer With Friends’ project was what I had going on in my life at the time. I was living life and enjoying it as a 22-year-old just getting signed…great vibes, blessings, and also what I had went through in my last relationship, representing the culture.
Tell me 5 things that are on your bucket list to accomplish.
1. Best New Artist Grammy
2. Make it on top 100 Billboard
3. Headling and selling out my tour
4. Features with some of my inspirations.
5. Buy my dad a car and pay off my family’s house.
Tell us about your personal style?
My personal style is very 90’s driven. I love the fashion, the music, and visuals.
Listen to ‘Summer With Friends’ below: