In their blood.
By Nora Rothman
Danni Cassette (they/them) got their start in church & learning from their musical family. Danni’s biggest influence was their grandfather, who taught them to record vocals to tape. Danni then became the tape bandit, stealing every tape they could to record. Cassettes are indicative of how they learned music & how they live life, holding onto the things that shape us for good. In 2018, Danni moved to Los Angeles & released BANANA. Danni currently has a new project brewing for spring, 2019.
Describe Danni Cassette in 3 words:
Undeniable, inquisitive, intrinsic.
What drew you to music as an art form?
I come from a very musical family on both sides. Both of my grandfathers were heavily involved in the California music scene. One a member of The Lumpen, Black Panther Party Revolutionary singing group. The other sung background with Sam Cooke before his passing and also taught me how to record my vocals to tape. It was around me, we’d break out into harmony together at any moment. Music is like my blood. A real thing that exists to ensure that I am alive.
Why are artists important in 2019?
To keep humanness in a world that’s working hard to desensitize. Artists are vulnerable and deal with depths of themselves most could never imagine. They allow life to break them down, use them up, face rejection, and use that for fuel to create. This is something that cannot die, because creativity itself would die also. If you couldn’t ever turn on your favorite song after a shitty day or come home to admire your favorite painting with a glass of wine, where would we be as people? Artists are the color of the world and the center of passion because they’re already born with it. In 2019—in anytime—we are needed. Just like you need the trees to breathe.
What’s been the hardest piece of pursuing a music career?
Funding. Being an artists is so expensive. The last thing a creative wants to be limited by is money. Because they just want the song or the idea to be executed. All of that cost.
How can listeners show their support for artists?
Put their money where they love is. Download. Stream. Buy merch. Pack out their shows. Tell friends about how much you enjoy their music. Just like artists have duties to keep the content coming, so does the listener. To support the content. Being an artist is very much about providing a service, and it should be compensated as such.
What advice do you have for other emerging musicians?
There are so many ways to get it now, so use your path and steps to do it the way you truly want to. I am obsessed with Vaudeville and the Chitlin Circuit after discovering the story behind it as a kid. I wanted to use some of the same methods in pursuing my own path in audio. Very energetic stage presence and essentially living out of my car for almost four years, traveling down some of those same roads as some of my favorite black artists. I have let what I am inspired by really lead me. I am my own influencer, and I trust me the most. Any legends or greats that we hold in high regard, we’re just them. Even to their detriment. If you’re going to share it with the world, own it. Let be undeniably yours! That’s what truly leaves an impression and cannot be copied. Trust your voice. Believe in it, foolishly.
What’s your favorite thing about yourself today?
I just moved to LA. Because everyone here does something creative, at times it’s felt like I am drowning in a kiddie pool. Overcrowded. Unable to hear myself. Now I see it as an ocean. A sea of creatives and my own art making different ripples in the tide. I am happy that I have survived the transition. I am getting over the hard things. I am happy that I opened myself up to truly let go of ego.