Artist Spotlight: Daniela Andrade

    There’s a spell-binding intimacy to Daniela Andrade‘s brand of mellow R&B. The Honduran-Canadian artist’s sound has evolved significantly over the past decade or so – like many DIY artists, she began her musical journey by singing covers on YouTube, becoming a minor sensation on the platform in the late 2000s. Having already showcased her soothing vocal style, she went on to experiment with more electronic-leaning textures on 2016’s Shore EP, an approach she refined and expanded on last year’s critically acclaimed Tamale EP. The release saw Andrade putting forward a more distinct musical vision as she demonstrated her linguistic versatility and delved into a more exploratory sonic palette, qualities that she’s only built further upon with her soon-to-be-unveiled project Nothing Much Has Changed, I Don’t Feel the Same. From the short yet hypnotic ‘Puddles’ to the utterly intoxicating ‘K.L.F.G’, Andrade’s latest entrances us with mesmerising vocals and woozy synths, touched up with intricate production flourishes and just the right amount of grit and personality to make it shine through. It’s her most compelling collection of songs to date, and yet it feels like just the beginning for an artist coming fully into her own.

    We caught up with Daniela Andrade for this edition of our Artist Spotlight series, where we showcase up-and-coming artists and give them a chance to talk about their music.

    You started out by singing covers on YouTube – what inspired you to write your own songs?

    Along with the covers I was posting online, I was always writing a lot of original work as a teenager. More like journal entries/poems and short stories. Before graduating from High School I thought my path was going to be in creative writing, just ’cause I enjoyed reading so much. Writing my own songs always seemed to serve as a means of processing things that were/are going on in my own life. I continue to write from that need to figure out what I’m feeling. 

    Who are some of your influences, and why is it that their music resonates with you?

    Linkin Park, Gorillaz, King Krule, Frank Ocean, Tyler the Creator, Destiny’s Child, Lauryn Hill… it’s hard to pick only a few. I think they’re just so lyrically interesting and honest. 

    What were some the ideas that went into the making of your new EP?

    There was no set plan for this EP other than to create something that made me feel good coming out of a very strange spring. Not being able to go into the studio with Gray Rowan (who I’ve been working with for the last couple years) was weird, so part of the EP was made in the headspace of not having seen people for a WHILE, thinking about times when I wasn’t stuck inside. Looking forward to summer brought back a lot of memories of summers growing up. When I was finally able to go into the studio, I guess a lot of that nostalgia carried over. I didn’t really mean for it to become topical but I was definitely feeling a lack of relation to people (in a physical sense) and the result of those emotions were these songs that strung together both memory and a present summer that felt fleeting and uncertain.

    How was the process of writing and recording the project?

    Music is really therapeutic for me. Thankfully over the years I’ve been able to get more and more comfortable with trying different things with my voice. I think I felt the most at ease on this record. I didn’t put any pressure to deliver anything clear. I didn’t feel the need to finish my sentences or ideas (because a lot of days that felt like a stretch with so much information during these difficult times).

    I love how simple and direct the sentiment of ‘K.L.F.G.’ is, and those production flourishes give it a lot of flavour. Could you give us some insight into how you constructed the song?

    Thank you! ‘K.L.F.G.’ was one of those songs that came together real quick in my head as far as lyrics go. I knew I wanted to keep it simple production-wise until the very end. I wanted to give the lyrics a lot of room and break it up with some distortion at the end. I’ve been trying to get closer to guitar sounds with my voice and amp emulations on Ableton Live. I feel like I’m on a never ending search for a properly disturbing kind of distortion I like. Think I’m getting a little closer? ‘K.L.F.G.’ was a great space to keep exploring. 

    In what ways do you feel that this EP is different from last year’s Tamale 

    Tamale was a lot of internal piecing together for me, figuring out what I really wanted. In a way, it felt like the first project I could truly call my own, simply because I was ready to be more present and honest with myself in spaces I was in. I feel like the way I approached this new EP was a further result of that process but with new challenges to remain aligned through a globally trying time. It rekindled my love for making music simply to connect with myself like I did as a teenager. I had a lot of fun and didn’t question the content too much, seeing as maybe there was a lot less room for that in my head with all the endless uncertainties going on externally. 

    What’s next for you?

    I’m going straight to work on my debut album. I also want to start developing a live show that can translate in a physical space with people and streaming. 

    Nothing Much Has Changed, I Don’t Feel The Same is out September 30th.

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