DANI JACK // INTERVIEW

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Dani Jack

While still new to the pop country music scene, solo artist Dani Jack has had some impressive and memorable experiences over the past few years. While living in LA, Dani took the stage as the lead vocalist for Country Nation, and while living in Nashville, she has released a music video alongside Christie Huff (which you can watch below) worked with producer Luke Forehand of Blackbird Studios, and performs downtown regularly.

Dani recently announced a Kickstarter to raise money for her debut EP, which is to be recorded at Castle Recording Studio.

I had the opportunity to chat with her about her move from the West Coast to Music City, the planning process for her Kickstarter, 2018 goals, and more!

Photo by Allison Wilde

 

Q: What were your expectations of Nashville prior to moving here, and who are your favorite local artists?

A: I visited Nashville a few months before I moved here and instantly fell in love. I could tell from just those few days that it was so much more collaborative and friendly than any other place I’d lived. I felt that it would have big opportunities for co-writes and expected to be playing a lot more writers rounds than I have! It’s been harder to balance work and music, for sure! 

My favorite local artists are Abby Anderson who was recently signed to Black River and released her first single. She is a friend of mine and has more light and goodness than maybe anyone I’ve ever met. I also saw Girls of Fall the week I moved here and instantly fell in love with Kassi Ashton. Lexie Hayden is another friend and has a great new EP. I also love Lucy Scholl, Kaitie Forbes, and Hannah Blaylock. Clearly, I love supporting my ladies! Some guys I’m excited about are Kenny P, Isaac Mathews, Jacob Bjorn, and Sam Gyllenhall.

Q: Was it tricky to balance music and school while working towards your Bachelors degree, and what advice do you have for people who are working on both music and school at the same time?

A: I actually didn’t really do both at the same time. I went to college in my mid-20s after traveling for awhile and had kind of decided to just maybe sing on the side or at church. When I finished school, I was trying to decide what to do and I could not shake the feeling that this was my path. I couldn’t give it up.

My advice, however, would be to choose a major that would help you move your career forward and teach you things you can use everyday. I studied business and I feel like it has given me a whole new view on how the music business works. I know that my music and I are a product, and that knowledge allows me to be creative while still being effective and efficient.

Q: Aside from being an incredibly beautiful studio, what drew you into picking Castle Recording Studio to record your EP at?

A: The list of musicians who have recorded there is so long and impressive. I’ll be standing where they stood! Also, my friend Lexie Hayden recorded her EP there and the sound and quality is incredible. Plus, being in Franklin just outside of Nashville, it’s more affordable. It also has such a cool history (I actually considered becoming a high school history teacher…it was my first major). And as cheesy as it sounds, there’s something about castles that makes me think of dreams coming true.

Q: Tell me a bit more about your Kickstarter and how all of the plans came together-- how long has the planning process been going on?

A: I turned 30 last September and felt like this was my year. I’ve been putting off releasing music for so long because I just couldn’t afford it, but I have written so much music over the last two years that I really feel needs to be released. Friends and family kept asking when they would be able to buy my music so I thought, why not have them just buy that and some merch BEFORE it’s released, that way they get a great product that is fully funded.

So I set a couple of meetings with fellow artists, producers, co-writers, videographers, PR specialists, etc. to see what needed to be done. I put together a budget. Then I spent months flipping through other Kickstarters (past and present, successful and unsuccessful). I read blogs with suggestions on rewards, videos, promotions, etc. I asked my mom to go through old photos that were hidden in the garage. I had a videographer put together a great video with said photos. I made a list of everyone I needed to contact and ask to pledge (friends, family, colleagues). And then I finally launched it on February 23rd. But the process doesn’t stop! I spend a few hours everyday contacting people about it, sharing it, and thinking of new ways to get people interested. I’d say the total process has been around 5-6 months.

Q: Your "Ten Tiny Toes" music video with Christie Huff truly shows off both of your vocal abilities. What was it like to work with a friend on a project like this? 

A: Thank you! Christie and I had previously recorded a cover of "Somethin’ Bad" by Miranda Lambert feat. Carrie Underwood, and we loved how our voices meshed together. We knew we wanted to write and record a duet. I started talking about my nephew (who was almost one), and she brought up that she had just found out her sister was pregnant. We wrote "Ten Tiny Toes” pretty quickly, searched for a mom and her baby, and got it done. We released it on my nephew’s first birthday. It was really fun for us to do something special for our sisters together. We’ve been able to play it out once at Christie’s first Nashville writer’s round at Belcourt Taps. Everything just came together so perfectly for this; I think it’s because it was so close to both of our hearts.

Q: What are your main goals music-wise for 2018?

A: The number one goal is to release this EP this summer. There will also be a single with a music video prior to that. I’m also planning a couple mini-tours: one around the Tennessee/Kentucky/Carolinas area and one that takes me back to the West Coast where I’m from. I’ve never done any of these things as a solo artist so I’m just really excited!