Few people outside the music realm fully comprehend the level of commitment needed to survive (exist) in the music industry. In order to shed some light and better understand it, we sat down with Dani Atkinson to talk about her experience as a singer-songwriter, and how she has managed to keep her music alive in the eve of the release of her 4th studio album.
Dani Atkinson has been singing as far back as she can remember. Her voice has always been there, and it helped her to reach the interest of Virgin Records at the early age of 16. Atkinson’s career was going to change and start with a huge boost – the label and the young artist had a deal in their hands – but what seemed inevitable ended sooner than it started.
During that time, record labels took the harsh blow given by the internet and music sharing platforms. Piracy rose all around the world and recorded music suddenly became free to own. And although we can talk for days about how the labels reacted to this event, going back to our topic, piracy really affected Dani and all other artists who were in contract negotiations around those days.
The contract was never signed as Virgin decided not to invest in Dani’s career because of the financial losses of recorded music. But she did not stop there, she just had a taste of the places she could go with her music and her drive inspired her to keep going.
In order to keep her dream alive, Dani Atkinson took ownership of her project. She released an album and went to college where she studied theatre and business of the entertainment industry. The knowledge acquired encouraged her to get a manager, release her second studio album, and make better, more elaborate plans for her music: music videos became an important part of her project opening new paths for her to showcase her music and talents.
While working with her manager, Atkinson decided to form a band. She thought it would be better to market herself as part of a band rather than a solo act in order to reach new opportunities. The band “Bonne Elle” became a reality, and Dani brought 6 musicians to make part of it.
The “Bonne Elle” years did bring new opportunities for Dani. Not long after their first and only album was released, she got in contact with a PR firm that was able to sync two of the band’s songs in 2 TV shows: Vanderpump Rules & Teen Mom, as well as a continental-wide Quaker Oatmeal TV commercial. Also, being part of a band opened up doors for live performances around New York City, allowing her to meet new people.
However, the difficult task of handling a 7 piece band did pay its price in the end. It is never an easy task to find the right schedule for rehearsals and shows for 7 different musicians (it is harder in New York City). Also, the band’s plans changed from her original ideas while the manager drifted away from Atkinson’s vision until she decided to stop working with him. “Bonne Elle” split apart and Dani Atkinson was on her own again.
While talking to Dani, she did emphasize how difficult and important it is to know how to promote one’s music. Even though she had already released three albums and a couple of songs synced on TV shows, she felt that there was still something missing. Planning a release campaign is key to let your audience know something new is coming. Branding your project is also crucial: letting fans and audiences know who you are, what you stand for, and where you want to go will bring people to become loyal fans.
After the end of Dani’s band, she entered a deep stage of mental blockage. The noises of self-doubt, insecurities, and anxiety became louder and louder in her head. Without letting go of her nature, she dove deep into a place within herself to find the answers that would quiet down those noises.
It was not an easy task, but Dani found the way to elevate herself by completing an impressive 4 month, 4 nights-a-week, Open-Mic Tour! That was her way to face doubts, regain her strength, and get back on stage with just her Yamaha keyboard.
The time came when she started to write the songs that she needed to hear. Focusing on a deeper level on what she has lived since the doubts gained strength in her head, lyrics, sounds, and emotions started to flow letting her find her own GOLD hidden inside. The new songs and Dani’s drive put her back to the spotlight, as a solo act, to sing and feel at home on stage again; getting back in New York City’s gig scene has been an arduous task, but she has not let that stop her.
Dani Atkinson is preparing the release of her fourth studio album titled “GOLD.” With it, she wants to spread the positivity we all need to accept ourselves and find the treasures hidden within ourselves. Atkinson is the living proof of the resilience and the commitment needed to keep the musical dream awake. For Dani, It has not been easy, but it has always been worth it. You should follow her social’s to know more about her and her upcoming release – we are definitely waiting for it.
Sign up to The Hub and learn more about your favorite creative industries!