South-Floridian singer DaniLeigh talks being mentored by Prince and the power of the Internet.
A favourite of DaBaby, G Eazy and Lil Baby, South-Floridian rap icon DaniLeigh is second to no one. The 24-year-old got her first big break after being scouted by Prince to help direct his video for “Breakfast Can Wait” when she was just 18, and has worked tirelessly to create her own blend of bouncy hip-hop and hip-swaying trap ever since.
Topping over two billion streams worldwide, yeah, like double how much money Kylie Jenner was allegedly worth in her Forbes scandal, Leigh blows any and all of her competition clean out of the water, fronting productions for the likes of Levi’s, Puma and Savage x Fenty, and even doubles as an extraordinary dancer – what’s not to love?
Following on from last year’s My Present EP, Leigh is back on track to undertake an entirely new era that already has fans abuzz. She began this journey with “Levi High”, a dazzling, denim-filled number featuring Da Baby just a few months ago, and today, the multifaceted talent shares another exciting cut from the project, titled “Dominican Mami”.
Catching up with the musical powerhouse below, we spoke to DaniLeigh about co-signs from Drake, going viral, and the true power of the Internet.
Hey DaniLeigh! At just 14 you created your own YouTube videos which lead to you moving to Los Angeles at 16 with your mom, what made you both take such a leap? How long before you felt you’d truly made the right choice and could make a living off your work?
There was a lot of opportunities in L.A. and she knew her daughters had talent. She knew L.A. was the best fit for me. As soon as I got here I got to work so I felt like I made the right choice right away.
During quarantine how have you been keeping yourself sane?
I’ve been working out, and still creating visuals for my album during this time.
Many people know you from the viral #InMyFeelings challenge video of Drake︎’s dance, were you surprised it has had over 10 million views and that Champagne Papi himself co-signed?
I wasn’t surprised that he reached out, but I was super excited he co-signed.
How did that change your career and your life? What did you learn from that experience?
I learned how powerful the internet was. It allowed me to gain new fans and introduce them to my music. I believe that moment made “Lil Bebe” blow up the way it did.
Hollywood often will say things like “seemingly overnight this artist is here” but we all know it did not happen without hard work and many nights, what was your greatest challenge along the way and how do you balance your worries with your faith?
I balance my worry and faith by simply keeping God above worry. Some challenges were keeping this dream alive while watching my family struggle for so long.
The late great and forever beloved and inspiring Prince was a mentor to you, how did you come to meet him and work with him at only 18 years old?
Prince taught me to remain authentic in this business. I have carried that sentiment with me ever since he told me. I was able to work with him when someone from his team reached out to me to direct one of his videos.
Queen Missy ︎Misdemeanor︎ Elliott is on your resume, how did you end up working with her, the iconic Pharrell, and Meghan Trainor?
I worked with Missy Elliot thru my producer Yonni Fairchild. I auditioned for Pharrell and Meghan and they all showed me what it takes to be an artist on and off the stage.
How has the Black Lives Matter movement educated you? What has been most inspiring for you from this time?
Black lives matter has inspired me to pay more attention to those voices that aren’t heard. It’s been so inspiring to see so many people come together for a common cause. I believe it’s important to use your platform to spread awareness during these times.
Your single, ︎”Lil Bebe︎”, featured a remix with Lil Baby, how did that collaboration happen?
I asked my fans to tag him on Instagram post if they wanted the collab and he reached out, it was a really dope moment.
Who are you listening to right now and think everyone else should be too?
Right now I’m listening to Pop smoke, Gunna, Brandon Bill$, Bella Dose, and Drake
If you weren’t dancing and singing, what would you see yourself doing for your career?
I always tell my friends I would be a DJ because I love music so much and my playlist are always fire!