Danny is a singer and songwriter who hails from Gurgaon in Haryana. He has been writing and composing songs since his childhood. Danny believes that music is a healer used to bring peace to one’s mind.
The singer is known for his unique vocals and composing skills, so he has gained over 200K streams on Spotify. Danny believes in going with the flow and always being positive.
Icy Tales is in conversation with Danny, where he talks to us about how singing and songwriting helped him follow his passion.
Q) Let’s go back to your roots. When did you realize that singing was your thing and you wanted to be a singer?
Danny – So, I still don’t call myself a singer; I still consider myself more songwriter. I still am not confident in my vocal skills that much. But yes, I do like what I sing. From my schooling days, I always loved to be on the stage; whether it be at school, during morning prayers, or at any small gathering or function, I used to go there and prepare some songs for the audience.
No matter how I used to sing, I like that vibe of a stage or being in front of an audience. So that made me realize that I should do this more often, and that’s how it started. Later on, I picked up a couple of instruments, trying to learn them, and that’s how the journey began.
Q) You said you like yourself to be called more of a songwriter, so what inspired you to start this journey?
Danny – I started playing the guitar, and I started covering many Bollywood songs when I initially started. As a musician, I’m drawn more toward the music of the song rather than the lyrics. I notice what elements have been used, making me listen to that song repeatedly. And after this long process, I pay attention to the lyrics. I like when the lyrics are so simple, yet it can see so many things in less.
Three or four years ago, this hit me hard, so I thought to put my thoughts, in lesser words, to describe what I’m feeling or when I’m trying to describe a particular situation. This inclined me towards songwriting. So, I started scribbling whatever was coming into my mind related to anything and everything. I’m glad it all happened! And that’s how it started towards songwriting.
Q) Your songs are focused mainly on the Indie-Pop Genre. So, talk to us about the process of how you compose songs.
Danny – The thing about Indie songwriting is that it’s very accessible and open. For example, if you have to write a jingle for a commercial or a TV series, there is no foundation for what you want to write. You are as free as you can. But still, there are a couple of things that eventually mould into a kind of a process. Right? So even if it’s like freewriting, it still has some process behind it.
The thing about Indie songwriting is that it’s very accessible and open. For example, if you have to write a jingle for a commercial or a TV series, there is a situation/plot given and you try to match what you want to write with where you have to reach.
Whereas in Indie songwriting, You are as free as you can. You can actually speak out what you want. But still, there are a couple of things that eventually mould into a kind of a process. Right? So even if it’s like freewriting, it still has some process behind it.
So, I cannot say that I follow, but I see that when you start writing a song, you want to try and identify a feeling. You want to find the basic emotions behind anything. If the emotion is love, you find the words that connect with your emotion, then move on towards the hook line. And that’s a continuous process every day. If something snappy comes to my mind, I try to note that and process it myself.
So, I take a notepad and write down what my client wants and what exactly would make the song a better one. Eventually, you start writing, start describing, then reject and rewrite it legitimately, and towards the end, you will have a piece of work in hand. That’s how the process moves forward.
One personal experience is that the first song I wrote was about my dog who died. So, I thought, I’ll write a sad song out of it. But as I was going into the process, I realized that I went too much into the specifics that only I could relate to. So, it will not touch many people.
This way, I learned that one needs to figure out the feeling/emotion and take it forward while writing. So, it was not going to be a hit anyway. This way, I learned that one needs to figure out correctly, and this is the approach to writing a good song.
Q) You’ve done many shows, and you’re pretty popular on the North Side. Tell us one funny experience you faced when you went on stage or anything that caught your attention.
Danny – I have had many unusual experiences. During the very beginning of my singing career, I didn’t even know how to play the guitar properly, or I didn’t even know how the soundcheck happened. It was funny that I didn’t know that you have to spend a lot of time talking to someone before you get on to the performance.
It was funny that I didn’t know that you have to spend a lot of time doing the soundcheck according to the experience you want to deliver before you get on to the performance. So, my mic wasn’t working, and everyone just booed me off the stage.
Recalling my college days, I don’t know if people would find it embarrassing, but then back then, a day when I was performing, one guy came up to me, and he did this thing with the money around my face and gave me 200 rupees note. It is strange in a club, so this was a funny and unusual experience. I know there is a culture of tipping around the world to the people who are entertaining you. But it was very unusual for me.
Q) There have been times when you would have faced a lot of criticism from your audience. So how do you deal with such negative comments and feedback?
Danny – There are some things which you know about yourself. I like performing a particular genre of songs, and I try to avoid a category of Bollywood songs because I think I cannot do justice to them. So, sometimes I face some critical remarks because I am not making a lot of requests on this particular genre of music. So, I just let go of the negative feedback and go with the flow.
Q) What are your plans for the future, and how do you want to establish yourself in today’s music industry?
Danny – I see myself as just going to keep writing songs. I feel like it’s not my right to establish myself in something. Writing songs does give me a lot of joy. For me, it’s not about establishing myself into something. Writing songs give me a lot of joy. And I want to keep doing it. The first song which I put was produced in my bedroom. It was not like a full-fledged production.
I just wrote something, and when I felt that it was up to the mark, I just wanted other people to hear it. When I write something, I want my audience to hear it. If people keep liking my work, that gives me enough energy to keep moving in this direction of writing songs
Q) If singing and songwriting don’t work for you. Do you have any backup options?
Danny – I am already working full time, so it’s not about backup; it’s just a balance of how I want my life to be. Singing and songwriting will still keep happening, and it’s not something that I’m gaining a livelihood from.
So my job is separate, and singing is something that I do to please my soul and eventually be a showman when I’m on stage. I’m looking forward to writing more songs and putting them out, and the second is being on stage playing my songs in front of people.
Q) What advice do you have for upcoming singers and songwriters of this generation?
Danny – The only advice I have for others is to complete what you are writing. There are times when we overthink a lot. We want to improve a lot, so that improvement can be made on the work you will do in the future. But rather than getting stuck on the very first piece of content, try to give your best and put it out. Finish what you started and then move on to the next one because that’s how the progress will happen. You have to learn from your mistakes.
Danny is working full time while following his passion for singing and songwriting. He finished singing a few lines of his first original song, Main Tujhse Hoon. He said that the song was very close to his heart as it trended on Spotify and gained a lot of appreciation from his audience. Danny calls his guitar his best friend as it helped him become more confident. He affirms that singers and songwriters have a lot in store for them in the near future.