If you’ve been keeping up with the site you know Wednesday’s are reserved for artists based outside of the U.S. I’ve got a lot in store for you readers specifically when it comes to international music but the first artist I wanted to introduce you to is Staasia Daniels.
If you know me (or if you’ve noticed every other artist I posted thus far), you already know that I am an avid fan of R&B music. If you listen to artists such as H.E.R, Janine, and SiR — I would seriously consider you add Staasia to your list.
In this interview I got the chance to discuss with the Toronto native about her projects, performing, and where she sees her career in the future.
Q: For the readers who may not be aware of who you are and what you do, would you like to introduce yourself?
A: Hola, I go by the name of Staasia Daniels. I am an artist/entertainer who is sleepless in Toronto. I create how I feel, while I heal, and hope that those who have ears will hear, and those who can feel, will feel. Vibe & feel.
Q: When did you first discover your love for music?
A: Oh man! I’m not sure of what age exactly, but my mother says it started around age 5ish. I vaguely remember hearing Whitney Houston, Shabba Ranks, Bee Gees and so much more growing up and it just… idk, it does something on the inside of me that is indescribable.
Q: Is music a career your family supported? What kind of advice would you give someone who may not have that support?
A: My music career is 100% supported by my family, my mom & sisters come to my shows often, and I am grateful! To those who may not have their families support, from observation, I can tell it hurts, but they just don’t understand it because we can be doing this for so long and not see a penny. Use that as motivation to keep working and know that they WILL come along.
Q: Are there any artists that made you want to become a singer? If so, what about them attracted you to being an entertainer?
A: There isn’t a specific artist that made me realize I wanted to be singer, I just knew I wanted to be one. I didn’t really discover the difference between an entertainer and a singer ‘til much much later in life.
I remember auditioning for a showcase and not being able to move due to being so nervous, I couldn’t even release a steady note. Through practice and gaining confidence I was able to then sing steady notes, but I couldn’t move, and it was just boring to me to walk back and forth singing. I have so much personality off stage, I wanted to show that, but I didn’t really know how!
Anyways, I remember watching female & male R&B groups not just performing, but entertaining their audience through dance etc. The experience I felt is what I wanted to give people when I hit the stage. I’ve come far, but still have a long way to go. hahahaha.
Q: If you had the chance to collaborate with any artist who would it be (and why)?
A: I really want to work with Pharrell. I feel like he can make sense of my vague ideas and bring something out of me I don’t even know is there!
Q: You happen to be from Toronto, Canada where an abundance of talent has come from in recent years; is there anyone from there that you would want to work with in the future?
A: Yasssss, S/O to ALL Toronto creatives, especially the hardworking women! There isn’t anyone specific that I’d like to work with, just anyone passionate, anyone talented, and anyone willing to work with me.
Q: The first time we heard you was back in 2014 with the release of “Back To The Basics” — were you nervous about how it would be received?
A: Hahaha, Back To Basics, was a remix/cover to Bas ft J. Cole “My Nigga Just Made Bail” It was a random, free Wednesday night freestyle. My first original song was entitled “Tonight (iLike)” omg, a pop song! I’m crying!
Q: Skip to August 2016 and the release of your first EP Hidden Gems is released, earning over 60,000 plays in total; Does it surprise you to know how many people take the time to appreciate your music?
A: 60,000 really? Dang, not to bad for a nobody like me! I am so grateful to know that people were not only listening to it, but it was anticipated by many. People I didn’t even know! I still get messages saying “ You’re album is still on repeat!” I am so humbled, so so so humbled. Wow.
Q: Do you have a personal favorite off the EP? If so, which song and why?
A: My favourite changes every time, but right now, I’d say my favs are a tie between WYL & Never Fade.
“WYL” because it’s the organic sound that actually LOVE to sing on. Although 90’s and modern day R&B is dopetastic, there’s so much of the same feeling, same vibe floating around. That nostalgic instruments feeds me in a different way.
“Never Fade”, because it exudes the feels naturally. Brings me back to 90s R&B when verses were filled with Love and passion, and 90’s music will always be dopetastic! My addition to it just makes it all better. We’re coming up on 3 years since I released that song and it STILL knocks, and still has the crowd, and STILL makes me cry.
Q: With every song you create is it harder to remain creative? Do you go “we’ll see how it goes” or “it can’t be any less than perfect”?
A: That’s a great question! I wouldn’t say it’s “harder” to remain creative, but it’s always like “ok SD, say something different than the last one” or “Give a different perspective” but sometimes it doesn’t always work that way, because in reality, like many, I’ve gone through some of the same bullshit over and over and over again.
Q: The same year you also got the chance to perform at TDot Fest and Atlanta’s A3C festival, how was that experience?
A: Performing is always spectacular. and when it’s out of the city/country it’s oodles of fun and a shocker at the same time! These people don’t know who you are, yet they give out so much love and crowd participation!
Q: In 2017, you released three songs followed by your sophomore project “1+2” . — Do you feel that in order to be successful an artist needs to be consistent? If so, what do you think is the importance of consistency?
A: I don’t believe there’s a blueprint for success. You can be consistent for 6 months and something pops off for you, it can also take you 3 years of consistency to pop off. It’s so unknown!
For me, the importance of consistency is also in the art of letting go of material. I need to take a lot more no’s that’ll lead to my yes and just put out music I believe in. I have pockets of consistency, but not necessarily enough, in my eyes, which is due to lack of resources, but… it’s not going to stop me.
Q: Going into this latest EP was the process different from that during the creation of Hidden Gems? Was it easier to write for this project? Did you suffer a creative block?
A: The 1+2 EP wasn’t much different at all, but it was harder because I only wanted 3 songs on it yet I had so many just sitting.
“Moretimes” was supposed to be on the EP to follow, but I made changes to it, and decided to package it with the other two. I always create/record songs for the sake of staying creative and keep juices flowing to ensure no creative blocks occur.
Q: What kind of advice could you give someone looking to start a career in music? What are some lessons you’ve learned since you’ve started?
A: My advice to ANYONE looking to start ANYTHING, is super cliche, but it’s so real… put yourself on when ‘the people’ won’t. There is no such things as “the right time” so create it, and once you get rolling, be prepared to be consistent. If everyone around you likes everything you do, you’ve gotta switch it up. Do everything you think you should do.
Q: If you had the chance to decide when you started your career (ex: specific decade, time in music) would you?
A: As amazing as this sounds, idk that I’d want to choose or even toy with that. Why? Because everything that has happened to me, as aggravating and gut punching as the struggle has been, it’s made me who I am. It’s allowed me to grow and bring things out of me I never thought I could. I used to listen to so many wrong people telling me how I should sound, and how I should sing that I just, wasn’t happy but- it had to happen.
Q: The internet has allowed people from all over the world to interact and be influenced by each other. Where would you be shocked to hear that people listen to your music?
A: I’m shocked whenever people in Dubai message me on IG discovering my music, it’s so amazing but it’s definitely the goal.
Q: When you look back on your career in 20-30 years; what career highlights would you like to achieve?
A: 20-30 years is a loooooong time! I know that things need to happen in stages so I’ll just list a few things. Top 10 billboard charting project, Top 5 billboard charting, and a Number 1 billboard album.
Writing for several established artists new & old. Opening my foundation for little Black girls. Grammy nods, Grammy Best New Artist winner (hahaha) Joining an established successful artist tour, going on tour with my label mates. Put- jeez, so much, I’ll stop there. hahaha
Q: Should we be prepared for anything in 2018?
A: Be prepared for EVERYTHING! I am no longer holding back on the things I’ve been so afraid to do. For years I’ve wanted to dress a certain way, do a certain style, write certain lyrics etc. It’s uncomfortable, but I like it! I am going through a transition, so don’t be confused by it. Art doesn’t always have to “make sense” you just need to FEEL something. I’m emptying out what I have and it’ll lead me to where…. well, we’ll see.
Q: Last but not least, is there anything you want to tell your supporters?
A: For those of who who have been around, I am so grateful, thank you! I love you! You are super important to me, and always will be! You help us unknown indie artists be recognized by curators, labels, blogs etc. To the new supporters/fans whenever you come across a song you like, please don’t hesitate to share it and let us know. The people need to know that other people care about what we do.