One on One in 10
May, 2015
Artist: Courtney Danger
Central Jersey, NJ

 

Hello and welcome to One on One in 10, where we pick the brains of some of the most talented Indie artists from state to state with 10 questions. It’s your girl Mai Mazzi reporting live on the scene, bringing you the real with todays’ movers and shakers and allowing you to meet them, one on one.

Also, a big welcome to the month of May! For many of us, May is the intro to the summer, but did you know that the United Kingdom celebrates May as the National Smile Month? Or that the month of May was named after Maia, the Greek goddess of fertility?? Or that May was once considered a bad luck month to get married??? I found these fun facts about May interesting and thought I  would share them with you☺

Our May interviewee is a very talented and versatile young songstress that goes by the name of Courtney Danger. She hails from New Jersey and her unique style and flow are a force to be reckoned with!

Mazzi: Thank you so much for taking the time out to sit and speak with me.

Courtney: Thank you for having me!

Mazzi: So for our first question, what made you first realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music?

Courtney: I think that I was always into music as a kid. My father had a big influence on that because he would always play old school hip hop or old 70s and 80s music. I really got my first influences from that. I was in a church choir when I was growing up and from there I started to write songs. That’s where music started to be a big interest of mine, when I started to write. I also played the violin and the trumpet in school. I played the trumpet longer than the violin, making the trumpet my stronger instrument.  When I got into ninth grade in high school I recorded my first song in a recording studio and I have been hooked on making music ever since.

Mazzi: How would you describe your music for the public audience if they have never seen or heard you before?

Courtney:  It’s going to be a lot of fun. My thing, or niche, that I am on right now is passing off positive energy to others and doing things to make others feel good. My project, along with the marketing, is centered around the concept of making people feel good, happy, and energized. In the mornings every day I post a video {to social media} of  myself in my car and going about my daily routines expressing positivity with everything that I do, just to give people positive energy and a little excitement to start the day. Spreading positive energy around is so important because there are so many things going on in the world that can leave you feeling so negative and down. Dealing with depression and things like that are real issues and we need things to offset that. That’s what my music is all about; living your life and being happy and doing the things that you want to do. I think that is what people will experience when they listen to my music. It’s the fun side of things, light and airy, and it gives a different feel from what they normally hear.

Mazzi: If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?

Courtney:  That’s a hard one! I think with this project it is kind of like RnB, it’s hip hop, it’s a little bit of jazz, it has a little bit of soul. The music itself, a lot of the production has a more international vibe to it with big sounds and big instruments; it has a live feel to it. It is music that will make you have a whole experience when you listen to it. It carries you from one song to the next. It really just makes you feel good.

Mazzi: How does your style differ from other artists in the same genre?  

Courtney:  I am more of a product of old school, so I kind of have a jazzy, ecliptic type sound to me. And then I am heavily deep rooted in hip hop too at the same time. Sometimes a lot of singers are all about melodies and tones, but I’m really about how the music makes me feel. So that’s what I go on more than just one particular style and I do whatever the music makes me feel. I think that it is something fresh that many artists don’t do because they try to stick with what’s popular or what the sound is at that time and I am trying to do the opposite of that. I also have a reggae back round; I was once in a reggae band. I have a lot of different things that make up my particular style that set me a part.

Mazzi: Are you familiar with the term “starving artist”?

Courtney: Oh yeah.

Mazzi: How do you cope with major obstacles as they relate to the term?

Courtney:  I  have always been an artist that works hard. I put in a lot of hours; I know what it is like to sleep in the studio, wake up and go to the studio, or stay there all day long and have like one or two meals. I know what it is like to have to scrape up your change to pay for studio time. I have always worked that way; I have always worked really really hard. I would lock myself in the studio for days and go in for production projects for weeks at a time. Even today, even though I am able to do things more freely, I am still as hungry as I was first starting out. A lot of people lose that over time and they think that it should get easier. I actually like the fact that it is more like a work ethic now because when it gets to a point where I want it to be it won’t be hard work.

Mazzi: What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical career?

Courtney: I think a lot of it comes with having a great core DJ audience. I work with a lot of DJs and a lot of people tend to forget how important the DJ has always been to a music career. For me the majority of my audience is DJs. Having them play my music in different clubs or wherever they are working and keeping such relationships where they can reach out to me and get something tailor made for them, that has been a lot of the help for me with getting my name out there. There have been a lot of opportunities that have come to me through working with DJs, with traveling and doing shows with them. It really helps to have a strong DJ fan base.

Mazzi: What image do you think your music conveys and why did you choose this type of image for your music?

Courtney: For me, my image is just doing what you like, or what makes you happy, and doing what’s going to make you feel good. I ended up on this path because when I first started doing music I felt like I was automatically put into an RnB box or a soul box. I didn’t want that because I like all types of music. I am in tune with a lot of different genres and I wanted to be able to express that through my artistic style. The whole thing behind Courtney Danger and the Dangerfield movement is about self-expression and people finding their uniqueness. I had a long journey with that and really finding out who I was enabled me to express myself through my music.

Mazzi: Art and music has an impact on both the young and the old; sometimes the older generation loses respect for the music we listen to today because they cannot comprehend the value of it. What advice can you give to the youth of today looking to enter the industry in regards to being able to stay relevant for every generation and for any audience?

Courtney: I would definitely say the number one thing is to broaden what you listen to. If you are a hip hop artist listen to some Jazz or listen to some Rock music. A lot of people don’t understand how those genres influence hip hop. You cannot really understand the birth of hip hop if you do not know how it started. I like to do research on artists that I like as well as business execs; I like to listen to their interviews and gain the knowledge from them. I do my research and I read a lot and I take jewels from everything. It all comes down to studying your craft; I think that if you want to be in the entertainment industry you have to open your ears and close your eyes. You cannot try to do what you see other people doing, but open your ears and learn from what is around you. If you really take the time to do anything in life, studying it and learning it inside and out, the only thing that is left is you and your art. It is something that has to be inside of you in order for you to be genuinely successful.

Mazzi: What are your immediate music career goals (1 to 3 years)?

Courtney: Good question. With this project that I am working on now I would like to get distribution by a major company, whether it is independent or a major label. I have had offers over the past years but have not signed any contracts because I want to go into something that is tailor made for me. Outside of just writing and singing I also do production. I would like to be able to set myself up as a business entity. Ultimately I would like to live solely off of my music. To not have to get up and go to a job every day and to focus on my music would be lovely!

Mazzi: Do you have other interests or talents that you would like to share with us? How do you like to enjoy your relaxation time away from the music?

Courtney: That is hard to say because I am always doing music! I can paint and I am very artistic. I would eventually like to learn how to DJ. In terms of relaxation, I pretty much relax at home watching TV, one of my favorite shows is Criminal Minds! I also like chilling out with friends and family.

Courtney released some new music to the internet this month; the song is called “Simplicity” and it is off of an upcoming project called “The Vigilantes”. The project features another artist named Rell Gambino. She will also be releasing another song titled “I’m Playing” on June 1st, which will be on a remix project called “Something for the DJ”.

A big NMNJ thank you to Courtney Danger for allowing us to be all up in her biz this month!

And to you, the readers thank you for tuning in. Make sure you stay tuned for more NMNJ One on One in 10!

 

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