@skopemag Q&A Featuring Danise

Here we are bright & early on a Saturday. We got so much going on today from music to college football to just enjoying the weekend. Today we have hooked up with an amazing artist by the name – Danise. Danise is touching the hearts of many with effervescent contemporary Christian music. The singer born Danise Danielle Esswein has a Praise and Worship style reminiscent of Hillsong drawing people closer to God with beautiful lyrics and tones. Danise believes that “in the Christian music industry, we must be deliberate in our efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive community of musicians and performers from all ethnic backgrounds, so we can deliver the message loud and clear that all types of people belong in the family of God.” In these times of uncertainty one thing is clear that music can help us persevere and escape even if only for a few minutes. Danise and her new EP, ‘Love is Here’ can help do just that…

@skopemag: Where are we talking from today and are you excited to see summer turn to fall?

D: Today I’m writing from my current hometown of Milwaukee. I am actually quite sad that summer is coming to an end, because I love the warm weather and spending time in the sun!

@skopemag: How brutal can winter be in Milwaukee, WI?

D: It can definitely be bad sometimes with freezing cold and snowstorms, but up north it’s even worse! Someday I hope to move further south where it’s warm most of the year!

@skopemag: When did your passion for music turn from a hobby to a career venture?

D: I did a lot of musical theater when I was younger. It was a great outlet for me as a kid with tons of energy and who loved being the center of attention! I also loved listening to the radio in the car and watching shows like American Idol with my mom. Getting lost in the music and rooting for my favorite contestants was always something I looked forward to after many difficult days at school. I already knew I loved performing, so it was easy for me to picture myself singing my heart out for a huge audience like I saw people doing on TV. I listened to many different singers like Christina Aguilera, Demi Lovato, and Kelly Clarkson and imitated their styles to find my own. When I took first place in a middle school talent show, I knew I wanted to stick with this because it was the first time I truly felt like I was good at something I was passionate about and that my efforts were paying off. I haven’t slowed down since!

@skopemag: What made you decide on your musical name as – Danise? Is that your real name?

D: Danise is my real first name. I dropped my last name because many people find it difficult to pronounce and spell. It was hard for me to come up with a name to release music under, and I didn’t have any childhood nicknames that I used past the age of 5, and I didn’t want to make up something random, so I decided to use just my first name!

@skopemag: How strong were religion and music in your home growing up and what artists were most played?

D: I actually was not raised in a Christian home, and didn’t start attending church until my junior year of high school. I didn’t have a particularly musical family either, but my parents were always supportive of me pursuing music. When there was music playing, it was mostly country music, or older songs that my dad occasionally played. I remember he really liked the Carpenters, and always wanted me to sing like Karen Carpenter! I didn’t care for that kind of music as a kid, but of course I can appreciate it now.

@skopemag: Your music is spiritual and personal. How long did it take to develop your niche and form your own lane?

D: It took me quite a while, and it will always be an ongoing process as I grow as a musician and as a person. For a long time I was afraid to write my own songs because of my deep-seated insecurities and secretly low self-esteem. Singing is an incredibly vulnerable thing to do on its own, but writing a song about your life and singing it feels like sharing your deepest secrets to the entire world! It’s a very scary thing to do, at least in the beginning. For a long time, I was content singing other peoples’ songs and telling their stories, because that was safer than sharing my own! When I discovered my inherent worth and identity through Christ, I slowly started gaining confidence and motivation to share my message with others, and help them know that they are worthy and loved too. One way that God wants me to do that is through songwriting and performing!

@skopemag: Music fans are turning away from sexual, violent, and degrading music. Why do you think that is and how do you fit into that movement?

D: My goal is always to express my truth. I’ve seen many interviews with artists and bands, and when asked about their biggest hits, they often express that the song that was least expected to become a hit became their signature song! People get tired of hearing the same kinds of songs on the radio over and over again, and the degrading music that was mainstream 10-15 years ago is no longer at the forefront of Top 40 radio. People want to hear something that is genuine that they can relate to. I’m not afraid to express negative feelings in my music, but I always want to offer an underlying message of hope and faith. I believe music that is truthful and genuine will never go out of style.

Love is Here EP link: http://smarturl.it/h6t8v2

@skopemag: I love your new songs like ‘Lord Hear My Song’ and ‘Sparkle In My Eyes’ from your new EP – ‘Love Is Here.’ Offer us insight how you go about creating new music from the lyrics to the instrumentals and the actual recording process?

D: Thank you! The process for this record began in the summer of last year when a friend of mine was looking for new people to create music with. He sent me several demos he was working on, and I started creating my own ideas based on the demos that I liked the most. We worked together on writing these songs, and two of them ended up on the record, one of them being “Lord Hear My Song.” “Sparkle in My Eyes” was a song he wrote a few years ago that I really liked, and we found it worked really well with my voice and fit perfectly with the overall theme of the record. The final song on the record, “Following You” is a song I wrote with another friend of mine, and it’s special to me because it’s the first song I wrote, without first having a demo to go off of, that I liked enough to record and release! While making this record, I discovered how much I love working in the studio. I had a fantastic engineer who taught me so much about the recording process, valued my input, and was always encouraging. I loved the studio environment because we got to work hard and see results, but at the same time let our creativity run wild and have tons of fun in the process!

@skopemag: If you were to do a big budget video for one song on the EP, which song and what would that visual look like?

D: “Lord Hear My Song” was the first single I released, expressing the whirlwind of thoughts going through my mind as a new believer. I picture a video expressing the transformation of chaos in my mind resolving to greater peace and clarity in me by the end of the video. Although the negative thoughts will never fully go away, I now have control by allowing Jesus to guide me. The negative voices and influences will always try to get in, but they no longer have the power to take over me. I want the video to express that. I have a lot of ideas now; this may be my next project!! ;)

@skopemag: When you are not making music what other activities do you also enjoy doing?

D: When I’m not making music, I’m often listening to it! I love reading and learning new things to exercise my mind. I also love to travel as much as I can, and I look forward to doing more throughout my career! I LOVE Nashville; I hope to visit again soon, and to live there someday! Growing up in the country, I have always had a passion of loving and caring for animals. I was a vegetarian for about five years. As much as I love the city, I greatly value time spent in the country and in nature away from it all, like just taking a walk and talking with a good friend. It helps me stay balanced and keep things in perspective. I also have become more interested in sports recently. For me, basketball is super fun to watch. As for playing sports, I like to do so occasionally just for fun when I’m with friends. But don’t plan on seeing me in the Olympics anytime soon, ha ha!

@skopemag: For those who are not faithful to religion like you, please offer guidance how this lifestyle helps you make it everyday and live a more fulfilled life?

D: I made the decision to give my life to Jesus when I was 19 years old, in my first year of college. Before then, I knew that I had many hobbies, interests, and passions, but still felt like a disorganized cluster of how I wanted to use my gifts. Like a hamster on a wheel, I had tons of motivation and energy, but wasn’t going anywhere! Negative influences in my life told me that my thoughts and feelings weren’t important and that nobody cared to hear me, even if I was shouting at the top of my lungs. But even in those times, God never left me and never stopped caring about me. He hears and understands every word, and loves us just the same. For me, learning to understand God’s word and listen to His voice in my everyday life has given more more purpose and a clearer vision than I could have ever attempted to find on my own. We don’t have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders; Jesus wants us to lay our burdens at His feet because He wants us to be free of them. He loves each one of us more than we can possibly imagine.

@skopemag: What is coming up for the rest of 2018 and where you @ online?

D: For the rest of this year, I will continue promoting my EP and continuing to write and record. I’m hoping to get some shows and performances booked as well! You can find me @danisemusic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as danisemusic.com!


Twitter: @danisemusic
Instagram: @danisemusic