DaniLeigh Is Still Stacking Her Blue Chips
Not everyone gets a chance to call Prince their mentor, but not everyone is DaniLeigh.
The multi-talented singer, dancer, and director was raised in LA, but is going big places. After being discovered in a dancing video online by Prince, she had a chance to direct one of his music videos.
Last December, she released her first full-length album, The Plan with Def Jam, followed it with a headlining tour in early 2019, and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
We talked to R&B bae about working with Prince, her beauty secrets, and what we can expect to see from her in the next few years.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH MUSIC AND WHAT ALBUM OR ARTIST HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
I was always in love with music. Since I was a little kid I’ve always been involved with music. My family was all musical, my sister and I used to do covers and sing all the time together. I think Usher’s Confessions is one of the greatest albums, but the one to really influence me was Trap Soul by Bryson Tiller. At the time the album came out I was in a super down place not knowing or believing in myself as an artist. I did a compilation cover and gained so many new followers, that moment helped me pursue my solo career.
WHAT WAS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS RECORDING THIS RECORD?
I actually recorded “Lil Bebe” in 2017. I was in the studio with Ism, Jozzy, and Vory. Ism played the beat and I was impressed, asked him how old he was he said 19. I called him a “Lil Bebe” real quick. Jozzy loved that name and we started free-styling melodies off the idea and went crazy in the studio and wrote “Lil Bebe.”
WHAT SONG ON THIS RECORD HAS THE MOST MEANING TO YOU AND WHY?
The Plan is my first album, so [the song “The Plan”] meant most to me. I wanted to explain my purpose/everything I had gone through this time of my life and my ending plan for it all. The opening [song] explains my mentality throughout the album so it’s most special to me.
IS THEIR ANYONE YOU ARE DYING TO WORK WITH OR ANY ARTIST YOU WANT TO DO A REMIX WITH ON YOUR SONG?
Drake….Drizzzyyyyy…need him on a record.
THAT DRAKE DANCE CHALLENGE WAS INSANE, DID YOU REALIZE THIS WAS GOING TO GO VIRAL SO FAST?
No idea, I really just did it for fun.
SO DANCING IS A PASSION OF YOURS. WE’VE GOT TWO LEFT FEET, ANY ADVICE FOR NOT BEING THAT PERSON STANDING ON THE WALL?
Mmm at least have a groove, get together with your dancing friend and ask them to teach you a couple grooves that are easy to learn.
YOUR SONG “BLUE CHIPS” IS A SWAGGY FEMALE EMPOWERMENT BOP, CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT “BLUE CHIPS” MEANS?
Blue chips are the most expensive chips in a casino. I wanted to refer to myself as being the best so I used the saying blue chips.
WHO ARE YOUR FEMALE ROLE MODELS OR IDOLS?
Rihanna, Aaliyah, my mom, and Missy Elliot.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT PERFORMING IN YOUR HOMETOWN?
My LA show was crazy for my tour. LA is a hard city to grab, so I’m excited to have that on lock.
HOW DID U MEET PRINCE AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH ONE OF THE GREATEST ARTISTS OF OUR TIME? WHAT ADVICE DID HE GIVE YOU ON THIS INDUSTRY?
Prince found me online somewhere dancing. It was the greatest experience in my life. I learned so much from him. He gave me great advice on the industry, [to] never compromise who I am, always write my songs, and be careful [with] what you sign on paper.
ANY ADVICE FOR YOUNG GIRLS WANTING TO GET INTO MUSIC?
BE YOU! The way artists win is by gaining a loyal fan base who genuinely rock with who you are.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 16 YEAR OLD SELF?
Never date my ex.
ON TOUR, WHAT BEAUTY PRODUCTS ARE YOU NEVER WITHOUT?
Fenty lip gloss, lip liner, eyebrow pencil/gel.
YOUR CURLS ARE PERFECT, WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU SWEAR BY?
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU THIS YEAR?
My next album. Dropping a project mid-June before the album. Super excited to drop visuals. Viral videos, my merch…I’m just staying consistent.
Photography and Creative Direction: Prince + Jacob
Stylist: Ade Samuel
Make up: Ana’s Make up Artistry
Hair: Alexander Armand