On todays edition of Beneath The Surface, we are joined with Canadian based, Filipino singer/songwriter, Dani Saldo. Who has just released her debut pop fuelled single, ‘Friends Don’t’.
So, Dani, what would you say first sparked your interest in music/who inspired you to make music?
Honestly, there are a lot of answers for this one haha! It’s a combination of having grown up around it a lot, just kinda naturally gravitating towards it, my 3rd grade teacher teaching me that poems and songs are the same thing, being in musicals and- I was surrounded by a lot of asian media as a kid because I’m Filipino & able to speak the language. Filipino OPM/Soap Operas, KPOP, JPOP, and Anime were a big part of growing up- and I loved it. I started transcribing & recording these songs in english with a karaoke mic I stole from our living room and hooked up to my computer and audacity so my friends and family could enjoy them with me. I think that’s what first got me on the path to making music.
How would you describe the music you are currently creating?
For myself & my artist project: Dreamy as usual, melancholic, nostalgic and there’s a lot of yearning. Maybe too much. Songs that I keep for myself are often too personal for me to let other artists have them. So they’re really real to me, and sometimes it’s uncomfortable and weird but validating hearing them back. The next one that’s coming out is honestly just me having an existential crisis. It’s really like taking a picture of myself in the moment it’s written but …in your ears? Haha! That’s the closest I may get to explaining it.
I work with some of my friends too from all over in a lil writing team, and together we do a bunch of sync tracks and pitch to other artists. With them, it’s a lil spicy, spooky & everything honestly. We’ve got a huge catalog that are just waiting to find homes in shows or other artists.
What does your creative process look like?
Depends. Sometimes, I sit in a session online with my writing team and friends and bang out a song in an hour or two. Sometimes, I play chords and mumble gibberish till it makes sense. But I’m almost always writing. My phone is full of ideas and lyrics that I’m just constantly writing down. I’m a really anxious person, and I have a lot of thoughts and feelings that I just need to get outside of me (which is one of the reasons I write songs!), so I pull up the notes app on my phone or google drive and dump out whatever my brain’s feeling & however it’s feeling & edit it later.
Who would you most like to collaborate with? (let’s send it out to the universe and make it happen!)
Okay, so- definitely Julia Michaels & Justin Tranter. They’re my idols when it comes to writing. I met Justin once actually when I was in LA with Berklee! He talked about how he became a writer & some behind the scenes on some songs, and we talked for a sec and he called me out for being insecure in the best way, so that would be cool to meet him again.
JP Saxe would be so much fun, he seems like he’s amazing at melodies and I just love my fellow Torontonian. We had the same performance coach (Shout out Micah Barnes!) & his songs helped me get through some nasty breakups. Alex Hope too, she produced some of my favorite songs with Troye Sivan, Laye & Gnash. I would absolutely die to collaborate with Jack Antonoff, Madeon is a crazy good songwriter & producer- his concert is probably my favourite that I’ve been to, Harry Styles or Suga from BTS or Finneas. Ah, god! There’s a lot.
What is the one message you would like to send out to your fans?
First of all, hi. Yo, thank you for listening to my feelings and these songs that I made crying about stuff. Just, everyone and anyone that’s listening, thank you thank you thank you. It’s been really cool to have these songs I wrote to make sense of my emotions & feel less alone resonate with people. It blows my mind. Basically, if you’re listening to me & the songs I make, I’m insanely thankful for you. Thank you for existing and for being you.
What’s your top tip to rejuvenate your creativity/get over a writer’s block?
Basically when I’m stuck there’s usually a reason that I’m stuck. So sometimes it’s best for me to just take a break, feel whatever I’m feeling, and just try not to force it. It’ll come when it’s supposed to. Sometimes I think too much, and I’m not living in the moment as much as I’d like. And sometimes I have to take breaks to just feel whatever I’m feeling just go for a walk and look at things just observe and reset myself. Just be a part of the world and feel the things that I’m feeling, talk to other people see how they’re feeling- mindfulness dude.
What’s next for you, what do we have to look forward to/ what are you currently working on?
I think, I have another song coming out in June. It’s called No Strings Attached, it’s about having an existential crisis. and it’s a fun one. I’m really excited about it because, it’s exactly the way I’m feeling right now and just really captures the stage of life i’m at right now. Stay tuned, be prepared to dance & cry. 😉
Also, I’m writing with some really cool artists that have got some tracks that we wrote together that they’re releasing so I’m really excited about that! They’re bangers!
Thanks so much for chatting to us Dani, cannot wait to hear your next tune ‘No Strings Attached’ but in the meantime we can all just pop ‘Friends Don’t’ on repeat here.