This week we are speaking all things music with the immensely skilled artist DANNI X,
- Was there a specific catalyst for your new single, “LU$T,” and how did the writing of it come about?
The specific catalyst for “LU$T” came from my Catholic upbringing, that then got tied with my experiences after moving to “the City of Angels.”
I wrote the main concept of the song “If my body is a temple, then I guess your here to worship” a very long time ago – because I have always sought inspiration from contradicting the religious teachings of my childhood and what they define as “morality”. After moving to L.A., I was very inspired by the concept of “the city of Angels” and how this widely used name was almost contradictory in itself as well, when considering the culture and lifestyle of Los Angeles.
- What was the writing process like for “LU$T”?
I wrote the first line of the chorus many years ago, and then I finished writing the main idea late one night while having insomnia (I write some of my ideas in this state). I was researching the seven deadly sins for inspiration and out of curiously, and realized “Lust” was, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, the worst seven deadly sin of all. I Incorporated this concept into my song while also referencing being “in the city of Angels with demons dancing in my head” and “the city are deadly, and there are seven, lusting up my legs until you find your stairs to heaven” – this is also a reference to Led Zeppelin’s stairway to heaven. Classic rock is also a major source of lyrical inspiration for me as well.
- What can fans expect to hear on your upcoming self-titled EP?
My upcoming self-titled EP really establishes the sound I am trying to go for – which is a “cross-genre” blend of electronic, rock, and even some trap beats in there to spice things up a bit. It is very important to me to that my music can be stripped of production, and still be a recognizable song from end to end. Listeners will find this in my EP as well as innovative production, well-thought out lyrics and themes that take people on a journey, and emotion – which I feel is missing from a lot of popular music these days.
- Your aim is to bridge the rock and EDM gap, who are your musical influences in rock and who are your influences in EDM?
Ah, the list is very long but to name a few, many old-school rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, C.C.R, The Cranberries, No Doubt (love female leads), Jim Croce, Eric Clapton, and more – just the top of my head.
“Rock” today: The Revivalists, Tash Sultana (fucking badass- major inspo), Bishop Briggs (same goes here), Alt-J, Paramore
EDM: Diplo, Kygo, Flume, Hippie Sabotage
One of my favorite artists right now is Two Feet – who doing the best blend of rock and edm I’ve heard yet – He is sooo dope.
Some other notable artists that don’t really fall in either category are Daft Punk, The Gorillas, Khalid (one of my favorite popular artists right now), and Emancipator.
I even love me some rap; Old Eminem, Old Lil’ Wayne, Run The Jewels, Young Thug Pimp C, and MORE.
- Tell us a bit about your background in music, where did it all start for you?
I’ve been writing songs and playing guitar since middle school – I started recording in 8th grade and ended up starting an alt-rock band summer going into my Sophomore year. This band ended up having some significant local success, winning “Best Band of Jacksonville 2008;” we played a ton of shows, and also signed a minor record deal with MySpace Records. This period of my life is definitely when music got serious for me, although I would say music started for me as soon as I was old enough to sing and songwriting started as soon as I had a basic vocabulary under my belt.
Thanks for taking the time to speak to us!
About DANNI X :
Growing up, Danni Eckstein was surrounded by rock music and religion. The former developed her passion for writing while Catholicism developed into a strong inspiration for her creative avenues. “LU$T,” the sexually charged and silky debut single to be released under the moniker of DANNI X, was written with religious teaching at the forefront.
“My inspiration for ‘LU$T’ came from a lot of different experiences,” notes Danni. “I had a very Catholic upbringing and this has becoming a large source of lyrical inspiration for me. Although I am not Catholic myself, I’ve always been fascinated by their version of the apocalypse and how this tied into their ‘seven deadly sins.’ The Catholic Church lists Lust as the worst of them all. In my opinion, it’s the one that is the least harmful and is simply part of being human.”
The other side of her musical quest—aiming to bridge rock and electronic dance music—is the classic rock that is built into her DNA and shines through in particular on “LU$T.” “I’m a big fan of Classic Rock…especially Acid Rock,” says Danni. The new song opens up with a centering line: “I’m in the city of angels.” The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “City of Angels” always sparked a curiosity of Los Angeles and the concept of “Californication” for Danni. The song continues with lyrical wordplay on “Los Angeles” as she utilizes syncopations and phonetics to sing “lost in Angeles.” Lyrics like: “The sins are deadly and there are seven / Lusting up my legs until you find your stairs to heaven” combine the religious upbringing, sexual innuendo derived from lust and one of her favorites, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”
“I have been writing poetry and singing my entire life, but after learning how to play guitar, I officially started singing, songwriting, and recording in middle school,” says Danni. By high school she had started a rock band that earned some local success, winning “Best Band in Jacksonville 2008,” which led them to sign a deal with MySpace Records before graduating. However, during that time labels started becoming notorious for going under and Danni and her band were left without a deal.
Danni then made the decision to go to college at The University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado where she discovered an affinity for electronic dance music. “EDM offers a more fluid and boundary-breaking creative canvas to work with opposed to traditional rock,” she says. “I love the collaborative nature of this genre with remixes, features, etc…and truly think this is a great addition to the climate of music today. My main prerogative at the moment is to bring rock and substance back by tying these sounds, artistry, and genuine lyrical concepts to the Pop/EDM space.”
Now living in Los Angeles, EDM has her heart but rock ‘n roll has her soul and DANNI X is looking forward to exploring those genres on her EP coming out this summer. She concludes by saying, “trying to be true to myself is the most important thing to me right now with music but there’s a fine line between playing the game and being genuine. I’m currently trying to walk this line.”