Following the release of the uniquely creative project Origin Of Times, we interviewed artist and songwriter Danjul to find out more about his musical journey so far. Here’s how it went.
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Hi Danjul, thank you so much for the interview. For those who don’t know, how would you describe your music and yourself as an artist?
Hey Guys! Thank you for interviewing me! Um, my sound would best be described as pop but with a cinematic touch. And me as an artist, well I’m a huge fan of performance so expect dancing a lot and storytelling in my lyrics.
What inspired the making of Origin of Times, and did you write with the album concept in mind, or did you gather the songs first and then come up with the collective title?
When I met my producer Matthew Nelson I just wanted to do one song, haha. But we worked so well together on Story of She, which defined my story-pop sound, I asked him if we could do a EP – so we did! As for the concept…I had the idea and wrote the songs first and we just worked on them one by one.
In what ways do the songs on the project relate or connect to you personally and your own journey in life?
The whole entire project is about my life and things I’ve experienced. But it’s just like you’re listening to a fantasy tale…whether dark or light.
Who or what inspires you to make this kind of music?
I love pop music in general! But I watch a lot of movies, hahahahaha. Especially fantasy and I love movie scores (Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmerman) so I kind of infused all that into my music.
How do you come up with your lyrics?
Um, that’s a good question! It depends, sometimes I’ll have a melody in my head or I’ll hear a beat. But most of the time I already have songs written and my producer Matt would go off of what melody I wrote and the story behind the song and we go from there.
There are some huge beats and soundscapes on this project, really creative and intense and beautiful, consistently eclectic. How do you get started when creating a new song, and do you produce your own music initially?
Thank you very much! I normally have an idea and I’ll give my ideas to Matt and the magic begins!
The video for Chapter Of Love is incredibly well thought out and quite epic to watch – how did you come up with the concept for it, and do you feel that a music video should seek to enhance the underlying ideas of a song, or simply represent them?
You’re very kind, thanks! It’s my very first video ever! Directed by Will DaRosa, shot in LA fashion district, I watched Interview with the Vampire with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. It’s one of my favorite movies! I watched how they acted as vampires and I put my own twist on it lol. And it’s always good to have a visual to a single because I think it does help enhance the song for sure! Or sometimes make a non believer a BELIEVER!
What made you decide to give the project away for free?
I feel like I need to earn the public’s respect as an artist first. Plus I finished the CD in 2014 and I held onto it because I was so scared to release it knowing it was my first project ever! My producer told me to just let it go and let the people decide if it’s good or not…so at first it was on iTunes but I took it off and put it on SoundCloud for free.
What do you hope people get out of listening?
The main thing I want from people is that it makes them feel like they’re inside the music. If that makes any sense, haha! Like an out of body feeling….I want people to feel good.
How have you honed your writing and your vocal abilities over time?
I’m always singing and practicing my runs and writing, I just try to out-beat myself each time. Every song is a new challenge! I wanna get better and better…
Is live performance an important part of what you do, and what can audiences expect from a live show?
I have never performed live! Yet! We’re working on that….but people can expect a cinematic, movie-like experience on stage 🙂
What do you think makes a truly striking, memorable song that really connects with its listeners?
Raw emotion…vulnerability…not being afraid to let people in. Not to forget a great melody is a must!
Who do you think have been some of the most striking artists in music throughout time, and why?
Omg, there’s so many! Prince, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, Brandy, Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliot, Rihanna – just to name a few. They’re all fearless and have stood out in music for some decades and have set the bar for new artists like myself.
If people only have time to listen to one of your songs, which would you suggest, and why?
That’s so hard!!! Ahhh dang….ummm probably Maddhatter’s View because it’s so wacky and fun! Fun fact!!! I’m doing all the voices on that song!!! Even the girl ones and the dog barks haha. That was the funniest song I’ve ever done! (Thus far).
What advice would you give to anyone who has started to write or create quietly at home, who hasn’t yet ventured out into the world but dreams of reaching a wider audience?
Go for it!!! We only live once and dreams are meant to be chased in this life. Believe in what you do and others will have no choice but to believe as well..
What’s the bigger picture for you, what are your hopes for the future, and what do you have planned for throughout 2018?
The bigger picture is to snag a record deal with a great label that understands where I wanna go and who I am as an artist. Hope to go on a tour, travel, meet my fans from all over! Work with Disney on one of their live action fairy tales! Like a soundtrack or movie score (fingers crossed). Snag a great manager and win a Grammy! There’s more but it would take up the whole interview! Haha. Right now I’m working on a follow up to Origin of Times! And I’ve added a new producer to my team – his name is Mitch Maanao! He is amazing!!!! He and Matthew together are the dream team! I’m very lucky.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Follow me on Instagram and continue to support Chapter of Love on YouTube! And once again – Thank you so much for the great interview guys!
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