Listen to the live interview May 23 at 1 pm et Episode #469: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://tobtr.com/9997537
GETTING TO KNOW DANIELLE HASKELL
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Person Interviewing: Danielle Haskell
It’s really important to think about the meaning behind the song your writing. You have to deeply connect with a subject that relates to you so it’s got that personal connection. As I work on the next production, I fully intend to live stream my next music making process. daniellevhaskell.com
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Definitely my grandmother. She was the inspiration for my last song and the driving force behind a lot of my interest in music. She loved any genre of music being played in her house and had taught herself guitar when she was young. I used to bring my keyboard to their house to play and sing for them. My grandmother was so easy to admire. She was likely one of the most entertaining individuals you could ever meet. She was that grandmother who let you get messy when you were young and the grandmother your friends wanted to meet when you were a teenager.
At 85 years old she was still doing push-ups to impress her grandchildren, asking about your dates, educating herself about facebook and still playing golf. She absolutely loved life, being active and made endless efforts to continue connect with her family. She was the type of person who overcame her obstacles by emphasizing humor, acceptance and kindness. She knew what to say and what to ask, so if you were having a rough day, you either forgot your problems or had a new plan before you left. You just had to prepare yourself for her brutal honesty. Although, everything she said was delivered with such a humorous tone, that you really couldn’t hold that against her. That’s why, if I could have 5 minutes with anyone, I’d love to know that she and my grandfather are still laughing together and watching over all of us.
Song name: Always With You
Music Genre/ category : Christian Pop
“Always With You” comes from a real personal place. I wanted a song that would remind us that God and those we have lost are always with us. Cancer has had a significant impact on my family, so I also wanted to bring about awareness. My Mom, one of my aunts and my grandmother have all had cancer. I dedicated “Always With You” to my grandmother who lost her battle in April 2016. As soon as she was diagnosed, I knew the concept for my next song. A week before my grandmother was diagnosed, I was in Quebec. My grandmother wasn’t feeling well, so she had asked me to go to a church and light a candle for her. In the church gift shop I bought her a medal with an angel on one side and the saying “Toujours Avec Toi” (Always With You) on the other side. A few days after I gave her the medal, we found out she had cancer. All of the sudden, the saying on that medal took on a whole new meaning for me.
My grandmother and I had many conversations about how she believed she would, in ways, always be with her and the rest of the family. She talked about her fears and her religious beliefs. “Always With You” came from those conversations. Knowing how difficult this loss was going to be, at the time I not only wanted, but I needed, a song that would remind me and everyone that God is always with us. When I met with my co-writer / producer in Nashville on April 18, 2016, we composed “Always With You” within an hour.
“Always With You” was my last single. I have not made an album, but I do have two other songs; “Forget” and “New Day”. Like “Always With You”, “New Day” and “Forget” have personal meanings. New Day is about forgiveness, moving forward and starting over. I’m sure we have all found ourselves in situations where we want to start over or have a “New Day”. “Forget” is a reminder that even when we feel forgotten, God is still there. “Forget” goes deeper than that for me, because it was dedicated to my grandfather who passed from Alzheimer’s. I really think lyrics that people can relate to or that evoke an emotional response, while raising awareness is what’s most important. The best part of having music is hearing how songs impact others.
Asheville, North Carolina…
I’m originally from Maine, but moved to Asheville, NC area about 9 months ago. Asheville is a really cool diverse city where all of the arts are emphasized. Asheville is said to be in the top 10 music cities in the United States now. Having Echo Mountain Recording Studios here has really helped the industry in the area. Most of all, Asheville has music diversity that is embraced by the people who live here. You can hear anything from the top forty hits, country music, Christian music to the beating of the drum circles. All of my recordings have been done in Nashville, so far, which is now only a 4.5 hour drive, but I love being surrounded by all of the music in Asheville.
I have been incredibly fortunate. This doesn’t mean I have not worked hard to be where I am, but I think what has helped is that I have been fairly indifferent to fame. If you take everything one day at a time it makes it a lot easier. For me, I started this process as an escape of sorts. When the opportunity to record in Nashville presented itself, I viewed it as an opportunity to travel, learn about the industry and meet some amazing people, who I now call friends. It was an outlet that I really did not even share with my close friends until the day my songs were coming out on i-Tunes and my website was going live. People knew I played piano and I that I sang when I was younger, but I think they forgot music was a strong part of my personality. The pros are hearing from so many people about how my songs impact them. Although, recognition is always a good and a bad thing. The cons are: the possibility of coming under scrutiny and the possibility of rejection. You have to know the reality of your strengths and weaknesses and continue to work to improve.
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