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Life & Work with Dani Hagan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dani Hagan.

Hi Dani, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I grew up in a very creative and musical home in North Dakota. I started to teach myself piano when I was five, started writing songs when I was nine, and after moving from ND to NYC, I bought my first guitar and started to compose original music. Eventually I felt a call to move to LA where I started performing my music on any stage that would have me. Fast forward a few years, filled with a lot of life, highs, lows, love and loss, launch pads and set backs, I’ve arrived into my current chapter of what feels like a dream coming true. I just recorded an album of my original music with my acclaimed producer, Mikal Blue in his recording studio Revolver Recordings. The first single, titled “Good Guy”, was released a few weeks ago, with the next song, titled “I Lose It”, coming out in July. Along the way, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most incredible artists. I met all the members of my band, The Reverie, from playing regularly at the Viper Room. We’ve really pulled a sound and a vision together. I’ve never felt so at home in my music as when I’m on stage with my boys (Aaron Medina on guitar, Jake Roach on bass, and Andrew Crosswhite on drums). Ever since LA started to reopen from the pandemic, we’ve been performing regularly around LA.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Whats a journey without a struggle? Haha, Yes, there have been a lot of challenges along the way, and I’m quite certain I’ve not yet met my final destination, so I expect a few more curve balls are coming my way. I’ve come to anticipate that nothing goes according to plan and most things take twice as long as you want them too. I like to joke that I’m always six months late and right on time. I have learned patience and to trust in the timing of the universe, so to speak. I’ll get to where I’m going, when I’m meant to arrive, and I’m really enjoying every detour along the way.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a singer and a songwriter. I play guitar and piano, mostly as songwriting tools, but my voice is my main instrument. Shakespeare has been a heavy influence on my internal voice, so I tend to think in iambic pentameter, and therefore often write music in that style. But as I’ve been expanding as an artist, I like to leave a little more space in the music these days. I”m finally in a place creatively, where I can let go of all my formal training, and just be an artist. The foundation is so solid, I trust that it’s always going to hold me up which allows for a more free flow creativity, and a more authentic and original expression to exist. But I am also a forever student, I love to learn and absorb new styles and techniques. Always evolving, both personally and creatively.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
My mom took me to a performance at the Masonic Temple in my home town, I had to have been around 7. I remember the performers were taking a bow to a standing ovation, my mom looked down at me and said “Do you want to do something like that?” and I still remember that wide-eyed feeling as I nodded my head with my whole heart. I think that was the moment I discovered my life path, as a performer, an entertainer and a story teller. I was always dancing and singing around the house putting on shows for my family. I’m still doing what I love to do, ever since that moment.

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Image Credits
Jeff Xander, Jack Lue, Erin and Jake photography

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