DANI Komari a relative newcomer on the music scene in Kuala Lumpur is rapidly gaining a reputation for her unique voice and engaging originals which has seen invitations to perform at various festivals across Malaysia and a regular across venues in KL. Having been named the Hitz Homegrown Artist for the Month of December and a debut single release (Circles) at the end of November, we wanted to find out more from the rising singer.
Hi Dani, welcome to The City List, your Facebook profile describes you as a Singer/song writer for over, how did it all begin?
I always liked singing but never thought much of it until one day a friend asked me if I would like to join an open mic. I joined to know what it would feel like and if I'd like it. The response I got was very positive so I decided to take it more seriously and have been writing songs and performing actively since 2015.
and who have been some of your musical influences and why?
Women like Nina Simone, Etta James, Amy Winehouse all had strong voices and weren’t afraid to express that and share it with the world. That gave me the confidence to embrace my voice.
Describe your sound?
Vocally I have been told that I sound like Amy Winehouse. But I feel like I just have a heavy/strong voice or tone. As for the type of music, I make it leans towards Jazz/Blue/soul/and R&B
You recently released your new single Circles, can you tell us a little bit of what it’s about and the inspiration behind it?
I had just moved out of my parent’s house and was renting a room. I was listening to some old school Jazz music and then switched to R&B. All of a sudden, I could hear a tune in my head, so I took my guitar out and started playing the tune for Circles. The next day I wrote lyrics for it based on what I was feeling at that time. As I listen to it now, I relate to the lyrics differently than when I first wrote it. Thus, I guess it's safe to say Circles is about life. Some times you’re up and sometimes you’re waiting to get up again.
As an artist do you prefer to release Ep’s, Singles or Albums? And why?
Personally, its like a build up. Because I Just started, I would prefer to just release a Single first and see the response I get for it. After that, I would either prefer to put out an Ep or Album depending on how my Single(s) are received.
You have gigged quite a bit around Malaysia, what has been your most memorable moment as an artist and why?
We performed for Publika Jazz Festival in 2017. It was amazing! As a band, we were so nervous because it was probably one of out biggest shows we did at that time. The crowed loved us and I had never felt like that before. As we finished our first 2 songs, we encouraged people to start dancing as we played and they did. The photographers started getting closer to us and started taking pictures. I just remember seeing flashing lights and thinking to myself that this is probably what it feels like to be famous. Then I took my guitar out and the crowd lost it again. I remember shaking because I was so nervous and had not been exposed to anything like this before. I loved it. I loved every minute of it and I would do it all over again if I had to. The best part of it all was having my bandmates with me. We were started together and it was such a gift to share that moment with them.
Without naming names what’s the worst experience as a singer to date?
Having companies who hire us not pay in time or demand too much on the day of the show as if we’re robots. In the current time and age we live in, mutual respect is becoming a myth and that’s unfortunate.
Any up and coming bands/singers locally we should be looking out for 2020?
Me! Because I just put out my first single ever, I can’t wait for next year because I want to do so much more! But of course, you should also look out for Ryot Jones, Geelanagig, FAZZ, Kaya, Jumero, Pris Xavier, Clinton Jerome (oh my goodness that man can sing!). There are so many because they are all so good!
If you had one bit of advice for anyone trying to break through what would it be?
Find yourself a Sid Menon (my manager). I feel blessed that we found each other and have been working together to build my music from the floor up. It's also very important to believe in yourself and remind yourself why you have picked this line of work. Then keep pushing, and set goals for yourself. I like setting mini goals for myself that are headed towards a bigger goal. Also, don’t let anyone bring you down from reaching your goal because they will try their best to do so. Even the ones you thought you could trust or whom you thought would support you could just be different behind you. Don’t under any circumstance let that get it the way of your progress because it can be very distracting. Remember to stay focused and accept that ego can be a very dangerous thing. Be humble!
Name one Artist/s you would like to work with and why?
Locally, I would love to work with Zamaera. She’s an amazing singer and rapper. Internationally, I would love to work with Tony Bennet and Lizzo!
What frustrates you and what do you love about the music scene here?
It's frustrating to work with people who are unprofessional and expect so much from us while providing so little, and how the Malaysian English scene is not getting the recognition it deserves because there are so many amazing musicians/performers in our country. What I love is the love and support we get from the beautiful people who love our music. They can be very encouraging and thoughtful.
What else have you got lined up for 2020?
More music, collaborations, and performing at festivals. If everything goes well, hopefully, we’ll be able to perform outside of Malaysia.