Marie Danielle exhibits an intoxicating, effortless beauty when she sings. Her notes hang in the air like a breath of smoke, gently twisting and curling with a mesmerizing elegance. On Thursday, January 21, the AXS “Artist on the Rise” will host a pre-release show at The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, California at 8:30 p.m. Then, on February 11, Marie begins her European tour. When she comes back to the US, the artist promises to reveal some exciting news regarding the official release of her upcoming debut, Hustler.
“A few years back, I was in a pretty dark relationship and it took a turn... he almost killed me,” Marie Danielle recounted in a recent interview with AXS. “That made me get serious about my life. I asked myself, ‘If you died, what do you have to show for your life?’ My answer was not really that great: ‘Working in a cubicle to pay my bills.’”
That realization gave Marie the courage to pursue her dream of making a record. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native spent some time in New York before moving to Los Angeles. However, the man she most wanted to work with was back on the eastern side of the country. Marie sent a demo out to Simone Felice of the internationally acclaimed Catskill Mountain-based The Felice Brothers in hopes that he would hear something that would entice him to work with her.
“He called me after I sent my demo,” Marie recalled, “and he started quoting my lyrics... That just blew my mind!”
Simone is in the midst of a remarkable career. His contribution to The Avett Brothers’ “I and Love and You” earned him a RIAA-certified Gold record. He is a lyricist, vocalist, drummer, guitarist, and producer who has performed, toured, and/or worked with The Duke & The King, The Band’s Levon Helm, Conor Oberst & Bright Eyes, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Rick Rubin, and Old Crow Medicine Show. Curiously, Felice’s impetus to pursue music also stemmed from a brush with death – in 2010, he underwent “emergency open-heart surgery to correct the slow, degenerative effects of a childhood fever.”
Marie Danielle gained the attention of the accomplished Simone because she truly has a gift. Art just flows from her lips when she sings. But behind the spellbinding grace of her hypnotic vocals reside Marie’s stories, deeply personal songs that are captivating in their honesty and directness. Listening to her words, you don’t just get a snapshot of a stranger, you get a glimpse of what actually drives her, the fears and thoughts and wonders nestled in her soul that make her the incredibly insightful artist that she is.
“It was impossible not to write songs that were super personal,” she informed. “That’s always been what I’ve loved about music, so that’s what I aspire to. Songwriting just feels so personal to me; it would be very difficult not to do it that way.”
“But I was a relative amateur to songwriting,” she confessed. “It was Simone who produced the record and really helped me get more of a handle on how to write. He’s so great, it was like a crash course in songwriting. I feel like from the time I worked with him – over the year and a half that we made the record – that I became 10 times a better songwriter. I got 10 years worth of experience in just one year. He’s really something.”
Besides Simone and his production partner David Baron (Meghan Trainor), Marie also worked with Christian Wargo (Fleet Foxes). Additionally, Marie was afforded the opportunity to cover one of Conor Oberst’s (Bright Eyes) songs (‘White Shoes’) on her record.” However, Marie admitted that if it wasn’t for Christian’s faith in her, she might not have been able to go through with traveling across the country to Woodstock so she could make her album.
“I remember when we first got together to go over the record, I was sitting there with a Felice brother and a Fleet Fox!” she expressed. “This was my first band and there was Simone Felice on drums, Christian Wargo playing bass... and I was leading the band? It was so surreal!”
Even though Marie Danielle is just starting her career as a recording artist, she’s already quickly rising to prominence. Established talent such as Simone and Christian are eager to work with her because they recognize Marie’s phenomenal gift. And very soon, the rest of the world will get to experience her music, as well. Marie’s pre-release party is this Thursday, January 21 at The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, California at 8:30 p.m. Then, exactly three weeks later, on February 11, she’ll begin her European tour. When Marie returns to the US, she promises to reveal some exciting news regarding the official release of her stunning debut, Hustler.
Marie Danielle: “Tinseltown”