Dany opens up about the resilience of Queer people and writing music while high

By Gyor, 01.12.2022

If you’ve been watching The Voice, you will definitely recognize Dany and his amazing voice. The singer won The Voice of Holland in 2021 in the second year of the pandemic which meant that not everything went as smooth as one might think. Life had some curveballs for him both professionally and personally but now, he’s back and touching hearts with his new music. We sat down with Dany to talk about what’s been going on in his life since he won The Voice and how he’s managed to turn things around.

Hi Dany, lovely to have you on our second season of Pride Presents. First question: how would you identify yourself?
I identify as a gay man. But my sexuality is not set in stone

How would you identify your music?
I’d say my music is a mix of western productions with middle eastern vocal scales. Funny actually, I grew up listening to every type of music except for western so I can’t help but implement that into my music.

I tend to stay away from personal opinions or individual stories in my music. I believe it segregates our minds into thinking in good or bad. Or that there is only one “truth”. Just like life I want my lyrics to have some sort of nuance to it.

Who’s an artist you are loving right now?
At the moment I am obsessed with Stromae and Rosalía. Stromae’s lyrics are incredible and his productions complement them perfectly. Everything about him is so intentional. Rosalía’s melodies and beats are so unique that it doesn’t even matter I can’t understand most of her music. Also, the way she presents herself as an artist is so cool. If I could choose I would be a mix of both of them, with a touch of Fairouz added to the mix.

What does “Queer” mean to you?
To me, Queer means ‘resilience’. In our community we often talk about our collective trauma’s, almost competing to see who has had the hardest life growing up Queer. However, if we really zoom out and see how we are navigating in our heteronormative world: we thrive.

Being Queer sometimes feels like you are cursed to have a troublesome life, but with a great reward at the end of the line. Being Queer is my ultimate superpower and it made my life so much more colorful, interesting and authentic. So yes, being Queer comes with a price, but together we kind of split the costs.

What does “Pride” mean to you?
I actually never came out. My parents never really created a closet for me to come out of. And I am very aware of the Black and Trans Queer trailblazers that came before me that made that possible.

Having said that I do have to say that things like ‘Pride’ doesn’t mean that much to me and I am looking forward to a time that we don’t even need a Pride anymore. As for now I feel more like focusing on the future whilst learning from the past.

What is your most important song? And what is it about?
My song ‘Het komt wel goed’ means ‘It’s gonna be alright’ and it is a song about the daily struggles of a Queer person and the unconditional motherly love that guides them through it.

What’s your favourite line from the song? And why?
My favourite line from the song is “Schat jij bent de mooiste en het wordt tijd dat jij dat zelf ziet. Ook jij verdient de liefde al zegt iedereen van niet”.

I think this is something every mother should be able to say to their child. If you are not capable of doing so you should probably not have kids, honestly. Because parental love should be unconditional and if there is one person that should love you for who you are it should be your parents.

Do you have a funny story/anekdote about the song or video? Tell us.
Funny story, I actually wrote ‘Het komt wel goed’ in 30 minutes while I was completely shitfaced from 3 blunts. My mom doesn’t think that story is too funny, though.

How does being Queer influence your musical process?
Being Queer has made my music what it is today. Empathy is a skill that provides me to create stories from people’s lives without fully living through them myself. Being able to see everything through a Queer lens actually gives me a lot of different perspectives.

What is your experience in the music industry as a Queer artist?
Winning The Voice in a pandemic wasn’t too easy. Not being able to be booked was very frustrating. But next to that, explaining your art to wealthy, cis, straight white men in their 40’s that run the Dutch music industry have been ever more frustrating to me. If you can’t see me for who I am, how are you going to promote me?

Thankfully I managed to find a Queer manager and that has been going very smoothly so far. Thanks TDA!

How has the past years affected your songwriting and recording process?
Before winning the Voice, I was working at bar. Now I’m a singer. Also I am practicing writing, producing and playing instruments on a daily basis. You can say my life has pretty much 180’ed.

A year ago I lost my partner to suicide. Even though it has caused me to stay indoors and not perform at all until well after all the lockdowns, his death has been the most enlightening experience of my life. Of course I wish it all played out a bit different, but it has made me put a lot of things in perspective and made me embrace my strength and confidence. And that’s exactly what you need in this industry.

What do you wish you had known when you were starting out in the music industry?
I wish I was aware of my own worth sooner. I tend to be quiet at first and soak up all the info before I come out of my shell. However, in this industry that’s a big no no. The music, the voice, the words, it’s all you. As artists we need to stand for something and delegate everyone around us into seeing our vision. We have value.

But don’t be a diva, though.

What is the song/artist that has influenced you the most in your life?
I try not to get influenced by artists too much. I take way more inspiration from sounds, colours, instruments, mindsets and conversations.

What was your first experience with Queer music?
I was introduced to vogueing when I was 16. I snuck into club NYX, because I’m a thick-eyebrowed giant that looked 20 at the time and I heard an MC saying a bunch of unknown words. When I entered the dance floor I saw people dancing and battling. Being celebrated for their femininity instead of being bullied for it. I remember just thinking I wanted to be a part of it. And that’s how my YouTube quest into vogueing began.

What can we expect from you in the future?
In the near future you can expect a lot of music from me coming your way. In the distant future: world domination.

What would you like the future of the Queer art community to look like? Or to represent?
As vibrant and crazy as possible.

What’s next for you?
I haven’t shown much of myself yet. What you’ve seen is about 10% of my full potential. I am just developing my crafts until it’s ready for the world to see.

If you want to find out more about Dany and his music, check out his Spotify profile.