How did you find your passion for music?
As a child growing up in Madrid, Spain, there was always a lot of Flamenco, and dance which surrounded me. People were carefree and happy, dinking Sangria, and dancing. They enjoyed each other, and Flamenco sounds emanated throughout the house. Mom was Austrian, so she added the classics, and also loved Tom Jones. So, I was dancing Flamenco, doing a bit of ballet to Mozart and Stravinsky, and moving my hips with mom to Tom Jones.
As a child, what and who were your musical influences and how have you used them to shape who you are as a singer and songwriter?
My love for dance and my involvement in dance classes, from Flamenco as a 5 and 6-year old, to ballet, tap and jazz as a young girl and teen guided me towards rhythmic music, chord changes that inspired a crescendo emotionally and which resulted in awesome dance moves, jumps, turns and dramatic expressions. I got lucky and was exposed to European classical and to musical theater sounds to which I danced, especially those tap-dancing days. There was a funny long car ride from Los Angeles, to Mammoth where my mom and her German besties had Abba on a loop, and 5 hours of “Money money money”, and “Fernando” ingrained themselves into my head as a tiny little girl. I can still hear the sounds. I have to admit, it’s like a smorgasbord of exposure in my head when it comes to music, and let’s not forget the most awesome eye opener when I landed in W.Va. via Madrid. I was barely 8, but one of my 7 cousins with whom I stayed, had an old tape (yep, cassette) of Jim Croce “Bad bad Leroy Brown,” and, and I absolutely loved it. Later in life, I just loved the classic sound of the Eagles, and the moods of Foreigner, and the Stray cats, which eventually led me to “drops of Jupiter” by Train, Pink’s Lyrics and energy, Avril Lavigne’s passion, Jason Mraz, Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie, and Santana’s, mixed with a lot of the new country rock, with a taste of Sade and Nora Jones. I love lyrics, and motion, and if it has a great melody and a moving line, then I’m in.
What’s more fun for you: singing or songwriting, and why?
I would say singing the songs I write provide a perfect blend of story-telling and reality while singing, it’s a bit of a peanut butter and jelly experience, they’re both good, but together it’s even better. When I sing, if I hit the pocket, it feels awesome.
When writing a song, what inspires you?
Like those poets of old, it seems I need to be a bit miserable, heart broken, needy, or have unrequited love, in order for magical words to mold themselves to perfect chords. When I am really happy, I can’t write any songs, it’s like pulling teeth. When I am newly in love, however, as my brain is flooded with psychedelic endorphins, all kinds of new songs can come out. My album was written during a crazy time, and there was angst, heart ache, fantasy, dreaming, and questions about the meaning of life: That gave me a perfect cauldron of thousands of emotions, words, and creative powers which, I got done writing, always seemed like a miracle, the channeling from somewhere other than this world. I love it.
What’s your favorite instrument to play and why?
I play guitar. Acoustic guitar, based on my first experience in learning an instrument in Madrid, Spain, where Flamenco teachers were strict, but great sounds came from that wooden stringed thing, the classical guitar first, then the acoustic guitar. I create all kinds of incredible surprising magical music with those 6 strings. I would love the keyboard/piano as well, but I never did learn enough on that growing up. Though I did write one great ballad on the keyboard, don’t ask me where that came from! Another miracle!
How would you describe your musical evolution over the years?
I would say, from teen love feelings, to the meaning of life, and comedy in songs. My song, “Don’t You Worry” (‘bout nothin’) is based on the funny antics of a girl that goes out to a party bar with her co-workers, mainly male ‘suits’after work, wakes up at home with a polaroid of herself “no shoes, no shirt, no socks, no skirt” but has go to a board meeting with those co-workers the next morning. She puts on her work clothes, make-up, heels, and marches into the board room and shows them whose boss. The music video on youTube ™ brings the edge of comedy to it.
What’s do you hope or strive for that your music does for people?
It would be great if any song of mine makes someone happy, makes them dance, reminds them of their dreams, gives them strength to carry on and believe in themselves, gives them courage to be themselves, heals their broken heart, or inspires them to see things differently than they might have otherwise. I want only to inspire kindness and happiness and healing.
Who is the one singer/artist you would like to collaborate with?
That is tough. So many, I would say any one whom I admire would be fabulous. I would love to do a groove with Bruno Mars, and jam with Ringo.
What word of advice would you like to share with those aspiring artists?
I was told many times, “Enjoy the journey.” I always wanted to go to that end result, but if I do that, I miss the journey, and the journey is actually where I learn, and grown, and it is the present. I am also reminded to stay in the present, and that is where the journey exists, the here and now. If your spirit sings, let it sing.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Never give up your dreams. Keep dreaming, share with those that are positive, and leave the rest behind, keep smiling, seeing, believing. It’s in you, go for it.
Where can we find your music? And, how can we connect with you?
You can find my music on YouTube, Spotify at Daniela Torchia. Connect with me on Facebook @danielaTorchiaMusic