Interview: Danielle Cornell
Danielle Cornell is a musician and has a love for vintage. I was lucky enough to have an interview with Danielle about her music and career plans.
Hello Danielle! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
I am well, thank you!
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m 28 years old. I live in Southern California with my husband and kitty. I currently work and in my spare time when I am not relaxing I love creating. Whether it be songs, working on artistic projects, writing and whatever comes to me. I love delving into topics that inspire me and exploring beautiful places with my husband.
I adore your music. What inspired you to get into music?
Thank you so much for listening and supporting my music, truly.
Even as a child I would write songs in my secret notebook and sing them to myself. I think I’ve always had a secret passion for songwriting. However, what truly inspired me and urged me to pick up a guitar and learn, was a very pivotal time in my life. I developed crippling anxiety and depression filled with terrible physical symptoms and derealization. In my lowest of low, I could not stop thinking of others who were in my position and I wanted to learn to play the guitar so that I could sing and express everything I held inside so others wouldn’t feel alone.
What was the first tune(s) you learned?
I can’t quite recall the first song I learned. It was most likely a simple folk song or hymn. When I first began to play I knew about three chords and I would just write songs with the same chord throughout the whole song. I just wanted to play anything so that I could add the words to it.
What instruments can you play?
I feel terribly modest answering this question! I still don’t see myself as an amazingly talented musician who knows all the ins and outs of everything. However, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to play anything and trying it anyway! With that being said, I mainly play guitar and piano. I also play Appalachian dulcimer and banjolele. I have a harp that I hope to tackle someday as well as a zither and a wooden flute I paid a dollar for. My husband builds instruments that are mainly inspired by ancient European ones. Some that he has built me are: Icelandic Fidla, lyre, Langeliek. I still have quite a ways to go to fully learn and create with these instruments but I love them. Between my husband and I both, we have quite a collection building.
Who inspires your work?
Anyone who perseveres through their sufferings and shortcomings or creates something beautiful. Whether it be a dear friend of mine, a songwriter, a writer, poet, painter etc. There are beautiful people everywhere. A few inspirations to name: Hans Christian Andersen, Joanna Newsom, Rumi, Mary Oliver, John Keats, Hellen Keller, Emily Dickinson, J.M.W Turner and many more.
How would you describe your style?
It is very much a mix of everything I love and my authentic self.
What do you enjoy most about your music?
The honesty above all. Writing something directly from my heart and bringing it to life so that I can share it with others or even myself and keep as a memory for another time and place.
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
It has helped me immensely to reach and relate to others and to connect with so many different, beautiful people.
What's been key to achieving your goals?
Not setting limitations on them, taking everything one moment at a time and listening to my heart.
Were you influenced by old records or tapes?
I definitely was/am. There is a timelessness to many old things.
Do you have any career plans for your music?
I don’t really. The thought of that is quite overwhelming to me. I really, truly just want to create if I can, send it out into the world and hope it reaches the right people.
What do we hope to see this up and coming year for your Facebook page and music?
Hopefully more music! I really want to record another album. It’s already written and I’ve been wanting to for so long but haven’t quite made the time for it yet. So hopefully we will see something new! Possibly even a video here and there.
Do you have any advice for anyone going into music?
My advice would be to just do it and be yourself. Don’t let self-doubt or fear keep you from expressing your heart. I was not and I am still not a perfect musician. I don’t know everything or the “right way” to compose everything. I’ve learned that you can create something meaningful just by being who you are and trying. Just try.
How do you balance your music with other obligations?
Music is an outlet and form of expression just as any art form. I sing when I feel I need to and just pursue it in my free time. I wish I had more free time to pursue it but that just makes every moment I do play more meaningful. Sometimes I am too tired and worn down to play for periods of time. I always come back to it though.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I have not performed in quite a while but I normally feel a bit embarrassed and keep going forward anyway. I feel like I constantly make mistakes. I’ve learned to accept that and just roll with it.
Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?
Do you have any advice for anyone learning to play an instrument?
A bit of the same advice as I previously mentioned. Just pick up the instrument and get a feel for it. Perhaps look up some online videos or tutorials if you are nervous about learning from someone. I feel once you’ve learned the basics of one instrument it can help you to learn other instruments as well. Also, just keep practicing. Things take time and you will eventually get used to it and it will get easier and easier as anything you learn.
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
To be yourself. A very simple and powerful thing.
You can follow this lovely lady on her Instagram ‘incalico’ and website ‘iamthedaisy.bandcamp.com’.