Lisa Danaë has quickly become a favorite here at THP, but who can blame us? She has an immense amount of talent, and we are still in shock thinking about it. She continues to release bop after bop after bop, and her newest track, ‘Focus On Me,’ is no different.
Lisa sits down and chats with us about her new track, what we can expect from her future EP, and everything in between!
We all know how important music is, and the type of music you grow up listening to can shape the person you are later in life. What song for you was the one that molded you?
That’s a tough one as there are so many that have helped me, but I would say, ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera. It was released at a time when I needed to hear that message from someone other than my parents and family. I was very insecure growing up because I didn’t look like a lot of the people that I grew up with, but I never showed that to anyone. I think I was really good at masking my insecurities, and music was always an escape for me, but when I heard that song, I immediately cried. I felt that emotion, and it was humbling knowing that I wasn’t alone in feeling that way about myself, and again, I just heard it at a time when I needed it.
What has been your favorite genre you dabbled in?
I really love R&B. I’ve incorporated some instrumentation and phrasing of melodies within that genre in my music but haven’t created a solely R&B song yet. I grew up in a household that played a wide range of music from The Commodores to Queen to Ella Fitzgerald, but there’s something about R&B that was so soothing and sultry to me, so my tone tends to have that influence at times. I would love to experiment more within that genre one day.
What do you think makes ‘Focus On Me’ stand out amongst your other tracks like ‘Press Reset’ and ‘Starlet?’
I would definitely say the message. The lyric is really relatable with everything going on in the world right now. We’re also living in this “in-between,” and a lot of people are shifting to focus on what makes them happy, but society is trying to steer you away from that, especially with social media being constantly shoved down our throats. It’s really easy to lose sight of your purpose, so ‘Focus On Me’ is that breath of fresh air you are looking for to pull you out and be present within yourself.
You wrote ‘Focus On Me’ alongside a girl named jaen. What do you think you took away from working with her?
We’ve actually written a lot together, and one reason I love working with her is that she listens to me. If she throws in an idea for a melody or lyric line and I feel like it is not me at all, we’ll either rework it or move on. In the past, I had producers and writers telling me what my music should sound like and what direction I should go in, but it never felt authentic to me. She was the first person I started writing with that listened and encouraged me to find my voice. She’s helped me gain a lot of confidence in standing up for my music and my sound if someone tries to dim my light and change me.
What piece of media do you think shaped you into being confident of being Filipina-American, and made you think, “I really want to be this for other kids growing up who are like me?”
I’ve actually always known this and would tell my parents this at a young age, but my confidence was constantly shattered by the realities of music industry executives telling me that they don’t know where to categorize me solely based on my looks. After a while, I just stopped identifying as Filipino and stopped embracing my culture because I felt like it was hurting my career. My shift happened when I fell into a deep depression. I remember looking in the mirror and asking myself, “What are you doing? You are better than this. You are meant for great things.” Fortunately, I was able to take control of my life and my career. I wanted to keep going in hopes that others within the Filipino-American community would be inspired by my journey and know that someone else just like them is advocating for them.
You recently congratulated 88rising on Twitter for their track in Shang-Chi and The Legend of Ten Rings. What movie do you think ‘Focus On Me’ would fit in best? Or if it can, what song of yours do you see appearing in a scene in Shang-Chi?
Oh, good question! Well, first, shout out to everyone at 88rising and Disney/Marvel for teaming up with them on that soundtrack. I love what 88rising is doing for Asian voices, and I would love to work with them. I don’t think I have a song that would fit in Shang-Chi, but a lot of my music is catered towards Gen-Z and Millennials, so I could see my songs like ‘Type Erase’ and ‘STARLET’ in movies that are about coming of age. ‘Focus On Me,’ in particular, I can see more in commercials/ads, specifically for the new Apple iOS 15 update (wink, wink). They changed the name of their ‘Do Not Disturb’ to ‘Focus’ with the intention of people using it to focus on their priorities and themselves, so hit me up, Apple!
You honestly are releasing so much content! How do you balance the creativity and time needed for each project?
Haha, you know, I wish I had a straight answer for that question because sometimes I feel like I’m not producing enough, so it’s hard for me to pinpoint how I balance. I think what helps me stay creative is the fact that I’m creating so much more aside from music. For me, I’m using different levels of creativity depending on the project. Producing my music podcast, Sound Scrub, is completely different from crafting a song, but it helps me find balance. I also tend to get bored easily when working on one project, so it’s nice to have the other outlets to keep me interested, which ends up inspiring me to finish the project. I don’t know if any of that makes sense at all, haha.
You released a remix of ‘STARLET’ last month, and we know ‘Focus On Me’ isn’t even out yet, but do you have plans on releasing a remix, or maybe even having someone jump on the track for a collab? Who would be your dream collab for the track?
Another good question! Wow, sadly, I haven’t thought about that too much. I love the remix of ‘STARLET,’ and I loved working with Canadian EDM producer, Brian Ireland aka Audiocrisp, on that one, so I would love to work with him again on another remix. For ‘Focus On Me,’ I would love to hear what Doja Cat could do with a feature. I really love everything she’s doing right now and it’s been cool watching her become the artist she is today. I think this production fits in her realm and I would be honored to collaborate and have her featured on this one.
What do you think is the key to making a new track release a success as an artist?
Time. Time is your best friend. I would add and say time management. As you know, I create a lot of content, and I love everything I do, but without time management, I wouldn’t be able to produce as much successfully. I consider myself a very organized person, but I am still learning how to stay on top of it. I’ve noticed that the more time I allow myself, especially since I run the whole show by myself, the more successful I am at releases of any kind.
We noticed you recently came out with a new line of merch, which we are in love with! What piece do you think best fits your style?
Thank you so much! I really love the pint glass that features my lyric “sippin’ coffee filled with ice” from ‘Weigh Me Down.’ I have a huge pint glass collection, mainly from different breweries, but I’m always showing those off as I use them for my daily iced coffee fix. This is something I really wanted to have in my merch line, and I think it’s a great representation of who I am and my brand.
Do you think you have found your style of clothing, or do you see it still evolving in the future?
I think I’ve found my style, and I think I’ve known for a while, but am always down to try new things. I’ve always loved the 70s, 90s, and early 2000s fashion, so I feel my style is a perfect blend of that and I would consider it my sweet spot. I do love to switch up the mood within those decades, depending on how I’m feeling that day. However, I think my style also reflects my music, so it could possibly evolve throughout the years.
What can you tell us about what the future holds for Lisa Danaë?
I am currently finishing up the songs that will be featured on my 7-song EP and intend to release that in 2022. It will feature ‘STARLET,’ ‘Weigh Me Down,’ ‘Focus On Me,’ and four unreleased tracks. I am pushing to play more in-person shows, but I’m just navigating through the pandemic and taking opportunities that feel good and safe to me. Lastly, just more content through Sound Scrub, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and sharing more of my journey!
We can’t wait for the release of her EP, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for the ‘Starlet.’ Don’t forget to check out Lisa Danae’s newest track ‘Focus On Me’ here.
What did you think about our interview with Lisa Danae? Have you checked out ‘Focus On Me’ yet? Let us know in the comments down below, on Twitter @thehoneypop, or talk to us on Facebook and Instagram!
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Featured Image Source: Chris Rodarte / Emily Detfoor, THP Graphic Design Team