23-year-old triple threat DaniElle DeLaite has been on the stage in some capacity since the tender age of three-years-old. She has travailed through the trials and tribulations of failed recording contracts and unscrupulous agencies, yet she has never given up on her dream of being a performer.
“I have always been encouraged to pursue a career in music and there has always been the expectation that I would succeed even through the broken deals and failed promises,” says DeLaite. “This amazing encouragement and belief has been a wonderful support for me.”
DeLaite’s dream became a reality when she won the Musicoz Australia-wide competition for unsigned artists i98FM Listener's Choice Award at the age of 16. As a result she was invited to perform at the Entertainment Centre for the awards presentation that was broadcast on national television.
After moving from her native township Kiama to Sydney later that year, DeLaite bounced back from a dissolved recording contract and started a successful career as a fit model. While in Sydney she worked for nine major Australian designers as a house model and she also did catwalk and presenter work.
Using the money she earned as a model, the singer/songwriter was able to take her career in her own hands by starting her company Lizard Ed Pty. Ltd. She funded recording sessions for her upcoming album and a video clip of the single, “Nothing to Wear.”
The idea behind the single and video for “Nothing to Wear,” came about one night when the 23-year-old was getting ready to go out with a few friends. “It was nearly time for me to be picked up and I was sitting on my bed surrounded by lots of dresses, jeans, tops, jackets shoes and jewelry, thinking to myself, ‘what am I going to do? I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!’ I looked around the room and surveyed the giant mess on my bed, the floor, the chair and dresser and realized how absurd my statement was and how it was a moment many others had experienced as well. ‘Why do we feel this way?’ And that’s when I started to write my tongue in cheek song.”
DeLaite’s experiences often inspire the songs that she writes. Her song, “City of Light” was inspired by a beautiful evening in Paris. Meanwhile a magazine photograph of Angelina Jolie at the 2009 Cannes Film Awards led to the song, “Love Sex Goddess” and the Twilight books and movie craze prompted DeLaite to write, “Supernatural”.
“Essentially, though, I am a storyteller of the experiences of others, myself and imagined experiences. Music and lyric can touch the emotional core as the listener recognizes an emotion, and/or experience that has been longed for or regretted. Just as valuable is the mood created by the song or the energy stirred with upbeat songs that put people in a fun mood and may even lead to dancing!”
Born to an Australian mom and an American father DeLaite holds dual citizenship with both countries. She recently moved to Los Angeles to further her career and be closer to her brother, who has influenced much of her music. “A strong reason to move was the feeling that Americans would like my music. American music is the most popular in Australia (and worldwide of course) and I felt that mine might fit in there somehow.”
In addition to studying dance, performing and working on her as yet untitled debut album DeLaite also acts. She has appeared on stage performing in the plays Godspell, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oliver! and Annie.
How do you describe your music to people, DaniElle?
A classy cocktail comprised of Kylie, Janet and a splash of J-Lo
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I gave my first performance when I was 3 years old singing and dancing to “On The Good Ship Lollipop” to an audience of 500 people. I grew up in a house filled with music of all genres and times, with a crazy drama teacher mother who encouraged us all to “do our own thing”; so my brother and I were always making up and performing songs and little plays. I always asked for lessons instead of presents at birthday and Christmas time and studied piano, dance, singing and drama. It all grew from there with plenty of opportunities to perform.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
There are so many. Performing my songs, writing new material, downtime with my dog (oops or my family and friends), listening to great music, snorkelling and eating really good food ( I often take pictures of my food).
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Staying within my budget. I could do so much more for promotion, performances, film clips etc… if I had a more money. However, the way I meet this challenge is to try and be more creative with what I have and often this leads to cool ideas I might have otherwise missed.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I know so many artists say this but it’s true. I always thought I would be singing and performing in some way.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Growing up in the small town of Kiama (100km) south of Sydney was wonderful for encouraging young performers. There were many school concerts and musicals at primary and high school. Nearby, the Roo Theatre Company also gave me and others plenty of opportunities to perform in musical theatre. Then there were the festivals, eisteddfods, Music Scholarships and other competitions with helpful prizes.
What other artists out there do you love?
Some Artists that are out there inspiring me in different ways for different reasons are Kylie Minogue, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, Usher, Sia, Janet Jackson and Pharrell Williams.
What does your future hold?
In the short term, I’m very excited about upcoming performances in LA and New York to promote my next single, Love Sex Goddess, in September. My new website (www.danielledelaite.com) will be launched in a few days and I will be offering a free download of my music for all who sign up for my newsletter.
My aim is to keep getting my music out there so as many people as possible can enjoy it. It’s great to have sites such as yours which help promote independent artists like myself. I’m now selecting my tracks for my album to be released later in the year. It’s all been very exciting with my fan base growing moment to moment.
So, my ultimate future goal is to be able to make a good living from my music with enough left over to help support special causes such as improved recycling programs and industries, AIDS research and animal welfare.