Crowd Control Q&A | Danielle Grubb
1. After high school, you left and went to college up in Brooklyn. What was the impetus for you moving back to Dallas and what are some of the differences you have noticed that exist between the two cities?
Well... at the beginning of 2017, I found out that I was bipolar. I was hospitalized for psychosis for about a month, and it was there that I decided to come home. I needed to recuperate in a familiar environment and be closer to my family. I love Dallas. It runs at a slower speed than NY – way less stressful. People here don't need to hustle as hard to get by. In NY, I was working three jobs just to support myself. In Dallas, you can gig regularly without the same pressures. There's less music industry here, so you can sort of operate quietly... but at the same time, the lack of industry kind of makes you feel like there's no way to move up or forward. There are less music publications, bloggers, labels, bookers, etc. In NY, they're always on the look out for the next big thing, but then there is that pressure to be the next big thing.
2. You’ve offered up a helping hand with recording to quite a few local bands (namely The Roommates and Odd Folks). What are your thoughts on building a community of musicians here in Dallas?
I definitely think community in music is important. It's good to have a support system of people that are all participating in the same endeavors. I have given some thought to maybe opening a studio space in the future or a record label/production company. On the latest project with The Roommates, it was their first time recording. It made me so happy that I could be a part of their process. I would love to work with other artists in the same fashion... be able to provide them with a customized experience for their particular project.
3. How does your background in sound engineering affect your creative process?
It helps me work a lot faster! I now know how to get the sounds I want to hear, where as eight years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. A lot of the time, I'll mix while I'm recording, and that changes the way I play and sing. However, my background can make me overthink and stifle the creative process as well. Sometimes, I'll delete things that I could have kept because "logically" the sound didn't make sense in the space... as opposed to inviting in other colors or textures to the track.
4. Recently, you did an interview with The Color Agent - how did you get connected with them?
They actually found me on instagram when I was still living in New York, and when I moved down they invited me to play a showcase. We ended up doing well and they put us on their SXSW showcase. I've had a great experience with them! They have been so supportive.
5. You incorporate so many different styles into your music (hip hop, soul, R&B, pop, indie), yet you have managed to retain a sound that is very distinctly you. Did it take you a while to find a way to blend all of the different music that inspires you into your own sound?
It did! I used to make heavier music. It wasn't until I moved to NY that I found my love for those other genres. But now when I write, I sort of compartmentalize the genres depending on the instrument... then I'll mix the genres together depending on my emotions at the time. But I still think that I'm on a journey to find what my true sound is. I expect to keep changing as I grow. I was recently talking to a friend that told me that as long as I speak my truth, it'll still sound like me!
6. In your experience, have you been in any situations where you’ve had to overcome the categories that society places on everyone i.e being black, gay, or female?
I actually identify as non-binary using she/they pronouns. That has been a struggle for me lately especially since moving back to Dallas. I was recently nominated for a local award in the female vocalist category. It made me a little uncomfortable, and I didn't know exactly how to articulate that I didn't necessarily belong in that category, but I was happy for the nomination. Honestly, being a queer poc artist has made it easier for me to get by in most situations if you can believe that... more and more people are supporting queer poc artists these days. There's been a lack of representation in the media and people are voicing that by showing their support. In return, we've had bigger companies supporting artists that represent us as a group. Which I think is pretty fucking awesome.
7. Do you have an overall vision for where you see your music going?
I'd like to take my music as far as it can go, but I would like to stop writing and only produce others' records for a little while.. Then maybe move into filmmaking, or possibly go back to school to study Astronomy. The music industry honestly shouldn't even exist. Music wasn't meant to be sold and consumed in the way that it is today... at least that's my belief. So I'm going to let it take me where it takes me, and then do something completely different.
30 November | 2018