HEATING UP DaniLeigh, born Danielle Curiel, moved to Los Angeles together with her mom and little sister at 16 to interrupt by means of as a dancer and singer. She was a part of a duo then, performing with a detailed pal below the moniker Curly Fryz. But when the pair broke up 4 years later, DaniLeigh saved working: “I felt like I wasn't adequate to [continue] on my own as a result of I couldn't sing like Beyoncé or Whitney Houston.”
SEAL OF ROYAL APPROVAL Before she went solo, Prince chosen the then-18-year-old to direct and star in his 2013 music video “Breakfast Can Wait.” Two years later, she put her first compilation on-line, however solely after sending it to the pop icon first. “He was like, ‘Make positive no matter you place out as your individual music is simply as dope,’” she remembers. “That at all times caught. If a legend is telling me I’m dope, I have to be dope.”
DONE DEAL In late 2016, DaniLeigh performed her music for Tuo Clark, senior vp A&R at Def Jam. He wasn't . “She got here in and was enjoying pop music and shit -- undoubtedly not my swag,” recollects Clark. Two hours later, when producer Yanni coincidentally performed Clark new beats that DaniLeigh was singing on, he knew instantly that pop wasn't her lane. By April 2017, she was signed.
DANCING QUEEN Since releasing her debut LP, The Plan, final November, standout monitor “Lil Bebe” has reached No. 26 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. “It’s received Rihanna vibes,” says DaniLeigh, “however you'll be able to’t be like, ‘That’s Rihanna.’ It’s someone new. It actually reveals me off.” As a dancer, it was essential that her monitor be straightforward to maneuver to. “Back within the day, it was Aaliyah, Ciara, Beyoncé,” says DaniLeigh. “I don’t really feel like there’s actually somebody locking that in [now]. I’m making an attempt to make that my intention.”
This article initially appeared within the Jan. 12 challenge of Billboard.