Dubai-based Canadian-Lebanese artist Danny Aridi recently launched his career in Dubai signing under Universal MENA.
He recalls entering different talent competitions, establishing himself as one of the city's sought-after artists, winning the Emerging Talent competition and Virgin Megastore 'Outloud' competition in 2016.
musivv caught up with the 'raspy' singer and here's how it went. Let us know what you think. (Watch this space for the full video interview)
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a look back
Danny started realizing he has a knack for music at the late age of 15. He recalls picking up a cheap guitar sitting at home and eventually learning his craft online. “You can build a house by watching YouTube videos nowadays (laughs),” he candidly remarked.
And so the journey began, posting covers regularly, he was able to 'unknowingly' develop his vocals, practice techniques and learn chord progressions. “It was a good way to challenge me and put content out there [at the same time],” he added.
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Although his music is generally pop-influenced with a touch of alternative tunes, Danny approaches every material uniquely. “I like to give each song a different character yet still have my identity — the voice, the songwriting style.”
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i had a destination but i don't know when i'm coming back
Case in point his song, 'Wanderlust' which was written during his travels. He wanted to do something genuine to best fit the concept. “No place [I think] would be a great fit than India. Such a beautiful place. People are so warm and welcoming.”
A visually incredible spot to film at, Danny bought a one-way ticket not knowing where he would go next. “I had a destination but I don't know when I'm coming back,” he said. “I went with the flow,” he added. Recommended the experience and considered the trip good for anyone's well-being.
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what’s danny aridi's outlook in life?
Danny considers his music “a not-so-easy constant work in progress.” Learning the perils of its highs and lows takes a lot in the creative process. “Some songs do better than others,” he remarks. One song that was written in less than a week suddenly does well. “This is crazy!” he exclaims. “Other songs I put so much effort into the campaign and the response of listeners are not as I've expected,” he added.
He has learned “not to think too much about it, try to enjoy the process and take every setback as a learning opportunity.”
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on song theme?
“Most of my songs tend to be love songs, personal experiences of people around me. I tend to put my self in other people's shoes. ”
Artists are empathetic. Even if I have not experienced a situation directly, I try to feel what they are going through.
on social media?
“I believe in the power of social media.” But the accomplished singer reckons the advantage back in the day when an up and coming artist releases a creative music video, it has the potential to stand out. “Now it's saturated. Everyone has to have a huge and quality content to get noticed.”
try to enjoy the process and take every setback as a learning opportunity.
involvement of universal
He admits to being lucky to have Universal MENA behind him to help and support in several ways. “It's good to have people behind you. They help in music distribution, in booking shows,” explains the artist.
“On the creative side, I am lucky that they never tell me 'You should sing this or release that.' I have complete creative freedom, something that may have been different back in the day,” he concluded.
Danny has single-handedly done everything to reach the point where he is now and it's still a learning curve. “It's more like, the right manager has not come along.”
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From having offers that seemed pleasing on the onset but has turned out to be a lopsided arrangement, to falling into tough situations, Danny's perspective has not changed. “All these helped build me as an artist.” The few managers he has met haven't proposed anything ideal, a scenario where both parties would benefit from. “I've been picky and careful.”
“Music was something I've always wanted to do,” the raspy singer reminisces."
“I still remember daydreaming and fantasizing in my school bus with my head against the window, being on a stage playing the guitar,”
Little did he know that the daydreaming would someday come into fruition. “I've only dreamed about this. I never thought I would go on to build this career, to open for Backstreet Boys, play on these big shows.
It's surreal when it's something that you've only visualized so much when you are a child.” Danny still considers his music career at its early inception and to see and experience what he has already achieved is “a proud moment” and it all reckoned from “a desire within.”
if not music?
“I would go into something like National Geographic. Nature shows, shooting, filming and documenting animals or people's lives abroad.”
For videos, Danny considers the music video in India one of his biggest accomplishments having played around with the idea of traveling for quite a while before it transpired. In the 'concert' category, the Backstreet Boys' opening act is at the top of his list and winning the What's On 'Best Local Band' for 2019 is his most significant awards achievements to date.
advise to newbies
“Keep writing. Keep making music. Keep creating. Work on your visual. It doesn't have to be like what I did in India. That's not how I started. If someone does something consistently — a song or video a week, it can go far. All comes down to quality and talent, but keep creating content.
Danny Aridi made the “best decision to leave a secure and stable job” to pursue his passion for music. He knew he needed to give music his 100%. A half-hearted, one-foot-in-the-other-foot-out kind of passion wouldn't cut it. No fallback. This tough decision eventually paid off after mistakes that helped him build a backbone to thrive in the music industry. His dream is for homegrown artists to have radio play and exposure in local stations which will exponentially grow a brewing community of music lovers. He plans on exploring the Canadian market during Dubai's quiet summer offseason. Wherever the tides take him, Danny Aridi will remain beloved by his growing followers.