From an early age, Miami singer-songwriter DaniLeigh possessed a starpower so plain, she was capable of propel her profession from dancing for stars like Pharrell, Daddy Yankee and Nelly Furtado, to grabbing the mic to change into the primary act herself. While she persistently stayed true to her signature cozy-girl but sultry type, affirmation a promising profession in music got here for Dani at age 18, when she was personally recruited by Prince to direct and co-star in his “Breakfast Can Wait” video. Today, DaniLeigh shares the music video for her newest hit “Lil Bebe,” a testomony to her triple menace ring abilities: singing, dancing and artistic directing.
The “Lil Bebe” video is a rigorously crafted, flawless storm components that characterize all of the issues DaniLeigh holds near her coronary heart. It takes place in downtown Los Angeles in a sneaker shop-bodega hybrid location, as Dani dances by your entire venue stuffed together with her pals and particular company like Trey Songz and Kamaiyah. The visible even options little “bebe” dancers from the Millennium Dance Complex, a widely known dance studio in Hollywood that steadily makes use of her songs as inspiration for choreographed items.
This summer season, Dani’s profession was given a lift when her notorious take on the “In My Feelings” problem instantly went viral, almost tripling her following and engagement in a single day and incomes her reward from Drake himself. This sudden look, along with her opening act gig on Jeremih’s Later That Night tour with Teyana Taylor this summer season, arrange a perfectly-timed collection occasions to her upcoming venture, which she hopes to launch as early as subsequent month.
Billboard not too long ago sat down with DaniLeigh to debate the brand new “Lil Bebe” video, her Dominican roots and the explanation she signed with Def Jam. Check out the total interview under.
Billboard:The set for the “Lil Bebe” video is insane. You’ve written remedies and directed visuals previously, so how arms on had been you in the course of the inventive course of course of this video?
DaniLeigh: I went to the spot with my workforce and simply seemed round and was like, “Yo, this spot is.. form loopy.” It was so fly! It was a sneaker retailer in downtown L.A. and it’s linked a bodega. Everything simply represented me so effectively. I’m Dominican so a bodega is a grocery retailer in New York, an actual genuine and traditional factor. It even had an upstairs and every little thing was only a excellent vibe. The entrance even had bins platanos laughs] and it simply matched me completely.
I used to be very concerned with the video. I undoubtedly noticed a imaginative and prescient. What works for me on my socials and every little thing and what individuals are inclined to gravitate in the direction of is after I present my character, type, and my dancing. Also, I don’t like movies which have so many cuts in them so I actually wished to seize a one-take sort steady really feel for the video. This video represents me as a result of the setting, but additionally individuals I do know are within the video as effectively. Some cameos I had included Trey Songz, Rotimi from Power, my lady YesJulz, Kamaiyah, and extra. It was dope to have my individuals within the video and see them pulling up for me. I wished to convey everybody by an expertise.
The idea is that I’m the proprietor and it’s referred to as “Lil Bebe’s Bodega.” I signal f on an order and stroll in and the very first thing I do is I see the little boy all unhappy. I give him a shoe field with model new sneakers like, “change your life!” Right with the lyrics. We have little youngsters dancing. Then, I transfer on to the following room and it’s a barbershop. My brother is a barber and I had him chopping Trey Songz’s hair proper there. I had my co-songwriter in there and a bunch my pals in that cameo scene.
In a current interview on Atlanta’s 107.9, you describe your self as “the cool new chick.” What do you are feeling makes you units you other than the remainder?
My music is tremendous versatile. It may bump within the membership, however I’ve my R&B facet as effectively. It actually attempt to faucet into each side. My character is a large factor for my model and likewise my type. I’m a extra snug fly sort lady versus a heels and clothes. Not that I received’t do it, however I believe that’s what units me aside as effectively that I’ve that vibe about me. My wardrobe actually matches my music. I’m very ‘90s influenced as effectively.
After attending the BET Hip-Hop Awards, you captioned your Instagram publish saying you see your self up on that stage quickly. What are another targets in thoughts proper now?
I simply need all my work to talk for itself and get appears to be like. I’ve prayed for it, or possibly even a “Best New Artist” sort recognition. My album is about to come back out and I actually really feel like this album is about to interrupt me as an artist and actually convey me some respect within the business. I believe every little thing that I’m at present engaged on proper now, I simply pray that it goes loopy and helps me make a mark.
Your look, the way in which your voice sounds, and your general vibe simply jogs my memory a fly Dominican lady. Do you suppose rather a lot about representing your ethnicity, or do you simply form let it communicate for itself?
Oh, I most undoubtedly take into consideration representing my Dominican roots. Dominicans are on the come up proper now. Cardi made an enormous wave for us and there weren’t too many Dominican artists within the American mainstream scene. I really like being Dominican and we’re so versatile in a way, from the way in which we glance to the way in which we’re. Our meals goes loopy laughs] and our music is dope. We have that character and we’re tremendous outgoing. I undoubtedly suppose rather a lot about representing that.
A number of years in the past, you had been confronted with the career-defining resolution to both go on tour for dancing, or focus by yourself music profession. How do you know you had been making the fitting resolution to pursue your personal music?
I undoubtedly was in a spot the place I used to be confused about what to do with my profession on the time. I’m actual in contact with God and I prayed for indicators. At that point, a pair labels had been reaching out to me. It was my first time taking conferences and all that sort stuff and I used to be lowkey scared labels on the time and I felt like I wasn’t prepared. I simply advised myself that I actually needed to make it occur and likewise I thought-about how I’m getting a little bit older. It’s the proper time for me. My A&R actually helped me really feel affirmation on signing.
With completely different labels and even completely different producers, the factor with me has at all times been — you already know, if I actually wished to, I may actually gown it up and do the entire lengthy hair and heels and present f my physique. There’s no situation if different individuals do this in any respect, however for me, I simply know that’s not my true message and I’d relatively be snug and do what I actually need to do. That was a extremely large affirmation for me after I met with Def Jam] and my A&R actually had the identical imaginative and prescient as me. All the opposite labels had been like, “You must do pop, it is advisable to do that and that.” That was the final label assembly that I had and it was a intestine feeling, undoubtedly.
You’ve had a number of interactions with the GOATS. From working instantly with Prince to getting a pattern cleared by Aretha Franklin, these are all clear indicators. What has been the most important signal not too long ago up to now that you just’re on the fitting path?
Definitely Drake. The “In My Feelings” problem popped f for me after I did it, excellent timing in my profession, and he’s an enormous inspiration mine. He adopted me and after that, after I went out to Chicago, he received me and my workforce tickets to his present and introduced us all to his after occasion. I received to be with him and discuss. That proper there was a affirmation that I’m about to do large issues within the business and I’m steadily getting recognition from all these legends.
I’m actual large on “Your life can change a lot in a yr.” Take me again to precisely a yr in the past. Where was your headspace at and what had been you doing?
Fall final yr, I had simply dropped my first EP referred to as Summer With Friends. That was my very first time making a stable transfer within the business with my music and it was an enormous step for me. I wanted to see if individuals would rock with me or not. I’ve undoubtedly seen an enormous distinction in only one yr and it’s cool to see the extent up and every little thing that has occurred to me. At that point, I used to be nonetheless grinding and the label, they rocked with me, nevertheless it wasn’t as heavy as it’s with this launch now. I’m so grateful for that. Also, it’s only a completely different sort respect. For instance, going out to the BET Awards not too long ago, all people knew me. I’m like, “Oh snap. Okay. Now, I simply must maintain going.”
And how does it really feel to look again from the place you’re proper now?
People had been respecting me they usually actually know who I’m they usually had been loving my motion. Every time I meet individuals, they inform me they like my aura, character, and what I characterize on my web page. To me, that’s a win as a result of I’m conscious that the majority what individuals find out about me is thru my socials. The proven fact that that’s the very first thing most individuals inform me once we meet is telling me that I’m doing job representing that. Things have undoubtedly modified in only a yr and I’m so grateful.