A New Jersey native who has come to call Australia home, Sydney-based singer songwriter, Danielle Deckard is pleased to announce the release of her new music video for -I Lied', which will be released on Friday 27 May 2016. 'I Lied' is a stunning piano-ballad taken from her 2015 debut EP, End of the World - an undeniable gem that flew under the radar but will now be given breath thanks to a series of music videos that will be released in the coming months starting with -I Lied'.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Danielle Deckard: Indie pop with all sorts of feelings, of the honest and raw variety - you can sing along to some songs, and cry along to others.
Question: Can you tell us about the filming of I Lied video?
Danielle Deckard: We filmed it in Hibernian House in Surry Hills, which is this awesome old run-down converted warehouse. It's a performance style video, so we had a string quartet, drums, and bass, in addition to me on keys. It was a whole lot of fun, just blasting the song on repeat and playing along to it. We kept it nice and simple.
Question: Can you tell us about the creation of End of the World?
Danielle Deckard: I wrote 'End Of The World" during a strange time of transition in my life. I was writing a lot of songs, all about fear and uncertainty, and being held back by those things. The EP was recorded mainly in my apartment. It was my debut release, so there was no pressure to get it out on a specific time line, which was so nice. While most of it was done at home, it was still really collaborative. We tracked in a studio in Sydney for a few days and had remote session players on it - our guitarist recorded from LA and the strings and horns were recorded in the UK. Paul Dougherty produced it with me and wrote the arrangements and we flew up to Brisbane to work with a mix engineer who we knew would be perfect.
Question: Did you have any pre-conceived ideas about the music industry?
Danielle Deckard: I've witnessed a lot of naiveté from artists trying to make it in the music industry, and it's so easy to get used and thrown out. I think that made me really sceptical from very early on. I've never taken anything at face value. Words are so cheap and I've always been very careful with who I decide to take onto my team.
I think I had this idea that being an independent artist would be great, but no idea how to do it. I assumed at some point it would be way easier to just to sign with a label if I could generate that interest. But the more I do on my own, the more I learn, the more rewarding it all becomes. The control I have over everything is priceless.
Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?
Danielle Deckard: Yes. Everything and everyone. Anything that makes me feel something, however small it might seem, is inspiration for a song.
Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?
Danielle Deckard: Ingrid Michaelson, Ryan Adams, Sara Bareilles, Greg Laswell, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Troye Sivan
Question: What's next? Tour/Album/Single?
Danielle Deckard: All of the above! I have a short tour in July (Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra, Melbourne), a single in October, and an album I'm working on for 2017.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Danielle Deckard: Yes. I wouldn't say it was one moment. More of a period of time. At the time I was struggling with finding my identity as an artist, and trying to figure out if it was all worth it. This career is such a big risk. It was one of those things I could never actually voice out loud. I don't even think I realised that I was contemplating it at the time. The EP is actually about it all - it's kind of my journey to becoming fully committed to this life.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Danielle Deckard: Most days I would say recording. I love the intricacies of creating a record. All of these tiny subtle things that most people won't pick up on, but when combined create something magical. However, performing is a high like nothing else I've experienced. They're both really important to me.
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Danielle Deckard: I didn't always think about it as going into the industry - I just wanted to write songs. Growing up I was influenced by a lot of female singer/songwriters in the 90s, like Sarah McLachlan, Jewel and Lisa Loeb. I thought they were so awesome. But my biggest career inspiration is Ingrid Michaelson.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Danielle Deckard: There's no clear path to becoming an artist. There's a lot of noise out there and it's a constant challenge to get noticed through it all. But going back to your question before about throwing in the towel - that decision not to quit and to fully commit to being an artist was probably even more difficult than anything I've done since. Once I'm in, I feel like I can take on anything.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Danielle Deckard: 6:30am wake up. coffee. breakfast. write. more coffee as a reward for the writing. A bunch of emailing. maybe a walk. Lunch. More coffee. Recording. More emails. Dinner. More coffee. Something on Netflix.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Danielle Deckard: It's never boring, and it's always challenging in so many different ways. I get to be creative all the time, and am constantly trying something that I've never done before. At the same time, it's a small business so it keeps my brain sharp, I'm always learning.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Danielle Deckard: Ingrid Michaelson. Her music can make me cry, make me laugh, and make me feel like I can conquer the world.
Question: Do you have a website fans can visit?
Danielle Deckard: www.danielledeckard.com or to get a little more personal www.facebook.com/danielledeckard
Full Name: Danielle Renee Deckard
Nickname(s): I generally don't allow these.
Star Sign: Scorpio
Music Talent: I write songs, sing, play piano, guitar and ukulele
Favourite Food: Thai every day.
Favourite Film: The Squid and the Whale
Favourite Actor: I have a thing for Lauren Graham. I think she's the coolest.
Pet: Too much maintenance. But I like dogs. Just boxers.
Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Ingrid Michaelson
Hobbies/Interests: Good food, good wine, interesting cities,
First Job: Lifeguard at the Wildwood Beach Patrol in New Jersey
Are you a Pub, Bar or Club kind: Pub or bar, but never club
What Can You Never Leave Home Without: My phone. I know...
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning: Coffee.
Interview by Brooke Hunter