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Brit Daniels talks about ‘Shadows,’ new music, and never giving up

Brit Daniels recently released the music video for her song, ‘Shadows,’ a song about the feelings that arise when memories of missing someone haunt you. The song and its music video are a beautiful release from the talented singer. Daniels took the time to chat with POParazzi about the song’s creation, how the music video was created, and how her music has evolved from when she first got started. Read the interview below, and listen to ‘Shadows’ on iTunes, and Spotify.

POParazzi: ‘Shadows’ is such a beautiful song and music video. You’ve said the track was inspired by the feelings that arise from missing someone. How has your music, and specifically this song, helped you? Was the creation of this song cathartic in any way?

Brit Daniels: Thank you! I’m so glad to hear you like the song and video for ‘Shadows!’ I really do love this song so much. The creation of this song (and every song) is cathartic, in a way. I feel like I can’t truly create something without pulling from my experiences, both good and bad, or at least putting myself in the position of the experience I’m writing about. Songs always help me either deal with my feelings or let my feelings out. Creating music is the best way for me to react to and cope with any situation.

I started writing this song based off the feeling of missing my dad, and I really pulled from those feelings of missing him as I was writing the lyrics for this chorus. Then my friend started talking about how she missed her ex-boyfriend, and looking back at one of my past relationships, I was able to totally relate to her in that moment. It was literally that night that I went back and started writing more lyrically for ‘Shadows,’ and I shifted it to more of a relational view point. I still tried to not make it so detailed, so that people could relate to it when they were missing anyone, though.

POParazzi: How was it writing and developing ‘Shadows?’ Did the song change from its conception to the final product?

Brit Daniels: It changed completely! I started writing it because I was really missing my dad late one night as I was lying in my bed in the dark. I just started jotting down lyrics in the notes section on my phone. Then I worked on the chorus a little more the next day, and after talking to my friend about past relationships and missing our exes, I decided to go a more relational route with it because that’s what I was really feeling at that point, and it totally fit. After I finished all the lyrics, I called up one of my cowriters/producers, Jonathan Perkins, and we set a date to get together and finish it. We kept a lot the same and changed some lines to really get the point across more, and the rest was history. It was really cool to see how I related to this song, my friend did, and then also Jonathan did. It was a really easy song to create because it was SO relatable to all of us.

POParazzi: How did your friend who helped influence the song react to hearing it for the first time?

Brit Daniels: She loved it so much. (Phew!) She was one of the first outside people that I let hear it, and she was so excited about it. She was like, “This is exactly what I’ve been going through.” To hear that from her was so relieving and exciting for me, because you never know how people are going to react to something especially when part of their story and life inspired it.

POParazzi: What was it like shooting the music video for the song? Is there a particular special memory from filming that you won’t forget?

Brit Daniels: My good friend, Preston Leatherman, directed and shot the video, and I always have such a blast working with him. He has just as goofy a personality as I do, so we always have a lot of fun when we’re filming. I don’t think I’ll forget any part of it! He’s a super talented director, and he can literally make anything look good, so we decided to film it in his basement. [Because] all we needed was a black background, we didn’t feel the need to rent a studio. There was so much smoke everywhere, and we had to keep the door to his studio/basement open, which normally wouldn’t be weird, but there were like 3 people working on his house – two older guys and a woman, and they kept walking in and out. I know they totally thought we were crazy for smoking out the place with fog. It was hilarious, and a little weird all at the same time. Definitely a memorable filming experience.

POParazzi: ‘Shadows’ really does a great job at showing fans who you are as an artist. When can fans expect to hear new music from you?

Brit Daniels: Thank you so much. That is definitely always the goal! I always want to show my fans a new aspect to me with every song. I will 100% be releasing a new single every few months. Consistency and staying connected with my fans is very important to me, and I want them to always be expecting something new on the horizon, whether that be a new single, cover, or a video.

POParazzi: Do you have any advice for fans that are struggling with loss and can find comfort in songs like ‘Shadows?’

Brit Daniels: Just to keep going. No matter how hard it is to let go, or to get through the day, just keep moving and keep telling yourself you can do it. I believe that words are VERY powerful, and our words can depict our moods, actions and futures. Also: use those memories to push you forward, not to hold you back.

POParazzi: What other artists have had an influence on you?

Brit Daniels: Well when I first started singing, I was hugely influenced by NSYNC, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Stacie Orrico, JoJo, and so on. They made me fall in love with pop music, and really influenced my sound as well. I’d say today, I’m influenced by Julia Michaels, Daya, Halsey, Kelly Clarkson, and Katy Perry.

POParazzi: If you could sit down and have a one-on-one talk with any musician, living or dead, who would you pick? What would you talk with them about, and what advice would you ask them for?

Brit Daniels: I’d love to sit down with Julia Michaels. She seems like such a gem, and she’s so talented. I’d love to ask her questions about her songwriting process and how the transition was from being a full time writer and pretty much skyrocketing into the artist scene. It happened very quickly for her, and I think it would be cool to find out how she felt and adapted to the changes.

POParazzi: You say you’ve always been inclined towards a career in music from a young age. Do you remember the first song you ever wrote? How has your musical style and lyrical content grown from your earlier days as a musician? Do you have a clearer vision and focus now?

Brit Daniels: I 1000% remember the first song I ever wrote. I had always dabbled in writing, but the first song I ever wrote was about 5-6 months after my dad passed away. I had all of these emotions that I had been bottling up, and I didn’t really know how to express them or get them out. It was a lot of pressure I was feeling just inside my body – almost like a huge weight.

I just started writing one night. I was so stressed, and I didn’t really know what to do, so I sat in my closet, which was massive (literally could have been another bedroom,) at the time with a pen and paper, and I just started jotting down lyrics and almost poem-like wordings. It was called ‘Remember Where You Came From,’ and it was an encouraging song about not allowing yourself to be down and fall into the traps of sadness, and to remember that (for me) my dad was proud of me, and that I was still a very fortunate person in this life.

I still love that song even though it was in my early stages of writing, and I’ve grown so much since then. It’s just a very meaningful piece of me due to it’s [message], and due to the fact that it was my first full song I ever finished and recorded. Also, the song was more in the Pop/Country Singer/Songwriter realm. So my style has changed a lot since then. I was really young and still figuring out who I was as a person and as an artist, and I’m so glad I’ve finally settled into who I am stylistically with all of my new stuff! My vision and focus is SO much more clear now. I’m finally very confident in my artistry and writing, and I’ve grown so much musically and in life since I first started. It’s really cool to be able to look back and to see how far I’ve come in all facets.

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Written by Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett is the creator and editor of POParazzi. He works primarily in Washington, DC. You can contact him at sam@poparazzi.org and visit his portfolio at sam-bennett.com.

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