As was the case for many people, the past twelve months was one of uncertainty and change for up-and-coming first nations singer/song writer Dani Teveluwe. The talented local threw herself in at the deep end by tossing in the safety of a pandemic proof teaching job to pursue her life passion for music and performance during the year that was.
Whilst not an easy decision to make, it was one that aligned with her heart, as Dani explains.
“At the time of my decision I had never played a solo gig, however I knew in my heart I had to make changes. I will always be very passionate about education, however my intuition was really guiding me towards this change. Teaching is a really meaningful career, where you have the opportunity to be a role model for our future generation and influence them in a positive way, however I came to a point where I knew if I didn’t leave full time school teaching and actually give my music career a red hot crack then I wasn’t living what I preach.
“I still work in schools, just on a more casual basis now as a sub teacher, and you can now catch me playing regular gigs around the Gold Coast and beyond.”
Her debut solo release, ‘Weight Off’, released on 29 January, is an uplifting acoustic pop number of self-discovery and growth that touches upon themes of breaking free from toxicity, illuminated by her sassy and soulful vocal presence.
Says Dani of its origins and metamorphosis; “I initially started writing it whilst I was travelling through Europe in 2019 and it started out all minor chords, sounding very melancholy. When I returned home I got an amazing opportunity to be part of Starting Grounds, a First Nations song writing workshop facilitated by APRA AMCOS. I collaborated with Ziggy Ramo, Luke Daniel Peacock and Sue Ray – all incredible musicians, and we pulled it together in one day, laying down a solid demo, recorded by Yanto Browning by the end of the workshop.
“In 2020 I reached out to (producer) Tim Goodburn (of BigNote Studios on the Gold Coast) to get this track and some other songs I had written ready for release. Tim was playing around with the chords for ‘Weight Off’ and I heard him play the catchy little riff that you hear in the intro and I knew that it had to be in the song.
“He’s a gun at production and really helped me bring the essence of the song to life. Once we found the vibe it came together really smoothly. Studio time is super fun and Tim is awesome to work with.”
‘Weight Off’ is the first of four singles Dani plans to release this year, all recorded as part of the 2020 recording sessions with Tim Goodburn, for which she is understandably exuberant to be unveiling in the near future.
“Yes, you will be hearing a lot of music from me this year. I recorded four tracks with Tim last year and we’ve recently been working on the finishing touches for two of the tracks. Whenever I decide to record and release a song, the most important thing for me is that we serve the song and honour the message it’s giving to the world.
“Each track is unique in itself, but I feel the consistent theme of my songs is optimism. ‘Weight Off’ is very fun and playful. ‘Let Go’ has coastal vibes and is a reminder to go with the flow in life, whilst ‘Movin’ On’ and ‘You’re Love’ get a little deeper emotionally.”
Outside of music and education, Dani is also a dedicated practitioner and teacher of yoga and pilates, amongst other things.
“I love spending time with my dog and my loved ones and you’ll catch me most weekends at the Burleigh Farmers Markets. I’m also a huge nerd – I adore reading, especially non-fiction and spiritual/yogic texts/philosophy and when I can you’ll find me bush walking in our hinterland.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for Dani Teveluwe over the coming twelve months, as she continues to honour her musical calling. Her debut release, ‘Weight Off’, is available now via the usual channels.
IMAGE (c) Spill Photography