Great news for fans of season six singing sensation Dani Shay!
Dani tells us she is busy in the studio putting the finishing touches on a EP of new songs which will be available for purchase on January 1.
(Pre-orders are being accepted on her newly relaunched and redesigned website, www.danishay.com)
“Its all original (songs) that have been on YouTube that a lot of my new and hopefully will-be die hard fans have been listening to for the past year,” Dani tells AGTNews.com “I am excited to finally have them on a record.”
We caught up with the super-talented singer-songwriter over Thanksgiving weekend to hear about the record, life after ‘AGT’ and her audition for ‘The Glee Project.’
Q: What is happening with ‘The Glee Project?’
I submitted my audition tape and I also auditioned in person. I drove to Nashville. The rest is up in the air. I’ll find out soon and we’ll see how it goes from there. Honestly I feel like this venue is way more appropriate for me and what I am trying to do as an artist. But at the same time I don’t think I would be open to do something like this had I not learned the things I learned when I was on “America’s Got Talent.”
Q: And what did you learn from ‘AGT?’
When I was on “America’s Got Talent” – when I first got on there – I was so intent on doing originals, only doing my songs. I was afraid I would be a sellout if I did covers. Then I just had a total shift and realized ‘Wait – I can do covers… I can do whatever I want. It doesn’t make me a sellout. If I want to do it, I just do it.” I was totally over complicating it – as I sometimes do – which is why I made the decisions I did when I was on the show. After the fact, in retrospect, I was like “Wow, I was really limiting myself when I was on that show. Now, as you know, on “Glee,” that’s what they do. It’s all covers. So it was cool to witness myself changing and opening up to that.
Q: ‘Glee’ could also open up an acting career for you?
Actually I have always loved to act. When I was in high school, I thought I was going to be an actor. I didn’t own a guitar or know I was going to be a singer. I actually always loved writing. Then I got into singing and doing drama. I did musical theater before I ever got into songwriting. I was in a theater arts school in high school.
Q: Are you a Gleek?
Yeah. I only got into it a little over a year ago. I gave it a shot and I loved it.
Q: You are about to release new music. Do you have a record deal?
No. I am financing it myself.
Q: That’s not cheap.
No, its not. (laughs) But I manage to have some really great people in my life. And really talented people in my life, who believe in me and want to be involved in helping me out and stuff. So thankfully I haven’t had to pay as much as you might think or as much as some people might pay straight out of pocket.
Q: People are always talking about your hair…
I have it buzzed on the sides now. It’s a little shorter than it was (over the summer). And kind of texturized on the top. What’s funny is when I left ‘AGT,’ I go my hair cut the next day – which I posted on my Facebook. I literally I got home from L.A. and I walked into a Walgreens and I see on the magazine rack a picture of Justin Bieber with my new haircut! I kid you not!
Q: Can you tell us about Be More Heroic?
Be More Heroic is a non-profit organization that I am helping to start with my friend Justin Chase, who is also a singer-songwriter. We got together after I was off ‘America’s Got Talent’ and we were just talking about different things that we would like to see in our culture change and we were like “what is something we can do about it?” And he had this idea to start a website where people could upload inspirational videos. Not cheesy, but cool ones. Things young people really want to gravitate toward and inspire them. So he had this idea to make a video for “Pumped Up Kicks” and he sent me his version of it and said “I would love to have a rap on this. What do you think?” He knows I like to rap and I like to write rap. So I wrote my rap the day before I filmed the video with him. It was amazing how it all just came together — and nobody was paid for it. People just donated their time and their effort because they believed in it and they really wanted to inspire people to take notice of the bullying problem.
Q: What do you think about Howard Stern becoming a judge on ‘AGT?’
I think that is awesome.
Q: Do you think he would be a fan of yours?
Honestly, after the parody (of Bieber) I think he probably totally would have understood what I was saying and found it funny and gotten the humor. I don’t know about later on in the competition. It’s hard to tell what he would have thought if I had made the same decisions I made (about song choices).