We had the good fortune of connecting with Azalia Snail & Dan West of LoveyDove and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Azalia, Dan, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Azalia: I felt there was absolutely no way I could live happily without being an artist. I knew damn well what it was like to try to live a “normal” life when I worked in various office positions in New York City. Sure, I could have worked my way up to a nice, fancy corporate job making loads of money, but I knew it would not keep me content. Though the struggle has been very real, it has made me stronger, and my payoff now is living an unbelievably good life with an amazing partner.

Dan: I grew up in a very creative household and was always drawn to the arts. I knew from the age of 7 that I wanted to be a musician or writer or some kind of artist. My mother taught me piano until I was at a high enough level to get the guitar I wanted so badly and from that point on, I was hooked! Music has always been a safe place for me as I felt awkward growing up.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Azalia: I like to think that I have supported and encouraged other artists along the way. Now that we are teaching songwriting to kids, I would say that is one of the most important roles I could possibly have, to inspire future artists to delve into their creativity, never question one’s motives for being an artist, and to dig deeper, challenging oneself to explore language so as to avoid being stuck in cliche and obvious choices.

Dan: Teaching is a wonderfully gratifying experience, especially when the students become your teachers. I enjoy being there to lend  support during the discovery process. It’s thrilling to watch a young artist grow before your very eyes.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Azalia: Some of that must remain a secret as to keep those treasures quiet. I would say to anybody to open up the map, look at what is around you, go at least once a week to a place you’ve never been before. Favorite restaurants: Leonor’s vegetarian Mexican in NoHo; Monster Noodle in Valley Village, Sake Sake sushi in Tujunga, and Samosa House in Culver City. I hope our best venues survive this horrible pandemic: Zebulon Cafe and Concert, The Teragram Ballroom; Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Centre.

Dan: I concur with Azalia’s answer above! I would add that Los Angeles is a city that has so many little nooks and crannies and tucked away gems~  it feels one can spend a lifetime finding new areas of exploration.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
2 teachers in my public school eduaction: Mrs. Bressler, who taught music classes and always had a fine stock of percussion instruments for us, and Mr. T, a fantastic art teacher, one of the few black teachers in our suburban school.

Website: danwestinc.com
Instagram: azalia snail loveydove + out of my shell show + dan west (dwest69)
Linkedin: N/A
Twitter: Azalia Escargot +
Facebook: LoveyDove + AZALiA SNAiL + DAN WEST + d’Animal + Snail Meets West
Youtube: Snailville + LoveyDoveInc + Dan West
Other: Out of My Shell on PodOmatic + KOWS radio 92.5fm

Image Credits
Liz Koskenmaki, Luka Fisher/Mani Vee

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