We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniela Spagnolo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Daniela, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Without balance, the center is sacrificed. Everything has a center. When that place is your starting point, when we find our balance from that center, we create from more of a peaceful, productive place. I try to tune in to my intuition as much as possible. I NEVER force myself to write music or sing. If I’ve hit a wall I let go. It usually means I need to change the focus and recharge. It means something is out of balance. Maybe I’m over thinking. Maybe I have doubt about what I’m creating. Maybe I think I should be more like someone else instead of me. So I go out into my garden or simply just look up at the beautiful sky! Sometimes I just sit still.. I’ve become a better listener to myself. It’s not always easy when the outside world seems to be telling us go. go, go! Don’t be still or quiet. Fit into a mold. I find when I allow myself to just be still and breath until I find my center, all of the answers and melodies reside there. There is so much beauty in silence… So the way I think about balance is that it’s crucial to creating beauty. Everyone has their own way of finding it. Trust yourself.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The thing that I am most excited about is what’s to come, the music that I’m releasing in the near future. Releasing is a good word because it’s really about letting go.. My background/ training/ experience, is a mix of a variety of things that conventionally aren’t “supposed” to mix. Classical training in both piano and voice, theater, and years of singing jazz. There has been an unspoken rule if you will, that these styles shouldn’t mingle. Sometimes I agree out of respect. Each style can take years of dedication to master. But what is mastery? To me, it ultimately means freedom! As I have branched out into composing, somehow it feels like it’s all coexsisting. As I continue to write new vocal songs, it feels as if it’s all blending, and I feel more free then ever…. As I allow the music to flow without judgement, I can let it go! My latest compositions can be found on YouTube and SoundCloud. I am presently recording new vocal music. I’m so excited to share it with all of you! Does it set me apart? I’m not sure, maybe. That’s up to the listener. At the moment, I’m just enjoying the process!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My own back yard! I love to cook for my friends and provide them with whatever dink they like. I had a friend visit from out of town last year, and her visit went something like this… Wake up to homemade scones or banana bread, with coffee of course. Wake up a bit. Hang out in comfy clothes while we talk/laugh/ share memories and tell stories. All feelings are welcome:) Sit outside in my garden until it’s time to eat again! This usually moves into late lunch/dinner. Perhaps a cocktail? Ella Fitzgerald in the back round, discuss food. Set a pretty but comfy table. Cook/ talk/laugh/cry if needed/hugs. Keep doing that until it’s time to rest and sleep. Wake up the next day and start all over again! Perhaps a drive to the ocean, or beautiful nature scene. I always ask my friends what they would like to do of course. People usually don’t want to get out of comfy clothes or leave the house though ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s pretty much it! What else is there?

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would absolutely not be the person I am today without the amazing teachers along the way. My training started young with classical piano. My piano teacher Caroline Norwood, was an amazing pianist and passed along her knowledge which was extensive. At the same time, she was cool and groovy and let me play the songs I began to write at the age of eleven. She taught me that although classical music is to be respected, writing original music should be deeply valued. She allowed both worlds to coexsist and this effected me deeply. My high school teachers also had a profound imprint. I had the best theater and music teachers. As I moved onto college I met Patricia Misslin. One of the best opera teachers around. She taught me the beauty of singing a phrase. How it has shape and how a vocalist can shape it. All of the jazz musicians that passed the torch of swing. What felt a bit rough sometimes was just honesty, and I’m grateful for it! A man named Lester Bass who played trombone with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, and too many to mention, was a huge influence. He later played bass as well, we worked together for quite a while. He gave me the best advise ever.. “When you ain’t got nothin to say, just don’t say it”. I take that advice in all aspects of my life.. Especially music! The quality they all shared was kindness, understanding, hard work and compassion. They were never demeaning. They never spoke to me like I was beneath them. So arrogance is just not acceptable to me. They were masters in their own right and humble. My gratitude runs so deep for them all.

Website: www.daniela-sings.com
Facebook: Daniela Spagnolo www.facebook.com/daniela.spagnolo.92
Youtube: Daniela Spagnolo www.youtube.com/bravadanni
Other: SoundCloud:https://soundcloud.com/daniela-spagnolo

Image Credits
Rob Shanahan /photography (some photo’s)

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