I Am More: Danny

It took me a year to find Danny. I wanted to include a teenager from Boston in I Am More: Massachusetts but I couldn’t find one. I contacted schools, organizations, friends, with no luck. Maybe I didn’t need a teen, maybe I could live without Boston in the series. Wrong and wrong. One day I was scrolling the news on our local NPR website and saw a story about a student who had written a song inspired by Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s first speech on the floor of Congress. I watched his music video on YouTube and within minutes had composed an email to him asking him if he might consider participating. A few weeks later we were on a rooftop on Boylston Street:

IMG_7729 2
Danny, 2019. Pastel pencil on sanded paper, 15×20 inches.

I am more than my insecurities and thoughts of comparison. I am different, an anomaly. I’ve been called to fulfill a purpose on this earth that only I can fulfill.

I’m a singer and songwriter, that’s what I love to do the most. Music has been in my life since the very beginning. Growing up in the church, and always being around Berklee musicians, gave me the opportunity to see what music was all about, especially music in a faith setting like a Pentecostal church. My goal is to be able to write and record for other artists and myself, this is all I have ever wanted and it’s what I work towards every day. Music is healing, it gives me joy.

My friends and family also bring me joy. I am in love with the holidays because that’s when I get to spend the most time with my family. Despite the crazy things about the time we spend together, we manage to have a good time.

Boston has been such a blessing to me. I have learned a lot from so many people in this city in my 18 years of living, it’s quite insane. It has truly taken a village to raise me to the place where I am now and that same village will continue to raise me as I embark on future journeys. While pursuing a full time job in the music industry will allow me the opportunity to travel across the country and the world, Boston will always have a place in my heart. There is something special about the pride the people of the city have in it. That’s why I wrote “We’re On Our Way Up” for Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, the amount of support she received was so inspiring to see.

We stand as thousands, our voice resounding. It’s our time, we’re on our way up, our way up, yeah.

 We stand in power, our voice is louder. It’s our time, we’re on our way up, our way up, yeah.

I pray that in all of the music I write that there will be a deeper sense of intentionality and purpose in my lyrics, melodies, and chords. I hope that someone will always be impacted positively and challenged to grow and move forward to a better place.

Watch Danny’s music video “We’re On Our Way Up” here, the article that brought me to him here and if you want a really enjoyable musical evening watch Danny directing the Boston Arts Academy Aretha Tribute Concert here.

 

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