Today on The Treehouse we’re turning the spotlight on 18 year old singer-songwriter Danielle Marie from the Philippines. Danielle began writing from a young age and recently released a new track called “Bloom”.
In our interview, we talk about growing up in the Philippines, what inspires their writing and how they develop their ideas into songs.
Listen to “Bloom” and then read on for our interview below!
You first started writing poetry in 6th grade. Do you have a favourite poet or piece of poetry you can share with us?
DM: To be honest, I don’t read a lot of poetry, but there’s one poem in particular that I’ve somehow gotten hooked on reading, which is the “Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I just loved how it was centered on our perspective of viewing life in an optimistic way. And I love everything that makes me learn about myself because it is healing for me. It was cathartic yet realistic since it made me realize how valuable life is while being appreciative of its beauty.
What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.“A Psalm of Life” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Can you tell us a little bit about growing up in the Phillipines? Where abouts are you from and what does your day-to-day look like?
DM: Growing up in the Philippines for me was fun because I was a free-spirited child back then, lol. I grew up like any other kid who loves to be outside playing different sports and experiencing life. I spent almost my entire childhood in the city, specifically in Antipolo, Rizal. And, to be honest, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to appreciate this town even more. My day-to-day life as a student was pretty much the same because my routine revolved around studying and studying hehe.
What’s the most popular song getting played right now in your city?
DM: Hmm.. These past few days, a lot of people have been hooked on Sun and Moon by Anees and Angel Baby by Troye Sivan. ^^
Most of the songs being played here are either modern OPM, K-pop, or Western music. It really depends on the day and also on TikTok’s algorithm lol. A lot of the great songs played here are from TikTok.
You’ve dabbled in other creative mediums like dancing and we know you sing and write, but do you play any instruments?
DM: Yes, I do. I’ve been playing guitar for almost 6 years and started learning the piano as well.
What inspired the lyrics behind “Bloom”?
DM: Bloom was written in the middle of my journey as an 11th grade senior high student, and honestly, not being able to work with music during those times was frustrating, and those nights spent reflecting became my inspiration to write the lyrics of Bloom. As I previously stated, I enjoy anything that teaches me more about myself, so writing the lyrics to Bloom is similar to writing a healing journal, not only for myself but also for other teens who are under pressure from school and other things. Writing Bloom at the time was therapeutic because it allowed me to express my feelings and thoughts.
Tell us a bit about how the track came together. Do you have a band that you play with to craft your music or are you entirely independent?
DM: Bloom was processed entirely by myself. When I started my journey as an independent artist, at first it was tiring but never a burden. I’ve always wanted to be a part of a band too. But right now, yes, I am processing everything from production to promotion, and honestly, I enjoyed it a lot. The process of making Bloom was really chilled compared to my past releases. I wrote the melody using my guitar and tried looping it and eventually, like it’s simplicity, added some synths and yeah, that’s how Bloom came together, with regard to its theme. I’ve always wanted this word “Bloom” because it really sounds catchy to me, and while writing the melody, the idea of us blooming like flowers popped up, and that’s how the title Bloom was born. ^^
How do you record your music?
DM: I do have my home studio setup, but not a fancy one, just a corner where I do almost everything, and I also have my desktop where I do my recordings from mixing and mastering. Lastly, as much as possible, I try to process my music professionally, even though I’m just at home, but failing lol. But in the end, it was fun!
What’s one message you hope gets across to new listeners of your music?
DM: Since my music talks more about the youth. The only message I can leave is that it’s ok when things aren’t going the way you wanted them to be, and don’t pressure yourself when you’re stuck or you don’t have any plans because you’ll eventually find out; just believe in yourself and be who you are.
What would you say is your biggest goal or dream to accomplish within music?
DM: Hmmm.. performing on stage one day ^^
If you could collaborate with any artist, who do you choose?
DM: I would choose Clairo, since she’s also one of my favorite artists and my indie/bedroom pop inspiration. And if I had a chance, SUGA from BTS because he’s also one of my huge inspirations behind my passion for music.
When you’re not writing or performing in some way, how do you like to spend your free time?
DM: I do love being at home, watching shows and just be lazy lol.
What can fans expect after “Bloom”? Do you have new music or an album that you’re working on right now?
DM: Right now, I do have a lot of ideas. I think my creativity is going back, lols. At the moment, since the school year is starting, I was planning on focusing on my studies this year since I’m graduating from high school. BUT new music is on the way, don’t worry, sooo I hope you’ll stay tuned and support my future releases as well.^^
You’re 18 now, which is normally when many of us would be looking towards post-secondary schools and making a career path. What are your plans?
DM: I’ll continue college and pursue electrical engineering which I know is outside of my current line of work, but aside from music, becoming an electrical engineer has always been a dream of mine. But music has been part of my life; in fact, it was my life. I will therefore continue to be a musician even though my future plans include taking a different route. Maybe a musician-engineer someday? ^^
Finally, for fans that haven’t yet heard any of your music, what artist would you say you’re comparable to?
DM: Still I would say Clairo but not really near comparison as she was such a talented artist. I chose her because as I said before, she’s one of my music inspiration and also based on what my fellow indie artists would tell that, they do hear a bit of Clairo in my music so I would say her.