With lyrics that will shock, and flamboyant uniforms, this season will bring a wide eye to audiences everywhere. Born in Detroit, going back and forth to Grandma’s house in Hamtramck, (the city that puts the “D” in Detroit), to her home in the suburbs, The Damsl got a taste of it all. Penning her first song in the shower as just a wee tot, “I was surprised and delighted to find myself at 8 years old writing my first tune. It was a love song I ended up sending to Miss Piggy and Kermit!” Grandma Bernice would love to sit and listen to her play on the piano; there, the love grew.
The talent was raw, and The Damsl landed a talent manager in NYC, flying back and forth to the big Apple, eventually landing roles opposite stars like Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. It was when The Damsl met acting coach Bobbi Berger, in New York City, that she decided to focus on music. That work took me straight to my heart and that’s where the music key was sitting.” The Damsl then sat on the subway with a different heartbeat- writing to the thump of the tracks. “I had 100 songs spewed allover my apartment by the end of that summer. I could barely keep it in order!”. Almost immediately thereafter, she was discovered by Wendy Starland, talent scout for Lady Gaga, and later by Atlantic A&R in New York City. Detroit>NYC>LA, “I feel I’ve hit the Jackpot in LA. I’ve been welcomed with huge, open arms.” Today you can find The Damsl gallivanting at clubs like Avalon in Hollywood, working deep into the night with dancers to create shows that electrify. You’ve heard her songs in major campaigns for companies like Volvo, and on MTV and VH1, and her first single has already been hitting the radio air waves all over the country. Having a prior reputation for being crazy and fun, the Damsl explores her more serious side in her song “StraitJack-it!” When she sat with an A&R buddy from WB and told her story, he said “You need to write this song.”
This was the song that got her her a deal with Motti Shulman’s independent label, MoGold records, veteran VP of radio promotions at Atlantic records. “When I got the deal based on this one song that meant so much, my whole life suddenly became clear. I knew why I was hit with inspiration that one day when I was little. I knew I was given a voice for a reason”.
When did you first start singing?
I started singing at around eight years old, when I wrote my first song.
Who else in your family sings?
My brother sang at his bar mitzvah and I’m pretty certain his voice cracked.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
So many influences, but it just happened. Absolute fate.
Who is your biggest fan?
I’d have to say my team. They rock and believe in me.
Do you ever get nervous?
I didn’t think I did until I was on stage at Avalon and realized I was about an inch away from a 10 foot drop. And I was on an 4 foot platform. So, with 2000 phones videotaping the performance, I definitely didn’t want this to be my last moment! It was an utter blast, tho- even though I couldn’t feel my mouth through the entire evening.
Do you have any music influence?
I’m so inspired from all over the place. Even evente garde music. I love to sit with my producers and pick sounds with them. They inspire me the most. Right now I’m working with Scott Thomas Robinson in LA.
Explain your sound in 3 words?
Pop serious twist
Tell us about your new hit song “Straight Jacket”?
Strait Jacket can be interpreted in many ways. I wrote it about something terrible that happened to me. It’s an incredible thing that this particular song got me a record deal (and is facilitating some of my dreams coming true.) There is justice in the world, one way or another.
If you could work with any artist on tour, right now, who would it be?
It’s tricky because I’m similar, but different, than many of the artists I admire. Who is the cutest male singer right now? 😉 ha. Probably traveling with an EDM DJ producer like Zedd would be fun.
Any advice for upcoming singers?
Focus on being generous with your friends, caring about other people’s success, and focus on good songs. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Where we can see you playing next?
No current tours are set-up yet.
3 things you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my sense of humor, my friends and a good heart.
What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
Love is the answer. Kill it. Kinda contradictory ha
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
One of my best friends, Bria Danielle, also a wonderful singer and make up artist, took me to karaoke last week in LA. I sat there for two hours looking at the book and couldn’t decide. We finally got up and walked out. She suddenly became a stage mother and was harping on me for at least an hour, to trust her that I Need to, that Must Karaoke. I’ve started calling her Monster Mom.
Funniest thing that ever happened at a concert or event?
When I surprise fans and bring out water guns. Yes, we use them onstage and yes unsuspected folks get wet.
Any loves, other then music?
I love innovative, self-starter businesses. I was doing fashion photography for a while, and distressing furniture and selling it. I still love the thrill of starting a business and succeeding. My radio promotions guy from the label, in the beginning, ran around town grabbing old dressers and throwing them on the top of my car with me (he had the strength, I had the moxy ha). For a turnover of, like, $350. The sales took a pause, though, and my backyard eventually started to look like Sanford & Son’s! I loved every minute of it. Eventually I ended up with 9 bedrooms and could fill up the whole house with these beautiful things that I made myself. Isn’t life amazing?
What do you do in your spare time?
Take a bath.
Best advice ever given?
Nothing in the music business will ever be perfect. So move forward. And take it.
What beauty tips do you swear by?
Sleep a Lot. And condition your ends!
What do you like to watch on TV?
I got really into Bloodline this year. My mom was raving and so I did a few marathons there. Have you seen it? Every actor deserves an Emmy.
Top 3 designers?
Gareth Pugh, MQueen and my shabby chic specialist bestie Bria Danielle (in essence, second hand stores)
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
Probably running one of my businesses. Or I would get really heavily back into a theatrical career.
How important is Social Media for you?
My label had to force me to start using Instagram. I guess I’m just a bit startled by the display of vanity. But heck- of you can’t beat em, join em.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: It’s not your circumstances that make you happy, but how you handle them.
Holiday Destination: Anywhere with a group of friends during that long 5 weeks in the dead of winter! I’d love to check out the beaches in Japan.
Drink: Anything latte. With ice. (and loads of raw sugar)
Song: I’m Every Woman
Book: The Bible- with my crossouts.
City for Party: Detroit!
Sport Team: Nah.
Celebrity Crush: If I told you, I’d have to kill you.