Danami-Maurice ChampionSaint Paul, MN
When you think of Soul music you may picture an artist singing. However, can a rapper be considered Soulful in the same way Sam Cook or Donny Hathaway is considered Soulful? Danami is an accomplished artist striving to comfort, inspire, and empower people to become the best version of themselves. Fans have compared Danami’s style to iconic Hip-Hop artists’ Nas and Lupe Fiasco infused with love themes and storytelling elements from 50’s – 80’s Soul music.
His approach to making music is contributed to growing up in Detroit and his admiration of Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and The O’Jays. These influences can be heard on Danami’s recent release Before The Wait EP ( BTWEP ) produced by G Mo Beats and features instrumentation from Danami’s live band The Blue. Songs like ‘Have You Seen Her’ and ‘Fork In The Road’ exemplify Danami’s strengths to craft personal and memorable music. The pairing of Hip-Hop techniques such as cadence and rhythm with emotion driven storytelling creates an engaging Soul/Hip-Hop experience.
In 2012, Danami performed at SXSW during a nine city high school tour with McNally Smith College of Music educating students on creating a life in music. He was named a recipient of the 2014 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians; the first Hip-Hop artist to receive this award. Also in 2014, Danami was transparent about his five month struggle experiencing starvation, electricity terminated for a month, and being four days away from eviction. He expressed his vulnerability on his blog and during performances that encouraged others based upon what he learned from those experiences.
It’s this vulnerability that is reflected in Danami’s songwriting and performances. A fan once tweeted Danami saying, “compensating you is a small token for the love that you make me feel in my heart.” If the ultimate goal for Danami is to change lives, what better way to do it than providing love through music and being a great human?
‘Have You Seen Her’
The Chi-Lites’ song of the same title inspired me to write the first verse during my Junior year in high school (9 years ago). The second verse, about my best friend having an abortion, was written years later but made sense to include in the story acknowledging women and young ladies who are hiding their emptiness that they’re experiencing.
‘By Your Side’
“By Your Side” captures the fun side of love and the desire to be with someone despite the current unfortunate situations.
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Danami and The Blue | Episode 2 – “When Family Calls”
In episode 2 of “Danami and The Blue”, Danami introduces his live band The Blue and returns to his hometown of Detroit to to meet the newest edition to his family. Shot and edited by Danami.