Atlanta-based artist Danii Roundtree has released a single called “Crave” off her album Memoirs, which is expected to drop sometime over the summer. Her sound is a mixture of jazz, pop, soul, and funk. She’s pulled comparisons to artists such as Erykah Badu, Billie Holiday, and Janelle Monae.
Danii started performing music at the age of 11, even then possessed a powerful vocal range and dynamic signature sound. She went on to study music in high school at the Dillard Center for the Performing Arts High School, followed by the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
She’s spent a lot of time performing on stage, including projects like Motown The Musical, Shakin the Mess Outta Misery, Aint’ Misbehavin, Porgy & Bess, Lucky Stiff, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Purlie, The Laramie Project, and RAGTIME. She was also one of 100 semi-finalists on Fox’s American Idol.
That stage performance experience is evident in the confident sound of her music. The album was recorded along with the band The Retro Rebels as well as background vocalists The Coco Puffs. Her first single “Crave” encapsulates a dreamy R&B sound that’s also fully present. There’s playfulness is the message that is delivered with mature and controlled vocals. Danni’s vocal range is incredibly strong and perfectly balanced by the support of the full jazz band surrounding it.
The rest of the album is equally Motown-inspired. We get some up-tempo jazzy blues from “My Man,” some cabaret vibes from “Pillow Talk,” and a deeper soulfulness from “Magic.” Close your eyes and the robust tracks “Dysfunkshunull Love” and “Karma” will transport your imagination to some place where you’re watching a full performance being boldly acted out. That performance-oriented feeling was certainly intentional based on what Dannii had to say about what Memoirs means to her and to her future.
“Memoirs is an album written from true life events. We all have that one love story that ends before it starts. And I just so happen to be a singer/ songwriter who documents through song. This album is literally a collection of my memoirs. All the records are personal. The sound has a throwback feel that is Jazz-oriented with Funk and Soul elements; cleverly coined as ‘Retro’. I hope to one-day transition into acting, so I wrote the album as though it was a never-ending Retro movie soundtrack. Ultimately, with the end goal of its contents being put in television, film, commercials, and one day becoming its own short film.”
Danii will be gracing the stage at the 40th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival, and her album will drop sometime this summer.
Debut single “Crave”: https://soundcloud.com/daniiroundtree/crave