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Danitsa: “My new album is a real musical Swiss army knife”

Musical thinning in the gray skies of November: four years after the excellent Ego, it’s Danitsa’s big comeback. La Genevoise, who has been able to export her music outside the Swiss borders, is coming out this Friday System, an album composed over two and a half years, which crossed the Atlantic and a pandemic. And that she describes as a “musical Swiss army knife” given the way she draws again from multiple sounds, from Accra to Los Angeles, from Zurich to Tulum. A globe-trotting album, with international features but which does not forget its roots and its lifelong support with a tribute to Geneva, its city of heart. Small revolution too: Danitsa tries French for the first time on two titles, The fray and broken back, she who has always preferred the language of Shakespeare to sing her emotions. On the eve of the opening of his second album, The weather met the interpreter of Captain between two rehearsals, a few hours before his performance as part of the Lake Geneva Concerts.

Le Temps: Your last album dates back to 2017. What was the predominant feeling when “Sycle” was released?

Danitsa: I feel like I’m having a second birth. It was a lot of mixed angst and joy. I am delighted to finally be able to share this baby who took two and a half years to come out. Above all, I can’t wait to make it listen to my audience, with whom I’ve had little contact because of the pandemic. It will finally be the opportunity to be able to make him discover what I have been working on all this time.

How was this work in the midst of a pandemic?

The first year of covid was very complicated for me. I was panicked by the virus and isolated myself for three months without seeing anyone. So I paused the album for the whole time, and then something clicked. I managed to tame my fear and I started to travel. I went to the United States, to Tulum (Mexico), to Accra (Ghana). It allowed me to think about how to export myself, make my music travel, work with producers with whom I wanted to make music.

Did these trips influence this second album?

For sure! I’m like a sponge, I like soaking up colors, landscapes, music, people around me. So there’s a bit of all the places I’ve been able to visit in System. It also allowed me to make a real international album, with lots of different sounds. It’s a kind of fusion of everything I’ve been able to experience and hear over the past two years.

How was the recording?

We started recording in 2019. I went to Los Angeles with my brother and Miles Singleton, a producer from Zurich. I was lucky enough to be able to work in the prestigious Red Bull studio, where Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg also worked. The day of my first meeting with the sound engineer, I was nervous and very impressed, but he finally supported me very well and it went very well. On my return, I realized that the album was not completely finished. So I continued to work on it in Switzerland, especially with my Evidence Music label, with whom I did a lot of arrangements. System has really been made between Switzerland and abroad.

Read also:
Danitsa, soul without the diva

Was it important for you to organize the opening night in Geneva?

It’s certain! I am from Geneva, for me it is essential to offer this gift to my city. This is where Danitsa was born, I started at the Usine alongside Little Lion Sound, I played with lots of collectives and I scoured the local stages. It’s also a way to thank those around me and the people who have supported me for a long time.

On the other hand, you only collaborated on the disc with international artists. Did you have the will to emancipate yourself despite everything from this Geneva cocoon in which you have worked until now?

Not really, I think it’s mostly a question of opportunities. I wanted a more “international” album. I sent lots of emails to artists and producers everywhere, Americans, Ghanaians, English, Nigerians… It’s Maverick Saber, an Irish artist based in London, and DEVA, a Madrilenian, who quickly accepted. But it was complicated to work with many different people because of covid. I still worked with Swiss people, especially people from Zurich and Geneva!

In terms of style and inspiration, “Sycle” is in the same eclectic vein as “Ego”…

I continue to bring together many musical influences on this project, as I was able to do on Ego. But this new album is also a new cycle with new emotions, hence the title. It’s a new start, a new loop, without repeating what I was able to do before. For a long time, people asked me what was my style, my identity, and I always struggled to answer this question. Today I take on this “musical Swiss army knife” side. System, it’s pop-rock, trap, soul, all tinged with a punk attitude. It’s a “solar punk” album!

Danitsa, “Sycle” (Evidence Music). Opening Friday, November 26 at the Circus Club Geneva at 8 p.m.

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