Heed Exclusive: Beyonce’s Keyboardist, Dani Ivory, Debuts New EP “Forever Yours”
Allow Heed to introduce you to multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, Dani Ivory. While mostly noted for her work with Beyoncé, Ivory is definitely carving out her own path as a music industry favorite. Her incredible talent has also led her to work with the eclectic Cee-Lo Green as his lead keyboardist and backing vocalist. In 2011 alone, Ivory appeared on The Tonight Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, and even opened up for Prince at Madison Square Garden with Cee-Lo. It was in 2012, however, when Ivory began her performance track with Beyoncé for her Wynn at Las Vegas concert. She continued to play, appearing with Mrs. Carter at the 2013 Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, and the insanely successful Mrs. Carter World Tour, which has just relaunched in Europe. She also appeared in the music video for the Pharrell Williams produced, “Blow” off of Beyoncé‘s self-titled visual album.
While on break from the Mrs. Carter World Tour, she put together her debut show as a solo artist on Sunday, February 10th, 2014, at the Troubadour in L.A.! Fans and a few of her celebrity friends, including Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), Amber Riley (Glee/Dancing With The Stars), and Jordin Sparks (Sparkle/American Idol), watched in amazement as she performed music from her debut EP “Forever Yours”. The title track and lead single, “Forever Yours”, features a collaboration with Diamond, formerly of Crime Mob. Excited about the success of her show, she is now ready to share her music with the world, and she chatted exclusively about all of this with Heed Magazine!
Heed Magazine: What has been the most incredible moment of your career thus far?
Dani Ivory: Seeing my EP on iTunes available for anyone in the WORLD to purchase.
Heed Magazine: Do you plan to release a full album?
Dani Ivory: Yes, once I start performing shows off of this EP. I will most likely release an album at the end of this year or beginning of next year.
Heed Magazine: What is your favorite song on your EP, “Forever Yours”?
Dani Ivory: That’s a tough one because they all have their own special place in my heart. I would have to say ‘Forever,’ the title track of the EP, because of the summertime throw back feel and I was also able to feature one of my best friends, Diamond, on the song.
Heed Magazine: Of all of the instruments you play, which is your favorite? Why?
Dani Ivory: I love to play piano, and although piano/keyboards are considered my first instrument…I really love playing guitar. There is so much more freedom associated with playing guitar. You can stand up, move around, and really rock out whether your barring out chords or jamming on a solo.
Heed Magazine: How would you categorize your sound?
Dani Ivory: My sound is soul infused pop with sprinkles of urban, rock, singer-songwriter, and electronic.
Heed Magazine: What is your favorite Beyoncé song?
Dani Ivory: Another tough question! Beyonce has so so many amazing songs, but when “Schooling Life” was in the set it was my favorite song to play along with “I Care”. Off her new album, I would have to say “Blow” since I was in the music video and get a chance to perform downstage with her live on this song!
Heed Magazine: What artists, past and present, have influenced your music?
Dani Ivory: Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, The Beatles, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Teena Marie, Gwen Stefani, Erykah Badu, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Madonna…
Heed Magazine: How was it performing your own show for the first time, a few weeks ago? Not too mention having the support of so many notable artists. That must have been an awesome feeling!
Dani Ivory: Performing my first show as a solo artist for the first time was incredibly fun, a true learning experience, but also a bit stressful. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure everything turned out as planned especially since I have supported so many amazing artists and acts. I know what it takes to put on a good show, so I want nothing short of amazing when it comes to performing live. I felt a sense of release because I had been waiting so long for the perfect moment to do it, and it had finally arrived. It was invigorating and humbling as well. I was able to see some people that I hadn’t seen in a really long time due to my constant traveling in and out of the country on various tours over the past two years…and to know that they still care and are supportive was absolutely touching. I couldn’t stop smiling afterwards, and although I was exhausted, I felt a small sense of accomplishment and a large sense of obligation because I know there is a long road ahead of me…and this is just the beginning. I loved that notable people showed up! I am used to having accomplished people around me and at the shows that I perform in since I work for such notable artists. I was pumped to actually have a chance to show them MY art and talent and what I can really do.
Heed Magazine: When you have nervous moments, how do you deal with them?
Dani Ivory: When I first started playing for Beyoncé, she wanted me to play a keytar solo during “Crazy In Love”…that was probably the most nervous I had ever been in my life over all the auditions, humungous crowds I had been in front of, and television shows that I had performed in the past. I was new to her band and new to the camp, and was supposed to have this big solo in the middle of one of her biggest hits, not to mention, I had to stand next to her while doing it, dancing. I couldn’t control my nerves too well, honestly. Every time I walked out to the center of that stage, it was a flash and happened so fast that I didn’t even remember what I played or how. Then I realized that’s music! It’s fun and expressive, and as long as I’m feeling it, everyone else will. It’s not about the notes I play, but how I play them. It’s not about how fast I can play, but the emotion I play with. From that moment, I learned to counteract my nerves with confidence.
Heed Magazine: What have you learned from touring the world with Beyoncé and others?
Dani Ivory: Anything is possible. All of these artists started with a dream and a talent. They worked damn hard to be able to manifest their dream and talent into a career to sustain themselves as self-sufficient artists, who now are basically major corporations that employ hundreds of other people. If you put your mind and heart into something that you sincerely believe is your destiny, nothing can stop you from fulfilling it. It doesn’t matter if you are a musician, singer, doctor, teacher, or any professional…you become what you believe.
Heed Magazine: Aside from touring in Europe on the Mrs. Carter World Tour, what do you have coming up next?
Dani Ivory: I will be performing live shows as well as getting back in the studio to prepare my first studio album.
Heed Magazine: How can we stay connected to you and your music?
Dani Ivory: Please visit my website for constant updates at www.daniivory.com!
Also, be sure to follow Dani Ivory on:
Check out a few highlights from Dani Ivory’s debut show at the Troubadour!
Here’s the title track and new single from her debut EP “Forever Yours”! Give it a listen and tell us what you think! And catch Dani Ivory on tour with Beyonce in a city near you!
All Photos © 2014 Dani Ivory