ESQUIRE: Why jazz and blues?
DANI KOMARI: I stumbled upon Nina Simone and really liked her voice because it sounded like a man’s. I also liked the fact that it was “heavy” because I feel like I sound “heavy” as well. I then discovered Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. As much as I was listening to other types of music, I always came back to jazz. That’s when I told myself that if I ever were going to sing professionally, I knew exactly what genre I wanted to do: jazz, with a touch of blues. I really like how it sounds, and I really like the lyrics.
ESQ: What inspires your songwriting?
DK: I don’t tell people what [my music] is about, because it’ll limit what they think of it, but
as long as they can feel it, that’s all that matters to me.
ESQ: What’s the best advice that you have been given?
DK: Just be yourself.
ESQ: Who’s taught you the most about life?
DK: My dad has had a huge influence on me. He was a university lecturer. I always wanted to know what was he doing and why he was teaching the subjects that he did. I also liked to hear what older people had to say. For a while, I didn’t really hang out with kids my age. I felt like conversations should have more meaning than just “what do you want to play today?”
ESQ: If you weren’t doing music now, what would you be doing?
DK: Probably something that wouldn’t make me feel as happy as I am now.
ESQ: What are your plans for 2017?
DK: To perform more, and if possible, to do festivals like Publika Jazz Fest. I want to put out a single, which would be great. I’m also trying to practise every week with the band. (Komari performs solo as well as with an eight-piece band.)