Dani Karis
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Dani Karis

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | SELF

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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Sword Crown and Creed (2011) - full studio album.



2011 Australian Songwriting Association Awards
Winner - Best Ballad, Finalist Spiritual and Folk
2011 Australian Independent Music Video Awards
Winner – Judges Prize for Artistic Merit
2012 ABC 702 Exhumed finalist.
2012 OzMusic finalist in 5 categories.

Dani Karis’ songwriting is a captivating journey between folk and soul, occasionally displaying a hint of rock and not a little of the balladeer. Unable to fix on a genre, she likes the term ‘contemporary-folk & roots’ for her lyric-driven songs. This is a performer who sings from the very core of herself. You can hear it in her jubilant choruses, in her haunting melodies and yet, until recently she was adamant that songwriting was a private joy.

Sword, Crown and Creed is an album that bristles with passion and soul. It marks the recording debut of someone who clearly loves music and loves life. Then again, when you’ve been thinking about and working towards something for almost 20 years, the result should be something very special. Sword, Crown and Creed is Dani Karis’ first album – but it’s been a long time coming. The Sydney-based singer-songwriter has been writing since 1991. “That first song really came as a surprise to me,” she recalls. “It simply flooded out one day when I was trying to play something else on the guitar.”
It was the beginning of a passion that has sustained her. “Songwriting became the perfect creative outlet for me. It was cathartic, self-realising, sincere and let me get away with saying things that I otherwise wouldn't have dared.”
So why have we had to wait so long to hear her unique voice? Well, she’s been busy doing other things, like traveling the world, teaching, raising a family and building a business, but mostly she was always adamant that songwriting was a private joy that would be ruined if she ever got too serious about it.
“Traveling alone in The Andes in 1992 I bought a guitar, and that affected my whole trip. Nothing opens doors in South America like a girl with a guitar!” laughs Dani. Actually, fame almost found her back then: “There's a long story about recording in New York City – I (had a phone call) with Madonna's producer, who was super-sweet and encouraging, and I worked with a guy who had done a few Carly Simon albums. He got very excited about that backpacking, songwriting version of me and called in some big guns from the recording industry. This freaked me out completely and I jumped on a plane to Amsterdam. (I do regret this lack of courage.)”
Several years later, Dani found herself living in one of Sydney's artistic hubs, where for the first time she began playing with other musos and quickly developed a strong local following. Her desire to write and perform music was becoming more insistent and people were asking where they could buy her CDs. “Sword, Crown and Creed just seemed something I had to do,” says Dani. “I have written so many songs and I was starting to question the point of doing it at all, if I wasn’t going to give them any chance to be heard. I simply woke up one morning and decided I wanted a proper, professionally-produced album.”
With the support of family and friends Dani was able to dedicate 3 solid weeks to re-writing and recording. “I cannot remember if I have ever given anything in my life that degree of focus before,” she admits. From a massive list of more than 200 songs, Dani chose 10 for her album.
So what does Dani Karis want people to take from the album? “I want them to hear something they haven't heard before, she says. “ I hope they'll listen to the lyrics. I hope they'll play it loudly in their cars and get caught singing at the traffic lights and not care!”