Former Madison West High graduate and current Columbia College Chicago sophomore Danielle Crim just released her self-produced album “Floating,” a collection of songs she has been working on over the past six months or so.
On the new album, Crim wrote all of the lyrics and sings on all of the songs. She also produced every song on the album. “There are a few songs where I play guitar. Some of them I play keyboards. I played some of the violin that you hear on the album,” Crim tells Madison365.
“On one of the songs, I have PROTEGE the PRO as a guest rapper on ‘DNA,'” she adds.
“Floating” is a pop extended play (EP) with six really creative songs. An EP is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single but fewer than an album or LP record.
“A lot of the songs were pieces that I have worked on and put together and arranged in a way that made sense to me. I’m not quite sure how to describe the album as a whole but when I think of “Floating,’ it’s something that is kind of dreamy,” Crim says.
“I had a bunch of songs that I have been working on — some of them I had been working on as school assignments and some of them I came up with when I decided to work on music,” Crim adds. “I had this collection of songs that I really liked and I wanted to work on them and it turned into a project.”
The first song she started working on back in October of 2020. “But most of the songs I’ve worked on starting in March of this year. I finished working on everything in August,” she says.
English singer and songwriter Dua Lipa was an inspiration for the first track titled “Like Graffitti,” Crim says of the song on YouTube below.
“In general, some of my biggest inspirations are Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, and Billie Eilish,” Crim says. “My favorite track on ‘Floating’ is either ‘Shoestrings’ or ‘My Paradise’ … those are my top two.”
“This is a dream come true. It’s really exciting,” Crim continues. “This is my third project – I have two albums I’ve released already … one was released in 2018; another in 2020. It’s been really nice to look back at all of my projects and see the progress I’ve made. I’m learning a lot. I’m practicing. I’m trying to teach myself how to write better and how to produce better. I have definitely made some progress.”
Crim, the Madison Area Music Association Awards Student of the Year in 2019,
is just 18 years old and starting her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago, a private college specializing in arts and media disciplines, where she is studying contemporary music.
Crim has honed many of her musical skills at the NAACP ACT-SO program and while competing in regional and national ACT-SO competitions. NAACP ACT-SO is a year-long youth program, informally named the “Olympics of the Mind,” that recognizes and awards young people who have demonstrated academic and cultural achievement.
“The ACT-SO program actually helped me a lot. I competed all four years in high school in poetry written and music composition,” Crim remembers. “It helped me a lot in working on different compositions and working with different instruments. For the ACT-SO program, I only composed classical music so it’s nothing like what I recorded now for Spotify. But I’ve been using a lot of what I learned in making those and putting it into my music.”
Crim says that she is hoping that the new “Floating” EP gets her name out there more in the music world.
“I do want to start getting more of an audience. I want to start performing more. It’s been tough during the pandemic in that regard,” Crim says. “I want to start making more connections and working with more people.
“Being in Chicago [for college] really helps in that regard. At school, I am meeting other students, other teachers and faculty that I can learn from and work with. That can really help my music career,” she adds.
You can listen to “Floating” on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, SoundCloud, YouTube, or more. Crim hopes that the new album opens new doors for her music career.
“I want to work behind the scenes more so I want to be a songwriter and I want to get better at producing so I can produce music for people. I would love to be a background singer, too,” she says. “I want to have my own music, too, and I want to have my own audience but I don’t want to be a big performer.
“My goal is to work with a lot of people in the music industry and make a lot of music for the people and for myself,” Crim adds.