It’s been four years since singer-songwriter Danielia Cotton last released an album, and one can say that her life has changed in every sort of way since then. There’s been a painful miscarriage and a battle with thyroid cancer that thankfully didn’t end Danielia’s life. These are events that have their way of unsettling even the strongest people, but Danielia found her balance in her music, and the result is her third LP: The Gun In Your Hand, set to be independently released on October 30th.
The album is a collection of the blues-y folk tunes Danielia is known for with a good dose of hard-rocking songs thrown in for good measure. “Lighthouse Keeper”, the album’s first single, is a perfect example of all these sounds rolled into one. Black Women In Rock was fortunate enough to get an email interview with Danielia to get a personal take on what it’s like to be a Black woman trying to make it in within the rock world.
How do you deal with being seen as a novelty as far as being a Black woman within a rock scene? I have never felt like that was the case, as blacks were so instrumental in the birth of rock and roll and blues. Unfortunately, we have yet to penetrate the genre to the point where a black musician playing rock is not seen as somewhat of a novelty I continue to do what I do and hope that it influences more black women and men to be a part of the rock scene.
How has breaking into the rock scene been for you? It was a little hard at first for people (record executives) to take me serious but after seeing me perform the music live, I think they quickly realized it wasn’t contrived but more a real passion and a part of who I am.
Who are your musical influences? Nona Hendryx, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, Donny Hathaway, Tina Turner, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and AC/DC. The list goes on.
What advice do you have for other women trying to make it within the rock scene? Sling it just like a man and don’t fall into any of the rock cliches. Just be true to the music and the rest will figure itself out.