Dani Leigh started out her career as a professional dancer, but soon after, she realized that she belonged front and center on stage. Her parents, who owned a Spanish restaurant, dropped everything to move to LA, in a one bedroom apartment with her siblings, to follow her dreams. After grinding and working hard, the Dominican starlet finally got her big break by signing to Def Jam and is now laser-focused in making it big. She recently released her new video All I Know that is sexy, cool, and catchy leaving you with the tune in your head way after you finished listening to the song. Check out her latest video and learn more about this up and coming superstar!
Your most recent song and video, All I Know, has the hook of a famous Aretha Franklin song? How did that happen?
I was in the studio that night with the artist featured on the track Kes when he played the Aretha Franklin song and was like, “you gotta do this” and, of course, I wasn’t opposed because it was from the incredible Aretha Franklin and what she says in the song, “I can’t afford to stop” is exactly where I am at in my life right now. A goal of mine has always been to break and be known in the industry as an artist by age 23. I just turned 23 and that’s what is happening for me. Right now, I’m so focused on really putting my best out there to make it, get my money and be established as an artist that I really can’t afford to stop. I don’t have time for a relationship. I also feel like a lot of girls aren’t talking about working hard, it’s very male dominated, so I was like, “Yo man, let me show you that I work hard too.”
Why 23 years old?
It’s my Jordan year, haha!
Your style of dance, especially in this video, are pretty unique. Is that all you?
I used to be a professional dancer, so when I have a song, I already know exactly the type of choreography I am looking for, for that song and I find it. For this video, I actually used my personal dancers Destiny Owens and her friend, Isaiah, to choreograph the dance. I knew their style because they did my other video Ex and I knew they would kill it and they did. People went crazy with the hip-shaking move they added; I see little videos of people doing the moves and I'm like, "ahhh!"
How about the look with open unbuttoned side basketball shorts?
For my look, shout out to my stylist Alani and Angelo, who are actually dancers. I’ve been obsessed with their look and they also styled me for my video Play. I don’t care about big name stylists, I know what I like and I just want their vision on it and that’s exactly what they did.
What is your style?
My style is very tomboyish, but still sexy in a playful way. I know how to dress it up when it comes to being a little boyish, like I’ll do my make up a little cuter, so I’m pretty in the face to give it some balance, but I’m definitely more comfortable in track pants, sweats, or jeans and sneakers. It’s cool because people will comment like, “It’s so dope, you’re fully dressed!” [laughs]
Sex sells and being sexy is always a trend in the entertainment industry, are you ever tempted to switch up your look and show more to be sexier?
What I really like is to look different in a room. When I’m going to a club, I already know there is no one that’s going to have on what I have on. That’s no shade on how girls dress to the club, that’s cute too and I can do it if it calls for it, but I, honestly, like to be comfortable and fly, so I know nobody is gonna have on what I have on and that’s how I like to feel when I go into a place.
Does being Latina play a part in your artistry?
Defintiely. I was raised by both of my parents who are Dominican, so growing up there was always loud bachata music and merengue in the house and, even now, as soon as a classic bachata or merengue song comes on my whole family will start dancing. It’s just in us and I was used to listening to it, so it comes through in my music and I’m super proud to be Dominican. I think Dominicans are super cool, so I definitely like to put it in my music so people now where I am from and how I was brought up. I'm actually going to DR when I'm finishing up my album around early August, late July because I want to go to the motherland to get that vibe in there. I am also coming out with a Spanish album, hopefully, in the Fall.
Are there any Latinas you look up to?
I was obsessed with Selena - I was obsessed with her style - and when I watched the movie again recently I thought her and I were actually pretty similar. We used to dress a lot alike - she used to wear high-waisted pants, Nike hats, big hoops, and the lip liner like I do!
What’s next for you?
I have my first radio promo tour, which is exciting. I’ll be going to 21 cities, so you can check my Instagram to get the details of where I will be and then after that I’ll be working on my album, dropping that and then dropping my Spanish album, so it will be a busy year!
Check out her music video above!