"I couldn’t escape from my own story. So, I wrote it down" - An interview W/ Daniella Binyamin
Singer-songwriter Daniella Binyamin has been writing songs for as long as she can remember, with it becoming a way to calibrate the chaos in her mind and heart. From Sweden and the Middle East, Binyamin comes from two worlds, in some ways, becoming more whole when writing her music. After writing songs for the likes of Zara Larsson and Lukas Graham, Binyamin released her debut single ‘Grand Hotel’, which was well-received by both the press and her audience. From this, her releases have become more frequent, with ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ and now her newest track ‘Out of Fuel’, set to be released on the 30th of September! We caught up with her to find out what went in to making the new track.
Photo Credit: Oliver Olsson
Firstly, are you happy with the new single? What does it represent for you?
"I’m super happy with the new single! It’s the oldest one from my upcoming album; I wrote the melodies and lyrics for it in 2017(!) so it’s been with me for a while. It was a really easy process to write the melodies and lyrics for this one, but to make the production feel right wasn’t that easy at all. Last year, my co-producer Oskar and I revisited it and made some changes, ripped it apart to put it all back together again. It was a bit scary since it’s a song that means a lot to me. It’s been with me through different phases. Ups and downs, storms, and calmness. It took some time and courage, but it was totally worth it".
What story are you telling in the lyrics, from start to finish?
"I think this song is really cool, it makes me feel cooler than I really am haha! But although it has a quite bold soundscape, the theme and lyrics are actually about feeling small and insecure in a relationship. It’s about giving a relationship the last chance, although it’s been too late for a long time. Looking for new lights, new sparks, just to realize all that’s left is the blank space of an old love that’s no longer there".
Tell us a bit about your musical journey, and how you got to where you are today…
"It’s been quite a journey I would say! I’ve been writing songs forever. I grew up in two different worlds: the Swedish countryside and the vivid cities of the Middle East. I never felt like I fitted in. Writing songs and stories have always been my sanctuary, where I’ve been able to create and be myself, freely".
"I went to a songwriting school in the cold north of Sweden when I was 19 and started writing for other artists. For the last couple of years, I’ve been working as a songwriter and musician for others, such as Lukas Graham, Zara Larsson and Dillon Francis. But deep down I’ve always known I wanted to release my own music too someday. Last summer I had a breakdown and escaped the city. I moved to my mum's little cabin in the woods, where my only companies were my demons and an old piano. There, I just couldn’t escape from my own story. So, I wrote it down, in melodies, in lyrics. In March this year, I released my debut single ”Grand Hotel”, later my second one ”Toothpaste Kisses" and here we are".
What is your creative process when writing a new song?
"When writing for myself, I always sit down by the piano. I need to be in a certain mode, like a melancholic, creative mood. I play chords I like, and the first melodies and words often take shape at the same time. I record every little idea on my phone in case I would forget it".
"I almost never know what I’m going to write about before I write it. It’s like my subconscious takes over, and I have to let go and just let it happen. When I’m happy with the result I record the first drafts in my little studio, like the chords, vocals, and sometimes other instruments, before taking it to my co-producer Oskar Nyman".
How would you define your musical style?
"This is the hardest question!! I like to blend different styles and don’t really like to put myself in one genre box. I think creativity is all about not limiting oneself. But if I have to choose, I will say it’s some kind of alternative pop".
Did you work with anyone in particular to create the new single?
"Yes, I worked with my lovely co-producer and writer Oskar Nyman. He’s the one taking this song to the next level! Also, the brilliant drummer and mixer Oskar Sandlund did some magic on this one".
7. Do you have any ideas of what you’d like to do next, or maybe what’s already in the works?
Yes! I’m finishing off my debut album ‘Without Breaking Apart’, which will come out early in 2023. The album will be heart-breaking and DOPE. Hopefully, I’ll release one more single from the album before that, but I promise I keep you posted…!