Tell us your real names, country of birth, and childhood experience.
My name is Dana Carmel and I was born in the US. I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia. I had and still have a loving family, and was generally a happy kid. I was quite shy and kept a journal from a young age.
Tell us your academic qualification.
I graduated from NYU with a double major in Music and Romance Languages. I speak Italian and Spanish. I have also taken online business schools and gone on many songwriting retreats where I learned a ton about the craft of songwriting.
Tell us about your music career, band name, musical background, experience, and skills.
I am primarily a solo artist, and so I go by my name, Dana Carmel, though I have played with trios in some of my shows. I started writing music in the piano rooms at NYU when I was working on assignments to write a sonata or counterpoint. I found that playing chords and singing melodies over them were a huge release for me. I started playing the piano at a young age and then at 13 was gifted a guitar by my grandmother. I started taking lessons and learning my favorite songs. One of the first songs I learned was “Mr. Jones” by the Counting Crows.
The story of my career is pretty long. I’ll tell you about one of my favorite things that I did which was a project where I wrote one song a week for a year. It taught me a lot about songwriting and my craft improved tremendously. I’m really good at melodies and evoking emotion. I am now actually writing a book about everything I learned during that year.
Tell us about your genre, concept, and idea behind your music video and the song.
My genre is Indie Pop. This song, “Weekend” however is on the poppier side of things. I love Pop music and I really wanted to write a pop song. I wrote it with my friend and co-writer Tim Shipman. The music came about fairly fast and then it was about finding the melody and the words. It was a really fun project and collaboration.
The concept of the video was to show me and my friends hanging out and doing fun things, like being in Coney Island, getting ready to go out, yet I was also thinking about this guy that I like. “I got everything….but you”.
Tell us how to run a record label independently and successfully based on your experience as an artist.
I think the beautiful thing about music right now is that musicians and artists don’t need big/major record labels to succeed whereas not too long ago, they definitely did. Independent means you get to do things your way, make your music and connect directly with the fans. And it’s always about the content. The cream rises to the top.
Tell us how you are promoting your music.
I am actually in talks to have some help with that but until that happens, I am on all the platforms. I love hopping on to Facebook and doing live performances there. Instagram too. You can reach so many more people now that we are connected through the internet.
Tell us what makes you happy and what makes you sad.
Traveling makes me happy. Writing new songs makes me happy. Connecting with people makes me happy. Elephants and tigers (and all other animals) being hunted makes me sad. Hearing about human struggle and loss makes me sad too.
Explain clearly the story or concept behind the song.
The concept of the song is a fun going-out song. It’s talking about how I have everything except for this person that I really want. That every night feels like Friday night with the person.
The lyrics are “I don’t care the day, the time or even place, cuz every night is Friday night with you”. You know that feeling….when it doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday lunch- it feels like Friday night with the person. That’s what the song is about.:)
Give us links to where the song can be purchased.
Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew, or music video director, how the song was recorded, and how the music video was shot.
Well, I told you about Tim. He’s the co-writer of this song. We found a producer, Bob Brock, in Brooklyn and recorded the song over one summer in Williamsburg. It was so hot and we had to turn the air conditioner off every time we recorded vocals. The computers kept heating up too so we actually put ice packs on them! Bob was really helpful with the background vocal arrangement.
The music video director is a friend of mine, Becky Yee. The funny thing about it is that we were actually going to do a video for another song of mine, “Fighter”. And 3 days before the first day of shooting, I got this feeling that I had to shoot “Weekend” instead. She was great. She was like “you have to tell me now if you want to change the song. It’s better now than the day of the shoot.” So we did. Some of the castings would probably have been different if we had more time but we made it work.
The second day of shooting was in Coney Island and we did that about a month after the first day so we had more time to organize. The dancers were so talented and it was such a treat to have them in the video. We got all the extras and actors and dancers ourselves. It was crazy but it all came together and felt like a dream when it was done.
Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience, and your future goal.
I’ve been in the industry for a long time. I’ve been writing for a long time, I’ve recorded one EP, “The Difference” and 2 full-length albums. The first one is called “Validity” and is much more indie rock. You can hear the Pearl Jam influence on that one for sure.
The 2nd one is actually about to be released and I’m really excited for everyone to hear it. It feels like it really captures my voice and me in general. My goals are to continue to express myself through music and to focus on the process of creating and then sharing the music of course.
I have other goals around helping other songwriters hone their craft, to lead songwriting retreats of my own, and to do a book/album tour.
Tell us what makes you unique from others.
For starters, there is only one me.:) In addition, I bring spirituality into my music because it’s a part of me. I speak of things people relate to because we are all here having human experiences. Even though the details of the experiences are different, a lot of the emotions are the same. I write music to express those emotions and I’m so glad it resonates.
Tell us your weakness and strength pertaining to music.
My weakness is editing as I write although I’m getting much better at that. My strength is in melody and lyrics and what is called prosody. The importance of the words you choose with the melody you use.
When I was in Italy I played a song of mine on the piano called “Where We Belong” for a couple of friends. When I was finished, I turned around and they were crying. That’s not only strength, it’s a superpower.
List your favorite songs including the artists.
“Black”- Pearl Jam
“It Ain’t Over til It’s Over”- Lenny Kravitz
“Hysteria”- Def Leppard
“Bring Me to Life”- MK, Milly Pye
“Against All Odds”-Phil Collins
Tell us your position on “DIY” Do It Yourself” and signing to a major label.
As I mentioned briefly earlier, we are now living in a time when artists can succeed without the help of a major label. Sometimes even more so than if they had that help. Because artists have direct contact with the fans, there is no middle man telling them what they can and cannot do. It’s a more intimate and direct relationship with the people who love what you do and your music.
Of course, there are benefits to having the help of a label…like being able to reach more people and having financial support, but there are a lot of successful artists doing it on their own.
Tell us other activities you will like to pursue apart from music.
I love to dance. It is a huge release for my body. I also love yoga and traveling. My goal is to travel more this year. And like I said, I enjoy learning and studying about living as a spiritual person and having a human experience.
List your various works.
I wrote an EP called “The Difference”.
An Album called ” Validity”.
And my new album is coming this spring.
State links to connect you on social media.
I also have a website you should check out and sign up for my email list to get the first video in my series #songsiwishiwrote where I geek out to the “songs I wish I wrote” and talk about what elements they have that make me wish I wrote them.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
My name is Dana Carmel. Carmel is my middle name and was also my grandfather’s name whom I never met. He was apparently the greatest guy around so I feel happy to carry his name.
State the title of the song and the meaning.
“Weekend” is about wanting to be with someone who makes you feel like every night is Friday night. And really it’s about how every night really is Friday night if you make it like that.