DANNIELLE DE ANDREA / GAHA
Whether crafting her own albums or touring with some of the biggest
names in entertainment, Dannielle De Andrea’s
extraordinary voice and classic songwriting have forged a powerful
presence in international music.
Sydney-born-and-raised Dannielle has been based in Los Angeles for 18
years and is set for one of her busiest years yet in 2024.
She returns to Australia to introduce the songs from her next
album, Careful What You Wish For, written and recorded with master
musician Larry Goldings and set for release in May. It was the last album
recorded at fabled LA studio United Recording Studios, where Frank Sinatra
recorded It Was a Very Good Year and Strangers in the
Night and The Mamas and Papas captured California
Dannielle comes from an entertainment family: her mother was a dance
teacher in Sydney for 50 years and her father was a drummer. Dannielle’s first
love was dancing but all the great music her mum played around the house had an
impact too. At 17 she realised that what she really wanted to do was sing.
“Something changed in me when I was 17
and I knew singing was it for me. I just love it. Whether it is taking the lead
on my music, singing with The SongBirds, backing vocals, teaching people to
sing, it is a privilege to do it and to be able to get up on stage.
“Singing releases an endorphin that
makes you feel good and if I ever feel a little sad I know why. I just have to
De Andrea, then performing as Dannielle Gaha, has been wowing Australian
audiences since she was a teenage finalist on TV talent program Star
She sang a duet on John Farnham’s 1989 hit Communication,
then sang in his band on box-office smash tours like The Last Time.
Australians also know Dannielle as one-half of The Nissan Cedrics on Roy and
HG’s TV show Club Buggery.
In the early ’90s Dannielle’s career took her to the UK where she signed
to the Epic label. She became the first Australian to break into the UK soul
and dance charts with singles Do It For Love, Stuck in the
Middle and Secret Love. Her vocal on Secret
Love was sampled by producer Danny J. Lewis for Spend the
Night, a UK hit in 1997 reissued in 2023.
She also recorded an album that was shelved at the time and Dannielle
has now regained the rights to the masters.
“I am I am very proud of that album too and finally we can release it to
the world in 2024,” Dannielle says.
She now tours in Joe Bonamassa’s band and has toured, recorded and
performed with artists such as Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Tom Jones, Sting,
Ariana Grande, Wiz Khalifa, Meghan Trainor, Glenn Shorrock, Jason Donovan,
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Glen Campbell, Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue.
Dannielle’s emotional live performances have won her fans around the
world and she has headlined solo shows in the US, UK, Europe and Singapore as
well as Australia. Her 2018 live recordings with funk band Scary Pockets have
had more than 16 million views on YouTube.
Her deep entertainment genes, love of the stage and experiences working
with some of the biggest names in music combine to make Dannielle the
consummate singing professional, courting high praise from many including
renowned producer and former American Idol Judge, Randy Jackson who states “One
of Australia’s best singers. Ever.” Dannielle moves easily across styles
from jazz (2002 album You Don’t Know Me and 2017’s The
Call) to electro-soul (2008’s Chocolate for Holly) and
funky R&B (2018 EP My New Record).
The Call and My New Record were recorded in LA with
all-star musicians including Goldings, Drew Taubenfeld (Selena Gomez), Jeff
Young (Jackson Browne, Steely Dan) and David Delhomme (Michael Bolton, The
Tonight Show band).
Writing and recording new album Careful What You Wish
For with Goldings was a long-held dream.
“In 2002 driving home after a gig I was playing James Taylor’s
album October Road,” Dannielle says. “When I heard the piano solo
on Mean Old Man I had to pull over and look at the cover to
find out who was playing. It was Larry, and I said to myself, ‘When I get to
America I am going to work with this guy. I can feel it.’ ”
They eventually did work together in LA
and High Dreams, a song they co-wrote for The Call, won
the jazz category in The UK Songwriters Contest in 2014 and was runner-up in
the jazz category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest a few years later.
Dannielle is one of those rare performers who has matured as an artist
and songwriter to deliver the most personal and compelling statement of her
career with her new jazz album and she can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
She will embark on solo tours around the globe including her home
country Australia, where she will also perform with her vocal trio The SongBirds with Gaby Moreno and Erica Canales with appearances including Port Fairy
Careful What You Wish For is scheduled
for release May 2024.