At the end of November 2017, Switzerland witnessed the birth of Ego, the first album of Danitsa, a Geneva girl with a strong musical temperament. After an unhurried progression, first in Paris, her native city, and then in Switzerland where she settled in 2006, Danitsa came out of the confines of the underground with an offering that one could have called a ‘well-rounded melting pot’. Created with the producer Vie d’Ange, Ego is rich in 16 pieces that explore the expression of girlpower, of inner quest or social criticism. 16 chapters that take us virtually around the world in 50 minutes.
A plural identity
Contacted by telephone, Danitsa explains the title of her opus: "The first time I met Vie d’Ange, I asked him what he thought of me. He told me that he had heard that I had an oversized ego. I went home and thought about it all night. I don’t have such an ego, but I realised that as soon as you share your dreams and ambitions with people, they automatically think it goes to your head. I decided to call my album Ego to show that the ego is a strength and not arrogance." The opus combines hip-hop, electro, soul and reggae with influences from Latin America and Africa. And it’s no coincidence. Congo, Chad, Serbia, Spain and France: these are the flags that constitute Danitsa’s mixed identity.
On Thursday 1 February Danitsa’s ‘arrogance’ was displayed on the stage of the atypical Geneva Antigel Festival. High priestess of her art, the musician is full of energy - an energy that is so communicative that it penetrates the thick mass of smoke that fills the stage. Her flow, a reflection of Jamaican tradition, carries away the audience which unwinds. "When I record a piece, a melody and flow are born in my head. I don’t seek to work my flow so that it takes a certain shape, it’s solely my souls that expresses itself. My father is the producer of Skankytone reggae. I think he gave life to a little Jamaican in me which expresses itself in my flow."
An inspiring personality
Although it’s a quality she did not seek to raise as flag bearer of her universe, one cannot help seeing in Danitsa one of the beacons of feminism in this so masculine world of hip-hop. "I have never wondered what my place was as a woman in this milieu. I make music for myself and to share it with others. I don’t try to compete with the other masculine hip-hop artists. I don’t wonder whether I will make it as a woman. You have to go for it – that’s how you make it. People think that to be a woman you have to be a bimbo or show your breasts to be better known. I want people to listen to me for my voice and not for my looks. If I want to wear dungarees or a low neckline, I am free to do so. More and more young women come to my concerts. If I can inspire them, it’s the greatest gift I can receive."
As title follows title, Danitsa only adds to her popularity with the Antigel audience. A display of dance steps, nods of the head and vocal manifestations of amazement while the artist passes from song to rap in a subtle transition, all these resume the impressions of this audience. Supported by her little brother, Mr. Pops, who also takes the microphone on stage, Danitsa creates an atmosphere that is both mystic and federating, and propels the confidence that emanates from her aura to the four corners of the hall. No other place would suit her better than that of the moment. This is particularly apparent on Captain. "I wrote this piece at a period in my life when I was used to following the opinion of others. Then I said to myself that I should be my own guide of my life. Captain symbolises a goodbye to the bad vibrations and acquaintances surrounding me at that time. It has become my hymn."
Since its release, Ego has had everyone talking about the artist. After conquering the radio landscape and the French-language print press, Danitsa won a Swiss Music Award in the category ‘Best Act Romandie’ on 9 February, and has already made her mark beyond the Röstigraben, the French-German linguistic divide. "After the launch at the Usine in Geneva, another launch took place at the Longstreet Bar in Zurich. It was incredible. I was really afraid. I didn’t know whether I would appeal to a Swiss-German audience. In the end, the hall was full to capacity."
Deserved recognition for an album which will certainly mark the Swiss music scene with a multi-coloured treble clef.