We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel René and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
I want my music to be my legacy. Every song contains a piece of me, a fragment of where I am in my life. I want people to remember that I never gave up on my dream or myself. I never surrendered to people telling me no. I fight for what I want and never give up. I am a fighter, a survivor, and above all I am a lover. My evolution as a human being is also the evolution of me as an artist. I never allowed other people to dictate my life, the same way I never let trends dictate my music. I will leave my music behind. Music is the story of my life. My life is the story of my music.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I realized I wanted to be a singer when I was very young. With the support of my family, I was chosen to be a part of the Latin boyband MDO (Menudo). I had my very first concert if front of thousands of screaming fans the same day I turned 15. In a year and a half I traveled the world and performed over 250 shows. Once I left the group I started watching and learning from master producers and singers like Emilio Estefan and Jon Secada. I took everything I learned and used it to produce my own music and create my own sound. Today I focus on telling my story and other’s story, through music. When I host “A Tiny Audience” my favorite part is learning other people’s music history and the journey behind their music.
It sounds like everything fell into place but it wasn’t easy. Being without your family, traveling the world, performing almost every night and living a scheduled life at 15 was fun at times but it was also work. Then going solo at 17 meant I had even more responsibilities and more eyes on me. It took a lot of time and persistence to reach the right people but I knew if I wanted the dream I had to do the work.
Even harder than the work was trying to be the person everyone else expected me to be. For most of my life I tried to fit the ideal popstar mold but you can only do that for so long before you start to suffocate. I was 25 and had no idea who I was without someone telling me who to be. That’s when I started my journey of self discovery and after much trial and error I am now on a daily mission to be the best, most authentic version of me. I try to reflect this version of myself in my music. Be true to you is the best advice I can give to anyone trying to get into this business. It won’t be easy but it’s worth it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For anyone visiting Miami, I think the beach has to be the first stop. We are blessed with the warm, beautiful blue ocean and the ideal weather to match. Maybe even take a drive down to the keys and stop at the Everglades on out way down. It’s not everyday you can see alligators up close and personal. I would take them around Wynwood to check out art and murals by local artists. We would also check out the Frost Museum. Then one night go to Bayside to ride the Sky View and see the best view of Miami.
Depending on their preference and budget I would take them shopping to Aventura Mall, Dadeland, Dolphin Mall and Bal Harbor.
As far as food, it’s a must to go to La Carreta or Versalles to get real Cuban cuisine and a cortadito. For a nice meal I would take them to Amara at Paraiso. Dessert at Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop. One of my guilty pleasures is “Dos Croquetas”.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to Christine Preciado, Ryan Demere, Victor Seijas and Milcho without whom I would not be alive. They never gave up on me and showed me what unconditional love felt and looked like. When I lost my way they showed me the way back and guided me so that I could become the best version of me. I don’t know where I’d be or who I would be without them.
All image credits M. Christine Preciado except the one with the purple background singing, that credit goes to Victor Seijas