by: Jeff Hightower
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Back to the nest...
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Lee Daniels is what you would call a hard shot of whiskey. His music is strong and goes down smooth, and before you know it, it's kickin' you in the a$$. But that's how Lee knows to do it. His ballads are soulful and heartfelt and his rockers are full throttle. Each word comes directly from his soul. After all, his life has been a fight when in the spring of 1998 he was diagnosed with cancer and ended up winning that fight when it was all said and done. During his fight, he came to the crossroads of what makes him happy in life, and the answer was music. He has put in more than his share of miles on both side of the fence. He has been an entertainer/songwriter, and has also runs the business side of Atlantic Music Group. In 2003 Lee landed in the middle of Nashville where he started work on his debut. He started barreling his way up the charts with his initial release "Moonshine Texas" in the summer of 2007 and hasn't looked back since. Ever the business man, Lee understands the hardships of the music industry and has offered up services to local talent to help swing an underground movement of independent talent in Nashville and give chances to those whose hearts bleed music. HM - What got you into music in the first place? LD - My father played guitar with Glenn Campbell in the 60's and had moderate success in the southwest playing with other acts. Some night's I would fall asleep listening to my father strum "My Michelle" and "If I Were a Carpenter." HM - Who were your main influences that help develop the artist you are today? LD - Of course my parents, but Conway Twitty, Kenny Rogers, Marty Robbins, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Guns and Roses, 80's Hair Bands, Old School Hip Hop like L.L. and The Beastie Boys. HM - What is your main goal in the music industry? LD - Longevity... HM - What drives you to be the artist you are today? LD - Differences...each artist our there known or unknown has something about them that makes them different. It may not always be their voice, but I am different, unique and I'll blaze my own trail, as difficult as that may be. HM - What sets you apart from other artist in the industry today? LD - I am an entertainer...I love to do it live...and loud! I can bring a crowd to it's feet and look them all in the eye while doing it. The intensity of performing is a rush that never stops giving. I can connect with my audience and create a lasting bond that most will remember for years to come. HM - Of all the things youâ€™ve done and seen, what is the most important lesson you take out of your experiences? LD - Take your time...things will happen with constant pressure, slow and steady. Change isn't instant, you didn't get here overnight, you won't make it, overnight. HM - What is more important to you, the notoriety and accolades or the pride and passion of music? LD - Don't get me wrong to hear 50 thousand screaming fans would be amazing, however; the fact that music moves people. It transcends. From the Moscow Monsters of Rock Tour in the 80's to Farm Aide...music brings people together who otherwise would never be seen in the same room together. We all love a little Hip Hop, A bit of Jazz, and even a grinding guitar solo every once i a wile. It takes you to a place in time, when you hear "that song" and that's more powerful than any drug ever made. HM - In your own words, define the perfect music/song to you. LD - My perfect song would have just enough pain, pleasure and magic...ie love. Nothing in life is worth having and life is not worth living without love. Can you write a perfect song with out love? HM - Who have you worked with, or are looking forward to working with the most over the course of your career? LD - I have opened for James House, Tim McGraw, Tracy Byrd, Darryl Singletary, Rick Trevino among others. I have worked with Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, Steve-O, Neve Campbell, Sam Shepard, Faye Dunaway, among other in the film industry. In the Music industry I've met Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Darryl Worley, Kenny Chesney, Aerosmith, Kiss, Mark Wills, Emerson Drive, (partied with) Poison, Dokken, Slaughter, Cinderella, Whitesnake, Mark Wills, Emerson Drive, the list goes on... The artist I would love to work with most and have not yet met is Garth Brooks.