Dani Uziel aka Minque is an 18 year old singer songwriter who was born in Israel but has been living in Southsea for the last decade. Today she releases her debut single ‘Universe’ which is available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud.
Minque began her musical education at a young age, taking up the guitar at nine years old and writing her first song when she was just eleven. She met songwriting and production partner Ben Ottesen when he started giving her Guitar lessons.
She describes “I was more interested in just playing him songs that I had written though. In the end he caved and decided to just start recording the songs I had, he would then take the vocals away and come back the next week with an arranged track. Then after a few years of not being in touch we randomly bumped into each other and he suggested they recorded a few songs with him at the Music Fusion studio in Havant. This progressed into writing an album, which progressed into Minque!”
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I caught up with Minque earlier this week to find out more about her and what makes her tick. You started writing music from a very young age, who were your biggest influences at this time?
When I was little all we used to listen to was Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Bill Withers and other big R&B names so I guess that stayed in the back of my mind; when I started actually putting songs together it was more of early Red Hot Chili Peppers, Amy Winehouse with her witty, blunt lyrics and Lily Allen with her friendly vibe. My influences change depending on what I listen to and where i am in life, but it’s always been those in particular that have pushed me to write words on paper.
If I was to turn on your iPod right now, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list and what is it about those artists that appeal to you?
There are so many to choose from! Definitely Everything Everything: Even though I write about it a lot, it’s so refreshing to hear songs that aren’t about love! they know how to balance smart lyrics and skilled hooks. And Jonathan Higg’s voice! Incredible. Sylvan Esso are up there too, I was listening to them religiously when Ben suggested to start making music together, they’re just something else. Purity Ring are also amazing, I love how their lyrics don’t make any sense but do at the same time and all the cool vocal effects they use. Hiatus Kaiyote are another big love of mine, I love them because they’re all so skilled and technical yet they flow together really well. A band like that is pretty rare in my eyes. Last but not least I’d have to say Bjork and her album Biophilia. What is there to say about Bjork? She’s my spirit animal. She’s just Bjork!
For anyone who hasn’t heard your music how would you describe your sound?
That’s a difficult question! I’d have to say something like electronic planet music or popping candy for the ears… maybe moody electro pop? When making a track, we try to add little pinches of “what was that? I like that” and other little flickers in our songs. It’s like someone took electropop and gave it a story.
Where or who do you currently draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favourite part about the process?
I go through phases of writing lots or nothing at all (poor Ben!) so it’s usually what’s going on around me that gets me writing. It’s rare that I sit down and write a whole song or a whole verse even. I usually forget about it and then come back and write the rest of what the song needs. My favourite part of the process is hearing the finished track after so much hard work.
I also find when I write a song, I don’t mind saying I sometimes don’t have a definite meaning for it at the time; but after we’ve worked and worked on it I can listen back and hear the subconscious imprints of influences and events in my life that were going on when I wrote it. I find that really interesting.
You are playing the Beats & Swing stage at Victorious Festival. Could you tell me about your previous live music experience and what you are looking forward to most about playing the festival?
Minque haven’t played anything live yet but we’re very excited to play Victorious! I’ve been doing little gigs for years as That Dani Bird in places around Portsmouth but that’s more stripped back jazzy stuff, so it’ll be a new experience as i’ve never been a ‘front man’ – I think if all goes well we’ll get our name out there and be playing more gigs soon and getting more people to listen to our music! We are working really hard right now to get a live show together that does justice to the recordings. We love Victorious and especially the Beat & Swing tent. I went a couple of years ago, headed straight to there and danced for the whole day. It’s such an amazing environment in there and to be part of the performers is going to be epic. Luke at Beats & Swing booked us after only hearing one song so we want to repay that faith with a great show.
If you would like to stay up to date on all things Minque then you can find her over on Facebook, Twitter @ and Instagram @minqueuk. In the meantime check her out for yourself and I think you will like what you hear!