Deeper Connections: An Interview with Sug Daniels

Photo courtesy of Nathalie Antonov

Throughout her childhood, Sug Daniels watched her mother perform in the church choir. She was enamored by her mother’s constant powerful and raw performances, and soon enough she too had joined Sunday choir.

“Being exposed to such emotional music at an early age made me crave more,” she said. “I spent years unknowingly developing my musical palette. I listened to what the punk rock kids in school liked, rap, rock, anything I could get my ears on to experience that feeling again.”

There was never a deciding moment that made her want to pursue music. Music had always been there for her, and eventually, she stopped pretending like she wanted to pursue anything else.

Her songwriting has matured over the years, as has she, but she still finds herself learning lessons from her past.

“My music and I have moved side by side throughout the years,” she said. “As I grew older and had more experiences, both good and bad, I had more material to write about. I have only just realized that I've used my music since I was younger to flush out my feelings and emotions. After a song is written I have a better understanding of how I truly feel. I take those lessons into the next song to create a deeper connection.”

Her latest single, “Heavy”, came about during an emotionally raw time in her life. She had just experienced a major breakup, and as a friend provided a shoulder to cry on, she wasn’t sure if that was friendship or budding romance. It was a lonely time in her life, and while that friendship was nothing more, it inspired her to write down those feelings she felt she couldn’t escape from.

“When people listen I hope they see themselves,” she said about the single. “The theme of the song is very vulnerable and relatable across all races, sexual orientations and backgrounds. I make music for myself but I release and perform it to connect with the world around me. I hope it gives them a vocabulary to describe their feelings or at least a notion that they aren't the only ones who feel this strange and awkward.”

“Heavy” serves as a glimpse into her forthcoming EP, Franklin Street, which will be released this fall through Weird Sister Records. Not only is this her first solo project, but this will also be the label’s first release.

“I am so excited to work with a team of people whose goals, morals and visions align with my own,” she said. “Every time I speak with them about an idea, or a new vision for myself I feel encouraged and supported...the elation and desire to make each other proud is palpable.”

From church choir to a record label release, Sug Daniels and her music truly have moved side by side. As the two continue to move together, the brighter her talent shines.