Nashville Fit Magazine Exclusive: A Conversation with Danielia Cotton

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Danielia Cotton, a multi-talented artist whose story is as inspiring as her music. Her journey is a testament to resilience, passion, and the power of art in navigating life’s challenges. Here’s a glimpse into our candid conversation.

Check her latest single here

In July, Danielia will be in Nashville for a television appearance on “Rock and Review” for Fox Nashville release date TBD. She plans to perform twice as well:

1 PM WMOT Finally Friday recording at 3rd and Lindsley
6:30 PM Miss Zeke’s Juke Joint

and drop a new single to country radio. Despite her busy schedule, she preferred marathons, sharing her plans to run three this year, including those in Chicago and Texas due to their flat terrains. “Nashville isn’t flat,” she noted with a laugh, acknowledging the city’s challenging landscape for runners.

Danielia has made a name for herself in the Americana/Roots Rock world, opening for the likes of Gregg Allman, Bon Jovi, Robert Cray, Robert Randolph, Cristone “Kingfish” Ingram, Derek Trucks Band, and Aimee Mann. As a Black woman, Danielia understands the unique challenges of cracking through the often-insulated scene and admires artists like Charley Pride, the first Black American voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as the first Black singer to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.

Her family’s unique dynamic marked Danielia’s childhood in Hopewell. Raised by a single mother with four children, she found solace and expression in music. Her mother, an accountant for Houghton Mifflin, gifted her a guitar and a how-to book, sparking a lifelong passion for music. “I didn’t come out of my room until I knew how to play a few chords,” she recalled.

Her family faced adversity as one of the few Black families in a predominantly white town. However, they made a lasting impact. Her lightning-fast runner sister often competed in races above her age group, showcasing the family’s resilience and determination. “Running and music have been integral to my life,” Danielia shared.

Danielia’s music is a fusion of rock, blues, and country, influenced by her diverse family background and experiences. Her grandfather, a dignified man despite his small stature, and her jazz-loving mother exposed her to various musical styles. Her brother’s love for rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Todd Rundgren also left a lasting impression.

“Rock music sounded like my feelings,” she explained. This eclectic mix of influences helped shape her unique sound, which she described as a blend of Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Bonnie Raitt.

Danielia’s journey hasn’t been without its struggles. She faced numerous miscarriages and battled alcoholism, but running marathons and her commitment to sobriety helped her find balance. Her resilience was further tested when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and her husband was diagnosed with stage four mantle cell lymphoma. Despite these challenges, they continue to support each other and their six-year-old daughter.

“Fitness and staying sober are crucial,” she emphasized. “Living day by day and focusing on my music keeps me grounded.”

In 2022, Danielia was inspired to start recording versions of songs made famous by Charley Pride. She fit in sessions and rehearsals between recording her latest LP of originals, “Good Day,” and performing in support of that release. Danielia considers the forthcoming record a tribute to one of her musical idols and her family, especially her grandparents.

Now that Black country/Americana artists are finally getting the visibility and acclaim they deserve, she feels the time is right to put the finishing touches on the tribute EP, “Charley’s Pride: Songs from a Black Cowboy Vol. I.” Check out the latest single, Danielia’s take on the hit, “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’,” which was recently inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and honored at their first Gala and Concert.

Danielia is also an avid runner and has run seven marathons to date! The last two (NY and London) were completed in one year at age 55. She has been accepted into the Chicago Marathon and The Texas Marathon, so she’ll complete 8 and 9 at age 57. Truly an inspiration, she runs primarily to raise money for cancer research. She is a cancer survivor, and her partner has Stage 4 Mantle Cell Lymphoma, so it’s a cause that hits home.

Danielia’s story is one of resilience, adaptability, and unwavering passion for music. Her ability to blend different genres and stay true to herself sets her apart in the music industry. As she prepares for her next chapter, which will include more marathons and new music, her message is clear: “Keep pushing, keep pressing forward.”

Stay tuned to Nashville Fit Magazine for more updates on Danielia’s journey and upcoming performances.

NFM Staff
Author: NFM Staff

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