Hailing from Bedfordshire, England, growing up on the American roots music of her Anglo-Indian grandmother’s record collection, singer/songwriter Danni Nicholls has been paving her way in UK Americana for over a decade, building a loyal fan base and much critical praise.
With the wind still in her sails from three consecutive Americana Music Association UK award nominations (Album, Artist and Song of the year in 2017, 2018 & 2020 respectively) plus extensive tours and opening slots with the likes of The Secret Sisters, Shakin' Stevens and Lucinda Williams, Danni, her powerful, arresting voice and her dynamically poetic original songs are ever-gaining presence and reach.
Danni’s latest musical offering, new stand-alone single Little Fictions, was released in April 2022. Self produced and recorded in Nashville and Bedford, UK, the song is a big & bold, cinematic ballad which truly showcases Danni’s powerful vocals. Sweeping strings intertwine with folky guitar and Memphis R & B style drums and the whole thing climbs to an emotional climax.
Written in February 2020 with co-writer Rebekah Powell (Zooey Deschanel, Ward Thomas, Sarah Darling) shortly before the world would be unimaginably changed, Little Fictions was born from a persistent, niggling feeling of doubt. Doubt of the self, of life’s path, of certain relationships. An acknowledgement of the anxiety inducing voices in our heads which try to take us down, to block our potential…the little fictions we tell ourselves that drown out our intuition and make it hard to trust the journey. The song is also an attempt to stand up to them.
As a child, Danni dreamed of travelling to Nashville, her ‘spiritual home’ as she describes it. After a chance meeting of musician and producer Chris Donohue who was in the UK performing with Emmylou Harris at the time, Danni’s dream came true and she was invited to make a record with Chris and the cream of Nashville’s crop in East Nashville which resulted in 2012’s A Little Redemption. The pair went on to make Mockingbird Lane together in 2015. Both albums garnered rave reviews and feature some of Danni’s musical heroes including Al Perkins (Dolly Parton, The Rolling Stones) Will Kimbrough (Emmylou Harris) and Steve Fishell (Albert Lee, Wille Nelson).
April 2019 saw the release of Danni's third studio album The Melted Morning. Produced by Jordan Brooke Hamlin (The Indigo Girls, Lucy Wainwright-Roche) at the idyllic woodland studio MOXE, Nashville, TN. The record offers a new direction and very different sonic landscape than previous releases. Haunting, intimate and atmospheric, this album was a deeper dive into Danni’s truth and perspective.
Having been invited to perform all over the world at prestigious events and festivals such as Cambridge Folk (UK), Tønder (Denmark) and Americanafest (USA), Danni is no stranger to the big stages which she loves to fill with her strong voice both literally and metaphorically. Writing songs with messages of hope and healing plus citing the likes of Brandi Carlile and KT Tunstall as important personal and musical influences, she is proud to be counted amongst the increasing list of LGBTQIA+ identifying artists and recognises the importance of representation.
With comparisons to artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Brandi Carlile and Roseanne Cash, Danni’s vibrant, captivating performances are all but guaranteed to melt your heart into the soles of your boots. Her passionate delivery, captivating voice, mesmerising guitar skills and charmingly engaging between-song banter compel you to fall under her spell.
Since she picked up her first guitar inherited from great uncle Heathcliffe aged 15 (a 1964 Burns London Jazz guitar rumoured to have once belonged to Billy Fury no less!) Danni Nicholls has been in love with the practice of songwriting, honing her craft, finding and sharing her voice. The connection to other humans she finds through music feels powerful, important and intoxicating which is why, no matter the challenges she may come up against, she’s committed to choosing a life in music over and over again.
“Her passion for her craft is unparalleled. Her depth of emotion, commitment to the song, and ability to go deep makes her a rare artist”
Jed Hilly, Director of the Americana Music Association
“An artist with the elegance and imagination to restore your faith in the visceral power of an original song”
Paul Sexton, BBC Radio 2 and freelance print/broadcast journalist
“I absolutely love the elegance and beauty of her music” - Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
“Smoky soul, folk-pop and heart-wrenching alt-country, all in a rich voice” - Q Magazine
“Sumptuous…a warm wry line in confessional songwriting” - UNCUT
“One in a million…” - Maverick Music Magazine