By Nicholas Jason Lopez
A frontline nurse by day and an R&B artist on his time off, Danny Polo knew he was in for the ride of his life when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and slowly crept in to his daily life.
Through the release of his debut album and several provocative singles, the Nashville, Tenn.-based musician has begun to make waves among fans and music outlets alike.
“Prada,” his latest collaboration with 16-year-old Canadian producer CUBE and Platinum songwriter Landon Sears, that only showcases the best case scenario when you get a trio that has 200k monthly Spotify listeners.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with Polo about “Prada” and more.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for “Prada”?
Danny Polo – I just wanna give people a song to have fun to. A lot of times, I make slow tracks that are meant for people to process feelings, but this time, I just wanna put a smile on people’s faces and get them grooving.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about the music industry right now?
Danny Polo – I love how accessible making music is now. I remember a conversation I had with CUBE about how when I was a kid, we had to find whatever piano teacher was available and affordable in our town and hope that they were good at the music that we liked. Now, people can search on the internet and learn anything and everything they want and so many incredible musicians have had the opportunity to come up that would have never had the resources to do so in the past. I genuinely feel music and musicianship just getting better and better and it’s something so exciting to see.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Danny Polo – I remember a moment when I was at work in about 2017, where I was just feeling like i wasn’t happy with what I was doing with my life. I felt like there was only so much positive I could put out into the world with my hands, so I realized I wanted to put out positive into the world with my art and my ideas. I then proceeded to make lots of terrible music, which turned into okay music and so on. Now, I’m finally at a place where I feel like I’m finally hitting people with music in the way that I’ve always wanted to and I’ve never felt more fulfilled.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Danny Polo – It has hit me pretty hard, honestly. Being an ICU nurse during this pandemic is one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through. It’s been difficult to be creative after feeling so overwhelmed and powerless at work and then coming back home to isolation. Without music and the outlet this art gives me, I would have never been able to make it. I honestly learned how to really produce and found my voice during this pandemic and I wouldn’t be the musician I am today without those events. I actually recorded the hook to “Prada” in my hotel room after a night shift I worked during a travel nurse contract in Boston in January.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Nashville to someone who has never been there before?
Danny Polo – Okay, so Nashville is amazing! It definitely has something for everyone. The center of town definitely caters to the country crowd and it is definitely fun, but I normally like hanging out in the more hidden gems of the city. There are so many fun places to dance to music, like Disco and Rnb and amazing places to eat. It’s unreal. It really is a big town with a city feel.
Music Bugle – What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Danny Polo – Honestly, so far in life, my proudest accomplishment has been becoming a version of myself that is honestly to myself. I grew up in an environment that was very suppressive and I thought so many things I enjoyed and wanted were bad and undesirable. Having the courage to leave that life and make a new life for myself was so incredibly difficult, but so incredibly worth it.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Danny Polo – “A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove… but the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a child,” by Forest Witcraft.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Danny Polo – My room and watch lots of YouTube. YouTube is part of my personality at this point.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for by the end of 2021?
Danny Polo – I hope to get to a place where I can do music full-time. I know it is crunch time now and we are getting close, but I’m making moves right now that I can see a clear trajectory where it can happen.
Music Bugle – What’s something that people might be surprised to know about you?
Danny Polo – I don’t listen to music in the car, like, ever. I’m quite the podcast boi. I listen to lots of educational and murder podcasts, but yea, everyone is super surprised when we get in the car and I always ask to not listen to music.