Female Vocalist of the Year - 2002
Best Female Singer/ Songwriter - 1999
Independent Pop Album of the Year - 2001
San Diego Music Award Nominee:
Best Adult Alternative Band - 2002
The title track of the new CD, 22 Mountains, uses the story of Nikki Tesfai as a metaphor for the undying courage and perseverance needed to surmount personal and societal challenges. Due to accepted practices in her native African village, and her family's desperate need for food,
Dr. Tesfai was arranged into marriage without her consent at the age of 14. After being abused by her new husband, she ran away, without shoes or even supplies. She scaled twenty-two mountains before reaching a refugee camp, where she was again abused. Once more, she escaped and eventually made her way to the United States where she arrived alone with no resources. The story further unfolds into a series of one "mountain" after another, wherein this woman not only survives, but finds a way to turn all the pain of her journey into a means of helping others. Today, Nikki Tesfai's African Community Resource Center (www.africanresourcecenter.com) has helped over 52,000 refugees from over 52 countries.
The second half of the song based on Ms. Tesfai's story celebrates a local San Diego artist and personal friend of Danielle's, whose journey may on the surface seem less grand, but at closer look is equally as heroic and inspiring.
In a beautiful affirmation of Say It Records' mission to combat apathy by cultivating awareness of the remarkable art and resources in our own communities, Danielle discovered that Nikki Tesfai's organization was only a few miles away from where she stays when in Los Angeles.
Danielle Lo Presti and The Masses ("DLPM") came to be back in 2001, at the release of a feisty little record called "Dear Mr. Penis head." The fast-track version of the story is that Danielle had been writing for film and TV in L.A. Two of her songs were placed in "The Nutty Professor," one of which was the end-title. This leads her to a partnership with a forward-thinking producer in town, and she starts writing what she wants - songs that Think AND Feel. Their CD brings on a nice little buzz: Interscope, Hollywood Records, MCA...they come........they go.
Danielle writes a song about child molestation for a special show that her sister was producing for her renowned dance company, Eveoke. It's played for the A&R guys. They come back (!) It's "Strong"...it's..."Cutting Edge"...it's....... "Too Risky."
She submits a demo of the song, "Say It," to the L.A. Music Awards.
She's nominated... Best Female Singer/Songwriter,1999. They call her "the Say It Girl."
They refer her to a "well-connected-he-can-Help-you-type" music attorney. He listens to her music. What follows is a 20-minute bit of advice. Danielle is told that, being a woman, she has about two styles of music she can write and hope to have any degree of success: Sade or Britney Spears. If she persists in doing anything other than that, she may as well quit.
She hangs up the phone, feels the inspiration building, picks up the pen and writes that man a Thank You note - the first line: "Dear Mr. Penis head."
She opens her 20 year old savings account, invests it in making a full-length-from scratch CD, and prepares to release, promote, and market it as if her life depends on it... but she wants a band.
Now enters a brilliant group of musicians. They name themselves in honor of the historical activist magazine, "The Masses," which was instrumental in the fight for suffrage, minority and working class rights, and many other things we're still working toward today.
Several radio appearances, CD compilations, festivals, and nominations later, and DLPM's got a fast-growing fan base and internet presence, a community building showcase called "Indie By Design," which spreads awareness of the Indie Music Scene while fertilizing the idea of Teamwork among independent musicians, and: a New CD, "22 Mountains."
For updates, upcoming gigs, and for the stories behind the stories, check out: www.DanielleAndTheMasses.com
We Thank You for supporting Independent Music.
"Clearly Danielle's music shows great songwriting matched with great production. Danielle Lo Presti and The Masses are a perfect example of what makes independent music so strong."
-Ani Difranco and Scot Fisher/ Righteous Babe Records
Check out the artist's website:
1. Get Over It
2. Easier Than This
3. Crashing Down
4. Never Going Back
5. Black Queen
7. 22 Mountains
8. Come To My
12. Growing / Old