Up Close & Personal...
Many ask, how did you go from being a touring recording artist - musician & songwriter to owning & running one of the most prestigious, respected & renowned publicity firms of all time?
" It's simple, personal experience, a lot of hard work & a true passion for what I do" says Danie. "My clients would rather work with someone that has walked in their creative shoes...rather than with someone that simply holds a title."
Born & raised in Toronto Canada, Danie performed her first concert at the age of 4. By the age of 7, she had written her first original song. Her interest in music allowed her to pursue music studies through the Royal Conservatory of Music. At the age of 16, Danie Cortese was Canada’s youngest opera graduate, obtaining a degree in music. During the same time, she attended a school of the arts, coincidentally the same academy that launched the career of Shania Twain.
At 18 years old, she recorded her first original music demo, alongside a producer who had worked with the likes of the late Luther Vandross. By this time, Danie had taught herself to play the piano along with fifteen other instruments & experimenting with various genres of music.
In 1999, Danie entered a world class recording studio, with original songs in hand. Here, she sung & produced her self titled debut CD. A combination of works that included such genres as: Rock, Country, Pop, Jazz & Blues. Backed by all star studio musicians, she was nervous, excited & confident that this was the next step to bigger things to come, she was right.
Danie released her first single “The Best Places To Kiss” across Canada, the US & Europe in the year 2000. The single aired in 27 countries around the world. This was an independent release. During this time, Danie supported the music through touring, which garnered press, made television appearances & performed to crowds exceeding 50,000 spectators. She was the 'genius' behind her marketing plan. Some articles read “Trained in Opera she is taking on Shania Twain”.
Her personal publicist worked with such acts as “Bette Midler”, “Paul McCartney” & “Jimi Hendrix”, just to mention a few. Her late manager promoted such movies as “Moonstruck” & worked with celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Richard Gere & Cher. You are not given the chance to work with such high profile industry executives unless you've got what it takes...& boy did she ever!
Following the success of her debut, her second single “Damn You’re Good” created quite the controversy due to the word “Damn” in the title. Her radio publicist refused to market the song to Country radio unless she changed the title to "Darn You're Good". Danie was having no part of that, so after much thought, Danie’s gut instinct had her keep the original title of the song & she went on to release the single on her own. "Damn You're Good" was released in January of 2001 & hit the Top 100 Country charts in Canada within 2 weeks of its release. This song remained on the charts for over 10 months! It garnered airplay in over 35 countries around the world. In Australia & the UK, Danie's single hit the Top 20, beating out huge label acts including: Garth Brooks & The Judds. She was #211 of Europe’s 1500 most played mainstream artists. She was nominated for an American Horizon Music Award. This is a pretty incredible accomplishment for an independent, self funded artist. The music spoke for itself but the mastermind behind the publicity? you guessed it...Danie. Have a listen to the song (above) & have a chuckle! It's racy, it's fun, it's sexy, it's aggressive, it's Danie.
And so came the tour, Danie called the tour “It’s A Shoe Thang”. Her third single, “Blame it on the shoes” – a song about a woman’s fascination for shoe shopping & spending her man’s money helped Danie’s music cross over into the US market. Designers in New York city used the song for their fashion runway shows. She was dubbed “the shoe girl” & garnered write ups in some of the most prestigious fashion magazines, newspapers & print media all over the world. Here was the actor Rob Lowe & there was Danie right beside him...downtown girl moving uptown 'real' fast!
Danie’s name, marketing & publicity concepts skyrocketed her entertainment career beyond her wildest dreams. Among Danie’s many talents, she also wrote, produced & directed her own play & had two self-written articles appear in National magazines. She dabbles in visual arts & oh! did I mention that she speaks 5 languages?
So, from a distance, the entertainment industry began to take notice of how creative & innovative Danie’s promotional skills were. She was asked to become a member of the Guild of Canadian Film & Television composers, based on all of her music accomplishments. She was thrilled when she later realized that only a few women out of about 250 men were part of the guild. Most of these composers have scored music for movie blockbuster hits!
They called her the 'kid' she asked for their contact info for future use :) always thinking ahead....
By this time, Danie had been in the industry for about 27 years. Her personal contacts, her personal experience & her overall love of the business enabled Danie to open DCE in 2001.
A lot of thought & planning went into the launch of her new business. She started off as an agent & personal manager, representing all sorts of talent: actors, sculptors, musicians, stuntmen, filmmakers, movie make-up artists & then some. With that, her entertainment network grew & grew. Later, she preferred publicity work, I mean how could she not? So...here she is today, a publicist & promoter.
She thrives on working behind the scenes, this is where she felt most comfortable. She hated the spotlight during her music career, although she knew that was part of the process. Does she still dabble in music? of course, when she has time..writing for film..writing for other artists.
So what is her title today? A publicity & marketing genius. She can market anything! And what has DCE become? a highly credited International publicity firm in which Danie has personally promoted over 4500 creative people & projects to date.
"We work with those just starting out & those who are already established, everyone is welcome." says Danie Cortese