Daniella Mason wants listeners to cry while dancing

Long-serving songwriter Daniella Mason released songs from her own personal vault of stories earlier this month in one of four EPs being released throughout the next year. The first, "Emotional State," explores suppressed emotions through four songs.

Photo by Bree Marie Fish.

"Public Places," the first track Mason released, showcases Mason's ability to capture sadness in a true, catchy pop song. The brilliance of Mason's voice and carefully crafted production makes the listener get lost in headspace and the music.

She just finished up a couple shows with Fleurie and took the time to respond via email to some questions about her latest project.

I cannot stop listening to "Public Places," it's such a banger. Why did you choose to release this single?

Aside from it just feeling right in the moment, it fit the vision I have for the whole release plan.  For each EP, I want there to be a left leaning single and a more center/pop single; representing the two areas I love to exist in. This one was just begging me to be the pop single!  Not to mention, the whole crying in public thing is basically the physical manifestation of what this entire EP is about.  It set up the EP so well thematically, while not giving away the whole mood, sonically.  I'm so glad you like it! Will there be a music video for this one?

I have an idea for one that came to me while we were writing it.  It depends on if I can figure out how to pay for it! haha It has the good formula of a pop song; yet, the lyrics are very raw and honest. How did you manage that formula?

What you just described is my favorite space to live in.  I LOVE telling true stories within the mold of a pop song.  I don't see why we can't have the best of both worlds!  If I can provide a space where someone can dance, sing at the top of their lungs, and cry all at once, I've done my job.  How did you come up with the State of Mine concept?

The name and concept of the first EP "Emotional State" came first. Then as we began to listen to all these other songs I wanted to release, they all started to fit into 4 different parts of a whole story, a whole being: "Emotional State", "Mental State", "Physical State", "Spiritual State".  The rest of it came together quickly and organically. It really fulfills my vision of telling the full story but in a palatable way for today's industry.   Was this project different than what you've ever done before?

Very different.  I have such a business brain, it's hard for me to put that aside and just be creative sometimes.  But with this project, I dove deeper than I ever have and pulled out the most honest things I could muster at this point in my process.  Then, after the songs were done, I gave myself permission to put my business woman hat back on. It's been extremely fulfilling and extremely scary, but so worth it. I never want to go back! It seemed to be stressed that this collection of songs will be released in a different way than your previous work. Did you have any hesitations? I did right up until release.  Now that it's out and it seems to be working and people are resonating with the work and the way we're unfolding it all, I'm not so scared anymore, I'm more-so exhilarated!  This vulnerability thing is an interesting, evolving beast.  Were you excited, nervous or anxious about the first EP dropping October 5?

The most nervous I've ever been.  I feel exposed and raw.  But it feels like a breath of fresh air at the same time.  Performing them live has proven the most emotional of everything.  I feel like people can literally see my skeleton.  

Photo by Bree Marie Fish.

What do you hope listeners will take away from this EP?

I hope that I can join them, wherever they are at in their emotional journey. Whether it be stifled, out of control, up and down on a rollercoaster of doubt, fear, and hope, or in mourning, whatever it may look like for them, I hope they feel less alone.  In welcoming people into my journey and my mourning, I hope they see how I've evolved and that on the other side of this process is joy and peace.  We don't need to live eternally in our emotional state, but we do need to give it room to just be.  There's this peaceful, healthy place right in the middle of all of it; somewhere between stifling and over indulging, and it's a really beautiful, grateful, fully alive place to be.  But it means working your way through the room, all of the proverbial boxes stacked up, the cobwebs, the locked chests, the things you don't want to face, dealing with them...getting to the middle of it all.   We can't shut down certain areas because we don't want to feel them. We need all of our compartments, all of our experiences and feelings to feel truly human and feel truly alive.  I hope at the end of the day, this inspires people to make that journey.  How do you think Nashville has influenced your song-writing?

Nashville is a town of not only incredible musicians who really inspire you to up your game, but also incredible story-tellers.  You can't really get away with fluff here. And it has brought out some of the best art of my life.  I would definitely not have made my way here if it weren't for Nashville and the incredible community here. Can we expect more touring from you this year?

We just finished up the last of the release shows for the year, but 2019 holds many fun things.  Stay tuned!

The rest of the State of Mine EP series will be released throughout the next year. Keep up to date with Mason here.