Reader Spotlight: Daniel Halaby
Meet Daniel Halaby, a bassist from Highland Park, CA, who like many, found massive inspiration after seeing Victor Wooten perform live.
Daniel’s path involved putting music to the side for a time, but he’s since gotten back into it in a big way, including releasing an album.
Daniel is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight (you could be next!) Here’s his story…
I’m a self-taught songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Highland Park, California. I got into music composition early on as a teen, and I continued doing it as a hobby throughout high school. By the time I got to university, I was forced to put music aside for a bit. I sold all of my musical equipment to pay for textbooks and tuition. Since graduating from college, I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing music and live performance. In 2019, I began working on my debut album, Bluish Purple (2020), which was set to be released the following year. My two singles, “Love Sick Dream” (2020) and “Hey Summer” (2020) were released just weeks before the album. I was featured in one of Spotify’s largest algorithmic playlists, which really helped with exposure and outreach. I’m currently in the process of finishing up my next EP, which will be released in Spring, 2021.
Highland Park / California / United States
Why I play the bass:
I discovered Victor Wooten at a live performance in 1999, where he played his bass rendition of “Amazing Grace”. Like everyone else in the audience, I was completely awestruck by his technique and his sound. Was the bass supposed to sound like that? I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but it opened my mind to a newfound appreciation for the versatility of the bass. These early experiences completely shaped my perspective on music composition; I learned that the bass section can and should serve as its own unique melodic element in a piece, which is why I gravitate towards the kind of syncopated, moving bass lines you hear frequently in Motown music.
I alternate between a Hofner Ignition Bass with La Bella 760 FS flat wounds and a ’66 Reissue Japanese Fender Mustang Bass. Occasionally, you’ll catch me playing an Epiphone Jack Casady Signature Bass.
I’m running a variety of compression and EQ pedals through an Ampeg SVT Classic.
The Beatles were an enormous influence on my musical style, particularly Paul McCartney and his unique bass playing. One of the greatest things about McCartney is that his bass lines often act as counter-melodies to the vocal sections, adding a lot of complexity to an otherwise simple song. He knows when to rock out, but he understands the value of simplicity. He’s influenced generations of bass players to approach songwriting in such a way as to serve the music itself, rather than having the music serve an individual instrument.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
My single, “Hey Summer”, reached over 30k streams and counting on Spotify. Initially, the song sounds like a typical pop-rock tune, but the moment the Motown-style bass rift drops during the second half of the verse, it’s like the music is brought to life.
More on the web:
Want to be featured in an upcoming Reader Spotlight? Just fill out the interview questionnaire.