10 Questions with ... Danielle Haskell
June 6, 2016
1. Introduction....birthplace, childhood, schools, jobs, current hometown
I was born on April 29, 1999 in Readfield, Maine. As a Maine native I grew up spending a great deal of time outside or being active. Our home in Readfield was located on Maranacook Lake, so I was swimming, kayaking, fishing and boating early on. When I began alpine skiing at age 6, I found my favorite nature escape, Saddleback Mountain. I attempted many team sports, but it was clear quite quickly that music would be my passion. I started piano lessons at age 3 and added guitar by age 5. Even though I loved the 11 years I spent participating in dance classes and the five years of karate, singing and playing piano were always my favorite pass time and escape.
In 2006 we moved to Augusta, Maine which was where St. Michael's School (my elementary / Junior High School) was located. I attended St. Michael's from the fall of 2004 to spring 2012. After finishing 7th grade, I applied to begin high school a year early. I began attending Cony High School, also in Augusta, in the fall of 2012 and will graduate this spring. My whole life I have been driven to make a difference in peoples' lives. Throughout my life I have experienced very high points as well as some very low points, but it is my belief that the challenges I faced are what have made me so driven to help others. These experiences led me to do things like volunteer with Big Brother's Big Sister's and recently I have started to speak against bullying. If there is something I might be able to do to make anyone's life easier, I would love to help.
In the fall, I plan to attend Montreat College in Montreat, North Carolina. After visiting many colleges, Montreat seemed to fit my personality best. There I plan to study Music Business. However, I am not 100% sure of my major at this time, because I absolutely love our older generation and there is a piece of me that would love to be involved in helping those with Alzheimer's through music therapy.
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
As a night person I tend to wake up at the last second I possibly can without being late for school. My dog Cami tends to be my alarm clock. Cami begins hopping on and off my bed by 6:30am. Ice cream or a shake tends to be my choice for breakfast. Since I shower at night to save time in the morning, I only give myself 10 minutes to do my hair, makeup, get my clothes and to get out the door.
Once ready, I jump into my car to get myself to school by the time it starts at 7:10am. At school I can be found either in class, in the library doing my homework, or in the senior lounge socializing with my friends. I get out of school at 1:30 because I take a class in our Capital Area Technical Center (CATC) that offers college opportunities for students. I am currently in the CATC college business program. If students do not take a CATC class the school day ends at at 1:45, so once I am out I usually wait at school for my friends.
When school is over I used to drive to Winslow, Maine daily to visit my grandmother. Sadly, my grandmother has been suffering from colon cancer. My routine recently changed when she was moved into a hospice facility. I still visit daily at her new location, but it is a constant reminder to value the time we have with loved ones. I visit with her until around 7pm. When I get home I usually watch TV, maybe teach myself a song or two on the piano, or do my homework. I usually end up staying awake anywhere between 11pm to 1am. Usually around six hours of sleep is enough to make me ready to do it all over again the next morning.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
7 Years by Lukas Graham. The song is unique with a strong message about growing up. The lyrics are definitely relatable to everyone's life.
4. How much do you travel, what are the challenges? How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home?
Over the past year I have found myself in Nashville approximately every 8 to 10 weeks. The challenges have been missing school, keeping up with my school work, and trying to limit my time away from my grandmother. Since I am a new artist most of my travelling has been for meeting with my co-writer / producer along with recording my songs and videos.
5. What Artist or Pastor has had the greatest impact on you?
The pastor of Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen has had a large impact on my family and I. When my grandmother was healthy I would go every Sunday night to her house with my mom to watch him on TV. He has had a large impact on me as well as my family, because of the positivity and hope that his messages relay. Just thinking about the memory of those Sunday nights brings a smile to my face as I know his messages always brought my grandmother and I comfort.
6. What's the last book you read?
Most everyone will likely be familiar with the last book I have read as it was "The Great Gatsby". The book is about a rich mysterious man who lives next door to a guy named Nick. You later find Nick's sister Daisy and Gatsby were in love when they were younger. Since he was poor at that time, their love ended. Daisy is married to Tom who is very condescending and is having an affair. Gatsby and Daisy get back together, but Daisy in the end Daisy decides to stay with Tom. Even though Gatsby now has money, Daisy did not like the way he got rich. Later, Gatsby is shot and only one person shows up to his funeral. It's an extremely sad story that emphasizes not to be selfish and that life is about more than just money.
7. Funniest or most embarrassing moment on the road?
It's hard to pick a specific moment, but there was a day on the road that had a series of funny and embarrassing events. My mom and I decided to do a mini trip to South Carolina on our way to Nashville. The second day of us being there, I convinced my mom (who is a little less outdoorsy than myself) to go kayaking. After spending about 20 minutes trying to get water out of the kayak my mom was going to use, Mom finally got it into the water... only to have the kayak flip as she began to paddle. She, along with her phone fell into the water. Since my mom was expecting calls from work, we attempted to find a US Cellular store which did not really exist in that area. After driving around for a while to nonexistent store locations dictated by our GPS, we realized that we only had 10 miles of gas left. I searched for the nearest gas station on the GPS which was supposedly 9 miles away; however, when we got there, our GPS had taken us to an imaginary gas station as well. As we started to talk about our options if we were to run out of gas, I realized that I had left my own phone back at the camp. Luckily we found a gas station a mile away. Although, her phone was never repaired until we returned home. In the end, my Mom got to practice what she preaches about occasionally leaving technology behind. Nonetheless, this story caused my mom and I to laugh harder than we ever had in our lives.
8. Take us through a couple songs on your latest project.
My most recent song that was released is called "Forget". At the time "Forget" was written I was scheduled to be in Nashville for a photo-shoot, to co-write my second song and do the video for my song "New Day". Just as we arrived in Nashville we received a call that my grandfather had fallen and had a brain bleed. We flew back home for 24 hours because I wanted to make sure he was ok. My grandfather had always been the person who understood me most and who I still aspire to be like. By the time we arrived he was hospitalized and I was told the not to expect much. I'm not sure why, but during his entire time with Alzheimer's I was the only person he consistently recognized. During our daily visits, he never got my name wrong. I remember being so afraid he would forget who I was before we arrived; however, when I went over to his bedside and said "Pepere", he immediately replied "Danielle you're here." I had all this fear that I would be forgotten, but he still knew my name. When I returned to Nashville and met with my co-writer / producer we discussed this experience and we composed "Forget" in under an hour. I wanted a song that would remind all of us that even when we feel forgotten, God is always there; as well as a song I could dedicate to my grandfather and others who experienced Alzheimer's within their families. Since "Forget" was released, I have been very blessed to receive many stories from others who have been impacted by Alzheimer's. Reading the touching comments shared by those who watch the video increase every day. Knowing that people relate and are so moved by the song has become the best part of having released "Forget".
9. What organization/service group are you affiliated with?
I'm involved with Big Brother's Big Sisters which is to help children develop relationships with encouraging role models. I am very passionate about this because I think children need to have someone to look up to and to confide in. Some of the things that young children have to deal with is absolutely heart breaking. This program not only gives these young children an escape and a friend to play with but it also teaches us (the volunteers) the importance of putting others above ourselves and can be a reminder of how lucky we are.
I'm also hoping to become involved in the Alzheimer's Association by participating in the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer's. I have already looked into the dates and times for the walk and plan to participate in the walk in Asheville, NC which is very close to where I will be at college.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead.....Deities are excused from this question
If I could have a discussion with anyone it would probably be Ellen DeGeneres. I have grown up watching Ellen, because my grandmother absolutely loved her. My grandmother's dream has always been for me and her to meet Ellen. My grandmother may influence my wanting to meet Ellen, but my primary reason would be because Ellen is the perfect example of a role model. She is kind, caring, generous, hilarious, and always accepting of others. She is genuine and not afraid to be unique. She sets the example for girls to be themselves and proud to be different.
1. Favorite Bible Verse....life verse?
Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
I love this bible verse, because I refer to it every time I question life. For me, this verse is a reminder that God is always with me and that there is a purpose to everything I experience and everyone I meet. When I have doubt, fear or anxiety, this verse reminds me to trust God and his purpose.
2. How & When did you become a believer?
I can't pin point an exact moment that I became a believer, because I have been a believer my whole life. By kindergarten I was going to a private Catholic School and by first grade I was already singing in church. As I have grown older, I have come to realize that faith is the most important part of who I am and I have become more comfortable with sharing my beliefs openly. My goal is to let other teen girls know that it is actually cool to talk about and believe in God. Having had my grandfather pass away last August and with my grandmother about to pass away any day now, I would be completely lost without my faith. God provides us with hope. I have also learned that if we have faith we do find that most everything does happen for a reason.
3. What's the biggest "God moment" you've ever experienced? Personally or professionally, when has God shown up in a powerful way?
I wrote my song "Forget" in fear that my grandfather had forgotten me. During this time I was struggling with faith. I had felt as if the one person who truly understood me was being pulled away from me and I could not fathom why. After leaving the hospital and heading back for Nashville after my grandfather hadn't forgotten me, I began thinking of how I could dedicate the song to my grandfather and suddenly I had this overwhelming feeling of love along with the sudden realization that my grandfather had not forgotten me but neither had God. Consequently, I wanted the main message of "Forget" to be even when we feel forgotten we should know that God is still with us.