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Rachel Harney

25th August 2023

Photographer, Editor & Interview: Owen James Vincent

Styling & Creative Director: Charlotte Harney

Digital Editor: Pankhuri Bhutani

Cover Design: Emily Curtis

Our latest ReVamp cover story goes to an upcoming star who is about to breakout through the music industry with their amazing sound. Rachel Harney is the lead singer of the band Danama where she has her two band mates by her side, James and Ben. 

We chat to Harney about how the band was created, their brand new album and we discuss if their is enough queer artists in the spotlight.

Hi Rachel! Thanks for joining us at ReVamp and becoming our latest cover star. How has this year been for you?

Firstly, thank you for having me! This year so far has been a crazy one to be fair. We’ve released the album, had the launch party, and did my first cover shoot with ReVamp. So there has been a lot going on this fun year and it’s nice to do different things as well. Especially with the year before a lot of the time we were focusing on rehearsing and having our stage presence spot on. This year we can focus on actually performing and using that music. 

How did you and your bandmates meet?

So we met through Facebook. It started with me putting a post out and I was originally looking for a drummer, so me and the drummer were just going to be a two-piece and then we kind of came to an agreement that we needed to bring in more members for the band. Again, we put a post out on Facebook, and then people responded and our base knew the guitarist, so he just joined. This is just crazy because we don’t use Facebook anymore but at that time we were all on it and it seemed to work out well.

Top -  Zara / Trousers - Nakd / Coat - Asos / Boots - Miista

Where did the name Danama come from?

A lot of our music is about mental health and my favorite band is Twenty-One Pilots, Their music has a similar sort of vibe to ours which is very mental health-based. Tyler the lead singer once said to get over that negative voice in your head you need to give it a name. My middle name is Amanda and I didn’t want to use that because it feels too nice and too personal. So, what I did was flip it swapped a couple of letters, and then came up with Danama. It made it feel like it was kind of separate from me and that a negative side of my thoughts is a separate thing and it’s something I can get rid of where my middle name is part of me and I didn’t want to associate myself with that.

Jeans and Jacket - Free People / Top - Free People / Boots - Dr.Martens/ Jewellery - Missoma

You released your debut album ‘Did You Know?’ On the 24th of March. How is it to have it finally out for the world to listen to? 

It feels quite crazy because we’ve released music before and yesterday I got a notification saying that it was a year ago when we were creating a base for this album I realized it took us so long to create this album and I’m so picky on how it sounds. For it to finally be out it feels very surreal and all our work has been done and now it’s finally out for people to listen to. Sometimes I go back and listen to them and it feels emotional to hear the songs because the songs are very personal to me. It was nice to think that those songs that helped me are now out for people out there to listen to and possibly go and help someone else.

What was the inspiration for creating this body of work?

For this album, we wanted to create something different all the way through. I don’t like the idea of being stuck to one genre I like to make anything that I feel like making. There will be days where I would write something pop-based and then there would be other days where I write something that’s very rock-based. The album was kind of a mix of genres and especially as it was our first big material we were putting out we wanted anyone to listen to it. So you could be a pop fan and there will be songs you like or a rock fan and there will be songs you like. For us, it would appeal to all people! Mostly with the songs it was the way I was feeling at the time, especially with the mental health thing. 

Suit - Nasty Gal / Top - Uniqlo / Boots - Dr.Martens

Do you have a favorite track on the album?

I would say the ‘Devil in Me’ is my favorite as it’s very close to my heart but performing live would be ‘My Blood’ or ‘Lemon Juice’. 

Is there an artist you look up to?

The boys love Red Hot Chili Peppers. Our drummer loves Jazz and I don’t know an artist on the top of my head but when you hear him playing drums you can hear the jazz side as well. Twenty-One Pilots is a big one for me!

How do you find the music industry with the LGBTQIA+ community? Do you think we’re seeing enough queer artists getting the spotlight? 

At the moment the terms of LGBTQIA+ terms in the music industry, it hasn’t given me a positive or negative impact on me. There are more positives so far like when I put out an LGBT post it has good feedback or I’ve never had a hate comment. I think there need to be more queer artists around, there’s a small handful that I know of. I don’t know if that’s because that’s the way it is in the industry or if they haven’t had that major break yet. It’s something that needs to grow!

Blazer - Asos / Trousers - Asos / Top - Urban Outfitters / Boots - Dr.Martens / Jewellery - Missoma

Lastly, what have you got planned for the rest of the year? Any events that we can catch you and your bandmates at?

At the moment we’re looking and booking for gigs. We’re planning to do a mini-tour in September! We’re focusing on just having some fun, We’ve released the album which was a stressful time, so at the moment writing new songs, going on holiday and just having some fun! Come and see us!!

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