Sug Daniels is a Philadelphia-based singer, songwriter, and producer who is using the tools around her to capture the emotions of an era. Daniels’ work is as colorful, vulnerable, and charismatic as her personality. She thoughtfully combines the elements of folk, R&B, and low-fi alternatives to create tender and sultry music interlaced with messages of truth and positive change.
Growing up in the rural town of Smyrna, Delaware, Daniels felt first-hand both the extreme joy and the major isolation that many LGBTQ+ people experience in Southern Baptist-style churches. After coming out, she left the church but continued her journey armed with the love of powerful music and celebration of community. She currently resides in Philadelphia and continues to create music to share with and inspire those around her. After successfully leading two musical projects, Hoochi Coochi and FlowCity, Daniels has set out to create solo music that reflects her current views and personal experiences. Notably, in September 2021, Daniels released a four-song, self-produced EP entitled “Franklin Street” on the Brooklyn woman-run music label, Weird Sister Records. With her musical chops and a “sweet voice that sounds as pure and light as fine crystal,” Daniels is just getting started on producing what is sure to be some of the most innovative and creative music of the decade.
I had the pleasure of meeting up with Sug Daniels at the growing Black Opry, home of creative artists across various types of music such as Country, Americana, Folk, and Blues. The Black Opry is a grassroots movement that is spreading the message that Country as well as other genres of music originated from the musical talents of and are loved by Black people. Continue reading to learn more about this phenomenal and musically talented creative artist!
MH: Sug, when did you first become interested in music?
Sug Daniels: It began for me at a young age while growing up in church. One day I was watching my mother sing, and I saw people crying because of how her powerful voice was and how it moved their hearts. I knew then that was how I wanted to reach people when I grew up with music.
MH: Sug, you are talented with various genres of music. Which musical artist is, or artists are your favorites?
Sug Daniels: Wow, that is a hard one because I love all music. But I would have to say that Sharon Jones is with her electrifying voice and energy. Of course, I have to add my fellow Black Opry Family.
MH: Sug, you mentioned that the Black Opry is like family. How has your experience been since you have been a part of this group?
Sug Daniels: It has been so inspiring and empowering traveling with a group of individuals that are inspiring others through their music. While there are so many musicians of the group that I have not personally met, however, tonight I met one of the other performers for the first time, and we connected just like sisters. It is great when you are in a comfortable space and with a great group of people.
MH: Please tell me about the instrument you will be performing with tonight?
Sug Daniels: Well, during the pandemic started playing my ukulele again. I wrote and produced songs with while playing it in my apartment because everything was at a standstill. I grew even more passionate playing my ukulele and as a result, we are setting the stages on fire with my creative music.
MH: So what is next in store for Sug Daniels?
Sug Daniels: Well, I have a few concerts coming up and I’m also continuing to work on producing and songwriting.
MH: Sug, I want to thank you for allowing me to do this interview. For the last question, what advice would you tell a new artist that is just starting their musical career?
Sug Daniels: I would tell a new artist to keep rising, don’t give up, and to keep believing in themselves. Always create something that will inspire others.
The concert, held at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland is celebrating 100 years in existence. It was filled with a vast audience who were attentive and loved listening to Sug Daniels and the other Black Opry members, including Denetia, Julie Williams, and Roberta Lee who performed inspirational music as well as mesmerized the crowd with their instruments.
For more information about Sug Daniels, connect with her via the following social media platforms: