“At the moment in my life when I wrote this song, I was really craving connection,” Dani Taylor told American Songwriter.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona and currently based in Nashville, Dani is an up-and-coming country star and the song in question is her newest single, “Kiss Me If You Can,” which premiered on April 15, one day before the release of her debut self-titled EP.
With a Nashville country backbeat and an irresistibly clever hook, “Kiss Me If You Can” shows off everything there is to love about Dani. She’s got bold confidence, an ear for melody and a sense of playful charm, with grade-A vocal cords to boot. So, with a career that’s beginning to blossom and a string of singles that are getting put on Spotify playlists left and right, it might come as a bit of a surprise to hear that she was craving connection. Yet, when Dani sat down to write, she found that things weren’t quite as easy in her personal life as they were in her professional one.
“I feel like dating has become so mechanical because of technology,” she explained. “I am a firm believer in building connections with others in-person instead of over the phone. So, I don’t really do online dating, but that’s pretty much the only way people meet others these days.”
Echoing the concerns of many young people across America, Dani found herself metaphorically stuck between a rock and a hard place. Meeting new people has proven to be a very difficult task in the pandemic, especially for those who aren’t quite as comfortable with the integration between their lives and these large tech companies. Making it even more complicated are the pressures Dani feels as a woman in our society.
“At the same time I was thinking about this and writing ‘Kiss Me If You Can,’ I came to the realization that I don’t need to be settled down and married with six kids by a certain age,” she said. “As a woman, we do feel the pressure from society and family to settle down as quickly as possible. I wanted to combat that and let others—and myself—know it’s okay to take your time. It’s normal to not have it all figured out. Go ahead and flirt and be chased, let someone wine and dine you without expectation. I want people who feel the desire to settle down just for settling’s sake to realize they don’t need to. Love isn’t a race. Enjoy connections with others until you find your person, but don’t settle because society, your hormones or your family and friends tell you to. It’s okay to find your person when you’re older. No need to rush. Have fun and relax in the meanwhile.”
With this strong message of acceptance and personal liberty, Dani is on the frontlines of an upcoming wave of excitement as the pandemic slowly comes into this new, post-vaccinated age.
“I’m sure a lot of others can relate to the downfalls of online dating, like when people slide into your DMs and don’t even ask you on a date,” she said. “But now, especially after quarantine, I think we’re all craving real-world, real-life connections. Not a lot of people text much anymore. Instead, FaceTime and meeting in-person seems to be what people want, more than ever. It’s as if quarantine showed us how important in-person connection is. I think the world is changing because of it.”
With the return of everything from dating to live music on the horizon, Dani has good reason to feel optimistic about the future. Soon, a lot of people will be going out to flirt, date and have a good time—when they do, “Kiss Me If You Can” will be ready to featured on the night’s perfect playlist.
Dani Taylor’s debut self-titled EP is available everywhere on April 16. Listen to her new single “Kiss Me If You Can” below: