When is the last time you visited 22 states in one year? For singer, songwriter, and composer Daniel Correa it was 2019. Correa is the frontman and head songwriter for The Collective Bus, an innovative blend of alternative rock and pop. They have a Grammy-nominated producer working with them and have opened for notable superstar artists like John Waite, Anna Nalick and legendary Woodstock performer Melanie.
Daniel and his band will hit the road again from March – June of this year, but not before showing some love to his native city of Miami with two shows, first at Las Rosas Bar on February 19th and at Sunset Tavern on the 21st. Read more about what he enjoys most about being an artist in this Behind the Music interview.
How did you get started?
I was born and raised in South Florida. My family always tells the story of us being out to dinner on vacation when I began tugging at the pants of the venue’s performing musician and asked if I could join him on stage. The gentleman handed me the mic, I smiled, counted, 1,2,3… and launched into a blazing rendition of Lenny Kravitz’s American Woman. I was four years old!
“It’s on-stage where I feel that I truly come alive.”
Fast forward to what I’m doing now, The Collective Bus band started about a year ago, but we’ve known each other for far longer playing in different bands together while in college. An opportunity arose, I reached out to the players I wanted, and thankfully they answered the call. I’m very fortunate.
You’ve been doing this for a while! With three full-length albums under your belt, and some singles that have made it onto the billboard charts, what would you say is your most memorable career moment?
I don’t have one in the traditional sense, this whole journey has been pretty unforgettable. Highlights have been: getting to see Brockhampton in Austin, any show with good sound, writing one of our best songs at Pittsburgh’s Guitars, playing at all these historic venues where we spiritually share space with giants. I’m sure there will be more to come. I hope there is anyway.
For sure! What about your favorite songs and ff you could tour with anyone who would it be?
My favorite song depends on my mood, but I really enjoy music made by people I know like Define Normal by Vagrant Son and Stay by Souvenir. Plenty more. As far as the larger pop world, the new Harry Styles record slaps. For touring, Panic! At the Disco. I’ve loved their music since high school and Brendon Urie is an incredible musician. Outside of that, it would be amazing to lift up smaller artists by our association. My dream is to be in that position.
How would you describe your sound, what is your music about, and if you could be stuck in one year musically, which year would it be?
We’re an alternative rock band with a large Afro-Cuban flair. Our music currently strikes at an overall theme, but I rather people listen to our work and determine what that is for themselves.
The questions about being stuck in one year musically is a really hard question! I lowkey wanna say 2015, but Spotify exists so that would be a pointless exercise. I guess I’d really want to see the performance of Edgard Varese’s Ionisation in 1933. We also have the rise of the protest song, the dominating force of big bands, amazing strides in classical composition. That said, I would not want to be literally stuck in 1933 with the economic depression, racism, and sexism.
“Music is the greatest tool for unity that we have.”
Totally. Although a lot of that exists today, I think we’re in a better place for sure. What would you say is the best part of being an artist and what advice would you give to up and coming artists?
Artists should create, create, create. The more you do, the better you do it. Listen to everyone. Expand your brain. Take care of yourself, your health is valuable. The best part about being an artist is getting to create a space that values individual expression as well as respect for others. I believe that music is the greatest tool for unity that we have. I use my voice to address the inner struggles and challenges of everyday life, the thrill and fear of taking chances, and the elation of betting against the odds and succeeding. “I want people to listen to my music and hear the honesty in it, to know that I’m not putting on airs or trying to be someone I’m not… that the joy and pain I write and sing about are real.”
That’s beautiful! Tropicult supports you 100%! What do you see for the future of “the scene”?
I don’t know what “the scene” is, but I think the music industry will get better for independent artists, while the big five corporations will grip harder onto the control they have over top 40 music. I think individual creator rights are going to be further challenged, especially on the front of streaming and accreditation. I would like to see some sort of guild or union rise to defend the rights of artists. Meme culture is going to be the most democratic force for musicians. Viral success matters more than getting signed. That says a lot about the value of music itself right now, for better or worse. It is what it is and will be what it will be.
Daniel has a four-year degree from the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he studied Media Writing and Production under the award-winning composers Chris Boardman (The Color Purple) and Carlos Rivera (Godless &A Walk Among the Tombstones). Under their tutelage, he worked with large-scale ensembles to score for Film and Television. Daniel was the first person at Frost to be listed under the principle instrument of “Contemporary Voice”—a recognition of his strong abilities as a performer of popular music. He participated in many different ensembles over the course of his education and won a Downbeat Award for Best Latin Performance in 2017 with the Salsa Orchestra ensemble.
Keep up with him and his band on Facebook.