Hi! I’m Dani; a music photographer and Japanese (pop) culture blogger.
This may sound as a cliché, but music has been my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching MTV and VH1 when both networks played primarily music and the closest things to shows were Beavis and Butthead. I learned English to the tunes of Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Alanis Morissette, and Blind Melon. Growing up in an era where Hair Bands were still popular, though not at their prime anymore allowed me to enjoy Rock in all its variations, from Grunge to Post-Grunge and Alt-Rock.
I fell in love with Japan and its culture around 2007 when I learned about Visual Kei and J-Rock music from artists like Miyavi and Harajuku fashion brands like Takuya Angel. The moment that I was exposed to a new side of things I already loved, it was all I wanted to dedicate my free time to. My dream, for the longest time, was to work with Visual Kei bands in Japan through popular magazines like SHOXX, Cure, and Rock & Read. Around the same time, I discovered Gyaru fashion and subculture and that only emphasized the impact it made on me at a young age.
I’ve been a concert photographer since 2011.
While I started taking concert photography seriously in 2011, I had already known I wanted to become a photographer when I first visited The Roxy on Sunset in Los Angeles in 2007; You can learn more about how I got my start into photography here. My first real gig was at the Comcast Arena in Everett, WA. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to work with various international musicians from Latin America, Europe, and Asia as well as US-based musicians.
It’s time I admit it: Gyaru is forever a part of who I am.
My interest in Gyaru led to the creation of Gal VIP, a now-defunct online magazine for Gyaru overseas, and a second one called Gyaru GO! for Spanish speakers. Despite a very long hiatus (approximately 5-6 years), I still find myself missing and longing for the days when this subculture and fashion were popular on a global scale. Even more recently, I still keep an eye out on the Japanese second-hand websites for my favorite brands (also defunct).
While Japan has never been my first choice in terms of dream places I’d love to live in (my dream location is actually a tie between Morocco and New Zealand), my passions, hobbies, and interests seem to always point in the direction of living there. You can check out my musings regarding Gyaru here.
My hiatus has also not really been in vain. I’ve spent a few years observing and researching in order to prepare for the next big project! This Gyaru project will be coming out sometime this year at the earliest, and potentially 2021 at the latest. I’m most known for crazy ideas and for the “go big or go home” mentality, so I’m very excited to soon make this project a reality.