GLEN ELLYN – Raised in a musical family, Emilie Rose Danno of Glen Ellyn has been singing for as long as she can remember. But despite those familial ties, her love of music can best be attributed to “The Little Mermaid.”
After hearing Ariel sing “Part of Your World” when she was 3 years old, Danno started performing it everywhere she went, even finding moments to belt the song out in the middle of restaurants while she was at dinner with her family.
“I kind of pretend life is a musical,” Danno said.
Since then, she has come a long way, writing her own song lyrics and starring in numerous YouTube videos.
When the 18-year-old was a student at Glenbard West High School, some of her classmates were featured in her music video for the song, “Everytime You See a Light Shine.”
Although Danno had covered the song “I Don’t Believe You” by Pink in a video before that, this was the first to feature an original song written by one of her managers.
That group includes her father’s cousin Phyllis Psyhogios and Psyhogios’ husband, Nick.
After hearing Danno sing at a family Christmas party, the Psyhogios’ decided to help her pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer by using Phyllis’ experience as a wedding videographer and Nick’s musical talents.
“She just has such charisma,” Phyllis Psyhogios said. “She will draw you in.”
The Psyhogios’ started a nonprofit organization called Street of Dreams Productions to help Danno and others like her. It now serves four clients.
Since “Everytime You See a Light Shine” debuted in April 2012, Danno has released two other videos for original songs. She has also become more involved in the creative process, writing the lyrics for both.
As a young woman, Danno said she understands what it’s like to be in the process of establishing her identity, a theme that’s reflected in her writing.
“I tend to write my songs about evolution of becoming who you’re supposed to be, breaking down walls,” Danno said.
Danno currently is preparing to film another video for her Christmas song “Three Wishes.” She plans to release it before the holiday.
Besides making music videos, Danno also has been recognized for live performances, coming in second place at Schaumburg Idol and
finishing in the top three for her round of tryouts at the American Idol Experience at Disney World.
Danno is taking music, theater and general education courses at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn as she continues to work on her career.
“There’s no doubt in my mind she’s going to be successful going forward,” said her dad, Gary. “She’s going to do it; she has the right attitude.”
Danno will perform Dec. 5 at Tap House Grill in Glen Ellyn with fellow local musician Gregory Hyde and Dec. 8 at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
At the Arcada, Danno will open for The Lettermen Christmas Show by sharing her own take on the holiday season with “Three Wishes.”
Using some of the songs Danno has released so far and others she’s working on, she plans to record an EP by February.
Through her music, Danno hopes to reach people and make them feel something.
“That’s what music should do,” she said.