Girl Crush, meet Daisy.
For those of you who don’t know, which at this point in the game is most of you, the idea behind Girl Crush came from being so inspired by women in the world who have decided to pursue what energizes and excites them, despite 9-5’s and busy lives. The women who know what they are up against and still have chosen to put the work in, seeking something greater than they ever thought possible.
My first Girl Crush is someone who has truly exemplified what it means to CRUSH IT. She was kind enough to agree to be my first interview and has been a great friend for over 10 years. Daisy Krikun (stage name and on Spotify here as Daisy Anabelle) has been pursuing a career in music in addition to her day job. She has a true heart of gold, and if you ever have the chance to be in her presence, you will find that her wild spirit is contagious. I was grateful to chat with Daisy about her career, what it means to follow your dreams and of course, Beyoncé.
FF : Cheers!
Both admitting we are slightly nervous.
DA : Thank you for asking me to be here!
It’s been about a year since I realized “what I wanted to do with my life”. I put that in quotes because everyday I chip away a little more and learn something new about what excites me to wake up every morning. Girl Crush came from the realization that I was genuinely curious about how women my age, with similar challenges and stresses of everyday life, were able to put the time in and take actionable steps toward fulfilling their dreams.
This experience, in just a few short months has been completely humbling. I feel like an amateur stepping into the ring, ready to take on whatever it is that is meant to cross my path.
Daisy was one of the first people I thought of when I realized the importance of spotlighting these women and what they bring to the table. Our conversations can get pretty deep, so it was cool to be able to record and capture this moment in time.
FF : I feel like this is a long time in the making and a long time coming for both of us. We are both on totally different paths, but also in a way not that different at all. I’m really just so grateful for you to be here.
DA : Thank you! I’m pretty grateful to be here. It’s so cool to be at this age and watching the creative people around you. You just don't know what could happen from little moments like this. Making connections with your best friend’s other best friend… (Wink wink, as this is how Daisy and I met) I love reading memoirs and seeing how successful people got from point A to B. The best stories always starts with the people you meet along the way.
FF : So let’s just dive right in. When does music date back to for you? Where does your passion for it come from?
DA : Well, and this is a little dramatic, but when I was a baby, my parents would play Leonard Cohen's ‘Suzanne’ song (Daisy starts singing). It's just a very soothing piece of music. And it was the only thing I could fall asleep to. My parents said they would put it on, I would fall asleep and as soon as the song stopped, I would wake back up. A family friend even babysat me one time and he thought they were kidding and my parents came home one night and he was like, “You were not kidding.”
Music has always given me peace of mind because it makes you focus on the present moment. When you're listening to music it's like you're just listening to everything that's happening right now.
My dad is a musician so music was always around our house. I think the next time I remember music having a big impact on me was when we would go on vacation up in Keuka Lake, in upstate NY. It was about a seven hour drive that we would take every summer. Anytime we were in the car for such long periods of time listening to the radio when a song would come on that I didn't know, I must have been nine or ten years old at this point, I would always try and guess what note or melody would come next. I think later on is when that became such a huge tool for me. Because when I'm writing a song, I almost have to think that the song is already written and I just write what sounds should come next or where they should go.
I wrote my first song after my Nana died when I was 13. It was an extremely painful experience for me, but that was when I realized how powerful music is and how healing it can be. I feel like anyone who's lost someone can like relate to that and how you get through it is different for everyone. I feel like those three things in my childhood formed my love of music.
FF : I think I know the answer to this, but who were your musical idols growing up? Well, I think I know two of the answers…
DA : Do you want to say it?
FF : Beyoncé and Carole King?
DA : YES!
When Daisy and I first met we bonded early on our love for Queen B. Obviously.
FF : So… let’s start with Bey.
DA : I mean I was always a fan of Destiny's Child. I remember being in the car with my dad right after Me and Myself and I came out but I hadn’t heard it yet and I just start thinking to myself like, ‘I wonder if I turn on the radio right now if Me, Myself and I would be on and I turned on the radio’. And sure enough, it was on! Obviously anything Beyoncé came out with was going to be a hit and every radio station would be playing it. But that song in particular is about how you only have yourself so treat yourself right and that was a female lesson that has always stuck with me.
DA + FF : We love you, Beyoncé! Let us know if you ever want to hang out?!
FF : What was your first memory of Carole King?
DA : I think the first song that I remember was “So far away”. It’s always been my anthem for her and I think it’s one of the best songs ever written.
So when my parents and I did a cross country road trip, we listened to Carole King's autobiography on tape, which is amazing by the way. And the autobiography came with a CD of her demo recordings. And what was so incredible about her autobiography was that she went through so many physically and emotionally abusive, romantic relationships. It was crazy to me that someone who sounded so strong in their music could be living such a different life than what they sang about. After listening to her, I felt like my melodies expanded, far greater than how they were before.
FF : How long have you been invested in your music and pursuing that path with song writing in particular? Because I feel like people think it’s easy and that if they write a few songs and maybe even get to record them, then they might expect things to happen overnight. But I think we all know, that isn’t always the case.
DA : I think that's a blessing and a curse, because I always grew up with the knowledge that it usually doesn't happen for everyone and it's kind of one in a million if it does. Which is probably why I didn't make it a priority to study music in college. I was a music minor and I picked a school that didn't really have a popular music program. I even took a music theory class in high school and failed it! I just honestly didn't have faith in myself. My dad has always been an amazing mentor for me. He was the one that really helped me improve my lyrics. I always wrote from a very literal standpoint, like very literal and I couldn't move away from that. And my dad was always telling me to think of a specific scene and just try and describe it in as much detail as you can and that always stuck with me.
It wasn't until after I graduated college and I was working my first job that I realized I had no time for myself. And so for the first time in my life music was not part of my life for almost a solid year. I think because of that I was extremely depressed. It was my first job and I mean, anyone's first job out of college is going to be hard as it is, but I was working crazy, crazy hours. So after a year or so, any time that I did have, I got back into writing music. And one of the songs I wrote really quickly, it just kind of came out of me and I remember playing it for my dad, and that was Ferris Wheel from my first EP. I remember my dad saying that was the best song I had ever written. And in a lot of ways that was all I needed to hear.
We’re our own biggest critic, so I feel like a lot of the time we don't realize how much of an impact we can make on other people. Sometimes just hearing those words or hearing other people believe in you, it’s enough to believe in ourselves.
So I would say it's been four years since I have really been investing in music to the point where I felt like I could share it with people.
Daisy is a beautiful example of someone who has been working tirelessly on their craft. As long as four years may seem, things didn’t just happen overnight. But I’ve witnessed her putting the time in and the shift that happened when she put herself out there once she truly felt ready.
As Daisy and I sat there, I think we were both questioning deep down if you are ever really ‘ready’ for anything? We both stopped to realize how cool it was to be sitting here, in a wine bar on Sullivan Street in New York City, talking about our journeys to undetermined places. We giggled, like our teenage selves would have and stopped to appreciate the moment.
I think what a lot of people run into is that they get a job after college and are expected to make a career out of it. If you are in a place where you feel like you don’t like your job but also don’t know what it is that you are truly good at or interested in, life can be pretty confusing. Daisy was fortunate enough to always know that deep down music was what she loved. And there is so much beauty in following your intuition with that much of conviction.
But for the majority of the people reading this, myself included, the journey is in figuring it out. The whole reason behind Girl Crush, why I started Girl Crush in the first place is because I wasn’t happy with my job and I wanted an outlet. I wanted to spark my own light at the end of the tunnel. Once you realize that it’s most important to be happy in the present moment, you will be able to accept where you are in your current situation
FF : You seem like you are truly happy with your current job and pursuing your side hustle and just all things considered?
DA : Yes! As crazy as it can get at times, I love it. It’s a healthy work environment and I feel like I do have time and energy, even if I am working nonstop from nine to six. And this year it's a resolution to - even if I'm emotionally drained throughout the day - still do whatever it is that I planned on doing that day. Meditate, gym etc.
FF : Not easy, but super important stuff. And your job right now has some tie to music, so even just finding these small victories to be grateful for is pretty amazing. What are you learning in your day to day that can help your side hustle?
DA : So I work for a creative production / post studio where I was lucky enough to have my bosses and coworkers produce and mix a few songs from my last EP. The fact that I have access to a professional studio and that kind of support, it’s everything to me. I always want to find a way to balance my work there with my personal music.
FF : What is one of the biggest challenges that you didn't expect would come from trying make music on the side or that you think you need to overcome in order to push yourself a little further to get outside your comfort zone?
DA : It’s a lot of things, but when I have a show coming up I feel like I spend a whole Saturday afternoon updating it on my Twitter and my website and making a newsletter, changing my Instagram profile, everything has to link up. There really is always something to be done.
We paused to order another round, a glass of red, a glass of white. Mine was on happy hour. Daisy’s of course was not on happy hour.
DA : I think the hardest thing has been trying find a team. I feel like I've been doing it by myself for a long time and it’s not easy to try to find a team that is going to be there for me. Even friends I have in the industry who have some 300,000 followers, I am in awe of them. But when you talk to them they are stressing about where they are at and where they are going to go next. It feels like we’re in a constant state of wanting more. Which is good in a way because we are always trying to grow and say well what's next?
FF : Of course! I feel it everytime I go to my website, it never feels up to date, and there is always something I can be doing to improve it. But it’s never going to be perfect. It's a constant sculpture that is never going to be done.
It’s like us, we're not going to work out once and then we never have to do it again. It’s all about the little things we do and the new ways we can build on them every single day.
DA : I love that with Girl Crush, in a way you’re making sure that the women you feature are keeping up with their goals, too. It’s kind of like we’re all holding each other accountable in a way to push ourselves to do better.
FF : I know you have quite a steady meditation practice. I’m curious, what are the things that you know you have to do every single day in order to personally feel good and to set yourself up for a good day?
DA : I always feel so much better when I'm following a routine. So for me it’s going to a meditation class in the morning before work. And I know the day’s that I don't do that [which was most of the days last year] when I choose to not go and just sleep through it, things come up during the workday that just feel more difficult. It’s like I have a safety net when I go, I don't know why exactly but I just feel like I can handle what comes up. Even just the past month or so I've been going, I've been forcing myself to go every day and there are things that have happened at work that I know if I hadn't been keeping up this consistently, I would've been crying in the bathroom.
Daisy and I both laugh again, this time with a sigh of relief. Sad but true because we’ve all been there if not literally, figuratively… right?
FF : So meditation, that is the biggest thing that has helped you to stay on track.
DA : My mind usually just goes so fast I feel like I'm never really in the present moment. I'm always thinking about something else. And with meditation, focusing on the breath and creating space, I don't feel rushed with my thoughts.
FF : What is the message that you want people to hear or feel when they listen to your music?
DA : Writing music is something that just feels good for me and, and I feel like a lot of people may think that what I’m doing is some vanity project to say ‘look at me, look at me!’ When the reality is that I just want to share my music.
I don't necessarily I have a bubbly personality, I actually am really shy. I’m not someone who feels totally comfortable with all the attention on me, but it's what has made me push beyond that when I am sharing my music. I think about all the songs that I've heard during the times that I've really been hurting and how much they've helped me. I start to think if that person had never made it a priority to share their stories or promote themselves or do all the business $#!& that comes with it, then we may have never heard that song or read that story, right? Yeah, maybe there would be another one, but someone has to write it or want to be sharing it in order for you to have the effect of you're not alone and you are heard. And that's how I feel when I listen to music.
FF : There is another woman that I am a huge fan of, I may have mentioned her to you before. Marie Forleo. She's completely self made. When she first started, she was thousands of dollars in debt. She had a job on Wall Street and for a big fashion magazine and she just knew it wasn’t for her. So she jumped around a little bit but ultimately she knew she didn’t want to be doing what she was doing. And eventually started this program B School where she teaches people how to start their own business and how to market yourself online, but in an honest and compassionate way. She is very clear that she isn’t trying to teach people to market in a sneaky and gross kind of way. She wants people to know that they have a gift and whatever it is that you want to sell it or teach or offer to people, you have to know that your gift is so special and unique to you. And when you don’t put it out there for people, you're robbing them of a God given gift or talent that they could be benefiting from. Don't always think that you can't do this because at some point your message becomes bigger than you.
DA : It’s so true. Even someone reading Girl Crush, however many years from now, you know, someone with real talent, might still be afraid to put themselves out there. But if they come across Girl Crush or some other inspirational message post or whatever it may be and they're like, you know what, I'm tired of hiding and that in itself may be a breakthrough.
FF : I feel like everyone is connected. And it's funny how similar we all are but that is something I struggle with, too. You kind of mentioned it just before, but it’s the notion that we're not trying to say, “Look at me!” And the weird thing with social media, is that to some degree you don’t have to say look at me, but you have to say look at what I’m trying to say. Social media isn’t my preferred way of getting content out there, but it’s become such a big part of what you have to do. So I have my brand instagram and then my personal instagram, and it definitely is weird having to think between the two.
You do have to find some sort of a balance because you can almost question yourself and think that you're doing it for the wrong reasons.
DA : You know, I always think of the people who are going to look at [my work] and be think, “Oh God, there's another person trying to spew happiness from their @$$3$!” It can be hard when you want to hear what they have to say but also want to try not to listen to it. It's hard, but that's good if you can block it out.
FF : So… what's next for you? What is your next year, the next five years? What do you want them to look like? What is your perfect plan that you want to manifest for yourself?
DA : I feel like the missing piece for me is who I make music with. I feel like I haven't found that magic person where we just align musically. I want to try harder and with this next project too, so if it means writing a hundred emails a week to share them with blogs or Spotify playlists, I just want to and need to put in that kind of work.
Since our interview, Daisy has finally found a group of multitalented individuals that have been supportive resources and collaborators in her vision. They are close friends of friends, which makes it a safe and easy space to be open and collaborative with, while of course having fun. Most recently, her band consists of Josh Angehr (keys), Pat Angehr (guitar) and Zach Gioia (percussion), offering cool textures to songs off her latest EP ‘Retreat’ [‘Wine and Vitamins’, ‘Breeze’, ‘The Wave’] as well as new ones. Another very talented collaborator and producer, Sam Wahl, has been instrumental (pun intended) in bringing songs for her next project to life [‘Driveby’, ‘Hollywood Sign’, ‘No Space’, ‘Colors’]. Together they share their passion and genuine contributions for creating music. Stay tuned for more to come!
I want to play in different cities and tour around a bit, maybe some weekend shows to Philly or Boston with a group. I’ll keep you all posted!
FF : I think this is going to be my last question for you. What are three things that you are most grateful for.
DA : Well I’m grateful for Faith Flynn (We both get one last good chuckle in). I know I keep saying this but I think it takes someone who already has that kind of passion and energy in them to do something that isn’t for themselves, it is solely for other people. A lot of things I’ve told you, probably some of my best friends don’t even know, just because they’ve never asked or we’ve never talked about it. It just feels good to feel like someone is listening.
I am grateful for music. I feel like it’s such a tease because you can’t hold onto music. It’s 3 or 5 or however many minutes long and then its over. It teaches you to hold on to the moment when it is here and then once it’s over you have to let it go.
And I'm grateful for New York City. I really do feel like it's the greatest city in the world, and however many people there are, I just feel like walking through the streets there's so much energy and there's always someone having a worse day than you are and always someone having a better day than you are. It's just my favorite place and especially if you live here, it’s a really great city to get some perspective.
Daisy and I wrapped the interview, grabbed some falafel sandwiches and walked back through the west village to her apartment on a brisk Sunday night in February. Our chat at a wine bar on Sullivan Street, one that I will never forget, was filled with hope, wisdom, and dreams in the making. Daisy’s honest and raw spirit is one of my favorite things about her.
I am extremely grateful to Daisy for agreeing to take this journey with me and being my first official Girl Crush Interviewee. I have to give a special shout out to our best friend Libby Lynch - who brought us together and is one of a kind. This has been so much fun and I am already looking forward to speaking to future Girl Crushes and keeping up with Daisy as her musical journey continues to flourish.
Hope you all enjoyed! Thank you for being here and for being you.
Always love, with faith.