Like many 15-year-olds, Annapolis resident Daphne Eckman is packed with feelings. The voice and music she channels them through, however, are anything but average.
The Key School 10th-grader has emerged on the local music scene, playing her first gig at the Nextival last July, the county fair in September, and Stan and Joe’s Pop-Up show in December. Next month, she says she’ll accomplish her goal of playing at 49 West.
“The bigger the audience, the more energy you can feed off of and the more successful you'll be in performing your songs,” Eckman said.
Eckman radiates happiness, and she’s downright bubbly when talking about her music. But when she sits at the piano or plucks at her ukulele, her songs reach deeper.
In “Little Cries,” Eckman belts, “I could not get out of bed today, no matter how hard I tried / My soul is withering away, my thoughts say I’m living a lie.”
“Everybody has down days,” she said. “I was sitting in my bed one day and I wanted to do all those things and just couldn’t. I didn’t have the energy.”
When she premiered the song at her school, Eckman watched people tear up.
“I had friends who told me, ‘You just described how I feel on those dark days,’ ” Eckman said. “That’s such a powerful feeling, to be the catalyst for people’s emotions.”
Feelings she experiences from hearing other people’s songs inspire her. After seeing Bon Iver perform at Merriweather Post Pavilion in May, Eckman was inspired to write her song, “R00ts.”
Eckman also has covered artists such as Twenty One Pilots and Panic! At The Disco in what she calls her “emo phase.”
“I really loved doing that because I could put in emotion that I didn’t have, but I could tap into. It’s more like sympathy versus empathy in the music,” she said. “But honestly I do love performing my own music a lot more.”
For Eckman, playing her songs is almost spiritual.
“There’s no thoughts in my head that necessarily are clear and concrete like words, but it’s just emotion that just comes from my fingertips,” she said. “It comes deep from the heart, and not from the head. It’s meditative, just closing your eyes and singing.”
“Creative Space: Local Artists at Work” is an occasional series spotlighting artists of every variety who, in the words of Henry David Thoreau, “elevate the quality of the day.”
Send tips about Anne Arundel artists with unique talents and stories to Selene San Felice at firstname.lastname@example.org and Thalia Juarez at email@example.com.