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Album of the Week: "The Real Book" by Danielia Cotton

2014 © Danielia Cotton


Danielia Cotton proves that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger with her emotionally charged new album, The Real Book. Featuring 12 tracks by songwriters ranging from Bruno Mars to The Rolling Stones, Cotton conveys raw emotion through tender gospel, hard rock, electric and acoustic tunes. Cotton takes listeners through her journey of battling thyroid cancer, divorce, love, loss and more. Her first track on The Real Book, Sweet Dreams, is guitar-laden with an acoustic rock influence while the soulful Bridge Over Troubled Water tells people to keep their heads up.

Born to a multi-racial mother and a father whom she never met, Cotton grew up Hopewell, NJ, a predominantly white town. Though she’s no stranger to adversity, Cotton ultimately did not let her circumstances define her future. After her mother gave her a guitar, Cotton discovered music as a creative outlet during her adolescent years spent battling depression. She continued developing her craft by joining her mother’s jazz group, and was influenced by Etta James, Billie Holiday, AC/DC and The Rolling Stones. She later graduated from a prominent arts college through a scholarship, releasing her first album Small White Town in 2005.

No matter what life throws her way, Danielia Cotton tells listeners to keep smiling. 

Here is a video of one song featured on The Real Book, Sideways:


Rachel is WUWM's Morning Edition host.