TN10: Danyel Smith, Music Writer
Basic bio: The former editor-in-chief of Vibe, Danyel Smith is an author as well as the creator and host of Black Girl Songbook, a Spotify Original podcast that celebrates and uplifts Black women in the music industry. Her latest book, Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women In Pop combines highly personal interviews and memoir. Tracking her own journey as a music critic/music lover, Danyel connects Gladys Knight to Stephanie Mills in The Wiz to Whitney Houston. It’s a must-add to your summer reading list.
Beyond the bio: I spend too much money on things like moisturizers and “serums.” If I ever was a good writer, and editor, I am way better now, and I’m grateful. I thought I might be super serene at this age. Ha! The world does not allow.
What makes you a grown-ass lady? If I eat many cruciferous veggies, I can still enjoy my margherita pizzas and tacos al pastor. We should all move our bodies as much as we are able. Loud music is excellent for your state of mind. Be active civically. Champion bold art. Be open to who you believe is your Other — then exchange stories. Be responsible for your actions and how they affect others. Always apologize specifically, and loudly. Register to vote and vote.
Here’s her TueNight 10:
On the nightstand: The Josephine candle from Harlem Candle (fave!); Topo Chico grapefruit sparkling water: so necessary and refreshing; Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Gummy Bear (thank me later); and my first novel, More Like Wrestling, which is a kind of companion to Shine Bright.
Can't stop/won't stop: Riding my bicycle.
Thing I miss: My great-grandparents: Dorothy, Dorson, and Lottie.
'80s crush: New Edition, Debbie Allen, Lonette McKee, Kadeem Hardison, Menudo, Stoney Jackson, Jody Watley, Prince — and too many others!
Current crush: My husband, Elliott.
Latest fav find: I have three: It’s All Gouda dog treats from Mind Body Bowl — our Cairn puppy loves them. I’m late to the Dark Rum candle from MALIN+GOETZ, but it’s worth every penny. And The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton, a novel that’s journalism; it’s fiction but it’s real.
Last thing you lost: Yet another hoop earring.
Best thing that happened recently: My nephew graduating with all kinds of academic honors from high school.
Looking forward to: Deep summer in Massachusetts.