Photo credit: Paul Nebinger
As a group of creatives, the Allovus family is naturally comprised of like-minded individuals—many of whom also have hidden talents not necessarily included in their job descriptions. That’s certainly the case for our own Daniel Lee. By day, he works as a UX Researcher with Microsoft SAMS Studio. But when he’s not working his day job, Daniel is storytelling. And he does it by composing and recording his own music.
Allovus: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your background?
Daniel: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and moved to the Seattle area in 1993. I graduated from high school from Mount Lake Terrace. I didn’t have any plans for college after graduation, so I joined the military and served for 7 years.
Allovus: 7 years is a long time! How did the military affect who you are?
Daniel: All of my character development came from the military. I was a really shy kid. The military breaks all your boundaries down and builds you back up. It turned me into the person I am today.
Allovus: How did you get involved in music?
Daniel: I started taking piano lessons in Kindergarten. But, my piano teacher was kind of rough… so, I stopped. Later, I picked up the clarinet, tenor saxophone, and then violin. None of those stuck. I didn’t play anything for the next 2 years. That’s when I picked up the guitar. In addition to that, I got involved in the high school choir, the jazz choir, and even theatre.
Allovus: When and why did you start composing your own music?
Daniel: I’ve been writing songs since 2001. I wanted to tell people this is my life—this is who I am. Some people tell their stories through drawing or by other creative means. I want to do it through my music.
Allovus: How would you describe your music?
Daniel: It’s contemporary—genuine. There’s no sugar coating. I play around with a little bit of everything; from acoustic to electronic beats—even the blues.
Allovus: What is your favorite song out of the ones you’ve written?
Daniel: I’d have to say that Learning to Fly is a favorite of mine. At the time, I was watching my dad go through cancer treatment. The song has special meaning to me. After I left the military, I came back and attended Lake Washington Institute of Technology to get my Associates in pre-nursing. That’s when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. His wish for me was to get my Bachelor’s degree before he died. Watching him go through treatment was really hard. I knew I couldn’t be a nurse. But, this year, I graduated from UW Bothell with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Psychology.
Daniel fulfilled his father’s dreams of getting his Bachelor’s degree, and went through a special ceremony honoring military veterans. He received Veteran Challenge Coins, which are given to veterans whenever they’ve accomplished something special in their lives. “It’s a reminder of where I’ve been and what I’ve accomplished,” said Daniel. “It’s very meaningful to go through the ceremony with other veterans you served with.”
And through his songs, he will continue to tell his stories. Daniel is working on his first album this summer. In the meantime, check out his music on SoundCloud:
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