Daniel Sage, 27, has spent much of his life as a wanderer, both in his music and personal life. After years of travel, he has rooted himself in his hometown of Winston-Salem. He released his third album, “Triad,” in 2018.
How would you describe your art?
Meditating on top of a mountain while on psychedelics. Flooring it on I-40 to make it to yoga class on time. Astral projecting on Astroturf while studying astrology.
I use a loop station, my voice and a guitar. I want to evoke strong emotions in people, and want to provide a sanctuary for whatever it is that they need to feel at that moment in their journey. Exploring life as art, and I want to live life to the fullest with joy, pain, rawness, all of it.
How have you evolved as an artist?
It seems like we are all headed into a new dimension and continue on a vibrational path to higher consciousness.
My journey has been very fast and bumpy. Growing up in the Triad, I was released from Paisley Magnet Middle School at 13 and became an un-schooler (a niche of home schooling). This is the Big Bang moment in my life. This how I discovered music, which in turn saved me from normalcy. I had no idea that I was actually un-programming myself from having been in a perpetual authoritarian environment since I began having memories.
This autodidactic lifestyle has continued to serve me in every facet of my life, and allowed me the space to feel into my “authentic self” as opposed to my “culturally prescribed” self.
I left the Triad at 17 and have been traveling the world the past 10 years, touring, recording four albums, just seeing what’s out there. I spent two amazing months in South Africa in 2018 where I connected with my soul family, got stranded on a backpacking trip, then rescued by an amazing vegan who claimed to have been abducted by aliens and had photos to prove it. I surfed and swam with sharks in a strange ocean, and extended the barriers of how I define the human experience.
Recently, I returned to the Triad because I realized that a more grounded life was being called for and to focus more on the inward journey, developing a regular yoga, self-love and meditation practice, which has kick-started my evolution as an artist.
I arrived right around the time Wildlight Wellness Collective opened downtown (in Winston-Salem), so you can find me evolving there most days.
Who has influenced your art?
When I was getting my first guitar lesson at the UNC School of the Arts downtown at the ripe old age of 13 (I’m 27 now), I was waiting to be picked up. (By the way, I only took two lessons).
The janitor came over to me and said, “You are going to be famous one day. I just know it.”
I believed him wholeheartedly and still do because of the unbridled conviction in his voice and spirit. Sometimes a neutral person is more powerful than someone whom you know well.
Although I had an unhealthy fixation on fame in the past, I have recently let that go. I have around 300 original songs, and I have nothing to prove. More consistent influences have been Jimi Hendrix, meditation teachers, nature enthusiasts, yoga teachers and the other musicians I’ve collaborated with.
Most of all though, myself, and I don’t mean that in an egotistical way. I am a humble Virgo. Humble humble little virgin.
What is your biggest challenge?
Myself. Getting out of my own way so as to let the good stuff flow through. Sometimes during meditation I’ll just break out in tears and go down a really intense emotional road for awhile.
I like to say, our tissues hold our issues.
There is a reason most people don’t go down the inward road, it can be difficult. Also my mother. She’s going to kill me for saying that.
What does art do for you?
Provides a medium for spirit to express its highest authentic self. It is a source of great hope, motivation and inspiration.
Any advice for other artists?
Find a mentor. Find a teacher, but also learn to become your own teacher and develop your natural sense of curiosity. There is always more to learn and explore, and the greatest artists of our time remained engaged in that lifelong process.
Develop a regular meditation practice, and practice self love through healthy habits. Look into Ayurveda, the oldest known written wisdom that our species has.
Drop out of public school and become an entrepreneur. Develop consistency, and create a mantra. Dive deeper into your passion than you are comfortable with, and understand that joy is your natural birthright. Namasté.