At nineteen, Daniel Ifill is not just an ordinary teenager still trying to figure out a career but rather he is miles ahead as he is already a dancer, model and makeup artist who when he’s not working his skills backstage on some performer’s face is flaunting his stuff on a stage he takes charge of.
More than a month ago, The Scene caught sight of this young man when he serenaded the small gathering with his mesmerizing voice singing a reggae piece at the launching of the Miss Guyana Talented Teen and the Miss Princess Guyana Pageants at the National Cultural Centre.
This year marks four years since Ifill has professionally taken up singing but like most artistes, he began singing much earlier, at age four. Coming from an array of ardent church-goers and a line of soprano and alto singers, his voice was trained to sing for God. His favourite song to sing was ‘His Eye Is on the Sparrow’. Daniel’s journey of singing began with gospels but he has since expanded to singing R&B songs. Presently he only does covers but hopes to take up singing originals and writing his own pieces.
“Music means a lot to me. It is a way to express and release emotions. Music is also my way to escape the real world and just let myself go whether I’m singing or just listening”, Daniel said.
Life has been more than singing for Ifill. This super-talented young man’s voice has opened bigger avenues for him including crooning at various fashion shows, concerts and even one special birthday celebration for President David Granger.
Shortly after he began singing, he auditioned for a spot in the Mr/Miss Guyana Talented Teen Pageant 2015, a pageant spearheaded by Pamela Dillon. Dillon took him under her wings working fervently with him and other participants. Although he finished second in the pageant, he walked away with an experience that took him to bigger things. It was here, he learnt his first dance steps in ballroom dancing which he learned for the Mr/Miss Guyana Talented Teen ballroom dance competition and cotillion. He later enrolled at the National School of Dance.
When it comes to singing, Daniel is most inspired by some of the finest this planet has ever seen. His list of artistes has been shortlisted to Ed Sheeran, Adele, Rihanna and including the legendary Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
As a singer the most difficult challenge for him is maintaining his voice and to do this he has to refrain from things he likes having sometimes, like cold beverages and ice cream and when he does have any of these, he remembers to be moderate. He uses lots of ginger, honey and lime to keep a smooth voice and tries every day to do a vocal warm up at least once.
When asked which is his favourite thing to do, he admitted that it was singing. Speaking of the first time he sang, Daniel said he still remembers being so terrified because of stage fright he however pulled through. He added also that there are times when one may be too over confident and at one time this was the case with him.
He shared with The Scene that sometime ago while preparing for a charity event, he was so confident that he would have taken the stage by storm that he found no time for rehearsals and when it came time for his performance, he was lost for words. Since that experience he’s always been up to date with rehearsals.
“The best part of being onstage is to see the crowd’s reaction and to feel their energies”, Daniel said.
Daniel is planning on blazing a career as a makeup artist. Currently he works along with another person at Sharon’s Mall in Georgetown.
His mother’s face was the first he worked on a few years ago when he decided to try out as a make-up artist and hers was followed by his aunt and grandmother. He is a self-taught makeup artist and would from time to time log on to YouTube tutorials. His family and friends, Daniel says, have always been supportive of all he does, however his mother is not too keen on this venture but still tries to be supportive.
Overtime, Daniel has had to give women and models that fresh and flawless look day in day out. Speaking of how serious the professional women may be, yet wanting to look great for work, he included some makeup tips. “I would say that once a woman’s eyebrows and eye-shadow are popping, that’s all the makeup she needs but if she has the time she can add lip gloss/lipstick and mascara.
Asked if he believes that entertainment has the required support it needs from the public sector and the public, Daniel replied in the negative saying that this isn’t so and that there needs to be more support. He believes that if there is a sector that is specifically responsible for this area, then more can be done. “….there is still a lot of talented persons out there waiting to get their first break.”
Still in his last teenaged year, Daniel has already accomplished quite a lot and says love for all he does is his reason and he admonishes others to go after what they want in this life and not to just get it but be passionate about it also.
Currently after work, Daniel is busy rehearsing with Pamela Dillon as he’s expected to dance at the Miss Talented Teen Cotillion come October 22nd.