In this weekly TimeOut series, we invite music lovers to share the songs that have soundtracked their lives. This week, we speak to Laura Daniel, one half of Two Hearts, who perform their new show The Winery Tour at the NZ International Comedy Festival this week.
Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!! - Vengaboys
When I was younger, me and my cousins would do performances for our family; we'd make them sit down and watch us do a dance. None of us were dancers. That's where I got my love for Vengaboys from because it was our full-on performance song. It's an absolute banger.
Last night I did the worm on Dancing with the Stars, and someone asked me where I learned how to do it, and I was like, 'I've just always known how to do it' – and I think it was from those performances in the lounge. I think one of my cousins taught me how to do it, and then I knew it as a young child, and then I remember trying again when I was older and I really badly hurt myself. But I just tried it out in the rehearsal room and I was like, all good.
Swish Swish - Katy Perry
Swish Swish is totally underrated. I know it came at a time where you probably shouldn't have been doing revenge songs, but it's such a banger, and anything that has a Nicki Minaj verse in it is good. This song helped me through a break-up; we'd already been listening to the song, but my friend Chris put it on to try to cheer me up and then we just changed the lyrics a little bit, so it wasn't listening to it as a revenge song, but more as a "cheer up, it's fine". I think it worked.
Down - Jay Sean
I listen to this to this day. What I love about this one is that it's so upbeat, it's so happy, and it's also in that era – 2007/2008 – and that was the first time I was allowed to go out clubbing. I just feel like this song is timeless. I had a stepbrother, and we would dance to it, just making videos for no one but ourselves. We were lip-syncing for our lives before we even knew about it. At my cousin's wedding, her first dance was Down. They did one of those fake-outs where they did a proper dance, and then it broke down into Down by Jay Sean, and her husband did a backflip. I'll never forget that moment.
C'est La Vie - B*Witched
I love this one because you could do that Irish jig to it. I liked B*Witched to the extent that I didn't know any of their names – like how you'd know every single Spice Girl – but I just knew I liked this song. I think it's another one probably performed in the lounge with my cousin. It was the second song I bought on cassette tape, so I had two: Vengaboys and this, and I would just thrash them all the time.
Juice - Lizzo
Such a tune. It's kind of funk-pop. It's just so, so good. I follow a guy on Instagram – you know the one with the rainbow wigs, and he keeps pulling them off and dances around in his underwear? He does a lot of dancing to this song, and I'd heard it before, but I kept watching it, I was like, yes. It's a song that makes you want to get up and dance. Lizzo's got a joyous sound to her pop vibe, but also it's really - I hate using this word - sassy. I just instantly connected to it. It's what I try to channel as a performer – you're not always confident about how you look or whatever, but if you try and just own what you've got, it's so engaging and likeable.
You Are My Sunshine – Johnny Cash
This song is one where I don't necessarily listen to any particular recorded version – I think the Johnny Cash version would be the one to go off – but it's a song that always gets sung at any family event I'm at; they pull it out in my mum's family. But it was my Nana's song; she'd sing it to us when we'd go to sleep, and then it was the last thing we sang before we said goodbye to her at her funeral. It was something I used to look at as, 'Oh god, we have to sing this song' – and now if I hear it, I'll just burst into tears.
How Far I'll Go – Moana (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
I don't think I've ever cried so much watching a movie. I don't know why, but the whole soundtrack of Moana just gets me right in my gut, and it's probably from feeling somewhat connected to it, being half Pacific Islander. I found it really special watching Moana for the first time because it was putting Pacific Island culture into the mainstream, and the way that they represented this character of Moana; she was brave, and it wasn't about falling in love or being someone in distress, it was about finding courage in yourself. My friends give me shit for loving it, but I think it's really cool for New Zealanders. I'll play it before I go out as well. I want to do it for Dancing with the Stars but I think there's a restriction on doing Disney or something, but I was like, 'You've got to do Moana, you've got to do it!'
- as told to George Fenwick
Laura Daniel is a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, and is one-half of Two Hearts, performing their new show, The Winery Tour, at Q Theatre – Loft from May 7-11 as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival.