The Rise of Danielle Ponder: From Public Defender to Powerhouse Performer Thoughts+Photos: Danielle Ponder at Inn Cahoots During SXSW 2/16/23
AUSTIN, TX- For years, when the name Danielle Ponder was mentioned, it often conjured images of a courtroom. After all, she was a dedicated public defender in Rochester, New York for approximately a decade. She fought tirelessly for those marginalized and discarded by society, making a difference in the lives of many who needed a champion in their corner.
Now, the name Danielle Ponder echoes in music halls, resonating with her striking blend of R&B, funk, gospel, and rock. Ponder has seamlessly transitioned from legal courtroom to the court of public opinion, where her raw talent as a singer and songwriter shines brightly. Her music is embedded with her strong beliefs in social justice, layered with emotional depth and personal revelations that connect with listeners on a profound level. Her music is raw and authentic. Her music is a snapshot of her experiences, her beliefs, her hopes, and her fears. Real powerful stuff.
I was able to get a taste of Danielle’s authenticity at this SXSW performance.
The moment Danielle began to sing, the crowd turned their heads to pay attention. Her presence is commanding, yet there’s an inviting warmth about her. Her voice is powerful with a soul-stirring timbre that flows with power, exuding raw emotion, reflecting the shared joys, pains, and experiences of the human condition that’s describe in her lyrics. She was able to express the whole range of the emotional spectrum through her voice. I absolutely loved it.