Simone Denny is the voice behind one of the year’s most notorious songs. You know the one.
“Days keep getting better, nights keep getting betterÂ…when you are around, all things just keep getting better.”
It’s “All Things” and it’s everywhere. “I know,” Denny admits. “I don’t think any of us had any clue it would be as huge as it is now.”
At the moment, the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy theme’s sentiment couldn’t be more fitting for the not-quite-thirty-year-old Denny. She’s currently creating several songs that will truly be hers as a bona fide solo star. No longer will she be Widelife featuring Simone Denny.
“Everybody’s been asking me when I’m gonna branch out and do something on my own and now is the time,” she says from her home in Toronto, just back from a two-week recording session in Los Angeles. “It’s long overdue.”
Years before Widelife, she was the voice of Love Inc.
The lyrics of that short-lived pop trio’s biggest hit, “You’re A Superstar,” serves as inspiration for Denny, as it does for many. “Reach for the sky/And hold your head up high,” it begins, “For tonight and every night, you’re a superstar.”
Denny says she usually performs the song a cappella. “That gives the audience a chance to hear it so we can sing it together.”
Denny was trained as an opera singer, but to her teacher’s dismay, a career in classical music never panned out. “I love opera music,” she says. “I listen to it quite often, but it’s not something I feel when I sing.” For that, she needs dance music.
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“I like dance music because it’s positive. It has an energy of its own. I love performing it, and I love the reaction from the crowd.”
Denny got her start in dance by hooking up with fellow Canadian Barry Harris, just before his five-year run with the Thunderpuss dance-pop juggernaut. She sang “I Can’t Take the Heartbreak” by Killer Bunnies, a one-off collaboration between Harris and Rachid Wehbi, now one-half of Widelife. Before that, she was in a Toronto production of the musical Momma, I Want to Sing, starring alongside Deborah Cox, who played the lead. Roughly the same age as Cox, Denny was the extremely young “momma” of the title.
Denny will release her next single this fall, eventually followed by a full-length album, her first as a solo artist. She hopes to give dance music a little push to put it back into the Top 40 limelight where it was just a decade ago. And she knows she can’t do that without her core audience.
“The gay community has been extremely supportive of my music, my voice and my career,” she says. “They are there for me, and I’m here to show the love right back. Performing at Capital Pride is an honor for me.”
Simone Denny is scheduled to perform Sunday, June 13, at approximately 5:40 p.m. at the Capital Pride Street Festival Mainstage located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 3rd Street NW. For more information visit www.capitalpride.org. For more information about Simone Denny, visit www.simonedenny.com.