Bravery can take many forms. For Danielle Ponder it took the shape of a leap of faith: leaving her successful day job working in the public defender’s office in her hometown of Rochester to devote herself full-time to sharing her powerful voice with the world.
The singer-songwriter’s mesmerizing eight song debut Some of Us Are Brave reinforces that her faith was not misplaced, and her leap has been rewarded with a safe landing.
Written and recorded over three years, the album is a refreshingly original, shiver-inducing mix of pop, R&B, blues, rock, and moody trip-hop topped by Ponder’s celestial voice— an instrument that can plumb melancholy depths with a heartsick murmur and scrape the sky with hurricane force wails.
The sixth of seven children, Ponder had always been musical but chose to pursue a career in law after her brother received a 20-year sentence due to a “three strikes” law. But even as she became a tireless advocate for justice in her community—first as a public defender and later as a diversity, equity, and inclusion officer in that same office—the music was never far from her heart as she played in bands and wrote songs, first between classes, then between cases.
“I loved being a public defender, I loved standing next to my clients and advocating for them,” says Ponder. “But it came to the point where I had to choose.” And so, she leapt.