DANIELLE van ZYL the OFFICIAL VOICE of "BETTY COOPER" for THE ARCHIES!
INTERVIEW: December 2008: by BRAD & LUCY for MYSTERY ISLAND MUSIC
LUCY: Hi Danielle! Let’s start with the big questions. How did Danielle van Zyl transform into America’s favorite blonde from The Archies: Betty Cooper and tell us about working with Ron Dante.
DANIELLE: I met Ron when I was 10 years old at a singing competition in Los Angeles. I started working with him when I moved to America at age 13, and we managed to keep in touch all this time. We stopped working together for a few years and now we just got reconnected with The Archies project. He asked me if I would like to be the Betty Cooper in his new Archies Christmas Album and of course I coulnd't have been happier to be a part of it.
BRAD: Veronica (Kelly-Lynn) says you two are actually getting along and cooperating for this album. Is that true? No Betty vs. Veronica?
DANIELLE: Kelly and I are great friends. We've hung out aside from the making of the album and we will be driving to Las Vegas together for the show December 27th. The 5+ car hour ride would be pretty intense if we didn't get along ;]
LUCY: Tell us about your country music influence.
DANIELLE: I've been singing all different kinds of genres of music since I was 8. My mom is a huge country fan, so I've been listening to it for as long as I can remember. I feel my voice fits with country and it's what I feel most comfortable singing.
BRAD: Will you be playing any of Betty’s traditional instruments: tambourine, percussion, guitar, and will you all be performing live together?
DANIELLE: In some shows I will be playing the tambourine. Even though I play an acoustic guitar, I don't believe I will be using it during the shows. And yes, we will (Kelly, Ron, and myself) be performing live together.
LUCY: Tell us about the song “Come a Little Closer.” Great vocal on that one, but that’s not an Archies tune, correct?
DANIELLE: First, thanks! Second, nope not an Archies tune. It's actually a country song by Lila McCann.
LUCY: Tell us about growing up and singing in South Africa.
DANIELLE: I participated in hundreds of singing competitions and performances. It's my life, it's all I can remember doing. Even my weekends consisted of shows and competitions. I did some traveling around South Africa singing as well.
BRAD: Did you meet any of the other Archies players: Jughead, Reggie, Hot Dog?
DANIELLE: Haha, nope not yet.
LUCY: Betty is like a totally cool role model, playing it nice and sweet (but not letting Veronica get in her way ;). How do you feel about becoming a new role model for the kids in the listening audience?
DANIELLE: It still really hasn't hit me yet, but I see my 10-year-old step sister listening to the Archies Christmas album and singing along to all the songs. I love that I can make her and her friends smile. Being a role model feels ... wonderful.
BRAD: Did you read Archie comics growing up? Do you still read Archie comics?
DANIELLE: I never read the comics but I loved all the music. My dad had a "60's Hits" cd and I remember singing "Sugar, Sugar" over and over.
LUCY: Your favorite song from the Christmas album?
DANIELLE: Mmm, that's hard. My favorites are "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Run Run Rudolph" and "Sleigh Ride." Honestly, all the songs on the album are really fun.
BRAD: Would you like to continue as Betty Cooper with more Archies projects?
DANIELLE: Ya definitely, and we are planning on doing more projects. Who wouldn't want to be a famous sexy blonde cartoon character? Haha.
LUCY: What else does the world need to know about The Archies epic Christmas come back?
DANIELLE: We had a great time making it and this Christmas album could be the start of many more Archies albums.
BRAD: What does Danielle want for Christmas?
DANIELLE: A record deal with a big red bow around it, pajamas, and chocolate.
BRAD & LUCY: We'll get to work on that. Thank you so much. Happy holidays and good luck with your career!
VERONICA/KELLY-LYNN INTERVIEW ::
ARCHIE/RON DANTE INTERVIEW ::
ARCHIES CHRISTMAS ALBUM REVIEW
DANIELLE VAN ZYL MYSPACE
“Danielle van Zyl Interview" by Brad & Lucy.
© 2008 by Mystery Island Publications. Published: 12.06.08.
All rights reserved.
Photos of Danielle van Zyl from the collection of Danielle van Zyl.
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