Alumni Profiles

Daniel Memmi ’15

“There was so much creative energy among the students and Crossroads really gave us room to explore and the freedom to try new things.”
When Daniel arrived at Crossroads in ninth grade, he thought of himself primarily as a painter. His love for music, however, would take him in a new direction.

Daniel, who played piano, took music production classes at Crossroads and connected with other students who shared his interest in jazz, funk and hip-hop. He and bass player Sol (Fagenson) Was ’15 formed a duo during their junior year and produced an EP as their senior project. “There was so much creative energy among the students,” recalled Daniel, “and Crossroads really gave us room to explore and the freedom to try new things.”

Daniel initially attended USC as a fine arts major but transferred to the music industry program at its Thornton School of Music. Sol was also studying music at USC, and he and Daniel continued to write, perform and DJ together. The two connected with Leven (Simon-Seay) Kali ’13 in 2016 and began to develop an organic music-making process together, channeling their shared love of ’70s funk through new sensibilities and technologies.

Their music made its way to Beyoncé’s record label, which invited the trio to join the creative team behind her 2022 album, “Renaissance.” Daniel, Sol and Leven co-wrote the music and lyrics to the song “Virgo’s Groove,” on which Leven also served as a background vocalist and producer. The three were among the creatives nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy Award for their work on “Renaissance,” launching the friends and collaborators to a new level of music industry success.

“Being part of that album has opened some doors and connected us with some really great artists and people in the industry,” said Daniel, “We’re super busy, which is great, working together on projects and also pursuing things individually. It’s all just more reason to keep doing what I love.”