2018 was a life-changing year for Dakota Danielle. Not only did she successfully break into the country scene with her debut single, “One Church”, she also lost one of her biggest supporters, her mother. After that, the 26-year-old dove into writing to begin her healing process; this led to her debut EP, My Mother’s Daughter, which is out now.
I got the chance to talk with Dakota about how she originally got into music, her debut EP My Mother’s Daughter, the story behind her song “Growing Old” and so much more! Keep reading to see what she had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I did not get into music until later in life. I spent most of my school years focused on playing tennis. My junior/senior year of high school, I needed a change in my life and picked up the guitar. I LOVED IT! After I found my passion for guitar, I began to sing and write. Everything after that seemed to fall into place. I loved the way singing and writing made me feel so I was constantly finding ways to learn about how I can improve.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
I remember in college I did not know it was possible for me to pursue music professionally. I was working at my college newspaper at the time and my boss had a passion for music as well. He taught me more about how to care for my guitar, recording and etc. With that being said, I became more and more passionate about music and decided to switch to a music business degree. Focusing all my attention on music classes made me realize that this was where I was supposed to be. I’ve been pursuing music ever since.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey to listeners with their music. You classify your sound as country, but if you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?
This is a tricky question! I guess I would describe my music as down to earth, relatable, with small town roots.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
I love so many artists and genres it is hard for me to pick only a few musical influences. Off the top of my head: Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church.
Let’s talk about your debut EP, My Mother’s Daughter. What does it mean to you for this project to finally be out?
To have this project finally out is a great feeling! All of the songs on the EP are about times in my life where I have grown or learned as a person. People who listen will get to know me better as a person and artist which I am excited about.
Why did you name the EP, My Mother’s Daughter?
My mom passed away almost a year ago and I wanted to dedicate the EP to her. She believed in me so much and made it to almost every single one of my gigs.
What was the recording process like for this EP? How long did it take for this to come together from start to finish?
The recording process was a great experience. I worked with producer Robbie Artress and he brought my songs to life with the same vision I had. With both of us being on the same page; it took only a couple months for the recording of everything to come together and get finished.
I love the track, “Growing Old.” What inspired that song?
Thank you! This is a very personal and special song to me. I wrote this about how I felt without my mom being here with me. My life was turned upside down when my mother passed. This was a song that just needed to be written in order for me to start my healing process.
What was the songwriting process like for “Growing Old” specifically?
“Growing Old” took a couple weeks to write because my emotions kept being brought back to the surface. I knew I had a lot of bottled up emotions that I kept to myself and I could tell it was all affecting me. Once I picked up my guitar, words just kept flowing out. It took me awhile to organize everything I wanted to say, but when the song was finished it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.
Do you tend to write by yourself or do you like collaborating with other writers and artists in co-writes?
I love collaborating with other writers! I tend to know which songs I should write by myself and which ones I feel will be stronger with another person writing with me.
Was there any major changes to “Growing Old” that happened once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
There was no changes made to “Growing Old” once we got in the studio. The song came together beautifully and I could not have asked for a better outcome.
You’re still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
To perform at the Grand Ole Opry, a main stage at CMA Fest, open up for more artists, and perform at Bridgestone Arena one day!
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
The Avengers: Endgame movie! I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, but it is on my to-do list!