Danika Holmes is an upcoming singer, songwriter, musician and performer from the American Midwest and is our latest Sonicbids competition winner. From a large number of entries we were really impressed with Danika’s portfolio and therefore were delighted when she agreed to complete an interview with Song Revelation. Read on to discover how Danika writes her tracks, where her favourite vacation destination would be and what advice she’d give to other upcoming artists.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Sweet & Soulful
Q: What is your musical background?
I started piano when I was six but didn’t pick up the guitar until I was out of college. I was always into music, songwriting, acting and dance.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
Busy and awesome! We finished recording the 2nd album “Living Your Dream” in Nashville. This album drops March 6, 2012. What was especially exciting is that the album was entirely fan funded through kickstarter.com. We raised over $13,000 (which was 114% of our goal). We also did a national tour last year as well as two separate UK tours.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
People who have the courage to write their own music and than share it in front of other people.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Sara Bareilles, Adele, Norah Jones.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Yes! Colbie Caillat and basically my entire list of artists I look up to! I’d also love to work with producer John Shanks.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
I usually start with a song title or the hook. I enjoy writing with co-writers but I also write alone at times. Sometimes I sit at the piano and write, other times I use my guitar. If I don’t have an instrument readily available that’s fine too! Many times, I hear a melody/lyrics in my head first. I keep repeating them in my head until I’m sure I can sing them “correctly” out loud. At that point, I get my idea captured on a recording device asap so I never lose an idea. I’m also a big supporter of “re-writing” a song until it’s just right!
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
What came first the chicken or the egg?
Q: Where are you based?
The Quad Cities. It’s four cities, two on the Iowa side, two on the Illinois side right on the Mississippi river.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I love being from the Midwest. People are super friendly here. This isn’t a major music market so that has presented some challenges. However, these days with touring and the ability to travel so easily the world seems much smaller. I’ll always be an Iowa girl at heart though.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A double disc live album. One disc will be with my full band (10 piece) and the other will be an acoustic disc. This album is being produced by the lead guitar player in my band, Jeb Hart.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Raising the funds through fans (I say “frans” friends/fans) for my 2nd album was extremely exciting and humbling. I was so scared to begin the process because I knew I was going to find out if I actually had people that supported me and wanted to hear more music I had written. Another highlight was the “Living Your Dream” pre-release show we did in my hometown. We had a sold out show and we had such a fun time playing!
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
We’ll be doing over 160 shows in 2012 including a national tour and a European tour. I would love to get some placements in film and television shows as well.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Yes! Please visit http://www.danikaholmes.com for our complete show schedule. We love performing live and we love meeting people at our shows. We’ll also be doing some live online shows this year through stageit.com so stay tuned. Another fun thing we’ve been doing lately is house concerts. I’m hooked! Want us to do a show in your living room? Contact us!
Q: What do you do to relax?
Working out regularly keeps my stress level under control, so I’d call that a relaxation technique. I also love to read and play with my dog Fergie. She’s adorable and looks like a little teddy bear. I’m always tweeting pictures of her! I also like to bake banana bread. I always seem to be buying bananas and letting them get too ripe. So naturally, they’re perfect for bread making.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Wow, I haven’t thought about a vacation in a long time. Now that I’m working full time as a musician in a job I love “vacation” seems less important. However, of course I could handle a beach somewhere with an umbrella drink in my hand for some r & r!
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Stick with it. There are a lot of negative people out there in the music industry. Avoid them like the plague. Know your strengths and use common sense.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
While my name “Danika Holmes” is the most visible, I have an entire team of amazing people working behind the scenes to make this project a success, particularly my guitar player Jeb Hart. I absolutely could not be doing this on my own without the support of these people.
Also, please take 30 seconds to visit our website (www.danikaholmes.com) to sign up for our newsletter. We promise to never share or sell your email. This is the absolute best way to stay in the loop and up to date with what’s going on with us. You will be the first to hear about new music, new shows added, you tube videos and anything else you may be interested in.
Editor’s Note: Danika is one of Song Revelation’s “Ones to Watch”. Her music encapsulates a profound sense of realism that is both heart-felt and has commercial appeal.
If you’d like to contact Danika Holmes or check out some more of her tracks just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://www.twitter.com/danikahmusic
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/danikaholmesmusic
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/danikaholmes
web page link: http://www.danikaholmes.com
reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/danikaholmes