When you combine good looks and talent, you're bound to make it in Hollywood, but nobody said it would be easy. Breaking into the music industry can be difficult, says Country singer Dayna Woodhams. "In the music business I feel like everyday is tough. It's so much rejection that it can be brutal," says Woodhams. "Especially when you write your own music. You put so much of yourself out there and not everyone is going to like it. There is no set path in this business and you have to find your own way to make it work."
Get to know Dayna Woodhams as she discusses how she got her start, the obstacles she faces and her goals for the future.
|Singer Dayna Woodhams|
1. How long have you been singing and at what age did you realize you wanted to pursue country music?
I have been singing since I could speak, I think! I used to make up songs and dance and sing around the house when I was a kid! I realized country music was my specialty much later in life. Honesty, I greatly disliked country for most of my life and it wasn't until I actually started singing along to bands like The Dixie Chicks and Martina Mcbride that I found how much it showed off my voice. I started exploring more from there.
2. Are there any artists you look up to? Who are some of your influences?
I greatly look up to artists such as Reba Mcintire, Martina Mcbride, Rascal Flatts and The Dixie Chicks. Their longevity and success in the business is truly inspiring and they continue to grow and evolve and stay mainstream without losing who they've always been. I also enjoy newer artists such as Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert for their ability to jump into the industry head first and really make a name for themselves quickly. I find that lately I'm more influenced by bands like Lady Antebellum and Sugarland. Being able to duet with a male really opens up so many opportunities. I love collaborating! Having more then one mind behind writing and performing is way cooler than going at it alone!
3. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
My sound is very contemporary with hints of blues and rock thrown in. Strangely, I have a huge thing for 80s rock so I enjoy bringing the two styles together. Throwing an awesome guitar riff into my down home country song is my favorite thing to do. A lot of my music is very much about the vocals and the storyline which is true to the country form but I like to throw the twists in there.
4. Can you describe your first time on stage?
My first time singing legitimately on stage was actually at a karaoke contest at my college, Western Michigan University. I did it completely on a whim. I was not all that interested in pursuing music as a career at this point. It was 3 levels of competition and the winner received 10 hours in a recording studio. I ended up winning which actually changed my professional life. Those 10 hours made me my first demo CD, which led to many more professional gigs. So needless to say, I was terrified getting up there but it was the best thing to happen to me!
5. What are some of your favorite songs to perform on stage?
My absolute favorite song to perform, that's not mine, is Carrie Underwood's, "Before He Cheats". It has everything I look for in a song. Attitude, strong vocals, a great beat and a great storyline. My favorite song to perform that I wrote is "Walking Back Out" for many of the same reasons!
6. What's the best piece of advice someone's ever given you?
The best piece of advice I ever got from someone is do one thing everyday toward your goals. Whether its writing a new song or just working on some vocal exercises, it is important to always be involved in your craft in some way.
7. What's the toughest experience you've ever had to overcome?
In the music business I feel like everyday is tough. It's so much rejection that it can be brutal. Especially when you write your own music. You put so much of yourself out there and not everyone is going to like it. There is no set path in this business and you have to find your own way to make it work. For me, the hardest part of trying to make a career out of this was moving to Los Angeles, 1000 miles away from my family and all my friends and living in a tiny studio in Hollywood in order to go to music school. A lot of sacrifices have to be made and its terrifying.
8. Are you working on any projects at the moment?
Right now I am actually looking for a great band to work with. I have written a lot of songs, performed a lot of places in different aspects of the industry and now feel like its time to really get the music out there and start a following. In the meantime I continue to write and record on my own.
9. Where can we catch you next? Any upcoming shows?
Unfortunately, until I get a new band together I have nowhere to perform so it's essential that I become apart of a great group of musicians again quickly!
10. Where can people listen to your music online?
I put up whatever music I'm working on at the moment on my Myspace music page www.myspace.com/daynawoodhamsmusic.
11. Anything else you'd like to add?
I'm so new to this business and even after singing for most of my life the industry still overwhelms me. All I can do is put myself out there as much as possible and have as much fun with it as I can. I'm continuing to learn and grow but music is what makes me happy, truly. As long as it's in my life in some way I'll be good to go. Being hugely successful and famous will just be icing.
For more information on Dayna Woodhams and to listen to her music, visit: www.myspace.com/daynawoodhamsmusic
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