Danika Holmes is a rising star in the heartland. She is a versatile singer/songwriter who could have written for June Carter as well as she could write for Shania Twain or K.T. Tunstall. Danika has just released her debut record, “Second Chances”, and was kind enough to take a little time to tell us about it.
Q: Danika – thanks for taking the time to chat. “Second Chances” is quite an impressive debut. When did it dawn on you that music was what you wanted to do for a living?
A: Thanks for the interview and I really appreciate your kind words. Now to answer your question…once upon a time I lived a normal life. Then “normal” went splat to say the least. I was at a turning point in my life personally and in a job I wasn’t happy with. I needed to do something different. I was always far too “reasonable” to pursue my musical dreams so I traveled the safe academic route. While my personal life was a disaster relationship-wise and while I was dealing with the passing of my father, I had this point where I realized that this one life was my only chance at this music thing so it was now or never! Once I made the decision to pursue music full time I ran full speed ahead and never looked back. It feels good to finally have the guts to pursue a dream! More people should try it!
Q: Your record features a lot of classic and modern country and folk – would you say growing up in Iowa was primarily responsible for that?
A: I actually grew up in a very suburban area of Iowa. I’ve never had any real farm experiences per say, just driving by lots of corn! One of my older brothers listened to country music and he got our whole family hooked on it! Also, my producer Paul Hamilton is definitely responsible for the country sounds in the album as well.
Q: If you could spend a day with one of your musical influences, who would that be and why?
A: Sheryl Crow for sure! I’ve been a fan of hers since I was in middle school. I’d also love to have one more day with my dad. He played guitar and was always singing songs around the house. I’d like to ask him what he thinks of me becoming a singer/songwriter and listen to his advice. He always had the best advice.
Q: The song “Annie May” really struck a chord with me – I think it would for anyone who has loved their grandma. Would you care to elaborate on writing this personal tribute?
A: This is actually a tribute to a few different people. It was written by myself and two other co-writers (Paul Hamilton and Drew Witherell). Drew is a history teacher and was able to really help out on the historical/technical side of the song. My grandparents are in their 90’s and so much of this had to do with them. Paul also has some elderly friends that were used as inspiration for Annie May. We tried to be as specific as possible, while leaving it open enough for the listener to think of their “Annie May” as they listened to the song. In fact, we’re actually going to be putting together a music video of sorts featuring pictures of fans “Annie May’s.” So, if you’d like, send a photo of you with the Annie May in your life to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Describe one average day in the life of singer/songwriter Danika Holmes.
A: I spend a few hours each morning on-line communicating via social networking sites and answering emails from fans as well as running the business side of being an independent artist. Then I’m off to the gym for a cardio and weights class. There’s usually coffee involved at some point and I absolutely love Thai food, so many days you can find me at my favorite Thai place. Afternoons I spend writing or practicing with my band; the same most evenings unless I have a show or am going to watch a friends show. If I have any free time I’ll pop in a movie and eat ice cream! I definitely like to enjoy a glass of wine after a long day too! A phone call to my mom or a friend in there is always a plus.
Q: What do you think of the music scene in Iowa? Do you have plans to strike out to LA or NYC to “hit it big”?
A: I’d rather move to a tour bus than anywhere else right now! However, I do love Nashville and I’ve always planned on moving there eventually when the time is right. I shot my first music video in LA and my publicist is out of New York but I’m way more of a Nashville girl!
Q: The title track, “Second Chances”, is another very personal song. Why don’t you tell us more about that song and why it was selected to be the title track for your debut?
A: As I mentioned before, I was going through some major changes in my life. I literally feel like I’ve lived two lives at this point. Starting over with a music career was my second chance at life. I’m actually giving this song away for free to anyone who wants it! It’s just my way of saying thanks to everyone who is willing to give a new artist a try! You can download your copy from danikaholmes.com.
Q: What can fans expect next from Danika Holmes?
A: My first music video to the song “Lock Me In Tonight” was just filmed. Check it out on my website soon. I’m also working on developing a “fans” section for my website where I post fan photos and fun facts about the cool people listening to my music. Basically a place for fans to post comments, questions they might have, etc. I’m even thinking about turning the tables around and me interviewing and featuring my fans every now and then. After all, if it weren’t for people listening and buying my music I’d be out of work! I’m just trying to send some love back to all those who have show so much support for what I’m doing. If you have any ideas for the fan forum let me know please!
I’m fortunate enough to have some amazing musicians in my band; Jeb Hart on guitar and Wes Weeber on drums. We’re looking at organizing a tour right now. If you want us to come to your city let us know!
Thanks for your time and I really love hearing from fans so hope to hear from you all. Thanks Rock and Roll Report for your support!
On behalf of Rock and Roll Report, thanks again for your time and best of luck with the new release!