Today we are so excited to bring you out interview with Dannie Marie! Read on to find out more about this talented artist! We are so excited to have her on NashNews!!
NN: First start by telling us about yourself! Who are you? How did you get into the music industry? How would you describe your sound?
Dannie Marie: I'm Dannie Marie, a pop country artist from Southern California. My music sounds like Kelsea Ballerini meets Florida Georgia Line! I grew up in Alpine, a little mountain town east of San Diego. When I was about six, I heard that McDonald's was giving out Britney Spears and N Sync's C in their Happy Meals. Growing up, my mom never let us eat fast food, but I begged her to take me to McDonald's so I could get a Happy meal. I can still remember walking out of that McDonald's with that bright orange CD that was half Britney songs, and half N Sync songs. I memorized every song and would put on shows for my family singing Britney's "Girl in the Mirror". That CD made me fall in love with music and the idea of being a performer, that's when it all began.
NN: You album “Anything I wanna Be” releases on June 16 (so exciting!), what can readers expect to hear? What is your favorite song on the album and why?
Dannie Marie: Ya know, I’ve written a lot of new music since I recorded my debut album “Anything I Wanna Be”, but I feel that this album is so important if you want to know who I am as a person, and who I am as an artist and country music lover. As a songwriter, you constantly change and grow and every new song you write brings out another element of artistry in you, as well as defines you a little differently than the song before. But I need to officially introduce myself to the world, and that’s where this release comes in. I am a big advocate of being real and honest, and that’s what this record is. From a Miranda Lambert-ish song about being cheated on; to a Taylor Swift-esc song about being blind-sided when my boyfriend broke up with me; to a song about having the best summer romance of my life (Florida Georgia Line feels), this album is real, and it’s me. The title track “Anything I Wanna Be” was written about my time in Hollywood -- specifically about a time when I struggled with self hate as I dealt with producers and casting directors who told me I was too fat and not pretty enough to “make it” in the industry. Ultimately during the writing process, I turned this song into an anthem of encouragement, because we all face criticism and it’s so important to rise above and overcome the obstacles that we face, and fight for our dreams. My favorite song is probably track 4, "Fix This Broken Heart." I love the banjo throughout the song as well as the instrumentals.
NN: Between radio tours, and shows what is your favorite memory from the road? Weirdest thing that’s happened on the road?
Dannie Marie: One of my favorite memories from the road was on our Flyover States Radio Tour to promote my single "Countin' Down Summertime." We had just landed in Little Rock, AR and we were listening to the radio as we were driving to the hotel about an hour away. A commercial came on saying that Bobby Bones was doing an album signing at a Walmart in a town that we drove through 25 miles back. Well about a year prior, I had worked on the set of CMT’s Outnumber Hunger show, and ended being in a picture that Bobby Bones posted on his Instagram from the shoot. I told my mom (who was driving) that I wanted to go to the Walmart, pull up that picture on his Instagram to remind him, and tell him that I want him to play my music on this show! haha! So I remember she turned the rental car around and we tracked down this Walmart in the middle of nowhere. We changed out of our plane clothes in the Walmart parking lot, and went on in. In the process of waiting in line to see him, we ended up meeting label execs from Black River in the bra section of this Walmart! Ya know for years, we went to seminars and Nashville meetings and open call auditions to meet record execs, and then here we are in the lingerie section of a Walmart in the middle of Arkansas and we meet Kelsea Ballerini’s record label people! I remember talking with them for a while and giving them my CD. Nothing really came of that opportunity (yet), but it was just one of those really cool moments where you just realize that anything can happen at any time, or as Cinderella would say, “One shoe can change your life forever."
NN: What is one thing from your personal bucket list and your professional bucket list that you hope to cross off in the next few years?
Dannie Marie: I feel like my life is so blessed, I’m just happy to wake up each day knowing I have such an amazing support system and have my health and am able to pursue my dreams in country music. As far as a bucket list item I’d love to check off in the next few years, I honestly just want to be on tour with Florida Georgia Line or Kelsea Ballerini as their opener. I don't even care if I’m the opener for their opener, I would just love the opportunity to support them as well as introduce my music to their fans. I’m such a fan of country artists myself, that I love the idea of getting to open for an artist I look up to every night. That would be a dream come true.
NN: As a songwriter, what process do you take when you go to write a song? What are your writing rituals?
Dannie Marie: I have been constantly on the go lately, so most of my writing has been happening while I drive! I am constantly thinking of new lyrics and new hooks, so I just like to turn my voice memo recorder on while I drive, and I start messing around with melodies and lyrics until I have a song! Then I listen back, re-write and of course write it down on paper, and then bring it to the band to bring it to life!
NN: If you could do a collaboration with anyone who would you choose and why?
Dannie Marie: This question makes me so excited! I would want to collaborate with Kelsea Ballerini AND Florida Georgia Line. Between Kelsea's personality and writing style, and FGL’s melodies and track dynamics, they would be the ultimate dream team to collaborate with!
NN: What are three songs you are listening to right now?
Dannie Marie: The three songs I have on repeat right now are
1. “Clint Eastwood” by Jessie James Decker
2. “The Way I Talk” by Morgan Wallen
3. “Round Here” by Florida Georgia Line.
NN: What are three things you can’t leave for the road without? Favorite road guilty pleasure food?
Dannie Marie: Well, if you asked my manager or my guitar player what they can't live without on the road, they would say sweet tea! No joke, half of our time on the road is spent at McDonald's getting sweet tea! For me, it’s my headphones. Being on the road can be very grueling, exhausting and just plain difficult. It comes down to a mental game -- a mental game to stay positive and to keep “the goal” at the front of my mind at all times. I have a playlist that I listen to constantly when we’re on that road to help me keep that positive mindset, and keep me fired up!
NN: Anything else you would like me to share with my readers? How can fans help?
Dannie Marie: Thank you so much to every person who took the time to read this. I would LOVE to connect with you on social media. Instagram is my favorite! My handle for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter is @LoveDannieMarie. My YouTube channel is DannieMarieCountry. More importantly, no matter who you are, what setbacks you've had, or who you have in your life telling you you're not good enough and your dreams will never come true --those people are wrong. God has an amazing plan for your life and you can be Anything You Wanna Be.
Dannie Marie, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions!