Special day today , getting an opportunity to meet an artist who makes a difference in this world – Danika Portz. Spending time away from home touring is one thing, going on a SW Asia tour with Armed Forces Entertainment is something totally different. Having spent four years in The Marines , obviously I know what it’s like to be so far from home , and I know that when others acknowledge your Service , you’re thankful. And here is an artist with a beautiful voice sharing her time and energy thanking the troops and that is priceless. Like Danika says in her video , a lot of people give lip service to the troops , buzz words are thrown about and often our troops are used as political footballs , with all parties claiming they want to take care of them better than the other. And then in the real world there are people like Danika who give of themselves to make the troops smile, so before you listen to Danika’s excellent Album I would like to say thank you to Danika for all that she has done for our troops. Have I mentioned that her music is beautiful, give a listen and you’ll agree , dig that roots based fiddle action with some hand clapping , gets me hooked every time. One last thought: remember in ‘Young Americans’ when Bowie ask ..”Ain’t there one damn song that can make me break down and cry “, if some of these tunes don’t trigger that reaction , you might want to go sit on a couch and figure that out.
for those unfamiliar with your history, can you tell us you decided to give this whole music thing a shot?
I was going into my senior year of college and had kind of a “come to Jesus” moment. I was talking to an old friend who had just taken the leap of faith into “full time” music and I was telling him how much I wanted to do that someday and was trying to decide if I should move to a place like Nashville and give it a shot… or stay in Des Moines and get a “real job” first to save up. He said something that really made me pull the trigger, “Unless you throw caution to the wind and jump in with two feet… music will always be that thing you do on the side.” And I came to the realization that I didn’t want music to be that thing I did on the side. I wanted it to be my only thing. Later that summer I met Luke Bryan and told him I was thinking about making the move to Nashville and that I wanted to do what he was doing for a living. I asked him if he had any advice and after thinking about it for a moment, he told me, “Make the move to Nashville. That will be the hardest part… but you’ve got to make the move.” And here I am- five years later and officially a full-time musician!
who would you list as your musical influence?
My influences are pretty varied. I listed to top 40 pop growing up (when I had control of the radio dial) and then what my parents listened to… Dolly Parton, Elton John, Billy Joel, The Eagles, John Denver… All of that has influenced me as an artist and a writer. I love the mixture of pop melodies with that rootsy beat.
whats the coolest thing that’s happened to you as a band since you started up?
I think headlining 2 tours of SW Asia with Armed Forces Entertainment might be the biggest highlight. I have a special place in my heart for our military. I just released my latest single and music video and it happened to drop on the same day my younger brother deployed to the Middle East for the fourth time. It made it extra special and emotional to be able to share that with the world. The other cool thing about the song, My Superhero, is that we have teamed up with Noah Galloway (Iraq War Vet who lost both his left arm and leg and was recently on Dancing With The Stars and American Grit) and will be donating 50% of the proceeds from the single to his No Excuses Charitable Fund.
what are your hopes and dreams as a band for the next few years. To keep doing what we’re doing an be able to expand our reach to a larger audience.
what are some of your favorite albums from the past few years? On the pop side, I love Ed Sheeran’s, Andy Grammer’s and Elle King’s latest record and on the country side- Maren Morris, Lucie Silvas, Chris Stapleton, and Thomas Rhett.
Do you see any real use for social media , or is it all just a pain in the ass to keep with?
All of the above. It’s necessary in today’s day and age but it is time consuming and also… a lot of smoke and mirrors. I take it with a grain of salt.
Do you pay attention to reviews or comments from people about your music or do you just turn that noise off.
I listen to the people who’s opinion matters to me… people that have my best interest in mind. But random rude comments… you just have to let that stuff roll off your back.
If you could tour anywhere in the world , where would you want to go.
Australia and New Zealand. I lived in Australia for 6 months in college and haven’t had the chance to get back there yet… I’d love a musical excuse!
Can music save the mortal soul or is just a good backbeat to your life.
Wow that is a tough question. I think music serves a very important purpose and to every person… that purpose is different. At its most basic and maybe trivial form I give you this example: when I was a kid my mom used to sing around the house all the time and it usually drove us crazy. When we would say, “Stop singing!” her response was perfect, “Never ask me to stop singing. I ONLY sing when I’m happy. Never ask me to stop singing.”