Sunshine likes to make artists shine! Hence, her interview series was born. Contact her for your moment in Sunshine's Spotlight.
Introducing Dakota Hurley
Dakota Hurley was born in Johnson City, TN and calls Sanford, FL his home. While he hasn't had the opportunity to perform in Nashville yet, his hope is to one day perform at the Opry.
Dakota plays the electric, bass and acoustic guitar along with the drums and piano. He writes his own songs and considers that talent an important factor for a genuine artist.
"While it's cool to have other people help you, you should definitely have a part in the creative process." -DH
Go on y'all and meet Dakota...
What Is Your Muse?
I get inspired in a lot of ways. My biggest idea that I try to share is that life is OK. Everything isn't as crazy important as it seems. The important stuff is enjoying the beautiful earth that God blessed us with, and spending time with those you love--and to love everyone! You never know when you'll be the last person someone ever sees. Make that person see a smile!
Family History of Musicians?
Yes, from my dad's side. There is a long history of singers and some acoustic guitar as well.
Ritual Before Performing?
Pray. Pray. Pray. Always. Every ounce of my performance is always to bring glory to God--after all, he's who gave me the goods to do it in the first place! Aside from that, I usually like to warm up on guitar to some cool classic rock, or I'll play along to whatever is playing in the bar.
Musician That Inspired You?
Man, so many. So so many. Everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughan, to Eddie Van Halen and even Zakk Wylde. You may notice that none of those guys are country. Ha! Career wise, my inspiration comes a lot from Kenny Chesney. We're from the same area in Tennessee, and he's pretty much the king of country (right now) when it comes to touring and overall fame. I dig it!
What Inspired Your Love of Music?
It's just always been there. I can't really say what sparked the spark, but I remember when I was in middle school I think I had my phone taken (no idea why... I was an angel, yeah right lol) and to entertain myself I picked up that old guitar in my closet and just decided to learn. I never looked back!
Record Deal or Indie?
Record companies are good for 2 things: their money, and their marketing power. Independent is the way for me. I can do all those things the record companies can by contracting 3rd party companies (or even doing it myself, how crazy!) for much much less money. Indie may not be for everyone, but if you have a business mindset and care about not giving your money away, it's a no-brainer.
What Are Your Thoughts On The Evolution Of Country Music?
I don't think evolved is a fair term, because a lot of the stuff you hear today is such a far cry from the old traditional stuff that it's hard to see it being related. That said, I think it's really cool, man. I'm a music lover. I love art. I love hearing what other people's creative mind comes up with. If you talk to a "musician" or (heaven forbid) a "producer" who stands there and bashes other music to you, find someone else to talk to. They may not prefer the music, that's one thing, but if they sit there and say "oh this is trash," then they're showing you right off the bat that they don't respect music as a form of art.
How About Sharing a Story About a Current Project?
I've been toying with the idea of a song called My Boots Click. One night I was at a meeting for one of the organizations I'm a part of, and I was on the phone walking down the hall. I was wearing my cowboy boots and the floor was wood... so they clicked... which made my back straighten up a little and made me walk a little taller. So the gist is that my Boots Click and now I'm standing proud and walkin' tall. (Go forth and prosper with that idea!)
Which Song That You Have Written Is Most Special To You?
I have a song called Hometown Song. It's about getting out in the big ole scary world of "real life" and realizing that that small hometown that you couldn't wait to get out of is the only place in the world you wanna go. I've been there and so that song is very deep rooted in me.
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Which Musician Would You Want To Portray You In a Movie Of Your Life?
In this case I might actually say myself... there's only one original! Ha. I'm not sure, honestly. Maybe throw out the idea and see who thinks they can be me. Hahaha!
Most Famous Musician That You Met?
Craig Campbell is up there, I actually opened for him, and I've met Drew Baldridge. I also met the guys from the band Warrant...which happened to be both my first concert and my favorite band of all time.
Which Artist Would You Like To Collaborate With?
I'd love to do an all star album where I bring in guest monster players from all genres. Buddy Guy, Slash, EVH, Brad Paisley, etc. With guitar being my main instrument I do a lot of guitar-heavy music and I'd like to delve into that a bit more. I'd love to collab with Kenny Chesney. See what we can come up with.
Which Act Would You Like To Open For?
Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Craig Campbell, any of those rocky guys who are keeping it real would be awesome. Think about the built-in crowd I'd get from the first two!
Most Memorable Moment So Far In Your Career?
When I opened for Craig Campbell back in July of 2016 I also proposed to my girlfriend (now wife) that night on stage. That was pretty cool!
Where Would You Like to Perform a "One Night Only" Concert?
I think it'd be really cool to play in Sydney, Australia at the big concert all there. That'd be cool!
Give me a steak dinner and I'm a happy man. Dessert? Eh, maybe sometimes. Red velvet cake is always a favorite for me though!
Favorite Inspirational Quote?
Ehh. I'm not really into that kinda thing. Here's an inspirational quote: "...God loved the world SO much, that He sent his only son [Jesus], so that whoever believes in Him will never die, but live forever!" John 3:16
As I mentioned before I really dig Kenny Chesney. His song "I Go Back" always gets me pumped up. That's a great tune. (I agree!)
Favorite Song Lyric?
For my marriage: "When I think about leaving, I think again." - When I Think About Leaving by Kenny Chesney
A guy I've been following a lot lately is Kenny Greenberg. An accomplished blues/rock guitar player, but he's a Nashville session player who works a lot with and actually tours with Kenny Chesney. The guy's playing is just simply spot on and never disappoints.
Favorite Concert That You Have Attended?
Kenny Chesney! Close others are Blake Shelton, Roger Waters (from Pink Floyd), Slash (with Myles Kennedy) and Tim McGraw.
Favorite Toppings On Nachos?
Hmm... don't usually prefer nachos, to be honest. But I reckon some steak or chicken, cheese, more cheese, pico de gallo and ranch/sour cream. Sounds good!
Advice For An Artist Just Getting Started?
Don't. Get a job. Haha just kidding. 2 things. NEVER QUIT. You will hit roadblocks, do complete 360's, you will have good times and good success and then you'll take 5 steps back, but that never stops. So just learn to roll with it and get stronger and better every time. Resilience is HUGE in this business. 2nd thing: opinions are like arse-holes--everyone has one, but yours is most important. Go with your gut. Take other people's advice (especially more experienced pros) but make sure you stay true to your vision and what you want.
How Did You Get Started In The Business?
My first "real" band was the youth/praise band at my church when I was in 7th grade. We played a bunch, practiced more than anything, and had a great time. I knew early in my life that there was something special to me about playing live.
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?
Living in Nashville, a couple or 3 records deep, touring a lot, and when I'm home working in the studio as a session player/producer.
Mulberry St Bar & Grill (Avalon Park, Orlando)
It was a pleasure interviewing Dakota. His responses were sincere, witty and optimistic. These characteristics are qualities of a star.
I had the pleasure of organizing a country music event at my local tavern in Dakota's honor and he rocked out in a country kinda way! He will be back again so if you live in the Orlando area be sure and check out Dakota at Mulberry Street Bar and Grill in Avalon Park!
If you would like to book Dakota Hurley for a show, please contact me.
Mulberry St Bar & Grill (Avalon Park, Orlando)
© 2017 Linda Bilyeu
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 11, 2017:
I love Dakota's attitude, Linda. He looks young but has a pretty good head on his shoulders. Pretty cool that he lives in Sanford. How'd he get here from Tennessee?
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 20, 2017:
Great stuff and you shared with lovely photos. Something I can only dream of.
mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on March 16, 2017:
Hello Linda - You have found your niche. You almost are ready to launch a magazine for the country scene of Nashville. The world is waiting.
Martie Coetser from South Africa on March 12, 2017:
Thank you, Sunshine, for introdusing Dakota Hurley. I like his voice and the lyrics.
Nell Rose from England on March 12, 2017:
Another great intro to an amazing singer! nice one Linda!
Suzie from Carson City on March 11, 2017:
Hmmm, I have thought of some comments and questions I have for this Country Cutie!
First thing I'd like to say is that I'm really glad your parents took your phone from you! (I'll bet you are too, now!) :)
I spent a month in your birthplace, Johnson City, Tennessee when I visited my sister & her family. I remember having a great time, but not much else. I can tell you that you were not even born then!
Is there a video we can see of the night you proposed to your wife, on stage? How romantic and sweet.
I like your attitude and your spirit, not to mention how much I enjoyed listening to you singing and playing your guitar!
I wish you lots of luck and much success! Maybe one day I'll see you in person, if I tag along with my friend Sunshine!
Another Superb interview, girlfriend. You always do it right!!
Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on March 11, 2017:
Dakota is dreamy and talented - thanks for the intro, Sunshine.