From the hills and valleys of rural BC to the bright lights of Nashville, for singer/songwriter Danielle Ryan, music has become more than a passion, but an adventure.
Growing up on a third-generation dairy farm started by her great-grandfather, Danielle’s musical journey began when she was just 13-years-old, penning tracks in her childhood bedroom eager for the chance to break into the industry.
And as a true country girl at heart, there was no better way to nurture that gritty, down-home work ethic than to dive headfirst into the world of country music.
“I would listen to come of my favourite musicians and think, I could do that,” she recalled with a smile, adding the desire was about much more than just singing songs. “I taught myself how to play guitar and started writing from there. Since that day I’ve never looked back.”
Finding inspiration with some of the most iconic voices of country music including Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash. Drawing from personal experiences new and old, Danielle continued to plug away at her craft — which was no small feat while juggling the demands of high school, singing in church, and a stint in musical theatre.
It wasn’t long before the would-be musician’s dream began to take off with an appearance on YTV’s The Next Star and earning herself a golden ticket before being named winner of the CMT Chevy From the Tailgate Contest in 2015, taking home $10,000 worth of recording time.
The following year Danielle’s trademark sound scored her a place in the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Discovery Program where a chosen few are brought together to learn about the music business from industry insiders and artist mentors, culminating in a performance at the CCMA Discovery Showcase during Country Music Week in London, Ont.
Since then, Danielle has continued to hit the stage and recently played her biggest show to date — Sunfest Country Music Festival, alongside the likes of big Canadian talents including Dallas Smith, Emerson Drive and Jojo Mason. She also showcased her writing skills at the CCMA Songwriter series in Hamilton, Ontario.
Now, with another writing trip to Nashville planned for the new year to continue work on her debut EP, Danielle maintains it’s important to keep doing things her own way.
“Above anything, I want my music to be honest. I grew up listening to country and I am super-inspired by the greats, but I also love current pop so it’s a fusion of those two,” she explained. “The priority is really to put out the best work possible, no matter how long it takes. I want to release something that I am proud of and that people connect with. That’s what I’ve always fought for — songs that really mean something.”
In the meantime, the young songstress can’t wait to get back on stage and is hoping for a busy year packed with live performances, as well as her first radio single slated to hit airwaves just in time for summer.
After all, there’s no other path she’d rather be on.
“Honestly, I just love it. It’s never felt like a job for me — and that makes it all worth it.
There’s nothing else I’d rather do.”