I’m probably one of the last people to hear the name Dakota Bradley, But now that I’ve heard the name, and the singer – I need to tell you what I’ve found. I received an email recently, telling me about this country/pop, singer/songwriter from St. Louis, Mo. His debut television performance was on the Ellen DeGeneres Show! Now, that is quite a starting place! If you missed that performance, you can see it by clicking here. His new single, Somethin’ Like Somethin’, was produced by Tim McGraw and Byron Gallimore.
His bio tells us his first love (before music) was sports. He grew up in St. Louis playing basketball, soccer, hockey and football. And, he still jumps into a pickup game of basketball every chance he gets; he works out every day.
When he was 12, he picked up an old guitar he found in the basement, and spent the entire day learning songs on it. He never put it back down. He was listening to bands line Guns & Roses, Aerosmith and Motley Crue. But, his bio continues “ when he discovered the heart-tugging lyrics of country music a few years later, he had found a home.”
When Dakota was in eighth grade, he formed a band with some friends, and began playing in local clubs around town. He and his family moved to Nashville when he was in his early teens, but when he turned 16, he went through some trying times that gave him plenty of fuel to power his dreams of a bigger and better life. His home burned down to the ground, then his stepdad, who suffered from addiction problems, left the family. But his fortune quickly turned around when he met a manager who wanted to represent him. His manager hooked him up with another aspiring artist, and the two made a video of a song they performed together, “The Girl Is Mine,” that eventually became an internet sensation. (That’s the song you’ll hear on the clip from the Ellen Show).
Focusing on his writing, Dakota began writing songs with some of Nashville’s best producers and writers, including Taylor Swift producer Nathan Chapman. He soon received a call from Tim McGraw producer Byron Gallimore, who was so impressed with the young talent he eventually signed him to his new label, Soundstream Records.
The 19-year-old brings the powerful, raw energy of rock to his songs, but is definitely very much a country artist at heart. He describes his music this way — “I sing like a rock singer like Steven Tyler, but I sound country. I think people are gonna like me, because my music is honest and it’s real. I really sell it live…I take performing and my career really seriously, ‘cause I gave up a lot to do this.”
If Dakota had to describe where he is in his life now in one word, it would be fearless. “I’ve been through some tough things early on in my life, and that’s the reason I’m fearless…’ cause I’ve lived through those kind of things. So for me, being in front of people singing is no big deal compared to what I grew up dealing with. That’s the reason I’m so positive, because I don’t ever want my life to look like that again! I’m gonna make my life happy, and I believe that what you put into something is what you get out. Life is what you make it, and I’m very excited about my future in music, and what it can be.”
I think we’ll all be hearing a lot from this kid in the very near future. Be sure to follow Dakota on Twitter @dakotabradley.
I’ll be back with more soon!