I Love my job! As one of the judges in the Girl Scout Council of Nation’s Capital’s YouTube Contest in 2012, I had the opportunity to listen to Dana Marieʻs creative songwriting style before meeting her. A Senior Girl Scout at the time, her YouTube entry, Girl Scout Cookie Rap, was creative, entertaining and really FUN! Needless to say, I enjoyed meeting this talented young songwriter at the actual Rock the Mall 100th Anniversary event on June 9, 2012, where she presented her playful cookie selling song to over 250,000 girls and their families. It has been a pleasure following Dana’s path into professional songwriting and singing and I am excited to introduce her to you and to new audiences everywhere!
MC – What inspired you to begin singing?
DM – “I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember and have always loved performing, but I started to seriously pursue music as a career after I started writing songs around age 14. I found that songwriting was a very natural way of expressing my emotions while doing something that I loved. To inspire other girls and listeners with melodies and lyrics quickly became a driving force in my music.”
MC – Would you share with us your most memorable moments or highlights in your songwriting career so far?
DM – “There are a couple of big moments in my career that really stand out when I look back. The first was three years ago, when I performed at the Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary “Rock the Mall” Celebration at the National Mall in Washington DC. This was an amazing opportunity that I stumbled upon after entering a funny original song, “Girl Scout Cookie Rap”, into an online contest.
At first, I couldn’t believe that this little song I had put together for fun had gotten national attention and led me to the incredible experience of performing for an audience of over 250,000 people. That little novelty song now has about 80,000 views on YouTube; what I’ve learned is that the most amazing opportunities often present themselves when you least expect them, and usually when you stop trying so hard and start to simply be yourself and allow yourself to enjoy what you’re doing. I strongly believe that being genuine and finding your own voice is one of the most important parts of creating and inspiring others.
A second accomplishment that stands out as a highlight in my career is more recent, but just as significant. This past March, I released my first official EP, “Liftoff”, which includes six original songs that I have put together over the past year or so. As songwriting is a very personal thing, it was both exciting and nerve-wracking to share these mini stories with the world. However, once I put them out there, I was grateful to receive overwhelming support from fans, friends and family. I’ve been ecstatic and extremely thankful for the positive reactions towards the album and can’t wait to begin writing and working on my next big release.”
DM – “To other girls and women who aspire to become a leader in their communities, I encourage them to find something that they are passionate about. To know that music is your passion is a great start – but once you find a cause or inspiration to work for, you can begin to use your music to bring people together and create a better community – one song at a time and one action at a time. When I created Stand Up Sing Out, a campaign that used music to raise awareness to fight bullying, I wanted to let others, especially young women and teens, know that they are not alone; I found that music was a universal way to achieve that. Using one’s passion is also a great tool for women to empower other women to get involved in issues that are important to them. Collectively, women in music can be a very strong voice and make an impact. Use your talents and passions to break the stereotypical cycles of what people think girls should be and just be yourself.”
MC – Any additional thoughts/guidance/inspiration?
DM – “Most importantly, don’t ever let yourself get so wrapped up in things that you forget to have fun! Because if you’re truly enjoying what you’re passionate about, people will notice, and they’ll enjoy your craft too. Together, we will empower others and change the world.”
Epic Girl Scout Moments: My Interview with Dana Marie coincidentally falls on the week that celebrates the 3rd Anniversary of Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital’s biggest Musical Girl Scout event in history – Rock the Mall 2012! Check out their new video, On the Road to Rock the Mall here! Congratulations to their amazing team, staff and volunteers who create this Awesome event every 5 years!! Planting Musical seeds here for 2017! R U In?