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article imageDan Orlando talks Kenny Rogers song, future plans, and Elton John Special

By Markos Papadatos     Mar 24, 2020 in Music
Singer-songwriter Dan Orlando chatted with Digital Journal about recording Kenny Rogers' "She Believes in Me," and he shared his music plans for the rest of the year and opened up about inspirations.
For Orlando to record "She Believes in Me," he found it quite liberating. "I find myself asking 'is this going to work' or 'will this song sound as good on the record as it does in my head?' In this instance, Steve Gibb wrote a masterpiece and Kenny Rogers made it a timeless hit. So as long as I stayed true to the song and channeled Kenny's sentiment, I was confident we could make something really special, especially with a live string section," he said.
He listed the late but great Kenny Rogers as a musical influence over the last three years. "My manager Amy (@22artistmanagement) is a huge fan and educated me on all things Kenny, playing me more than just the hits. He sings every song as if he lived it himself with tenderness and masculinity. Like 'Buy Me A Rose' for example. That’s one of my favorites. I’m also inspired by Billy Joel, Elton John, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, and Queen to name a few," he shared.
On his plans for 2020, he said, "Currently we are mixing and mastering my upcoming four to five-song EP called Heritage Trail (which includes 'She Believes in Me') due to come out mid-spring. The plan wasn’t to release 'She Believes in Me' as a single until after my original tunes, but when we heard about the loss of 'The Gambler,' we decided to get it mixed and mastered so I could release it as my tribute to Kenny. So, I'll be making the rounds doing radio gigs, performing and jumping on the emerging artist circuit."
"I’m blessed to also be a musical director for Bernie Williams (former NY Yankee) when my band and I support him live and once in a while, I get to sit in with some of my idols in the Legendary Lords of 52nd Street, playing Billy Joel's parts. My true hope is that we can all get back to doing what we love, making music and putting smiles on people’s faces, as soon as everyone’s health and safety are no longer at risk," he explained.
Regarding his music and songwriting inspirations, he said, "Musically, I draw from every song I’ve ever heard or played and do my best to pair it with real-life emotions. As far as songwriting goes, I like to work from reflection. Very rarely do I live through something and then immediately turn around and write a song. I let the experience sink in until I process what I want to take away from it. And that’s what ends up in my writing, most of the time. Life’s reflections and lessons learned."
He compared being an artist in the digital age to a cowboy in the old wild west. "Some paradigms, like streaming and social media, are the norm – charts, sales, trends, fans – everything comes from the digital space but, one thing that remains the same is the fundamentals of hard work and dedication, relationship building with the industry and your fans and good songs," he said.
"There are so many new ways for a new artist to break into the music industry in the 21st century – It’s an equal part frightening and exhilarating time to be in the game these days," he added.
He listed Elton John as his dream collaboration choice. "I would love to work with Elton John. Especially if Bernie Taupin writes the lyric. That would be a pinch-me moment for sure. I've also dreamed of being a part of the next iteration of 'We Are The World' whenever that should occur. All I need is one line and then I'll jump right back into the choir where I belong, promise," he said.
For young and aspiring musicians, he said, "Everything adds up. Work on your craft and save your place if you’re tired or need to walk away for a minute. Seek out people on your level and work with them. Always have something to bring to the table. Register as a writer and publisher with a pro. And most importantly, be a good person, be prepared, pay well for good work and be early for every engagement."
"Thank you for all of your love and support you’ve shown me along this journey - I hope you’re reading this from a safe place, in great health and in the company of loved ones. I can’t wait for what’s next and am so honored to continue to share this journey with you. I love you back," he concluded.
To learn more about Dan Orlando, check out his official website and his Facebook page.
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