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Hotshot #14

“I always say I just discovered playing the piano. One day I sat down and had these songs in my head and just started playing, figuring it out by listening. I grew up shy about the whole music thing, but my senior year in high school, I randomly tried out for the musical and got the lead!

Being self-taught, I was always insecure about my ability. It wasn’t until college that I started to play my own music; in coffee shops, Borders, and around NIU. I was studying to be a Spanish teacher, so music was my creative outlet, never something I saw as a career.

In college, there was a shooting in the class I was supposed to be in the next day. That whole year became very tragic, it hit me hard. So, the following year I wrote a song honoring the students that passed away. It was the first song I ever shared on the internet. I realized the impact music had on people.
After graduating, I started teaching, still doing gigs. One ‪Friday evening‬, my class asked me to write a song for them for Monday. I had been wanting to write more, so I was like, “Okay, challenge accepted”. I wrote a song and made a video, and they loved it and said I should make it into “Music Monday”. I agreed and in the back of my head, as a crazy disciplined person, I was like, “I’m going to do this for a year”. I kept it going for 98 weeks!
Someone came up to me at a show recently and told me that my “Music Monday” project inspired them to start doing a “Film Friday”. Those little stories tell me I have the capacity to make an impact in a way that’s not just making songs, but sending a message.

I first recorded something professionally in college and I had no idea what I was doing! Since then, I’ve recorded a 6 song EP, and I came out with my first full length album last year! I’ve kind of crossed over into the country realm. I feel like country music inspires me the most, because it’s heart-felt story telling, and that’s how I write.
I’ve always loved coffee shops because I’m a coffee addict, but also because it’s where I started playing music. They were always open arms and open doors, and ‪@LaColombeCoffee‬ is one of my favorites!”

- Dina, Musician