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Judge for Danika Holmes

Davenport, IA
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Portrait of Danika Holmes
“Danika Holmes is a rising star in the heartland!” says Bill Sullivan of The Rock and Roll Report. Mike Wolfe of The History Channel’s American Pickers says “She’s a true American talent… I couldn’t stop listening!” Music critics agree that Danika is charming and energetic with a welcoming tone in her voice, which is as gentle as a breeze.

As Holmes plays shows, fans tell her how they can relate to her lyrics, which is exactly what she is hoping for. “At first that was really scary for me. I felt like I was standing on stage and unzipping my soul!” Currently, Danika’s music is being broadcast on independent radio stations, blogs, and podcasts around the world. She performs regularly with her band, has opened for The Nadas, and her show was aired on Iowa Public Television and Radio. Danika Holmes performs as an acoustic duo or with her four piece full band. Joining her in live shows is Jeb Hart (lead guitar), Wes Weeber (drums/percussion) and Ryan Marshall (bass). As well as lead vocals Danika also plays guitar and piano.

“Second Chances,” Danika’s debut album, was released in March of 2010. The title track is a reflection of Danika’s dogmatic belief that everyone benefits from a second chance, or even a third, along life’s way. Starting over with a music career was her second chance in life. Wildy’s World writes, “It’s a highly personal first step on a path with a lot of potential.” “Half as Strong as You,” the most personal song on the album, was written to honor Danika’s dad who passed away from cancer in 2005. “It is a brave thing to start a set of modern Americana folk songs with a tale of loss and vulnerability, but this brave thing defined the music that follows… That all these songs are wrapped in a perfectly balanced mix of the pop smooth and the country honest lets us know that her message will soon get into the hearts of radio listeners everywhere,” according to The Next Big Thing Review. A fan favorite, “Lock Me In Tonight,” was made into Danika’s first music video and was released in June 2010.

Danika's major influences include Sara Bareilles, Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Duffy, Ingrid Michaelson and The Beatles.

While music has always been an important part of Danika’s life, it wasn’t always the main focus. By the time she was 26 Danika was only a dissertation away from completing her PhD. “In 2009 I ended up writing an album instead of a dissertation! However, I use everything I learned in my graduate studies to run my own business as an independent artist so it was time well spent!” Once she made the decision to pursue music full time she ran full speed ahead and never looked back.

Danika is one of five kids. She says, “I was a little rag-a-muffin who tromped around in hand me down clothes and spent every free minute doing building projects with my dad or creating something, anything --- from fashions to songs and dances.” Danika’s passion for music, the influence of her parents, and life experiences have shaped her into the writer and artist she has become.
 
 
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