Donna has taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution about her latest single, as well as getting to know more from the person behind the music.
Hey Donna, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can you start by telling us about yourself?
Donna: Sure. I guess in a nutshell I would call myself a singer-songwriter. I am also a vocalist, musician and music producer.
When did you first discover your love for music & knew that it was a career that you wanted to pursue?
Donna: I have vivid memories of being around 3/4 years old, playing an old battered piano at the local vets house. They had a piano in another room and I was obsessed with it. This continued at church and anywhere I could play around with a piano. My Dad also played some guitar and used to play and sing to us and I was just fascinated with music ever since. Both of my brothers had no interest. I always knew that I wanted a career in music, I am not sure that my other choice of being astronaught was going to pan out!
You have just released your brand new single “Pity Party”. Can you tell us how the idea for this song came together?
Donna: “Pity Party” was a song title I really liked the idea of playing working on. I got together with Justin Johnson (@scruffyJ) and we were collaborating with various artists. Paul (@Thorne Hill) happened to call Justin during the writing session so we invited him around for a coffee. Of course we decided to write a song together so I suggested my “Pity Party” idea. Each of us had had been dealing with the break up of a relationship and so the song almost wrote itself.
I worked on guitar chords and melody and Justin and Paul made lyrical suggestions. We hadn’t managed to finish the song during this session but the bulk of the song was written in that room. I completed the song a few weeks later at home adding a second verse. The song was recorded in my demo studio and I asked Justin to remotely record percussion. My band mate Matt Wells (A Country Night in Nashville – Theatre show) added the dobro parts and I mixed and mastered it a little later on.
How would you compare the creative process behind this song to your previous releases?
Donna: Co-writing is was a fairly new process and I love to do it BUT as a solo artist more often than not I write songs alone. Collaboration with both Justin (Johnson) and Paul (Thorne Hill) is always great fun as we have toured together and are genuinely friends. Paul (Thorne Hill) also wanted to record the song potentially his follow up album to his highly recorded debut album “No More holding back”. I would love to hear Paul (Thorne Hill) record this song. He is an exceptional artist and huge talent and would jump at the chance to play live with him again.
What does the song personally mean to you?
Donna: Because this song was very much a co-write I would imagine it means something slightly different to all three of us. For me, I could always hear how the arrangement and production was going sound and I am excited to release it worldwide. Like any songwriter who writes from personal experience it is a little scary to put yourself out there emotionally but that’s what I think songwriting should be about regardless of genre, stories, truth and emotion.
How did your family & friends react to the song?
Donna: I haven’t played it to anyone but there is a ‘studio sessions’ live version on my social media and I recorded an acoustic version on my second ‘Acoustic sessions’ ep (Vol 2).
What do you like to get up to in your spare time? Any hobbies?
Donna: I work a lot and travel a lot with my job. I also teach swimming professionally so there is very little time for hobbies at the moment. I would like to get back to hill walking and running. I was massively into endurance sports a few years back having competed in several Ironman Triathlons and ultra marathons and open water swim events. I hope to get back to some of that soon.
Which song do you always keep on your playlist & why?
Donna: Not sure I can say a specific song but I can certainly tell you some go-to albums and artists. My favourite album and artist by far is “EYE TO THE TELECOPE” KT Tunstall so that is often being played. I love Brandi Carlile and have been following her career for 10 years. “THE STORY” is possibly my favourite.
What was the last album your brought & did you enjoy it?
Donna: Sara Bareilles “AMIDST THE CHAOS” and yes it is an absolute musical, lyrical and vocal treat in every way. She is timeless!
What is the best piece of advice someone has given you about pursuing a career in music?
Donna: People have me offered so much advice over the years. Some have been from industry, management, other artist and everyone in-between. Not sure I would say I follow much advice at this point in my career. It’s a very different industry to what it was when I was in my 20s. The best advice I could offer is to be your own artist and work on your craft. Be kind, be nice, make sure you’re on time and be prepared. That is good life advice as well.
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Donna: If you got to the end of this interview, thank you. As a completely independent artist, any support is hugely appreciated so please head over to my social links and follow, like, comment and share. You can also help me by simply adding my music to your own playlists on your digital aggregate.
You can check out “Pity Party” on Spotify below.