While most country music fans aren’t familiar with who Deidre Thornell is, they soon will be.
Deidre’s music is contemporary country that is highly influenced with a bluesy-pop fusion. She has co-written five out of the six songs from her first Nashville-produced debut six song EP, “Dallas,” including the newly released single, “Somewhere Wild and Free”.
"Since my move to Nashville, I have dedicated most of my time to songwriting. Through this process I am creating who I am as an artist and expressing this through my songs. I am so proud of the "Dallas - EP". It was such a growing time for me."
Deidre knows all too well how quickly dreams and talents can be negated. However, she has the persistence, determination and energy to power a Ferrari, where the fuel that burns full throttle is ignited by the heat of a creative mind, a riveting voice, and a tireless work ethic. She has the undeniable ability to connect with her audience, but perhaps her greatest strength is her belief in herself. It is that belief, in fact, that she shines both in her writing and her performances.
“Sometimes you find that people, or places will try to invalidate you. Nashville can be a tough place at times, but I see it as “magical town” with endless opportunity and possibility for anything..."
...Coupled with her confidence, her passion for music was evident at a very early age. Coming from a large family, she always had an audience ready to see her perform. But, it was the annual talent show at her elementary school when she was in kindergarten that allowed others to see her talent.
“Stepping out on a real stage, I was hooked. I did the talent show every year from kindergarten through 6th grade. I absolutely loved performing, but most of all I loved the connection I had with the audience, no matter what I sang.”
When the opportunity for talent shows passed, she further fed her desire to sing by taking voice lessons, enlisting the help of famed Dallas-area vocal coach Linda Septien. At age 12, Deidre quickly became the youngest to be accepted into Septien’s Master Class Program, and the only country artist, showcasing at Dallas’ Granada Theatre and Hard Rock Cafe. At 15, in an attempt to further grow in her career, Deidre began songwriting. She procured the help of Ron Grimes (LeAnn Rimes), who became her mentor and co-writer, and started the process of putting together a 12-song demo.
“At the time, my parents were going through a divorce... Writing helped me process the emotions I was experiencing, while performing offered an escape from it all.”
Around the same time, Deidre was hired as a performer for Six Flags Over Texas, singing and dancing for the Country Is My Rock show and Honky Tonk Christmas. She remained active in her school choir, and began singing the National Anthem for several area sporting events, including the Dallas Cowboys football game at the new AT&T Stadium.
National Anthem AT&T Stadium
Six Flags Over Texas
The trip to Nashville for Deidre’s 18th birthday cemented the path she was on. She knew Nashville was the end goal, but it was the “how and when” that would soon be determined. She went on to college, but her heart was in writing and putting together her live shows, taking vocal cues from music’s biggest vocalists like Whitney Houston, Patsy Cline, Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert, and mastering performance skills through careful study of videos from Cher, Madonna, Shania Twain and Reba.
“They were the women I’d turn on the TV to watch... I used to wake up early before school and watch their videos over and over again. They taught me how to work a stage!”
Country Showdown 2013
In 2013 as one of five national finalists in the Texaco Country Showdown, Deidre landed on the sold out Ryman Auditorium stage.
“The experience of the Country Showdown was surreal. The press that followed the event allowed me to put together a Texas radio tour, along with the release of my very first debut EP, Destination Unknown .”
Ultimately, Deidre made the move to Music City in the summer of 2015, immersing herself in the town’s talent pool and setting up co-writes.
“The co-writing process, POST-Destination Unknown , was SO different after I moved to Nashville. I remember driving to a writing session one day and calling my mom... I felt like my mind was blank – I didn’t know which idea to bring to the session, where to get my inspiration. My mom told me, ‘Let your feelings out on paper and let people in. It’s okay to be vulnerable, let others see you as you see yourself, otherwise you’re lying to yourself.’ To this day, it’s advice I live by when approaching co-writes.”
Through Ron Grimes Deidre met Nashville producer, Jacob Rice, who has produced all of her new songs to date. Deidre met Jake during her first trip to Nashville and made it a point to keep in touch. When she made the move, they reconnected and Jake really took her under his wing and mentored her in the studio.
"We make a great team!"
Despite much talent-driven success, Deidre’s work ethic, fearlessness and belief in herself remain some of her most powerful attributes.
“Miranda Lambert is the perfect example. She came in third in Nashville Star, moved home, got herself a game plan, got her business together and came back to Nashville to pitch her material – which again, is a vulnerable place to be. She has never been afraid to put herself out there, stay reinvent, stay fresh for her audience... In many respects, I’m much the same. I understand that success as a touring artist doesn’t happen overnight – This is why I work so hard at it every day. But I choose to believe it will happen.”
Currently, Deidre is apart of a production, The Music of Nashville®: A Magical Journey, in which she will be showcased singing the biggest hit songs coming from Nashville from 1950s-present. The first series of shows are help at the Texas Troubadour Theatre from October - December.
Deidre is also in coordination with putting a tour together for the spring of 2018.