While most country music fans aren’t familiar with who Deidre Thornell is, they soon will be. With her upcoming single release, “Somewhere Wild and Free”, and a six song EP due in early summer of 2017, Deidre has co-written five of the six songs. Deidre’s music is contemporary country that is highly influenced with a bluesy-pop infusion. “I have honed in on my songwriting and really dedicated a lot of time toward this part of my artistry – figuring out who I am and what sound I’d want to introduce to the world. I’m so proud of these songs.” Deidre 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.
Her passion for music was evident at a very early age. Coming from a large family, she always had an audience to entertain, but it was the annual talent show at her elementary school, when she was in kindergarten, that allowed others to see her talent. “My first time on 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. “Voice lessons kept me going. They gave me something to look forward to.” 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.
In an attempt to further grow in her career, Deidre began songwriting. “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.” 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. 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 a Dallas Cowboys football game. It was her first trip to Nashville that cemented the path she would follow. “I knew immediately a move to Nashville was my end goal – something that needed to happen.” She went on to college, but her heart was in writing and putting together her live shows, taking vocal cues from 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!” In 2013, one of five national finalists, in the Texaco Country Showdown, landed Deidre on the Ryman Auditorium stage. “The experience was surreal. The press that followed, allowed me to put together a Texas radio tour along with the release of my debut album, 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. It was through her vocal coach, Amber Cathey, that she was introduced to Melissa Bollea and Bill DiLuigi (Co-writer of Somewhere Wild and Free). She reconnected with Nashville producer, Jacob Rice, who has produced all of her songs to date. “I met Jake during my first trip to Nashville, through Ron Grimes, and we stayed in touch. We are a great team. His production style is incredible.”
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 and got her business together and came back to Nashville to pitch her material – and the rest is history. She has never been afraid to put herself out there, reinvent, stay fresh for her audience... In many respects, I’m much the same. I understand fully 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.”