As many do, Dana Marie moved to Nashville with a dream.
"I knew I wanted to write a concept album," she said, "but I didn't know at first what I wanted it to be about."
Dana Marie Rogers moved here in 2013 from New Jersey to attend Belmont University. "Four years ago when I started college, I realized I was bisexual" she said. "About a year later, I fell in love with my current girlfriend, and suddenly I had a strong desire to write this album."
That self-released album, called She, documents a time of sexual discovery that is emblematic of anyone exploring his or her identity. It traces the confusion and excitement of newfound attraction ("ruby lips, those hips, only in a movie scene/wonder if she knows what she's doing to me" she sings in a song called "Reeling") while, in "Who I Was Before" — the very next track in the collection — she interrogates conflicting emotions regarding a boyfriend she should be with and a girl she wants to be with ("I know it's the safe way and I should be with him/can't give into temptation and not let this feeling win/but her eyes keep coming into my mind…").
The album is "about that confusing and often scary time of in-between," she said, "figuring out who you are and getting to that point of pride for yourself that many artists already speak and sing about." She lists Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, and Ed Sheeran as musical influences and, in particular to this album, Mary Lambert and Simon & Garfunkel.
2017 is all about new beginnings for Dana Marie. "I just graduated and am planning on staying here since I love Nashville now," she said. "You can often find me playing on a Friday afternoon or Sunday open mic at Just Love Coffee on Demonbreun, and I'm playing a writer's night on August 20th at the Bluebird!"
Dana Marie's Top 5 Favorite Nashville Places:
- Fido on 21st – so many great memories from my four years of college here!
- Portland Brew on 12th – my absolute favorite coffee shop to come study/read/work at.
- The Soda Parlor in East Nashville – one of my favorite YouTube vloggers, Olan Rogers, is the owner of the store, and I also have a special connection with it since I actually had my release show for my first EP a few years back there.
- Nashville Humane Society – I love stopping by just to love on the puppies!
- The Bluebird – it's cliche, but best place to see live music in this town!