Cover Artist: Donica Knight

Volume 29 is out featuring an all new layout featuring: Donica Knight,Madelyn Victoria, Bring Me the Author, Animal Arm, Billy Grima, Quick shots with Mike Milan Dedic, The Scratchy Towel Band, Matt Blais, Twenty6Hundred, Hicks, Ed Roman + Album reviews and more.
Guitar Justice Magazine sits down with our 29th issue’s cover-girl, Southern Rock artist Donica Knight to discuss recording her upcoming album.

WHAT’S THE STORY, MORNING GLORY?

I have always had a passion for singing ever since I was a little girl. I grew up listening to Classic Country like Patsy Cline and Hank Williams but I also had my fair share of 70s & 80s rock like Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, Heart and ACDC. I always dreamed of being a singer but until I went to college I never tried to make it a reality.

YOUR INSTUMENTS

Since my voice is my instrument., well it needs a lot of water, good rest, a good work out and a shot of tequila now and then ha! I try to sing every day even when I’m not gigging just to make sure I keep in shape.

As far as guitars go, on this record Huff used his old Gibson Les Paul  and a cool rare 60’s Electric Diamond guitar he has, Taylor and Fender acoustics,  then the usual suspects, a strat, a tele and a Gibson 335 for few coloring bits . We used all kinds of different amps.

SELF TAUGHT VS. LESSONS

I have taken lessons here and there but I am mainly self taught. I started singing as a young teenager but really decided to pursue it as a career in college.

YOUR EXPERIENCE PERFORMING LIVE

Oh goodness I have 350 shows under my belt playing a variety of different kinds of venues throughout the Southeast. Being the only chic in a band full of fellas has left me laughing in tears and stretched my embarrassment boundaries. Each show/performance/road trip leaves a memory and a great story to share!

I thrive on big stages and large crowds so when I get to perform at festivals that tends to tickle my fancy. This year, having the opportunity to play a few songs at the Toadlick Festival in Alabama was a big thrill. There is also that intimacy you get playing in smaller settings that is great too. I also enjoy singing in my tiger spirited college town of Auburn Al. performing at Sky Bar. Those are always crazy nights!

We are planning a tour for 2016 so yes I will have many shows and opportunities for yall to come jam with me!

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN-STUDIO WHILE RECORDING THIS ALBUM

I would love to. The recording process was a blast. It was my first time working in Los Angeles and with my producer Jim Huff. We spent the first 3 months writing, exploring songs and what I was looking for on this record. We spent a lot of time doing pre production, fooling with final arrangements and musical parts before we hit the studio for real. We had fantastic creative players and musicians come in on the recordings who helped bring it all together and were very respectful of what I was looking for, they played for song not for themselves if you know what I mean. That is sometimes hard to find.

WHO WRITES YOUR STUFF?

Well, on this new record, since Jim my producer has a great network of songwriters and artists he writes with, in the beginning, we co-wrote with a lot of people to try and find some magic combinations that really worked in the style I wanted to go for. It was a new thing for me because I knew I wanted to stretch my boundaries of traditional straight up country, get a little more edge going on guitars and a lot more of my southern rock and blues influences both lyrically and musically.

My new single “Love Ain’t a Prize” is a co-write with myself, Chris Vos and Jim Huff, there is a couple songs on the EP that we co-wrote with Billy Alexander and a super cool song called “Stomp” that just Huff and I wrote.

I’m proud to say that I co-wrote all the songs on my new EP “Can’t Buy a Southern Girl” coming out in 2016. The songs are high energy, full of rock n roll guitars, Motown-ish beats and a story to share/ sing-a-long too.

There is nothing like the music-making process. It is full of creativity and exploration. The song writing process happens different every time l. It is crazy how some songs can come together in 15 minutes and others just evolve over time.

SHOULD ARTISTS WRITE THEIR OWN SONGS/AVOID COVERS OR IS THAT TOO CREATIVELY LIMITING?

I think it is important for an artist to be themselves and that falls under the category of writing your own material! It should be 100% up to the artist to sing what they want to or it will show up in their live performance. I know before this record I foundmyself recording songs others had written and that did not fulfill my inner desires. I wanted to be me, share my story and find my own sound. After accomplishing and completing this record I call my own, I feel different & that is a good thing!

I will end with saying covers are not a bad thing. They will help you understand more about yourself and what you like which is important in creating your own sound.

ARE YOU PLAYING THE FAME GAME?

For me, at the end of the day, if I can make a great living playing, singing and recording  the music I love with people I love working with and fans I love playing for, That’s perfect and that is success..

If the fame thing comes around, I’ve got my good old southern roots to keep my head and feet on the ground.

For even more Donica Knight, go check out her official website here.

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