Today we’d like to introduce you to Dano Parr.
Dano, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up close to the Texas/Louisiana border, and I moved to Denton to go to the University of North Texas. After I graduated, I decided to stay in the area, and I’ve called DFW home ever since. Music was a wonderful hobby that just became more and more important to me, and over time it went from being a hobby to being a business. I wrote my first song in college and really loved the whole process. Songwriting is like putting a puzzle together. There are so many pieces that have to work together for a song to be good. Writing songs led to singing, performing and recording.
About ten years ago, I was working with some elementary age students who were always asking me to sing some of my songs for them, which I loved to do. My early songs were usually very personal and pretty melancholy. These students wanted me to write something upbeat for them, so I decided to write some fun, silly songs. After I recorded those songs I started getting booked for parties, festivals and other events. At one particular party, the DJ backed out at the last minute and the clients asked me if I would be willing to DJ the party after I sang. I did it just to help them out, but that led to other DJ jobs.
I had planned to keep being a DJ separate from writing kid’s music and keep the kid’s music separate from the more grown up songs I write, but over time they have started to blend together. There’s nothing inappropriate for kids in my grown-up songs and sometimes adults like my kid’s music. And now when I get booked to DJ events, people often ask if I can add a singing performance to the show. Some of my more popular songs include “The Animal Cliché’ Song,” “Groovy Spacemen,” “Big Daddio,” “Ugly Toes,” “Peace, Love and Good Times” and “Alive.” I’m almost finished with a four song EP I wrote for my one year old daughter, and I think it has my new favorite song, “Home (My Happy Place).”
I didn’t a master plan and still don’t. I just wanted to have fun with music and be open minded. I had no idea everything would evolve the way it has. Now I have a studio in my house and I usually record, mix and master everything by myself. I’ve tried to find opportunities to do interesting things and work with interesting people. I’m lucky I’ve had the chance to meet, learn from and work with some really talented people. I’m also really fortunate that I’ve had clients, talent agencies and other artists give me opportunities. When I get an opportunity, I try to go the extra mile. This has led to a pretty unique situation. I don’t know of anyone else in DFW who does the combination of things I do.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’m not sure the road is ever smooth for anyone. It’s definitely not easy to turn a creative passion into a business, especially if you are doing most everything by yourself. An artist has to be as creative with the business side as he/she is with the art side.
You have to think of yourself as a lifer too. If you keep working at something, you will get better and you will eventually have success. Success might take longer than you want and it might come in unexpected ways, but it will come.
Please tell us about DJ Dano.
I’m a singer, songwriter and DJ.
I get booked to do the following things:
(1) DJ/MC events,
(2) Sing songs I’ve written for kids,
(3) Sing songs I’ve written for adults
(4) Do a combination of 1, 2 and/or 3.
Even though I get booked a lot for corporate events and special events (weddings, reunions, etc.), my specialty would be “all-age” or “family” events. I get booked a lot for school and library events, as well as festivals.
I don’t know of anyone else who does the combination of things I do. I’ve tried to create a unique niche. If there is a school event, library event or family festival and they want a DJ and/or singer, I want them to think of me first.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I think about this question all the time. There are things I would have done differently, but I’m very happy with my life so maybe it would be a mistake to change any part of my past.
- Website: www.DanoRecords.com
- Other: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/songs-for-daniella-ep/id1239929049
Photos and photo editing by Elizabeth Parr
Illustration by Jeffrey Miranda
Gig selfies by Dano Parr