Meet Draeh Jirnea, singer and songwriter from San Diego making a creative living. Being a preacher’s kid, it was only natural that her musical journey would begin in the church, where she sang her first solo at the tender age of three. By high school, Draeh was signed to Warner Brothers but moved on from the deal to protect her artistic integrity, a move that proved to be a wise choice. She got another chance to shine as a contestant on Season 3 of American Idol, making it all the way to the Hollywood group rounds.
She got a powerful jumpstart into life as a working singer when Doug Booth, one of the band members of Rockola, heard her singing behind the barista bar at Starbucks. Since then, she’s fueled the front line of top bands like Big Time Operator, Kicks, Lucky Devils, and many others. Since the lockdown started, Draeh has been focused on health and fitness as well as home-schooling her two children.
I caught up with her recently to talk about her experiences as a working singer. Here are the highlights of our conversation:
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On her decision to reject the Warner Bros contract and her take on the music
She believes it was the right decision, although she wishes she’d had more confidence to stand her ground and perform material that made her genuinely happy. She’s happy that things turned out okay, and she’s been able to make a great living singing for several cover band groups. However, she says performing gigs hasn’t given her enough time to write her own songs or record her own music, which is her biggest
ambition. We both agreed that the music industry is very image-driven, especially in the pop genre, and you’ve got to make a head start in your singing career if you want to make it as a successful recording artist.
On the effect of the pandemic
Draeh says it was devastating for her, seeing as it had taken her a while to reestablish her singing career in San Diego after being away for a while. She had a lot of gigs lined up in 2020 when the lockdown came and put an end to those plans. She says it forced her into a quiet, reflective time where she had to deal with grief issues that she had been putting aside for a while. One thing she admits the lockdown has done is it’s taught her to cherish her time on stage more, as well being with her stage mates whom she thinks of as family
members. It’s also made her better at planning her schedule, keeping time, and taking better care of herself in terms of nutrition and exercising.
On what it’s been like looking after her kids while working
Draeh has always been an active singer even when she was expecting, which has sometimes put her in some awkward positions balancing between her duties as a mom and her work. She’s managed by leaning on family and a supportive network of friends, something that has taught her to be more humble and reach out to others for help when she needs it.
Your Next Step
If you know you’ve got what it takes but don’t know where to start, I’d love to help. In my vocal coaching practice, we work on both your strategy and your craft. Contact me here to work with me.
We’re living through an experience like non-other before. Don’t let it stop you. Begin by pandemic-proofing your singing career with self-reliance, resiliency, and a strong spirit. It’ll take hard work and a bit of smart innovation. Set yourself up for success. Wouldn’t it be a shame to finally get a gig only never to get called back and be left wondering why? Try my new digital course, I’m With the Band: Do’s and Dont’s from a Lead Singer. Learn the professional and social habits that lead to a long, fruitful, and well-respected singing career.
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Hi! I’m Danielle Tucker – singer, vocal coach, and lead vocalist of The Mighty Untouchables band.
Throughout my 20-year career, I’ve equally enjoyed singing country, rock, pop, gospel, and jazz. Today, I’m a professional singer/songwriter available for solo performances, studio recording, and lead vocalist of San Diego-based band The Mighty Untouchables. I also offer vocal coaching to both solo artists and groups through my own studio. I’ve crafted a rewarding vocal career, and it’s my great pleasure to bring music to others through private bookings, performing with my band, or helping others to grow more confident in their own vocal gifts. Thanks for visiting my site I’m honored that you’d like to get to know me!
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