Texas native Deidre Thornell’s southern charmed roots resonate through her soulful voice where storytelling meets show-stopping performance. Channeling the likeness of Patsy Cline & Miranda Lambert, Deidre creates an undeniable connection with listeners.
A lifelong performer, Deidre recorded her first full length with Paul Osborn at fourteen and at fifteen co-wrote her first release, ‘Destination Unknown’ EP with multi-Platinum songwriter Ron Grimes (LeAnn Rimes). Deidre was active on the country circuit in Texas, including singing the National Anthem at American Airlines arena and Cowboys Stadium. In 2013, Deidre made it as a National Finalist on Texaco Country Showdown at the Ryman with host Jewel, airing on Great American Country Television, which ultimately catapulted her into Nashville where she quickly immersed herself in the town’s chart-topping talent pool, soon releasing her second EP, ‘Dallas,’ with songs co-written alongside such writers as Kristi Manna (Blake Shelton, Big & Rich), Scott Sean White (Cody Johnson), Helene Cronin (The Young Fables) and Mark Mulch (Priscilla Block). Her latest single, ‘Ohio,’ with Grammy-nominated producer Sal Oliveri, highlights her unforgettable sound and her matured reflections from years of writing with the best in Nashville.
What is your creative process like?
I love being inspired by everyday situations, but I’ve learned throughout my time in Nashville that you have to be open to it – it’s a skill all on its own. For example, I’ll be reading a book and think to myself, “that would make a great hook for a song!” Most of the time I get inspired while driving in silence. I get inspired when I go out to watch live music! Usually, I compile ideas in the “Notes” section on my phone so that way I can always look back on it later when I’m ready to sit down and write. I have been told by my mentors that “stream writing” is a great way to avoid writer’s block as well. 5-minutes a day for a while will train your brain to write whatever comes to mind, and it’s just like anything else – takes practice and time!
How would you describe your music?
I’d like to think I have a bluesy-pop infusion in the genre of country. Country for the storytelling, but influenced with a sprinkle of Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Martina McBride, and Faith Hill. For the high energy stuff, Miranda Lambert, and Lanie Wilson vibes!
If we were to look at the artists you are listening to, who would be on your playlist?
Anywhere from the indie pop/rock artists to the old timers in country music. I also have playlists for piano instrumentals to Christmas hits, ha!
Have you written songs for any other artists?
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Excitingly, yes! I have had two songs cut with Helene Cronin, a Christmas tune with Ava Paige, along with songs for about 3 other indie artists. It’s always exciting when I get a call about a song that I co-wrote being recorded. That feeling will never get old!
When you create music, what is your personal purpose or goal?
When I’m writing music or co-writing/collaborating, I’m always looking to create something cool and unique first, then as it shapes together, I think about production and relativity, but it always depends on who I’m writing with and how we approach the song initially. I like to push boundaries little by little with each session. It always makes it fun!
There have also been times when I’ve been asked to write songs as a personal favor to someone. One specifically touched my heart, and I think about them every year around this time. A few years ago, a family I met through work, who had always been very supportive of my music, lost their son who had died in a tragic military fly over drill. I was so honored he asked, and at that moment, my goal was to give them a song to cherish, love, remember and reflect – given the legacy of the military in their family. I’ve never shown anyone these lyrics because the song was not recorded, but I would love to share a piece for your audience, Divine Magazine! Here’s a verse and chorus of “Wings”:
“I was just a young child
Staring at the Tennessee sky
Imagine what it’d be like
If I could reach that high
I’d see daddy every morning
And the pride that it brings
He’d button up those blues
And pinned on his golden wings
He would fly
that never ending sky
I dream one day that I
could be that free
And I would be
Chasing that horizon endlessly
Letting go of all these earthly things
Until I earn my wings”
I love you, Brannon family. Happy Veteran’s Day to all the military families! Although this song was specific to that family, I believe my goal has been and will be, for my music to make a lasting impression with whoever listens to it.
Where was your current project recorded?
‘Ohio’ was written with Liz Dorros and Tim Pasley! I recorded the song with Sal Oliveri at his home studio. Laying the vocals down for this one was so fun! I’ll never forget the day. Working with Sal was an incredible experience that I wish every artist can experience at least once in the studio while recording. Sal brings such a high level of craftsmanship, professionalism, and thought-provoking wisdom to each session – I found the process of working with him fascinating and am so grateful to have had the opportunity.
If you could be a superhero, what would your superpower be and your superhero name be?
If I were a superhero, my superpower would be to sing the highest note ever to debilitate my enemy. Think of “Aquaman,” but girl/land version, as an opera singer! Her name would be “Herheary” (Her.Hear.E) because when her piercing voice attacks your hearing, you’re done! Her good qualities are humility, kindness and sequins for an outfit. How’s that??
What was the last thing you dressed up fancy for?
Several weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to an event at the newly renovated, elite Fisher Center at Belmont, in Nashville. The event was to bring awareness and support to a company that was founded in 2001, called Porter’s Call (porterscall.com), whose mission is to be a place where artists can find counsel, support, and encouragement, specifically attuned to their unique profession. They are a safe and confidential refuge where artists can deal with the stresses they face in their careers and personal lives. There were performances by Hillary Scott, Kelsea Ballerini, Anne Wilson, and others. It was fun getting dressed up to support such a great cause!
What was the last TV series you watched on TV?
Alien Resident… someone said it was good!!!!
If you were captain of a ship, what would you call it?
Le Redheaded Stranger, Destination Unknown, Wild and Free, Sea Señorita, Red Herring…should I go on?
What would you bring along to an idyllic picnic?
Oooooo… At least 4 assorted cheeses, 3 different types of crackers, grapes, strawberries, 2 types of charcuteries and maybe small bites of homemade finger sandwiches, with a side of water and wine! If we’re picnic-ing, we’re gonna be there a while… It’s gotta be a whole thing.
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