Hello World! My name is Danielle Culp and I love to sing. My mom tells me that I have always sang. She remembers me singing about the cows we were passing as we were driving along the road. For me, singing has been the way I express myself. You can bet your money if you have been a part of my life or impacted me in someway you have been in one of my songs.
I have always written my own lyrics, but I was recently introduced to adding music to my lyrics. I am currently taking a guitar class so that I can write my own music and not have to rely on an accompanist. I can successfully play seven cords. I will soon be doing a blog over my beginning guitar skills.
I have a song writing process that can take anywhere from an hour to three years. I write about 90% of my lyrics in the car as I’m driving back and forth from Tahlequah and Claremore. I have written a song in one trip, which is right around an hour. However, some songs took me years to finish. The first part of a song that I write is the chorus. Adding in the verses is what takes me the longest. I never force myself to write lyrics. This is why it can take years to finish a song. Sometimes I will write the chorus and then later I will sing a verse that matches perfectly and I’ll add the two together.
I am very self conscious of my voice. As a youngster I got made fun of for how I sang. I guess I never really got over that. My singing has always been behind closed doors and a private thing. At the same time if you catch me just being me there always seems to be a song on my tongue. I had never sang in public until September of 2009. I was Miss Cherokee and I was at a dedication ceremony for the new veterans center. Jr. Miss Cherokee, who has a gorgeous singing voice, was suppose to sing the star spangled banner. However, she got caught in traffic. Since the show must go on, I volunteered to lead the group in the song. First of all, the Star Spangled Banner is the hardest and most ridiculous music arrangement… EVER! I still question why I volunteered. As I got up on stage I was nervous but carried on anyway. For some unknown reason I kept the microphone by my mouth instead of just leading. When I got to the super high part I just changed the key… which is not the right thing to do at all. If I was in the audience I would have booed myself off the stage. Everyone said I did good… but I know what their smiles were really saying. From that point on, I made it my goal to practice my “academic” voice and one day I will redeem myself with that song.
I wrote a contemporary song in Cherokee. My language is very dear to my heart. I saw everyone translating songs and I wanted to do something different. I wanted to write a song in Cherokee that was not first written in English and then translated. I did this and performed it at the symposium on the American Indian at my college, Northeastern State University. Slowly I was bringing my voice out to meet the world.
I decided to signup for NSU idol this year. It took all my courage to simply put my name on the paper. I even convinced my friend Sara to signup with me. Apparently everyone else at NSU found their courage too. There were so many signups this year that we had to go through an audition. So I made an audition video and sent it in.
I waited and waited to hear back… but never did. I soon asked around and found out I should have received an email even if I wasn’t selected. For some reason I didn’t get it when everyone else did. Later I got it and unfortunately was not selected to go on in the competition. BUT… Sara made it. I am so happy for her and excited to cheer her on at the competition on March 1. She will be singing There can be miracles (she picked this song before Whitney’s passing). Sara has an AMAZING voice and will rock it! So best wishes to her ❤
Apparently my singing career will continue to remain in the closet. Which is ok, soon the time will be right for me. But until then I will continue to sing away and strum my seven chords. =) Just in case you were curious on how my performance would have gone I have recorded and added the video with accompaniment. Enjoy!