Dahlia Wakefield
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Dahlia Wakefield

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Country Pop

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"Park Instructors sing at the Indy"

Two instructors at a local music studio had the opportunity of a lifetime when they were chosen to sing the national anthems at the Edmonton Indy last weekend.

Dahlia Wakefield and Karen Claypool of Cooper Studios sang their hearts out at the event that receives recognition across North America, and even internationally.

Claypool, who is just 17 years old, sang the American and Canadian national anthems to open the main event on Sunday.

The University of Alberta neuroscience student said it was an amazing atmosphere to sing in.

“Not on the track, but beside it, there was a semi truck and the top off the semi truck was kind of rigged out to be a stage,” she said. “Then fireworks went off behind me at my last note and F-18 fighter jets flew over top. It was interesting to see and definitely a different feeling when all those people sing along with you.”

The two instructors were chosen after the owner of Cooper Studios, Jack Cooper, was approached to have his singers audition for the gig.

With the recent announcement that the Edmonton Indy is set for next year, both singers said they would love to have another opportunity to perform at the racing event.

“I think that I was very honoured to be able to sing our national anthem just because I think there is a lot of meaning behind it,” Claypool said. “It was really cool to get to be on a stage, so high up, and get to see all these people below singing along with you. That’s something that I haven’t experienced in such great numbers, and so I think that was really awesome. I hope that I get very similar experiences many times in the future.”

Despite her wind-blown demeanor from the less-than-pleasant weather that hit Edmonton for Saturday’s Indy Light Series, Wakefield said she fulfilled a life-long dream.

“It was really good. We had to be there about an hour early and, oh my gosh, it’s such a big event. There’s tons of work and preparation involved,” she said. “It was just so overwhelming the day of, because at the dress rehearsal, yes, there were things there, but not all the trucks were there and all the cars and the people.”

What made it extra special for her was to have her husband, two daughters, parents, sister and friends come out to support her at such a famous event, Wakefield said.


“It was exhilarating. I wanted to do cartwheels,” she said. “Seriously, I was just so pumped up that I was literally doing these little kicks in the air.”

Both artists are currently working hard to perfect their craft, with Claypool writing new music to get her first album released within the next year. Wakefield has three albums under her belt, with her latest, Full Circle, released last March.

Claypool is currently singing in the mornings at different Safeway locations around the Edmonton area, helping to raise money for local food banks. The 17-year-old is also scheduled to perform at the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose in August. Wakefield will be performing at the Women’s World Baseball Championships at Telus Field on Aug. 10.

“I’m just really excited with everything that’s happening and I’m grateful to Cooper Studios for giving me these opportunities,” Wakefield said. “Without them, I don’t think I would have been able to sing for thousands of people.”

Visit http://dahliawakefield.com for more information on Wakefield’s music or upcoming performances. Check out www.karenclaypool.com for more information on Claypool’s upcoming performances.
- Sherwood Park News


"Wakefield's coming Home"

Melissa Jameson
Wednesday September 22, 2004

Dahlia Wakefield is one patient woman. The singer-songwriter who grew up in Maidstone said her independently released first full-length album, Close To Home, was two years in the making. The album was produced by Greg Johnson(a Lloydminster native who now resides in Toronto and got a cut on Ryan Malcolm’s CD) and Jann Arden’s drummer, Lyle Molzan.
Wakefield describes the sound of her first album as “straight-ahead pop/rock with a bit of an edge.”
She’s now working on her second album – albeit slowly, and taking a few risks along the way.
“I’m trying something different this time,” Wakefield said during a phone interview. She met producer Jim Stroeber from Winnipeg online.
“I write the lyrics,” she said. “He wrote the music for two songs and sent them over the Internet and then I wrote the lyrics.”
She said the process has been daunting. She didn’t know how to make an mp3 file, and her computer wasn’t the best. Fortunately, Stroeber walked her through on how to make the file, and through a fan and some old bandmates she now has a better computer.
So far, the new album only has three songs, but that doesn’t seem to bother Wakefield.
“I was just sent the unmastered mixes and it sounds so good,” she said. “The process is really different. Normally the way I write is just with my acoustic guitar. It’s fun to experiment.”
Wakefield said the sound on the new album differs from the first. She describes it as a little bit of Sarah Harmer, Sarah McLachlan and Amanda Marshall rolled into one.
She said when a musician works with a new producer, it’s whatever the producer brings to the table.
“It’s a little bit less heavy,” she said. “It’s vocally focused. There’s so many harmonies and I love it.”
She did get a chance to work face-to-face with Stroeber this past summer in Saskatoon.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Saskatoon Folk Festival,” she said. It turned out Stroeber’s sister lives in Saskatoon and the two were able to utilize her basement as a recording studio.
“We set up in her basement and did the lead vocals and harmony. It turned out fabulous for what we had,” said Wakefield. “Things probably would have gone faster in an actual studio.”
She said the new process seems more open to crafting the songs the way she wants them.
“I feel like I have more liberty,” she said.
The songs from the Close To Home album were mixed out of her presence.
Wakefield is also shopping for a record deal, but says she won’t think twice about releasing this album independently. But that could be a far cry away, as she said she still has about 90 songs to go through to see which ones will fit with the three already on the album.
“I don’t want them to clash,” she said.
Wakefield will be in the Border City for the Midwest Gala on Oct. 2.
“It’s always nice to come close to home and perform,” she said.
- Lloydminster Meridian Booster


"Dahlia Wakefield comes Close to Home"

Kristy Lesh
Wednesday December 17, 2003


Former Border City resident Dahlia Wakefield will be promoting her debut album Close to Home during a performance this Saturday at the Legacy Centre.

Although busy making a name for herself as a singer and songwriter, former Border City resident Dahlia Wakefield isn’t forgetting her roots as she heads home for a performance this weekend.
“I really did get my start in music in Lloydminster,” said Wakefield who now lives in Edmonton.
She has performed at Lloydminster’s annual Mardi Gras, the CKUA radio benefit, the Tri-City Fringe Festival and the Border City Lion’s Telethon.
Wakefield grew up in Maidstone, living there for 17 years before moving to Lloydminster where she spent six years getting her music career off the ground.
“I’ve been on stage since I was five years old. It’s something I’ve had a passion for. I started songwriting when I was 15.”
Although she didn’t immediately follow a career in music, she said the music continually called to her.
Wakefield moved to Edmonton and studied at Grant MacEwan College, majoring in vocal performance.
“I wanted to be able to learn how to write the music to the melodies that I heard in my head.”
Upon graduation, she started writing songs and doing gigs with a band called The X-Factor.

Wakefield recently released her first full-length CD of original songs, Close to Home. She produced the album with Greg Johnston and Lyle Molzan under her own independent label Squirrelly Girl Music.
A few of the 10 songs on the album have already raised a few eyebrows as two of the tracks have placed as finalists in the 2003 Windrift Music Songwriting Competition and the 2003 International Songwriting Competition. A third has already garnered several awards.
A realness can be found in Wakefield’s music as she sings about the experiences she has faced in her life.
“The lyrics are very introspective,” said Wakefield. “It's as if they were ripped out of my diary but they do relate to everybody.”
Although primarily pop/rock, Wakefield blends the slightest hint of country into her musical style.
“Lloyd has had a country station for many years. I did tend to listen to a lot of country because of that, so I think it seeped into the music.”
Since her CD’s release in November, Wakefield has been working on getting more exposure both on local and international levels.
“I’ve been trying to get out there with The X-Factor promoting the CD. I plan to really focus on my music. I sell the CDs I have in my living room,” said Wakefield, laughing.
Wakefield will be performing a short set for an annual Christmas supper and dance at the Legacy Centre this Saturday. The supper starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $15.
- Lloydminster Meridian Booster


"CD Review: Dahlia Wakefield - "Close to Home""

By Stacey Board - 06/23/04 - 06:05 PM EST

I get really mad at the music industry when I hear artists like Dahlia Wakefield.
Here’s why. Wakefield is singing and writing music in the same danceable pop genre as, oh lets pick on Britney.

Dahlia has better vocal chops. Dahlia is also an attractive woman. Dahlia writes her own material, with cowriting help on two of the 10 songs on this CD. The songs are as hooky, danceable and polished as any pop songs on the radio out there now.

In fact, if you put “Close to Home” in your CD player and closed your eyes, the only difference you would find between this and most of the latest generic female pop records is that you would probably like this one better.

What Britney is selling these days sure isn’t singing and has never been songwriting. Wakefield is a songwriter with a strong sense of groove and powerful singing chops. Call me crazy, but I prefer that any day. Fans of power pop and great singing will enjoy “Close to Home”.

http://www.dahliawakefield.com
- The Muses Muse


"CD Review: "Close To Home" by Dahlia Wakefield"

a Review by Amy Lotsberg, Producer of Collected Sounds

How refreshing to hear a CD where the first song is a nice sweet happy love song. Now I have nothing against bitter love songs, I actually like them quite a lot. But it's just really nice to occasionally hear someone who not bitching about something. "Let's Talk about Love" is one of these happy love song just about how amazing it is to find someone that makes you giddy (even if that kind of thing rarely lasts forever).

Now the rest of the CD has its share of sad love songs, which are also very nice.

"Die for You" has some really nice guitar parts, it's really pretty.

"Slipping Away" is the best one I think. I like the arrangement. When listening to this one, be sure to let it play for the hidden track. Wakefield clears her throat and begins to sing a song that is at once amusing and alarming and that's all I'm going to say about that. You've got to get the CD to see what I mean. It's great. I love it. Worth the price of the CD alone. Plus it really shows her voice.

Dahlia Wakefield has a lovely voice and her songs are well crafted. This is a nice recording.

Posted on October 8, 2004
http://www.collectedsounds.com/cdreviews/closetohome.html

- Collected Sounds


"CD Review: "Down This Road" by Dahlia Wakefield"

I reviewed Dahlia Wakefield's previous CD, Close to Home in 2004 but I don't remember it being this rockin'.

While her previous album was more pop, this album has some tracks that fit squarely in the rock category. Though there's nothing square about it.

Some of the songs are actually a little more rock than I tend to like. But she's very good. (Note: after listening to this again and again, I find it's not as rock as I first felt)

The songs are well written especially lyrically. Quite clever.

Dahlia's voice handles all of the material well. It's a good fit whether she's singing one of the poppier songs or rockin out.

She also covers the old Nik Kershaw 80s hit, "Wouldn't it Be Good" (anyone else have the Pretty In Pink soundtrack?). I like her version. It's a little more stripped down, but it's cool.

Other songs I liked are Down This Road and Are You Listening?

Cool record for those who like their pop with great vocals and a little bit of an edge.

- Collected Sounds


"Dahlia Wakefield - Down This Road"

With a sexy-smokey voice and an aggressive delivery that says you’re-gonna-love-me-now, Dahlia Wakefield puts the hammer down on nine original tracks of country rock on her new release “Down This Road”. Dahlia also does a sweet cover of “Wouldn’t It Be Good”, that old Nik Kershaw single from the 1980’s.

The CD dances on that thin line between rock and country, but in my opinion owes more to rock than C&W. Jim Stoeber as producer/engineer plays one man band and delivers a cohesive sounding album of power guitars, and rock steady drums and bass. The synth-programming adds just the right touches to really well orchestrated arrangements that just scream radio-friendly. Dahlia pens heartfelt lyrics and her imagery is vivid and tangible.

For good or bad, one might compare Dahlia Wakefield to Gretchen Wilson just because on first glance they resemble one another and there is a bit of similarity in their vocal delivery. But the comparison stops there because Dahlia definitely rocks the house and is not as country as Wilson has been forced to be. Let’s hope that Dahlia’s music breaks out and all comparisons fall by the way.

- Unsigned Underground - Darryl Gregory


"Dahlia Wakefield CD Review: Down This Road"

The second independent release from one of Edmonton's hottest unsigned talents, Dahlia Wakefield's DOWN THIS ROAD is unquestionably one of the year's best sleeper hits.

Her debut in 2003 was exceptional, and she somehow managed to outdo it with this follow-up, backed with the maturity that goes along with it. DOWN THIS ROAD is full of emotion, strong production, and bristling with energy, whether it's the cover of Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good," (arguably better than the original - as the song just seems to lend itself better to a woman singing, personal opinion), to any of a number of the potential chart hits. Along with producer and co-writer of the majority of the material Jim Stoeber, DOWN THIS ROAD sparkles with several gems.

The lead-off title track gives you a premonition of some of the incredible talent this artist possesses, with the energy and enthusiasm throughout the 10 that lets you know this is something truly special. The production alone is worth its weight in gold, with thought and care in each and every hook in each and every track.

Dahlia pours her heart into the tender ballads "I Still Do," and "Lost In A Dream." She somehow finds the balance between writing a soft ballad without being 'mellow.' Anything but needlessly laid back, "In Retrospect" and "Just For Tonight," with their upbeat are like a turbo-charged street machine in idle ... it purrs ... and you know it's taking off like a bat out of hell.

"Alive" and "Full Moon On A Friday Night" are the complete package. Tight hooks charged with energy, slick production, they perfectly showcase Dahlia's talent and are indicative of the entire album. The lyrics are thoughtful, personal and retrospective, and Dahlia's vocal prowess is easily and without question one of the strongest on the Alberta scene.

"Are You Listening?" and "All I Need" round out the CD. They're anything but 'filler,' merely the icing on the very delicious cake. There really isn't a single lull on the disc, and there are some tracks that are just plain exceptional. You're going to have your favourites. It's only natural. Her passion for her craft is unmistakeable. Make no mistake about it, there's absolutely nothing stopping Dahlia Wakefield from taking the country by storm.
- CanConRox - Dan Brisebois


"Reviews: Dahlia Wakefield - Close to Home"

Posted on Sunday, May 02, 2004 @ 11:05:53 EST
Topic: Reviews

Artist: Dahlia Wakefield

CD: Close to Home

Home: Alberta, Canada

Style: Country/Rock/Pop

Quote: "Dahlia Wakefield is a bit of Faith Hill on the high notes, a bit of Cher on the low notes, and a lot of sensuality through the whole CD."

By Jennifer Layton

This would sound right at home on country rock radio. Dahlia Wakefield is a bit of Faith Hill on the high notes, a bit of Cher on the low notes, and a lot of sensuality through the whole CD. Her voice is twangy, yet seductive and smooth. It can sound delicate over the quiet strumming of an acoustic guitar. It growls when electric guitars roll in.

I’d like to see a little more variety in the songwriting. The love songs are beautiful, but they do start to blend together after a while. Still, Wakefield managed to catch me off guard with a bit of insight here and there, especially when I thought I already knew where the song was going. The awkwardly-titled yet self-esteem building “I” is a good example:

I’m independent, I’m introspective, I am sensitive
And I’m always changing my mind
I’m superstitious, a little mysterious, yes I am serious
I’m always changing ...

Nashville denizens would swoon if they heard this music. Next go ‘round, if she pushes the envelope with her songwriting a bit, they may just come beating down her door.

http://www.dahliawakefield.com
- Indie-Music.com


"Singer reflects on releasing album"

Singer-songwriter says she ‘can’t be pigeonholed into a specific genre’

By Calli Forbes News Staff

Juggling the busy life of motherhood with the hectic schedule of a singer-songwriter hasn’t always been easy for Dahlia Wakefield.

However, from the age of five when her mother first plunked her in front of an audience, music has always been a major part of her life.

It seems fitting then that her debut album, released in 2003, was entitled Close to Home. Now, after taking a hiatus from music to raise her two daughters, the eclectic singer said the release of her latest album, Full Circle, in March has brought together her family life and her music life.

“I’m kind of proud of it,” Wakefield said. “It means a lot to me because my kids are my life, and I dedicated it to them.”

When she started working as a vocal coach at Sherwood Park’s Cooper Studios, she knew it was time to get back at it.

“I just loved (coaching). I fell in love with it,” she said. “But it then made me realize how much I missed music and that I needed to get back out there.”

She said there is always nerves when someone has been away from something for a while.

“I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to do this,’ ” Wakefield recalled. “Then I was on stage and I was like, ‘This feels good again.’ ”

Wakefield studied the music program at Grant MacEwan Univesity, and, upon graduating, she performed with the band The X-Factor for 10 years.

“The turning point came when I attended Grant MacEwan,” she said. “I just immersed myself in it and I loved it and I really learned the art of songwriting... and made some long-lasting relationships.”

Her release party for Full Circle was held at Overtime Broiler and Taproom in Sherwood Park last month.


“It was a full house. I was very surprised and happy,” she said.

It took Wakefield two years to make her latest creation, she said, using whatever spare moments she had to record songs in her home studio.

“That was really, really nice to have balance in your life, because it’s hard being in the studio,” she said.

“I would just do this in the wee hours of the night when all my kids were in bed and it was perfect,” Wakefield added.

“There was not a lot of sleep sometimes, but I got through it,” she said with a laugh.

What she came up with was an eclectic collection of eight songs with flavours of pop, rock, reggae and latin, with an underlying alternative-country feel throughout.

“It has a little bit of everything,” Wakefield said. “I love all kinds of music, and I just can’t be pigeonholed into a specific genre.”

Wakefield is currently working on producing a music video for her song “Simple Things” with her friend Samantha Lee. The video will be a montage of video clips of her children.

On April 28, Wakefield will be performing with her friend and former X-Factor bandmate Alan Tymofichuk at the lounge in Albert’s Family Restaurant in the Sherwood Park Mall at 9 p.m. The performance is free to attend, but no minors are allowed.

“I love performing with him because he provides beautiful harmonies and it’s just easy,” Wakefield said of Tymofichuk. “Playing in these little places, it’s very intimate, but rewarding.”

For more information on upcoming performances by Wakefield, visit her website at dahliawakefield.com.

calli.forbes@sunmedia.ca



twitter.com/calliforbes
- Sherwood Park News - Calli Forbes


"CD review: Full Circle by Dan Brisebois"

Dahlia Wakefield's third outing is easily her most focused and well-thought out album to date.

With FULL CIRCLE, the Edmonton native has indeed completed this leg of her musical journey, returning to the roots of her musical soul after a five year hiatus. The album is eight original tracks, many co-written with producer Jim Stoeber, and is an enjoyable ride that smoothly shifts gears, from the care-free "Lazy Days of Summer" to the reflection on life in "Winter in Alberta."

Personal experience plays a huge role with her in the writing process, and the songs have a certain natural maturity built in to them. Songs like "Strength in Adversity" and "Simple Things" stem from her own growth, not only as an artist, but as a person during her five year break between albums. She's gotten married, had a pair of kids, and taken time to reflect on life in general. She's been able to take a step back and see the music business from an outside perspective, which gives FULL CIRCLE a depth it wouldn't have otherwise.

Many of the songs start out slow but pick up pace. Others, like "Right Here With You" and "The Bird Flies Away" maintain a steady rhythm throughout the album. Even the tender ballad "Beautiful," about the joy of becoming a mother and completing the family, is lull-free, and engages the listener from beginning to end, in an overall well-crafted album.
- Canadian Bands.com


"Down This Road: A Highly Listenable Album"

Canadian singer-songwriter Dahlia Wakefield is deeply rooted in hook-laden pop on her second album, DOWN THIS ROAD (Squirrelly Girl Music DW003). Produced by Jim Stoeber, who also provides all the instrumental accompaniment of guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and programming, this is a collection of well-written songs full of memorable melodies and soul-deep lyrics. Dahlia possesses a full, rich voice that is heard to best effect on the jaunty "Just For Tonight" and the acoustic-based "Are You Listening?" with its compelling chorus. Combining contemporary rock, pop, blues and a hint of what might be considered modern country, this is a highly listenable album that would appeal to those who have latched onto Shania, Faith or Leann (Rimes, that is). - Maverick


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Dahlia Wakefield, a dynamic singer/songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada creates heart-felt lyrics, memorable melodies and pours her soul into vocal performances that immediately captivate listeners.

Dahlia won the 2013 Global Country Star Search in her category and will be travelling to Nashville in March 2014 to compete in the NACMAI competitions in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Dahlia released a single "All The Way To Heaven" to country radio across Canada which resulted in being added to several commercial radio stations and many radio interviews.

Dahlia had a blast singing the national anthem at the Tim Horton's Brier on March 3rd. Last summer, she had the honor of singing the U.S. and Canadian National Anthems for the 2012 Edmonton Indy. She was also part of a troupe that performed for the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Women's Baseball World Cup at Telus Field.

Her last album "Full Circle" was produced by Jim Stoeber of Tegancat Music in Winnipeg, Gerry Dere of The Master Factory, and Tawmy of Rite 4-U Productions, the latter two from Edmonton, Alberta. Dahlia & Jim's tracks were written, produced and recorded completely online - they never met to record one track. "Full Circle" follows her last album "Down This Road" and "Close To Home", all released on her independent record label, Squirrelly Girl Music. "Full Circle" is a collection of songs written while Dahlia was on maternity leave and is dedicated to her two daughters, Jasmine & Jade. Several songs have received commercial airplay and videos are in the works.

With a strong, unique voice capable of interesting complexity, Dahlia spans easily from angelic and sensitive, to smooth and sensual, to raunchy and gutsy. Her musical direction explores popular avenues combining contemporary country, pop/rock, blues, even a hint of reggae. Her influences are Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Sheryl Crow, Fleetwood Mac, Jann Arden, Bonnie Raitt and Shania Twain. Dahlia's rich voice and contemporary-with-roots style allows her music to fit comfortably into almost any play-list or program.

Dahlia was born in the Philippines, grew up in Saskatchewan, fronted a few bands in Lloydminster then moved to Edmonton, Alberta, where she graduated from the highly regarded music program at Grant MacEwan University. While attending, Dahlia was the recipient of a scholarship and an award for having the drive and determination to pursue a career in music. A performer since age 5 and a songwriter since age 15, Dahlia has placed as a high-ranking finalist in several international songwriting competitions, has landed on five compilation CDs, has received full-rotation commercial radio play as well as streaming airplay with several other tunes, including airplay in Europe and Australia.

Dahlia, as always, is keeping busy with balancing motherhood with more songwriting, performances and promotions for her new single. She is also currently a vocal coach with Cooper Studios and finds time to fit in the occasional studio session work, recording backup vocals for other artists' albums as well as co-writing music with other artists. She is in 4 different bands at the moment - her own band, The X-Factor, Dirt Road Angels, and singing backups for Shawna Lynne,

With new album "Full Circle" as well as a brand new single "All The Way To Heaven" released and several accolades at her feet, Dahlia Wakefield is already proving her longevity on the local music scene. Dahlia looks forward to a lifetime of making music!

For more information, please visit www.dahliawakefield.com