Donica Knight: A Southern Heart
To write a song, you must first hold a pen. For Donica Knight, it was holding onto a softball bat in her formative years that allowed her the confidence to later grab hold of the microphone and live her dream. This Prattville native is holding her own as a rising country star and a singer/songwriter on Nashville’s music scene.
Her striking blue eyes pale in comparison to the beauty within her soul. As young as 10 years old, she remembers praying for wisdom. As a girl she began to trust her gut and those instincts led her to a life changing decision her sophomore year at Auburn University.
Donica learned the formula for winning long before college, back in her tomboy days when she played softball. “Playing softball taught me that in order to win, you need a team of good people working together,” says Donica. Though she’s always preferred to step out in boots, she stood in her cleats among champions when she and her teammates were named World Series Champions two years in a row. She discovered excellence through discipline and still believes in surrounding herself with positive people.
All along, Donica performed solos in school functions and sang in her church band and choir. She always wanted to be a singer but made the practical decision to pursue college over music. Two years into her studies preparing her to become a special education teacher, it was a fateful solo performance during Alpha Chi Omega Rush Week that stopped her in her tracks. She explains, “All summer I felt like my heart was leading me to something else… [during sorority rush] I sang a song and people started to cry. I knew my voice touched a lot of people and that I had to do music and use the talent given to me.”
While she was sure this was her calling, it did not make the phone call to her parents any easier. Recognizing her passion, her parents reassured her she would make them proud no matter what her decision, so she packed up her car, said her collegiate goodbyes and returned home.
With her sole focus on music, this transition freed her to pursue her goal and opened doors for the southern-styled rocker. A few short weeks after singing live-band karaoke, she was invited to join a cover band, Luckytown, that was playing the college circuit. Donica enjoyed performing to live audiences, but in 2011 she felt the inner nudge calling her to write her own music, so she started knocking on doors in Nashville.
No one taught her how to be an aspiring artist. Following her gut instinct, and after a couple of searches on Google, she headed on a drive towards Nashville, Tenn. The windshield time during these road trips alone allowed Donica to get to know herself even more as she would listen to music in the car for inspiration. She cheerfully and honestly exclaims, “If you can’t entertain yourself, you’re not gonna entertain anybody!”
Employing the discipline of her youth has once again paid off over the past few years, as Donica has gone from a complete unknown to co-writing songs with Pat McLaughlin and country mainstays like Ronnie Sap.
Donica’s debut album, “A Southern Heart,” offers something for all fans of southern music. She describes the different textures: “The track “Annie” is stompin’ rootsie country, while “Elevators” is Patsy Cline classic country and “You Only Love Me” grows on you.”
Donica also recorded her version of the “Auburn Fight Song,” as played at the Spring Game in April. Not only is it available for download on her website, nearly 100,000 people have viewed her rendition on You Tube, proving it is in fact “Great to be an Auburn Tiger – War Eagle.”
On June 29, Donica will be opening for Little River Band in Phenix City. Just recently, she once again took position behind home plate to play in the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Tournament in Nashville, where she ran the bases and rubbed elbows with stars like Florida Georgia Line, Vince Gill and Phil Vassar. Winning a contest called “Stageit,” a virtual concert where fans donate to charity, made radio take notice. Her single “Girls Go Out” is currently playing on Canadian radio as well as XM Channel 59, The High. She later learned that the coach from her softball days was among the “Stageit” donors who helped her earn recognition, making the victory even sweeter.
Donica still believes it takes a team, coach and working together to accomplish a dream. That’s why you will find “Team Donica” merchandise available on her website, www.donicaknight.com. You can also find her performance schedule and listen to her music online.
Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Donica-Knight/194920610557080
Or Twitter https://twitter.com/DonicaKnight