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Singer-songwriter reaping success after late start in music industry

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Country Americana singer-songwriter Dayna Shereck | Photo: Emma-Lee Photography

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Dayna Shereck never really discovered music, music discovered her.

The Country Americana singer-songwriter from Toronto cultivated unexpected success during the last decade by honing in on a previously unknown talent. Shereck had never taken a vocal lesson, songwriting class, or played a musical instrument. But nine years ago, with a passion for songwriting, she travelled to Nashville and developed a network of collaborations that led her to find her voice.

In 2010, Shereck, a divorced mother of two young children, was introduced to the guitar, and found a space to release her emotions.

“I was hearing melodies in my head,” she recalled. “I had these thoughts that I needed to get out. One of my friends taught me four chords on the guitar. I couldn’t really describe (my melodies to anybody), so by learning a few chords, I was able to play in a basic way what I was hearing in my mind.” 

Shereck began songwriting in her mid-30s as “a way to figure out some of the ironies of life—the things that you are left with. Sometimes through songwriting, you can find a message, or something you are supposed to learn. For me, it’s been a way of navigating through life.”

Her passion for Country Americana – “a crossroads of country, folk and bluegrass” – shines in her melodies, and she finds inspiration in composers Brandy Clark and Lori McKenna. Pre-COVID, she traveled to Nashville four times a year to meet up with collaborating writers, and record songs.

Shereck sees herself as more of a songwriter than a vocalist. “I am much more attached to the melody than I am to the lyrics. Sometimes the lyrics are hard to find, but the melody feels very clear to me.”

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From 2012 to 2015, Shereck was a finalist in the Great American Song Contest, and a three-time semifinalist in the International Songwriting Competition. Upon releasing her first EP Suitcase Full of Dreams in 2015, Shereck landed her first film placement; co-writing Whadaya Say for the movie On the Wing.

She released her second EP Chasing the Moon in 2018 and her third, Triggered, a year later. Shereck has also co-written songs that are featured on several independent albums; her music has aired throughout Canada and on the BBC.

On the cusp of Coronavirus, she released Hard to Forget, “a lighter and happier song than some of my other work. The hook is … real love is hard to forget, and at some point in your life, you’re able to look back with perspective and realize what was real love, and what wasn’t.”

Dayna’s moving song Triggered, recorded in Nashville

Since the pandemic hit, Shereck has been writing daily and connecting with her social media followers though a weekly video series. “One of the biggest rewards on this journey has been finding a songwriting community with new friendships,” she said.

On August 4, Shereck will perform a virtual concert, together with multi-instrumentalist, composer and guitarist Ray Walsh (see the show here on Facebook). Following, the two will discuss untapped passions, and, as Shereck’s exemplifies, the idea that it’s never too late to change direction. 

“Success can come at any time in your life, and without expecting it. Who knows what’s possible!”

Dayna’s music can be found on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud

Canadian journalist Susan Minuk is both humbled and heartened by everyday stories with the power to touch or inspire her readers’ lives. Susan’s work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Canadian Jewish News.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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