Australian Born Danish Beauty Candice Dianna about her singing career and how she is managing her life, filled with family, performances, kids and moving houses.
Hi Candice, thank you for taking the time to do an interview with Cloudy On The Other Side.
1. You were born in Australia, but do you have any roots in a different country?
Well, my last name is actually Danish which is ‘Skjonnemand’ that stems from a German Schoner mann or something like that, haha. It means ‘Good Man’. My dad used to make jokes that it actually meant ‘Good looking man’ so I like to tell that every now and then haha! I do have some family in Denmark like Evy Skjonnemand. We connected through social media, but I’ve never actually been to Denmark yet to meet her. We had another distant cousin from Denmark come to visit and have dinner with us not too long ago which was really exciting as we are really family orientated.
On mum’s side it’s heavily New Zealand from the Jessop family with a fair few uncles, aunties and cousins still over there. I myself am quite fond of the New Zealand culture in particular the Maori culture of dancing, warrior cries, Hangi, fry bread, and the general nature of their music orientated lifestyle. Sitting around the bonfire with a few drinks singing along to someone’s acoustic guitar is something we do as a family with our friends.
2. Do your roots influence your music?
I think mostly my love for the Maori culture and socializing a lot with that culture growing up
Even though I am in Australia actually did have a lot to do with the development of my vocal
timbre and style of music and writing. I tend to gravitate toward Soul and R&B with some
reggae influence also.
3. How long have you been in the music industry?
Well, that depends on which industry we are talking about. The recording industry I fell into gracefully at about age 16 and became a writer for a local label at 17 for a couple of years, then continued to work in music production and songwriting of the studio nature on my own for years!
I would literally wait until everyone was getting ready for bed around 8pm and then get into the caffeine, sit in my home recording studio with candles and AMAZING Denon headphones and create 2 and 3 songs in a night from scratch. There was something about the nighttime making it easier for me to concentrate, create and flow. The silence on the Earth, nobody moving, no light pollution, just peace and quiet and if you’re lucky some rain. Once the sun started to come up I would crash out, haha. Then I’d wake up all excited to show my family and friends what I did while they were sleeping. Those were the happiest days of all.
4. How many albums have you released and when?
I’ve released one EP in 2014 after I did ‘The Voice’ after my amazing friends, family and
supporting fanbase raised $15,000 for me to do so. Since then I have just been releasing singles one at a time and my latest was my proudest work. That was in 2019 September. I released ‘Tear my heart in two’. It felt like the most authentic I have ever been which is a freeing feeling. The producer ‘Mark Watson’ from ‘Studio Proof’ was absolutely incredible to work with. Fast, professional and accurate with a deep connection to the soulful purpose of the music. Then my film producer for the music video ‘Sonny Glover’ from ‘Four Six Productions’ was just a blessing to work with and his quality with our budget blew my out of the water! The actor and support on that project was amazing.
5. Along your career you have accomplished many things, let’s touch on a few of them . You got 2nd place in the 2012 Karaoke World Championships, were you writing and singing prior to entering this competition?
I was, sure. That was in my ‘BatCave’ days, haha. I LIVED and breathed creativity. Sleep, create,
share them with friends and family, dance, have fun, repeat, haha. Also, just before those
world championships in 2011 I featured on ‘Planet Unearthed’ under my ALIAS ‘Elektra Vine’
with my old electronic duo partner Loic Moobs. That aired on the Aurora channel on pay TV.
You can still find that on YouTube, which is cool.
6. Do you play any instruments? If yes, why did you pick this one?
I play piano. I think it’s just always come naturally to me. The instrument and I are drawn to
each other and it feels right. It flows for me. Growing up, Nanna’s house had a rumpus room
downstairs and that had an old piano in it. Watching all the family play, I think, I created a
nostalgic bond that lasted forever between me and the instrument.
7. Would you like to learn to play another instrument?
I love Violin, Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Harp and percussion. All instruments I would love to be able
to harness in this life time.
8. Your name is engraved in the Gold Coast hall of fame plaque at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, tell me about that.
Well, in 2003 I was in a lot of solo competitions for the Tropicarnival Eistedfods. I entered in all
Different genres like ‘Classical’, ‘Lieder’, ‘Opera’, ‘Jazz’, ‘Pop’, ‘Musical’, and so on and so fourth
as a singer. I won so many of them I was crowned the overall champion for that year for the
Eistedfod Festival. And when you do that, you are blessed to have your name engraved on the
plaque that was on display in the Gold Coast Arts Centre. I’m not sure if it’s still there almost 20
years later but it would be nice to find out.
9. In 2014 you became a member of Kylie Minogue’s Team during ‘The Voice’. What did you get out this experience?
The opportunity to have a giant like ‘Universal’, ‘Channel 9’, ‘Shine’, and ‘The Voice’ promote
you and your talent to the entire country while you are treated like a star with free flights,
accommodation, transfers, wardrobe and makeup and well basically a lot of show reel even for
your acting career is something that is priceless for your music career. It opened up immense
opportunities as a singer, an artist, and an actor/TV personality. I’m forever grateful and I would do a talent show again in a heartbeat. I have no regrets. I learned a lot about TV and production and that’s how and why I now appreciate everyone that’s a part of the process and how hard they work.
10. Were you in daily contact with Kylie Minogue and could you pick her brain?
Oh God, no, haha. I wish! I would have talked her ear off. I think with her hours and efforts in
the production process, there was no way she would have the time nor the energy for that. I
mean, the judges start before us and finish after us every day. And they are very long days.
They’re on camera the entire time where as we, the artists can relax a lot of the time in between individual tasks and filming.
11. So, you hardly saw Kylie Minogue. Are you in contact with her now after the show?
No, sadly not. I can’t imagine what it would be like for her to stay in contact with all the artists
when she has such a busy career as an artist, entertainer, actor and businesswoman. When
you’re in the spotlight as much as someone like Kylie, you need your time of peace and serenity
in order to stay healthy. And, I guess, if she was to stay in open communication with some
artists and not others it would hurt peoples’ feeling and cause dislike which is no fun for her.
12. With your song ‘Mamma’s Coming Home’ you reached the finals in the song writing competition for the QMusic Awards. Are you going to keep entering competitions and what do you hope to get out of it?
I will always enter competitions with my music. I think things like the Gold Coast Music awards,
QMUSIC awards, Vanda Young songwriting etc., are all incredible avenues for independent
artists to breakthrough to the other side and all we have to do is keep trying.
13. We can find you performing around the Gold Coast Area in RSL’s and Clubs. Where is your favorite place to have a performance done?
Strangely enough I don’t have a favourite place, because as soon I begin my show, I’m in my
own world anyway and I kind of pull people into that world with me, haha. I would love to start
doing home concerts though. Or even better, music festivals and more of my own ticketed
events with support acts.
14. Does your location at any given time influence your music when writing songs?
Yes, inspiration-wise, it does. Travelling and working in studios is definitely an added bonus to
15. Are there any current events or anything in the media that influences your music?
Domestic Violence and general unhappiness in the world are the biggest influencers of what I
sing about. I used to write the saddest songs but one day I realized, if I kept writing about the
sadness, I was only creating more of it. So, I had to start changing the way I write to tackle the
problems in the world the right way. With positivity. So, I wrote a song called ‘Walk away’ about Domestic Violence instead of my song ‘Let’s talk about this’ (which is commonly referred to the Tara Brown song because her murder on our street inspired the writing process for that song). ‘Walk away’ was an empathetic song to everyone involved in a relationship that’s struggling, and suggesting that they ‘…walk away when it’s dangerous to stay, it’s better to have a broken heart than to kill the one you love’. *Neither of these songs have been officially released yet but will be officially released TBA.
My theory on the state of the world’s general unhappiness, is lack of kindness and compassion towards each other and so for this, I wrote ‘Soldier’ (released 2017) and ‘Human Kindness’ (released mid 2019). Soldier speaks about equality and balance among the human race, suggesting that one person’s life struggles is not worse than another’s as it’s all relative. ‘Human Kindness’ is a story of the ultimate act of kindness taken when faced with an angry looking stranger. You’ll have to listen to that one on YouTube. It’s a great story inspired by a war Veteran I met busking one day.
16. Which movie would best describe your music career/life?
Coyote Ugly meets 8 Mile
17. You have a toddler, you perform, and you have recently moved house. How do you manage all this?
Well I’m just a ‘get it done’ type of person, haha. I see no point in stressing over things that are
out of my control, so I get what I can done well and efficiently, then if I come up against
something that has no solution I ask God to handle it and /or ask for help from my family. I have
a great family, namely my mum. She’s amazing. So, God blessed me with a fantastic support
system. And then, well I always mike time even if it’s an hour or two a day when I’m busy, to do
something nice either by myself or with the kids. Because every day could be your last so you
mustn’t go through a day and not have lived.
18. During you time in the music industry, what was the best advice you received?
Don’t depend on outside sources, get it done yourself, and don’t allow other’s opinions to ruin something when your gut tells you that something’s a brilliant idea! Always go ahead….
19. What was the worst advice you got?
Think about what people want and do it that way.
20. What makes you stand out, what is your magic power?
I think it’s my character as a person and how that comes through in my music from a deep place and touches people in the soul.
21. How do you feel going on stage?
Glad. I can sing with no interruptions and swim in a magical world of music for hours.
22. With whom would you like to do a performance?
Alicia Keys or Ed Sheeran.
23. What are your plans for 2020 and the near future?
I can’t tell you that right now, ha ha. It’s a secret and hasn’t been confirmed yet. But aside from
that continue to release and create music and live life happily. We are actually planning to head
to Nashville this year also to dip our toes in.
24. Which advice would you give fellow singer/songwriters?
No matter what industry you’re in, you’re going to face the same amount of challenges. So,
make sure you’re doing something that brings you great joy, and only ever do it the way
that brings you great joy. Often, we follow our passion but forget our dreams because we’re too
focused on surviving and it will kill your passion and joy. So instead, focus on the fun creative
side and have fun with it. Bonus is, when you do that, being an entertainer, you sell more
because people love to watch a fun, joyful, free spirit being genuine.
25. How do you interact with your fans?
I actually do most of my interacting on my personal profile ‘Candice Dianna Singer’, which is now a fully public profile. I switched to that because Facebook pages algorithms were causing too much gap between myself and my followers and Instagram is something I’m still learning about. Same with YouTube. I don’t really understand it.
26. Do you have a message for your fans?
Come and find me on my Facebook, I can’t add everyone because I’m running out of room but it’s fully public anyway, anyone can interact. Come to my shows if you can and let me know who you are so we can hang out afterwards and have a fun time talking about everything!
Wow, Thank you so much, Candice, for taking the time to do this interview with us. A very inspirational and profound interview.