Emerging as a fresh and dynamic artist and performer in her home region of SoCal, multi-talented singer-songwriter Dina Valenz has, over the past few years, enthralled her growing legion of fans in a variety of prominent venues from the House of Blues Hollywood, Genghis Cohen and Skinny’s Lounge to the 600-seat Aladdin theatre in Portland, Oregon and Mozarts Coffee in Austin, TX for a 2015 SXSW showcase.
Widening her sphere beyond prominent regular performances in outdoor music settings – including a recent stint at the Long Beach Town Center Live Music Series – the Long Beach, California based vocal dynamo has been a popular attraction on the festival and fair circuit. In 2014 and 2015, she did three shows at the San Diego County Fair and also appeared at the Los Angeles County Fair and Orange County Fair.
While Dina’s well received and critically acclaimed 2013 debut EP Miles and Miles drew upon key influences like Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow and Jewel, she does an explosive and exciting 180 on her latest EP With My Shades On. Miles and Miles was produced by her mentor, veteran contemporary jazz singer-songwriter Mark Winkler, and the set was arranged by another renowned performer, pianist/keyboardist Jamieson Trotter. On the new EP, she brings her bright and sassy vocal style and clever songwriting to a fun and colorful synth-pop realm, creating a whole new, hipper and more youthful vibe with L.A. based hip-hop and EDM producer Jay P.
After a particularly prolific period of songwriting, Dina teamed up with Jay P and has since developed an exciting partnership that has taken her artistry to an exciting new level. “I’ve always been confident in my abilities as a songwriter, but I feel even bolder now with this new groove and sound.” she says.
“I feel like I’m in a great place in my life and these songs reflect my strength, confidence and ability to overcome personal and professional challenges. Many producers who create the sounds Jay does tend to overwhelm the artist with their production, but he has the unique ability to transform the songs rather than change them, with my voice, personality and individuality as the driving force.”
Dina’s musical destiny began taking shape at age 12, when she picked up the guitar for the first time. She remembers practicing every day after school until her mother forced her to go to bed. “Ever since then,” she says, “my guitar and I have pretty much been inseparable,” and she remembers spending many of her lunch hours at school playing and singing for “tips” from her fellow students that included Skittles and lunch tickets. She later participated in every performance and talent show she could sign up for. During her senior year, Dina performed her first solo acoustic show, where she had the opportunity to play six songs in a row. “I got all my friends out to see me and I was hooked!” she says.
Dina is still hooked (while continuing to write killer hooks!) on the joy of performing for audiences, on singing and playing her guitar and writing more songs which she plans to license to TV and film as her solo career continues. An all-around creative talent, she says, “I’ve done a little of everything, from acting to singing in bands and a capella – and none of those experiences are as meaningful to me as writing and singing my own songs and performing them for audiences who connect with where I am coming from. The most important things I look for in a song are ‘how does this make me feel ?’ and ‘What is the story?’ The best part of the creative journey has been discovering my true self in the process. This is always going to be what my life is about.”