I had the pleasure of interviewing Dionne Anyáh an emerging singer-songwriter and entertainer. She was born as Dawnielle Baucham in Los Angeles, California.
There is a long list of words to describe this intriguing young lady, however, the short list includes being musically and vocally talented, a spiritual being, beautiful, intelligent, educated, dedicated and a devoted singer-songwriter.
She has always been of a different kind and a different time. Growing up her family called her a flower child because of her sweet soul and free spirit. She has always been in her own world and has done things her own unique way. Dionne sets goals and believes in turning dreams into reality.
Her dreams are to be an artist, singer, songwriter, performer and humanitarian/ philanthropist. She has spoken into existence that she will become just that through patience, hard work and dedication.
Currently, she is an unsigned artist, with a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in philosophy and minored in music.
Throughout her musical career, Dionne won over the hearts of music lovers from all walks of life by performing at a variety of venues, making dozens of appearances, all the while recording new singles for her upcoming EP.
Stay tuned in with Dionne, as you do not want to miss some of the compelling plans, performances and music she has coming.
Thank you so much for joining us! Let’s show everyone you’re a normal human being. What are your hobbies, favorite places to visit, pet peeves? Tell us about YOU when you’re not at the office.
“Thank you so much for having me, it’s truly an honor. I’d like to say I’m a normal human being when I’m out and about or outside of work. I have a variety of mostly unrelated hobbies: listening to music, cooking and baking, dancing, working out, drawing, web design, developing non-profit programs, creating business plans, creating and trying beauty products, fashion design, making custom wigs, and traveling.
“My pet peeves might be odd: people make that screeching sound with chairs or silverware on their plate, loud smacking, and people who unknowingly slide metal silverware on their front teeth when eating; it’s so bad for their teeth, it makes me cringe.”
Can you tell us something about you that few people know?
“I can name a few things few people know about me. The first things are that I own two businesses and founded/created a charity foundation with my husband called The Hundley Hero Foundation.
“Another thing people sometimes don’t know is that I am married and have been since 2016. My husband, Brett Hundley, is an amazing quarterback and plays for the Green Bay Packers.
“Last thing is that I’m allergic to shellfish.”
Do you have any exciting projects going on right now?
“Yes! I am currently working on a seven-song EP that I plan on releasing in May 2019! I’m working on getting some exciting features for the tape. I’ll be releasing some new singles for the tape in the meantime! The whole tape is almost completed and I’m very excited about it.
“Also, I’ll be performing at a charity event and we’ll be raising funds and awareness for Breast Cancer. It will be taking place at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. It’s going to be a great show and great event and I’ll be performing a few unreleased tracks as well.”
Many people say success correlates with the people you meet in your life. Can you describe two that most impacted your success and why?
“I definitely think this is true. I actually have two people I can say that have impacted my life.
“One is my college professor, Dr. Mark Tramo. He has been such an amazing mentor, teacher, positive influence, encouragement, support system, stage presence, more explorative with my voice, and being comfortable with my voice.
“The second person is a tie between two people who have impacted my career: Charles (Cruise) Cox and James (J. Anthony) Barber. These two have both been working with me off and on, but mostly on since I was 17. We were all young and newly pursuing our musical dreams. They helped me with being more comfortable in the studio, finding my sound, writing more honestly and openly, being open to collaboration and comfortable with working in the studio solo and in groups, and just kept me inspired not to give up when obstacles arose.”
Leaders always seem to find ways to overcome their weaknesses. Can you share one or two examples of how you work outside of your comfort zone to achieve success?
“I think I’m always working outside of my comfort zone on a regular basis when it comes to music. Growing up I was a very shy kid and very awkward. I hate to admit it, but that’s the truth. It is also the reason I didn’t truly start pursuing my music as a career until the age of 17, right before going to college. I just decided that I was going to overcome myself and share this yearning piece of me with whoever wants to listen and receive it.
“Being in the studio and singing into an amplified mic is out of my comfort zone. Photo shoots are out of my comfort zone. Videos are out of my comfort zone, and certainly performing in front of people is very out of my comfort zone.
“But, I have found comfort in being out of my comfort zone, and I know anyone who really is passionate about something has to just make that instantaneous decision and follow through. We all owe that to ourselves.”
The concept of mind over matter has been around for years. A contemporary description of this is having mental toughness. Can you give us an example (or two) of obstacles you’ve overcome by getting your mind in the right place (some might call this reframing the situation)?
“Absolutely, just a few weeks ago actually. I had a show to do in Hollywood and for some odd reason the venue didn’t have a quarter-inch adapter, which was needed to play the tracks since I wasn’t performing with a band for this show. So here I am, at a show, with an hour-long performance, no music, and it’s almost time to go on.
“I tried to see if a local store had something we could use or had the adapter, but of course they didn’t. I was pretty upset, very embarrassed, and on top of that I was already nervous. So, we had to do something quick. An idea was thrown to play the song into the mic from a portable speaker into their PA system, and fortunately it worked!
“So, the show went on and I sang on top of that into the other mic. It sounded pretty good for the circumstances and people wouldn’t have even know about the hiccup if I hadn’t of told them and made jokes about it throughout my show. But, the hardest part was shaking off the nervousness while also having to shake off the drama.
“In these kinds of times and moments I just remember what this is all for: sharing my art with those who want to listen and receive it and remembering that this will eventually be a part of the story of how hard I worked to put myself in a position to be of service to those around the world.”
What are your “3 Lessons I Learned from My Most Memorable Failure”?
“The three lessons that I learned from my most memorable failure is to keep God at the center of your life in all things at all times, that you can’t explain or share your dream with everyone because some people will only be negative and tear it down because they can’t accomplish their dreams, and not to go looking for things you are not ready to find.”
What unfiltered advice can you give aspiring stars regarding how to avoid common mis-fires in starting their career?
1. Be careful who you work with. Be clear on percentages beforehand, put it in writing.
2. Don’t accept any promises, verbal agreements, verbal understandings, etc. Everything needs to be in writing.
3. Copyright everything before you share it.
4. Find a group/team or create one that you work well with and be consistent with them.
5. Network at all times, especially if you are in college.
What is the best lesson you learned from your worst boss?
“The best lesson I learned from my worst boss was how he kept the work environment, extremely tense and toxic. I was able to observe that the work environment was a direct representation of him. Therefore, if you are toxic, you will create a toxic environment around you; as a result those who you are around or work with will be toxic as well and not enjoy their job at all, which means their relationship with you or work effort and ethic will be hurried and careless.
“If you want good relationships and work environments create the kind of environment that inspires people to do be their best.”
What is one “efficiency hack” you use consistently in your life to keep your time and mind free to focus on your strengths and passions?
“An efficiency hack I use consistently to keep my time and mind free to focus on my strengths and passions is just to stay organized and use my planner. They help me manage my time wisely and keep my mind free. It allows me to be in the moment and to have my days off, and to know what days and times I have free to really dive into my passion and my strength, which is being an artist.
All actors or musicians have sleepless nights. We have a term we use with our clients called the “2 a.m. moment.” It’s when you’re wide awake and thinking not-so-positive thoughts about your business choices and future. Can you describe a 2 a.m. moment (or moments) you’ve had and how you overcame the challenges?
“This is a really funny question because I never knew this was a thing many people experienced or knew about it; I just thought it was something I would experience, except mine is more 4 a.m.
‘I definitely have 2 a.m. moments, and the most memorable was about two years ago. It was my second year living in Green Bay. My husband and I had just gotten married a few months earlier and after I came off this high from the wedding and honeymoon I was craving to get back to my music and get back to this career I began.
“I hadn’t really done much with my music at the time. I took what was supposed to be a short break from music that turned into a two-year situation. All the feelings and emotions from not being able to pursue my music the way my heart desires just hit me late one night when I was up writing songs. I started to feel that I may not have the chance to pursue my music career the way I always dreamed of.
“The reality of being married to an NFL athlete is not as simple and glamorous as people perceive it to be. His career is very demanding and requires a great deal of support and is very unstable for the simple fact that these teams and organizations dictate where you will live and when you will live there.
“We ended up in Green Bay and there isn’t much of a music scene there currently, which is another career blocker for me. But, at the same time it has been such an amazing place to be. It’s a very small town, all about the Packers. The people are very kind. I would try and travel back to L.A. and stay for two weeks about twice each season, but it just was never enough time to actually get any work done.
“I didn’t want to be away from my husband and wanted to support him and his dream. However, I was feeling like I had to sacrifice mine. I started to just really think negatively and was doing a lot of negative self-talk, about how this was never going to happen, and how I’ve wasted so much of my life and money, all for nothing. I felt like I had done so much work over the past five years with nothing to show for it. Eventually, I would just go to sleep and when I would wake up, I would have this twisted bittersweet feeling that I married the love of my life, but I’m losing my first love.
“In times of confusion like this I simply go to my Bible app and somehow, some way there is always a scripture, reading, or devotional that is directly related to what I am feeling to give giving me clarity. I ultimately remember that God never promised that anything in this life would be easy, but he did promise that he would be there every step of the way if we continually seek him in all things. I just have to give all my worries, troubles, doubts, and dreams, everything to him and ask him to guide me in it all and take care of it all for me.
“This inspires me, motivates me, keeps me encouraged and energized to keep going and reaffirms me that I’m right where I need to be.”
Nobody likes to fail, and we sure don’t like to admit we failed. Can you describe a moment when you confided your most closely-held business issues/problems to someone close to you, and how the conversation(s) helped you work through the issue?
“I always confide my most closely-held business issues/problems to my husband mostly because he’s also my best friend. Talking it through with him is very helpful because I know he has my best interest at heart, and not only do I get someone else’s take, but I also get a more mathematical approach from him because he is good with the numbers, economics, and finances. I also get a man’s take on things at the same time which can be helpful as well.
“I feel I have the best of both worlds in my husband and I always find a resolution when I come to him with business issues. Even when he has no resolution for me, I still receive the emotional support from him and sometimes that’s all you really need. Sometimes you already know what to do and how to do it, but it may be something difficult and you just need a hug through it all.”
What’s on the drawing board for your next venture?
“My next venture will be releasing new music, my EP, new visuals, and most certainly overall growing our new foundation more. I am currently working on some fundraising events for our Play 4 Epilepsy program, and we are about to begin the Strand for Strand program this Christmas, which we plan to be beginning right by our alma mater, UCLA, at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.”
What did we miss? Feel free to share any other thoughts or advice on overcoming failure, initiatives you’re currently supporting, any other relevant information you would like to share with the readers.
“I would like to share a little more on the failure topic and something some people may not be aware of. I was an All-American D1 (division 1) track and field athlete, and I really feel that growing up in this sport and competing in this sport taught me so much discipline and instilled in me the confidence I always needed to follow my true dream. Track is every other sport’s punishment. Growing up when one gets in trouble for something in football, basketball, soccer, etc. the coach typically told you to run a lap or two. This is because running is an all-out full body workout.
“Coming from this sport I was able to apply that same energy, work ethic, drive, competitiveness into my music career. I honestly feel whatever people have grown up doing find the positives in that and use that to push yourselves toward your dreams and goals.
“And, we must remember that in order to win sometimes you have to fail first. So, we cannot be afraid of failure because it is a part of the process to success.
“Also, some of the cause’s I’m currently supporting is my husband and my foundation, the Hundley Hero Foundation. Our mission statement is: To be of service to those in need as God has called us and asked us to do; make strides in making the world a better place for our children and families and spread love and kindness through example and fellowship. We hope that you are inspired by what you see here and choose to donate, join us and/or spread more awareness about our mission and the causes we support. Thank you and God Bless!
“Our main goal is to demonstrate how everyone and anyone can be a hero when it comes to helping those in need. That’s what heroes are all about. We plan on creating more programs in our foundation toward underfunded communities and schools, homelessness, empowering the youth and creating youth programs for inner city children.”
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
I am on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube all under the same username/ handle which is @DionneAnyah.
You can also check out my website at www.DionneAnyah.com for the latest news and updates.
Originally published at medium.com