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/Former airline pilot garners millions of plays after launching music career

Texas native Rhett Daneka never thought he’d have a career in music. In fact, the possibility never even crossed his mind. His path was to be a pilot, and after graduating from high school near Houston he went on to earn his Airline Transport License and became a Gold Seal flight instructor. And then he went on to fly an air ambulance out of Corpus Christi, Texas, rescuing premature infants from small towns in South Texas and flying them back to the best hospital for newborns.
Rhett Daneka

But then in the early 2000’s he left his flying career and became self-employed, and a visit to a local karaoke bar with a woman he was dating proved to be a pivotal night for Daneka.

“She was into karaoke bars and I just thought it would be kind of neat to go up with her sometime,” he says. “So I started singing and I wasn’t any good at all.”

Daneka, though, was intrigued with the rush he’d felt on stage in front of others. Then he met an 84-year-old quartette singer who made an even bigger impact.

“He was eighty percent blind and I couldn’t sing. So we teamed up and I would drive us to all the karaoke bars in Houston,” Daneka says. “We’d go out five, six nights a week and hit two or three bars a night. He basically taught me how to sing and showed me which songs I could sing and which ones to stay away from. He was my mentor, you could say.”

Even after his friend passed away, Daneka kept going.

“Just for the thrill of being on stage in front of an audience,” he says. “If you’ve never been, it’s hard to explain. All these 80’s bands right now that just can’t retire, it’s that adrenaline rush, whatever you get, of being on stage. It’s like a drug or something. It’s one of the best feelings in the world, and especially when you knock out a good song and get the applause at the end, it’s like icing on the cake.”

And now Daneka is thinking a lot about that career in the music business. He’s done a lot more than think about it, in fact. In 2020 he decided to make it a reality – he sought the best musicians, producer, recording studio and vocal coach – and he hasn’t looked back.

Now he’s better known as the lead singer of Daneka Nation, a project through which he’s released nine singles in three years, and his cover songs are drawing a huge audience already.

His rendition of Doug Stone’s 1990 hit “In a Different Light” has been streamed nearly 900,000 times on Spotify and 130,000 times on YouTube. In fact, six of his releases have garnered more than a quarter of a million plays, and his total numbers on Spotify are around three million plays.

“I started going to some concerts and I decided that if they can make it, somehow maybe I can too,” he says. “And I just started.”

The Doug Stone song was his first to tackle. He added some rock overtones to the country tune and sped it up, too. And since then he’s covered songs like Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and Bon Jovi’s “She Don’t Know Me.” It’s not all country and rock, either; he’s released his versions of “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg and “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio.

Daneka believes his newest release is his best yet: a cover of the country song “Sacred Ground” made famous by McBride & The Ride.

“It just grabs you right from the start,” he says. “It’s a song that anybody can relate to. A couple meets in high school and they get married; first thing they do is they have a baby and then the song skips to them in their late 20’s or early 30’s and he walks up on her and she’s been hit on by a total stranger. The lyrics are just beautiful.”

Daneka was originally working on a different track for his newest release, but he happened to catch “Sacred Ground” on the radio in his truck and thought to himself: “This song is dead and buried. Nobody plays it anymore. I’ve heard it one time in a year-and-a-half of listening to these oldies country shows.”

His version is sped up by 15 or 20 beats per minute and he describes it as having “Tommy Lee drums and Dokken guitars.”

Daneka is working on his version of Lauren Alaina’s “Road Less Traveled” for his next release and says he’s turned this one into more of a rock song “and the banjo at the beginning is out for sure.” That song could be released this summer.

“I’m hoping to get to the point where I can survive on music and not have to work a day job,” he says. “That’s goal No. 1. And then I’ve got a post it note on my bathroom mirror that says goal No. 1: make it in music. Goal No. 2: play sold out arenas. Goal No. 3: Play Rodeo Houston, the largest rodeo in the world. That’s what I look at every day when I brush my teeth. I’ve always heard a goal is not a goal until you write it down and look at it every day.”

Make sure to stay connected to Daneka Nation on all platforms for new music, videos and social posts.

Original Source: Artist on the Rise

/News & Reviews

Daneka Nation revisits “Sacred Ground,” bringing an upbeat, 80s hair metal sound to an old country tune loved by many. Daneka’s interpretation brings the touching story to new generations, keeping it alive for many more to come....

Daneka Nation’s musical pedigree starts in Houston in about 2004 when he met a girl who liked to go to karaoke bars...
Smash Magazine

As Daneka Nation continues to make waves in the music scene, with seven tracks already under their belt and more in the works, it’s clear that Rhett Daneka’s journey from the skies to the studio has given rise to a musical force to be reckoned with.
Rick Jamm

“Sacred Ground” really speaks to people. As soon as you hear the blast of electric guitar paired with Rhett’s raw, sincere emotion, it becomes evident that this tune carries great significance.
Erick Ycaza

I think Daneka Nation is doing some impressive things and this group’s rendition of “Fight Song” is nothing less than enthralling. I really cannot wait to hear more from this band and I eagerly look forward to them adding to their collection of six singles so far!
Which Coast

Scintillating guitar leads and thunderous drumming perfectly compliment Daneka's bold baritone here, making Daneka Nation's version of "Fight Song" a must listen for any and all pop/rock enthusiasts.
Steven Azami

Fresh but familiar, cultish but commercial...and that's a neat trick to try to pull off. But pull it off he does.
Dave Franklin

Rhett Meets Doug Stone, the original singer of "In a Different Light" - Tomball, TX 9/24/21
Rhett Meets Doug Stone, the original singer of "In a Different Light" - Tomball, TX 9/24/21

/Contact Daneka Nation

Daneka Nation
Houston, Texas

Email: rhett@danekanation.com
Daneka Nation