With two multi-award winning albums and over four hundred awards, including two Golden Guitars, Dianna Corcoran is a beloved face on the Australian country music scene. Now, the singer-songwriter, who has worked with the Australisn Defense Force and deployed three times to perform for troops serving in Afghanistan and Egypt, is readying to make an impact in the U.S. with her debut single. Dianna kindly took the time to talk about her roots, "God Did Good," her upcoming album and more.
As a young adult, Dianna’s first interest in country music came in yodeling. After finishing high school, she worked three jobs, which were in recruitment, a dog food factory and a car parts plant, where she saved enough money to make her first record.
You worked really hard at a variety of jobs; was it always the goal to pursue music?
Absolutely. I didn’t even choose music, it chose me. I’m sure a lot of artists tell you the same thing, but that is the truth. Even when a thought came into my mind to do something else, I’d always come back to music, and making music. I was very musical right from the get go. Mom told me I was singing before I was talking. I sang “Twinkle Twinkle” before I was saying anything; it was just in my blood I guess. Mom and Dad both were in bands before they were married. Mom sang and Dad played the drums. Dad bought me guitar when I was around eight. He handed it to me and I went out in the backyard and taught myself how to play.
Hard work, that’s my nature, where I come from. I have obtained a dream of working with Aristo, but even having a team doesn’t mean you stop working--it means you just have an extra pair of hands.
That's an incredible attitude to have. Do you have any specific influences either on your writing, singing or playing?
I have listened to such an eclectic collection of music over the years, that I can’t pinpoint one artist. My earliest influence was Olivia Newton John, even though she was much older than me. I was obsessed with her, I wanted to be Sandy (laughing). In terms of the songs I listen to on the stereo, that goes from hip hop to old school country. Country is my favorite though and I will always come back to that. I would listen to artists like Tim McGraw, Blackhawk and Jo Dee Messina and read all of the credits and say ‘Oh my gosh, I want to go to Nashville and work with these people!’
And here you are! Have you made the move permanently to Nashville? And, the obvious question, with all of your success in Australia, why come to the US?
Yes, I have been here now for about three and a half years. To be honest, I’ve always wanted to come to the states ever since I was a little girl because country music is so big here. I signed a record deal in Australia, and when my contracts were done, I had the freedom to fly away. I was doing very well in Australia, but I had to see that out before I came over.
And now you recently released your debut single in the U.S. “God Did Good,” which was co-written with Kristian Bush and Jeff Cohen. What is the story behind the song?
“God Did Good” is a love song about when you get with that one amazing person who is the love of your life; someone who is perfect to you, even with their imperfections. When you find that perfect person, you agree that God has put good work into that one! I hash tagged the words to see if it had been done, and it never really had, which surprised me, so I thought, you know what, let’s write a song. It's a cool way to say something.
It is a sweet, playful and sincere way to say it for sure. You recently shot a video for it; what can you tell us about it?
I am literally editing it at the moment! The video is great; I’m so excited to share it with everybody! The video follows the story of the song, and the plot is simple and real. I am with the band performing, but there is also a guy and a girl who are trying to build the perfect person with cardboard cutouts. They’re trying to put this person together, thinking they’ve got it right, when at the end they discover God built the perfect person when they turn around and see each other. It’s very simple and very cute.
That’s sounds extremely cute! Will this song be found on your full length album, In America, which is due in January?
Certainly will be. The album will be released January 29th, and I am looking forward to it. We started the album about three years ago, and all of the songs were written specifically for it except for one. We re-recorded “Thank You For Cheating On Me,” which was a #1 hit in Australia, because that song is just too good not to share! I’d say the album takes you on a roller coaster of emotions and hopefully you end up in a good spot! There are some pretty deep ballads, some happy pop country songs and a duet with Gary Burr. Gary and I were writing together for it and sang the demo, which I thought was just so beautiful. The song you hear on the record is actually the original recording; it is just so natural and beautiful in its own right that I didn’t want to start putting things over top of it and ruining its organic sound.
You co-wrote all of the songs on the record with songwriters like Gary, Bryan White and Jeremy Spillman...not bad company to be in!
They’re awesome. I got very lucky! I think if you are an artist who is also an active songwriter, it is easier to get into a room with other songwriters. I built good relationships with people, and we create music.
I am an emotional songwriter and can be inspired anywhere. For example, I could be driving in Texas, become inspired and jump out into a field and write a song. Writing is very important to me, but I am not afraid to give my songs to other people. I think a great song should get out into the world no matter who sings it; it doesn’t need to be just on my record.
What’s ahead? Will you be touring?
I have scattered tours to the end of the year, and then the aim is to go out and tour next year. I’ll be hitting the road for a radio tour as well. If people see my posts on social media, you’ll see I have a micro car and a tent, and I just camp my way around the states. I’m obsessed with driving, so I tell them to send me anywhere--I don’t care where it is, I haven’t driven enough of America. This is the thing I want to do, so nothing is too much for me. If I can share my music somewhere, I will go!
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Pre-order In America here