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Blossoming diva, Dana Harper wants us all to Be Alive!



   Aspiring female singers. These days, they’re coming out of the woodwork. You can find  a Ciara or Beyonce or Monica wannabe on every block.

            So when someone fresh and original, like say, Keke Wyatt or Chrisette Michele comes along, we almost want to toss confetti into the air and dance in the streets. A young Dallas chanteuse by the name of Dana Harper inspires that type of giddiness.
            Her eclectic style brings to mind songbirds in the tradition of  Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott and India.Arie . The throaty delivery is similar to that of the late, great Phyllis Hyman. And her ocean-deep lyrical content is more like that of a sophisticated, worldly woman, than that of a 19-year-old college freshman, which is what Miss Harper happens to be.
            Add the often jazzy, at times bluesy keyboard work of Dallas’ own  Eric Willis , and you have Dana Harper’s debut CD entitled Be Alive, released about four months ago.
            Recently the young singer-songwriter prepared for final exams, and talked excitedly about her plans to return to Dallas this month and begin playing live shows to promote her CD.
            “I hope to be playing at places like Mercy Wine Bar,” she purred, “and we’ve been talking about possibly doing a big show at the Kessler Theater in Deep Ellum.”
            Harper said she plans to play as many small venues as possible this summer, save her money and hire a band when she returns to New York to continue her studies at Pace University. She is not likely to worry about stage fright, though, since she was tapped to perform at NBA baller Dwayne Wade’s charity event in Arlington during last February’s All Star Weekend. And speaking of  NBA, Dana’s dad is former Dallas Maverick-turned TV sports commentator Derek Harper.

            And although she admits there was more than a bit of trepidation several months ago as she prepared to move to New York (“Oh Lord! What am I doing?”), she now oozes self-assurance, self-reliance and utter fearlessness – about her education (she is a musical theater major who gushes about the unique high she gets while acting and singing on stage, vs. recording in a booth)  as well as her budding career.  And she is breathlessly looking forward to fall for another reason: her mom and sister are moving to New York to be near her.  “It feels really right,” she beamed.

 “I’ll be trying to make some big things happen,” Harper said. “I’m gonna be auditioning, I’m gonna be on Broadway," she said.

Harper is quick to heap praise on producers Josh Goode and Bradley Prakope, and her childhood best friend and singer-songwriter Chanise Condren, also 19. Condren, who admits that in real life she has none of the worldly experience (man problems, life without the parents under the same roof, etc.) she writes about in her songs, said since she knows Dana so well, she was able to “get into her head and write from her viewpoint.” 

"I plan to continue writing for and with (Harper) for as long as she will have me,” she giggled. Of their friendship, she proclaimed “Dana has just always been there.  We have been friends since we were little."  Like Harper,  Condren, who penned several songs on Be Alive, including the tender, yet empowering Hummingbird, is possessed of the type of depth and wisdom not often found in a 25-year-old, let alone a 19-year-old. Their parents should be incredibly proud of these talented, beautiful (and did I mention talented?) young women.

Be Alive is good stuff, people.  Go to Dana Harper's Myspace page and check out Hummingbird. One listen, and you are likely to head straight to i-Tunes or to purchase the CD.

Oh, and no worries ... you can thank me later!



  • Al Olive 5 years ago

    Beautiful voice. The lyrics are a breath of fresh air!! Thank you for sharing your gift. Oh yeah... Thank you very much Ms. Conely..

  • André Fachettii! 3 years ago


  • André Fachetti 3 years ago

    Hi, I´m a Dana´s brazilian fan since last year
    Why it´s so dificulty to find information abaout this young Diva?
    I´m so imprecious with her voice, lirics and all the CD production
    Can you show me a few of her lirics?
    I´m traying to translate, but... I really want that by wrote
    Please, send new informations to
    And thank you for the informations about DANA in your beatiful review

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