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Work/Life/Spotlight

Author: Mallorie Kerrigan
May, 2018 Issue

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The North Bay's Next Big Voice

Santa Rosa singer, songwriter, performer and contestant on NBC’s The Voice, Dallas Caroline, known locally as Dallas Caroline Dueñas, knew she wanted to be a singer since she was a little girl. “Once I started singing, I knew I would always be a singer,” says the 17-year-old songstress. “Songwriting is my passion—it’s really special to me. And in country music, the songs tell the story.” The Santa Rosa singer-songwriter and contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” has big dreams of making it in the music industry.

Though she remembers being shy, her desire to sing as a young girl overpowered her nerves. “I was always shy when I was little,” she says. “But I’ve always had a musical family.” During a family event, 8-year-old Caroline tapped her mother on the shoulder, and told her she wanted to sing. “I told my mom I wanted to sing ‘Maybe’ from the play ‘Annie’ for my entire family,” she says.  Awe-struck by the powerful voice that arose from the usually shy girl, her family placed Caroline directly in music’s path. “After that, my grandma placed me in voice lessons.”

Audition of a lifetime

Today, Caroline has nearly 90,000 Instagram followers and countless videos of her singing covers. “The Voice” took notice, offering Caroline an opportunity with one of the most recognized singing competition shows on television. “I had my Instagram page and a big following,” she explains. “They [“The Voice”] reached out to me for the show and I thought it was a great opportunity.”  

Caroline made it through the blind auditions, with high praises from judges Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson and Adam Levine, who all turned their chairs for her, except Keys, who’s team was already full. “I’ve already learned so much [from the show]. There’s so many different kinds of singers and artists from all genres,” she says. “I hope to learn and grow as much as I can.”

Her country music influences include Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and Maren Morris—a diverse blend of country artists both old and new, something she hopes to embody. So, what song is Caroline itching to sing on the show? “I’d love to sing ‘Here You Come Again’, by Dolly Parton,” she says with joy. Caroline remembers singing Dolly Parton songs as a little girl, something she’s eager to showcase on “The Voice."

Hometown hero

For now, in Santa Rosa, Caroline is enjoying spending time with her family, hiking and the recognition around town. “It’s really cool,” she explains. “I’ll be out in public and people ask if I’m the girl from ‘The Voice.’” Caroline also dedicated her performance on the show to the North Bay fire victims of the October wildfires, which people thank her for to this day. “People stop and thank me for dedicating my song on the show to my community and those affected by the fires,” she says.

Next stop: Nashville

Win or lose, Caroline will continue to follow her country music dreams all the way back to Nashville, where she once performed at the CMA Fest, a 4-day country music festival hosted each June, in 2017. “I fell in love with Nashville during my visit for the CMA Fest,” she says. “My dream is to move to Nashville.”
As she continues her musical pursuit, from the North Bay to Hollywood and all the way to Tennessee, she shares her advice for young women who want to pursue a music career. “Stay true to who you are. That will make you the happiest.”



 

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