NMM: Dakota Bradley

Photo: Chris White
20-year-old, Dakota Bradley, is quickly rising to fame in the industry with a pretty inspiring story about his path to the music scene as well.

According to his Facebook page, Bradley picked up a guitar at the young age of 12 in the basement of his home, never putting it down. By the eighth grade, he formed a band with some friends and the group played a bunch of gigs at local clubs. The band even won some battle of the bands competitions against groups with members who were much older. But Bradley's story does not end there. All while he was still a teenager, Bradley's family home burned to the ground and his stepfather - who was struggling with addiction - left the family. But Bradley's luck quickly turned around when he met a manager who was eager to represent him.

The manager paired Bradley up with another aspiring artist - and an awesome one I might add - C.J. Holland. The duo recorded a cover of Michael Jackson's "The Girl Is Mine" on YouTube. The cover video caught the attention of producers at "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and the duo made an appearance on the show in 2010. That appearance gave Bradley exposure on both a national and international level. Coincidentally, that is where I first discovered him myself. Since his "Ellen Show" appearance, Bradley has gone on to produce three singles to iTunes since 2013. His first - "Somethin' Like Somethin'" - peaked at No. 53 on the U.S. Country Airplay Chart. Bradley's latest single - "Won't Be Young Forever" - is a cool song with genuine, heartfelt lyrics that should definitely get a lot of airplay across the country.

I asked Bradley via Facebook about the inspiration behind "Won't Be Young Forever" and he had this to say: "The last three years have taught me a lot, and I want to take advantage of everything I've been given while I can. It's a reminder to me every time I sing it that this is my one shot."

Dakota Bradley is one talented dude. He brings a very cool blend of rock, pop and country to his music. However, more importantly, the lyrics in his songs have substance and meaning. I've never met him before but I can tell that Bradley is a genuinely great person and has a story that we can all be inspired by. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings for him. Maybe a concert at the N.C. State Fair? Who knows?!?

Have a listen!