|Photo: Chris White|
The Colorado native, who finished as a finalist on the show, started writing and recording music back in his home state. Dakota also began a PledgeMusic campaign to fund the project and ended up raising 108 percent of his fundraising goal. Through the campaign, fans were able to pre-order the new album and receive some awesome perks including autographed items and even an acoustic house concert.
According to his profile on ReverbNation, Dakota's first encounters with music came when his parents took him to the New Orleans Jazz Festival when he was just 10 days old. Dakota began playing music at age 11, when he received his first guitar. Dakota auditioned for "America's Got Talent" in Denver, Colo. and went on to the finale of the show, earning the opportunity to perform with Lenny Kravitz.
Dakota has now finished his debut album - Love and Freedom - and released it to iTunes on Feb. 14. He's also formed a band with lead guitarist and co-writer Ryan Wagner, bassist Ryan Martin and drummer Brian Nolan. Check out the video above from ReverbNation when Dakota visited its headquarters in my hometown of Durham, N.C. in October. The song featured in the video is "Calls Me Home" and is one of the tracks off of the new album.