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Hannah Dasher: A Country Queen & Her Growing Kingdom

July 27, 2023 10:25 am GMT

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I was 13 years old when my Grandaddy returned home after decades in prison. While significant to my young life, it transitioned into something more scandalous a few months later when he became engaged to my beloved MeeMaw. A solid 25 years after their first marriage ended.

The wedding itself was the talk of my small town. I remember my nerves as guests started to enter the chapel - a mix of unease, embarrassment and a slight bit of envy at the bold nature of my kin. Thinking back to the day, I also have crystalline memories of my Momma. She was a country singer in her own right and was asked to perform before the ceremony, gladly taking respite from her regular court of Moose Lodges.

She entered the space in a flowing, satin gown, with a microphone in one hand and the other outstretched to touch those seated in the pews. Her dazzling smile and light jokes brought positive energy to everyone she passed along the way. Once positioned on stage, the music started. Her eyes locked with every guest as she vivaciously delivered each line of ‘Stand By Your Man’ and then quickly softened during the piano intro of ‘The Rose.’ She nailed every soaring, heartfelt note. She was no longer with us in the room.

I looked around at family and friends who were similarly captivated. Even the eyes of my tougher-than-nails MeeMaw and grizzled Grandaddy were filled with joyful tears. I had always believed my Momma to be beautiful and understood that she could sing. But in that moment, I realized that she was a star. A true queen of country music. The kind with a cosmically given sparkle that could effortlessly transform any scandal into a heavenly experience.

This juncture, one of many in my life, is what has always drawn me to country music as an artist, writer and cheerleader of those finding their way through the art form. In my own journey, I’ve been lucky enough to observe many like my Momma. Those with talent that stretches from the stage to planets lightyears away, who are deserving of far reaching success, yet are so often overlooked – or missed altogether - by the industry. There are no current artists more fitting of the above than Hannah Dasher.

There’s a striking moment in a recent interview with Caroline Hobby on the Get Real podcast where the host reacts to Dasher’s entrance into the studio. It describes her in a nutshell. Hobby observes, “You walk in and are an experience. It’s beyond just the music. You are a lifestyle.” Dasher laughs and shares in response that her brand is simply cultivated by bringing forth all the things that make her happy. She goes on to talk freely about love for her body, acceptance of cosmetic procedures and her continued path towards self-discovery.

Yet it's when she talks about her journey through Nashville and country music that we're offered a deeper look at the woman behind the vivacious curls and vintage finds. She doesn’t shy away from the obvious but tenderly acknowledges her lack of radio airplay, coupled with the disconnect within the industry to what she has developed. It would be wholly appropriate for anyone to complain about, especially a female artist. Instead, Dasher - a true strategist - shares her approach of not wasting time behind closed doors but rather seeking opportunities in other spaces that can incrementally help to achieve her ultimate goals.

Experimenting within these spaces is what has set her uniquely apart. In just a few short years, Dasher has amassed a staggering 1.5 million followers on TikTok, for example. While many artists use their platforms to focus on music distribution, Dasher has committed to broadening her horizons and expanding her reach.

This famously started during the pandemic when she began using her eclectic kitchen to host Stand By Your Pan, a slyly entitled TikTok cooking show. With the world stuck at home, Dasher brought lighthearted fun and downhome recipes to her audience, racking up thousands of views along the way.

This tactic has since evolved into a best-in-class platform framework. No longer a singular cooking segment but a full variety show, Dasher now serves as both host and lead actress. Each sketch, outfit and backdrop are brand-appropriate, and all guests are hand-selected to enter her inspired world - most notably fellow social media star Orry Lee (aka Cornbread Cowboi), who serves as her rightful partner in yee-haw crime and sometimes lovelorn co-star.

Each month of content pushes Dasher’s creative instincts further, allowing her to perfect her frames, comedic timing and brand-selling points - a total package primed for small and large screens alike.

Yet even with the bright lights calling, Dasher remains first and foremost a dynamic country musician. She’s honed her craft as a songwriter and vocalist for over a decade by delivering consistent quality over quantity. Her catalog demonstrates a commitment to the painstaking work it takes to create songs that are brand connected, artistically inspired and radio ready. This is most recently evident on her new single ‘That Thing You Like’, on which she displays a consistent sense of humor with a more mature rock leaning sound.

It’s a striking balance of heart, sass and strategy that makes the forthcoming The Other Damn Half an already sizzling must-listen. Further, these new releases demonstrate her continued growth as an artist in comparison to 2021’s The Half Record. A phenomenal debut that exhibited her range with smoky ‘Leave This Bar,’ spunky ‘Left Right,’ and unleashed the star-making magic of ‘You’re Gonna Love Me.’ All of which should have been surefire additions to country radio.

Though beyond deserving of success, perhaps that doesn’t matter to Dasher at this moment in time. She continues to forge ahead, and while radio and the industry continue to miss out, all her labor finds its reward, as evidenced by her recent performance at CMA Fest. The rowdy crowd screamed along to every single line of ‘Cryin’ All the Way to the Bank’ as if their lives depended on it.

Dasher strummed her guitar and looked out into the crowd; an artist, host, actress, influencer and business strategist appreciating all she has built so far. A deserving country queen building her kingdom, one post and song at a time.

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Written by Soda Canter
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