Singer, songwriter, and dance music artist, Dena Carman is as all American as apple pie and a true native Floridian. Dena, raised as a military kid, has traveled the world, living as far as Japan. But like a shining comet she has come full circle back to the Sunshine State, and now calls Miami, Florida home. Dena Carman has put her roots in Miami, relishing in the fact that South Florida is where dance music thrives in the United States.
As an artistic young girl, completely in charge of all aspects of her own creative development, she realized a career in the entertainment industry would give her the ability to be her own boss, call all the shots, and travel while making and performing the music she had fallen in love with as a small girl. With dance music in mind, she began working with an electronic rock band, Empire .44 in Atlanta, GA to hone her songwriting skills and cut her first demo with their producer. With demo in hand, it was goodbye Atlanta and her southern accent, hello Los Angeles, City of Angels!
Shortly after her move to LA, Dena was at the right place at the right time (the hair salon!) and met Grammy Award nominee producer, Mike Burns. This was truly a Hollywood story. Together they created 7 of 12 tracks on the album, “Transcendence”. The album’s title has very personal meaning to Dena, describing her journey to become a freer, fulfilled, and enlightened being. It’s also reminiscent of the life of a butterfly (guess what and where her tattoo is?) Dena says, “Meeting and working with Mike Burns was the pivotal point for me, where it began to look like there was more than a possibility of a career in music coming to life.”
The first track they released, “Run Away With You”, is full Euro pop, and translated easily into the anime-esque music video; which enjoyed world wide rotation on Promo Only DVDs, Club Nation, Rock America, and A3 Nightlife TV. It was voted the #10 hottest video by pay-per-call viewers of BPM TV Canada, even topping Gwen Stefani’s video, “If I Were a Rich Girl”. The success of “Run Away With You” led to more production from the two.
Mike and Dena created an earlier release of “My Way”, which has been updated and is currently on the new album. Originally the deep tribal house or tropical house track was pressed to white label on vinyl for Winter Music Conference, just to shop it to DJ’s, get feedback. It wound up hot on nightclub rotation by various DJs in Atlanta, Los Vegas, Los Angeles, and Miami. DJ Keri has remixed “My Way” on her album, “Can You Feel It?”. The album release by Toucan Cove Entertainment sold out in its first week at Atlanta’s Tower Records. “My Way” also appeared as the opening credits song of “Ski Racing,” produced by Abercrombie & Fitch TV.
Close friends DJ Keri and Dena share the spotlight on the “Femme Fatales” compilation, also out under the Toucan Cove label, and also produced by Mike Burns. “Femme Fatales” serves as a tribute to the leading ladies and top female vocalists in dance music. Dena’s contribution to the album, “Beautiful Liar” is an explosive rock house track that she did with DJ and producer, Dex Dubious in Washington, DC for D’Cide Records. “Beautiful Liar” wound up on Music Choice TV Radio, XM Radio, and charted #5 by voting viewers in Tampa, FL.
Dena also hosted a documentary on the Winter Music Conference called “Peace, Love, and Beats”, also directed by Mike Burns and riddled with many dance music celebrities. Dena led the camera crew all through South Beach, guiding the viewer to some of the most famous beaches, streets, venues, and on the red carpet of the “Dance Star Music Awards”; where she interviewed BT, Dave Navaro, and discussed how everyone felt to be partying in Miami the day America declared war on Iraq. Through this well crafted, brightly textured film, you can get a unique insight into the dance music industry and the “magic” of WMC through provocative interviews, naughty behind the scenes footage and Dena in a bikini, of course.
Over the course of Dena’s few years in Miami she has been in commercials, hosted shows, hosted at nightclubs, has been the dancing video model for many Miami nightclub venues, and most importantly, she partnered up with the now 16 year old Miami based dance production company, Hot Jam Entertainment Company, to provide show productions, entertainment, costumes, and dancers (including herself) to many nightclubs, corporate events, charity events, and private mansion parties throughout South Florida and internationally. Through this dance entertainment production company she has realized her childhood dream of performing on stage with sets, costumes, and professionally trained dancers and cirque acts. Together with her best friend, team mate, and CEO of Hot Jam Entertainment Company, Pamela Canellas, they are currently working on a large show production for festivals world wide. Dena works with the producers to create the music, assists Pamela in the designs for the costumes, choosing the entertainers, writing the scripts, managing the staff, and assists as the show director and producer.
Over the course of the making of “Transcendence” Dena continued to travel back and forth to LA from Miami to record and work with Mike Burns and DJ Mark Lewis, who had become the band Interstate and signed with Armin Van Buuren’s label, Armada. Dena fronted Interstate with the very industrial sounding track, “Dear Love Machine,” performing live at the Empire Ballroom in Vegas for the Vegas Music Experience, opening up for Donald Glaude. “Dear Love Machine” has been spun by Armin Van Buuren, Markus Shultz, and Paul Oakenfold. Currently, the track has been refreshed and the video has just been produced by Dena and Ivan Rodriguez from Make Em Rave Productions. It’s set for re-release WMC 2011.
Most recently, Dena has done a new track with Delta S out of Camarillo, CA. Armin Van Buuren had requested that Dena do a trance track and send him the vocal for his new album. With so much going on in her life, nightclub show production wise, it took quite a while to find just the right producer for the job, as Mike had become too busy with his newest business venture A&R Select. Dena found Delta S because he had written a beautiful review of “Dear Love Machine” online, comparing Dena to the female Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, capturing Dena’s attention and heart. She made the journey back cross country to work with this very talented, dark industrial- meets break beat- meets trance producer and DJ. During the time that it took to make the high energy trance track, “Love Eternally,” Delta S became her very good friend, supporting her through a very emotional and enlightening life experience; which gave way to the spiritual overtone in the lyrics. But true to Dena’s style, the track represents her dual personality. She says, “It’s about being lost inside, finding the absolute One who can lift you up… force you with kindness, and then push you to your knees.” Now that’s love and enlightenment!