After The Voice

DaNica Shirey prepares for her second York County homecoming show


DaNica Shirey with her coach on Season 7 of The Voice, Pharrell Williams.

DaNica Shirey with her coach on Season 7 of The Voice, Pharrell Williams.

When DaNica Shirey performed a homecoming concert in front of a packed house at the Pullo Center in early December, she only had time to sing short snippets of four songs she covered on The Voice.

After all, Season 7 of NBC’s hit show hadn’t ended. She had to rush back to L.A. She was still chasing a wild card spot and preparing for the season finale.

Friday night, DaNica will return to the same Pullo Center stage for her first show since The Voice. And, this time, fans will get to hear a lot more music from the 25-year-old who became the first York County contestant to land a spot on the show.

Of course, she’ll perform some of her now signature covers. But the set list of about 18 songs will also include a couple of longtime favorites she didn’t get to sing on The Voice and several throwback numbers — “really, fun, funky older soulful stuff” is the way she describes them.

“The band that’s playing for me that night — (Columbia-based) Shrimpboat — that’s kind of their style and the stuff they already play. That’s their groove, their thing. I thought it would be really cool to go with that.”

Since leaving the show, DaNica says she’s also been working on original music. She won’t have any ready for Friday’s concert, but hopes to by the next time she plays live.

“I want to get in the studio so I can have my own original stuff,” the Yorker says. “I don’t want to go back to square one again where I perform shows and just sing covers. I want to get away from that. I want to build myself as an artist.

“I’m seeing how much I really, really like a bluesier style of soulful, R&B music,” she adds. “That’s the kind of stuff we’ve been practicing. It’s almost like the music ZZ Ward does. She’s soulful, but she has that bluesy thing going on.”

For now, recording will have to wait. Despite some people’s perceptions that she’s “rich and famous now,” DaNica says that’s not quite the case. Well, at least the “rich” part.

As for being famous, she does have nearly 12,000 Facebook fans, compared to about 2,400 when the live shows began on The Voice last fall. Not to mention nearly 25,000 Twitter followers. All the result of finishing in the Top 8 as a member of Team Pharrell Williams.

“Before the show, I didn’t even have a Twitter,” she confesses.

And, yes, that all means she sometimes gets recognized when she’s out and about the York area.

“The cutest are the little kids,” DaNica says. “There was a little girl in the grocery store last night (Saturday) who was like, ‘Mom, is that her?’ I’ve definitely had people ask for pictures and stuff. It’s cool.”

She even visited a group of fifth-graders at Spring Grove Intermediate School a couple of weeks ago, taking time to pose for photos and sign autographs for the students.

DaNica’s also been spending a lot of quality time with her own 4-year-old daughter, Aslynn. In fact, there might be another aspiring singer in the family.

“I got her a karaoke machine for Christmas, and she loves it,” DaNica says. “I also got her a karaoke CD from the movie ‘Frozen.’ But she likes the actual songs that are on the radio. She’s like, ‘I don’t want to sing these kids’ songs. I want the real songs.'”

Aslynn’s favorites among the tunes Mom sang on The Voice: “Halo,” “Big White Room” and “Creep.”

DaNica Shirey talks to the fans outside her first homecoming show in December. (Bill Kalina Photo)

DaNica Shirey talks to the fans outside her first homecoming show in December. (Bill Kalina Photo)

So far, DaNica has one other singing engagement planned. She’ll be singing the national anthem before York Mayor Kim Bracey’s State of the City address on April 23.

She says the mayor’s office reached out to see if she’d be interested in performing. Those are the type of invites she didn’t get pre-Voice.

“I think the biggest benefit (of being on the show) is just getting my name out there,” DaNica says. “People finally know who I am. It’s very hard for me, living in a small town like York, Pennsylvania — the world would never hear who I am otherwise. It’s amazing for me, because I can take everything from that learning experience and move forward.

“Now it can be so much easier for me to get gigs and find places to perform and find bands that want to work with me and to get in a studio. And it’s also brought me the opportunity to possibly work with Pharrell in the future.”

Tickets are still available for Friday’s 7:30 p.m. show. For ticket information, call 505-8900 or go here.

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