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Interview with Dayna Steele, Author of Rock to the Top

Posted in Future Legends, Interviews | No Comments »

This week heralds the unearthing of last year’s lost indie music reviews, which will culminate with a BRAND NEW interview on success mindset from indie music mogul Derek Sivers. Enjoy!

Dayna Steele, author of Rock to the Top

The Rock Star Life Lessons Interview with Dayna Steele, Author of Rock to the Top
by Carla Lynne Hall

Rock Star Life Lessons: How has your marketing yourself and your career changed in the last 5 years?
Dayna Steele: The good side is there are many more avenues. The bad side is there are many more avenues and everyone is doing it!

RSLL: In your book, Rock to the Top, you write about musicians like Gene Simmons, Carlos Santana, and Jon Bon Jovi, who have “an entrepreneurial fire”. Is it important for musicians today to think of themselves as entrepreneurs? Why or why not?
DS: Anyone in any business has to think of themselves as an entrepreneur if they want to succeed. Competition is fierce in any business and you won’t succeed unless you do treat any career like a business. Everyone has to market, network, brand, etc.

RSLL: For your book, Gene Simmons wrote a glowing foreword, which also gives the reader an inkling of the drive that it takes to lead KISS, also known as “The Greatest Band in the World”. How did you get him to give up the goods?
DS: I asked for three months. It was either going to be a “yes” or a restraining order. I finally just laid it on the line, this is what I want and this is why you should do it for me. You have to let people know what you want and why they should give it to you. No one reads minds…except maybe your mother.

RSLL: After you left radio, you created an successful online business, The Space Store, that you later sold to a NASA aerospace contractor. What online marketing/promotion tips did you learn that a musician can use?
DS: Keep your website updated weekly if not daily and communicate with your customers/fans. Have a newsletter signup, let them know when there is a new product, an appearance, free stuff. They love free stuff….

RSLL: I also hear that you’re an AC/DC fan. What do you think of their decision to only sell physical CDs (no MP3s) of their new CD release, Black Ice via Wal-Mart and
DS: Brilliant. Hey also have the money to begin with to take such a daring stand. They are a very successful business. They know their fans, they did their research. Very smart. And still adore Brian….

RSLL: What is one action a musician can take to build their music business?
DS: Network like crazy – it’s still who you know more than what you know…!

RSLL: If you were starting all over today as a musician, what would you focus on?
DS: Getting my music online everywhere I could, doing everything I could to get that one great song to “go viral.” And make sure you have it all backup with a website, blog, newsletter, quality product, etc. Get organized and run your business!


For years, Dayna was one of the top female rock radio personalities in the USA. During her career and reign as Houston’s “First Lady of Radio,” she was named one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts by Talkers Magazine and nominated as Local Radio Personality of the Year by Billboard Magazine.

After leaving radio, Dayna created The Space Store , the world’s largest space related e-commerce venture which she sold to a NASA aerospace contractor. She then created Smart Girls Rock, a product line to encourage girls to make “smart the new cool” or “geek the new chic.” Dayna also founded Operation National Anthem, a series of free videos of U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq offered to venues throughout the country to play prior to the singing of our national anthem. For that, Reader’s Digest named Dayna one of the “35 People Who Inspire Us” in the May 2008 issue.

Dayna Steele is the author of Rock to the Top: What I Learned about Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars with a foreword by KISS superstar Gene Simmons. Dayna captivates audiences across the country with her stories and sage advice learned from the world’s greatest rock stars. From students to a national sales force to corporate business gatherings, Dayna Steele rocks her audience through the four essential principles for achieving rock star status and building a stage for success.