Hailing from Western New York, Ddendyl Hoyt is the textbook definition of small town girl.
Growing up in a rural area, country music served as the soundtrack of her upbringing. Hoyt, however, broke the stereotype by leaving her town and working as a vocalist in Las Vegas and New York City. It was along this journey that she began to find her sound, giving us the big, compelling voice we hear today.
Hoyt is also no stranger to performing; sharing stages with artists like Hunter Hayes, Scotty McCreery and Justin Moore, she has made a name for herself nationwide. Shifting from performance to recording music, Hoyt dropped her debut single on May 28th.
Her newest single, “Gonna Need My Love” was released just in time for summer. The powerful and sultry blues-rock song is the wing-woman, hype track you didn’t know you needed. Written for Hoyt by Breaking Benjamin’s Keith Wallen, the singer describes her (official) debut as a song that “truly represents” who she is as an artist. Empowering and bold, the lyrics are tailored to a young woman on the rise.
Rock-driven with a pop charm, the song highlights Hoyt’s multi-dimensional voice; her falsetto glides through the pre-chorus, building to her belt in the chorus. With qualities of rock vocalists all over the map, from Janis Joplin to Florence Welch, Hoyt’s voice is fresh and timeless all at once.
As an outspoken LGBTQ+ member, Hoyt is an ambassador for the nonprofit, Free2Luv. The organization provides support for LGBTQ+ youth, and takes a strong stance against bullying. Her allyship has given her the platform to perform at events like PrideFest GLOW OUT!, in her native New York. Last month, she led the pride parade and performed at Jam at the Ridge in Le Roy, NY.
Well-rounded, talented and big-hearted, Hoyt is one to watch out for. Following the release of “Gonna Need My Love,” we were able to chat with Hoyt about the single and her plans for the future.
Growing up in Western New York, what was the music scene like for you, and what kind of influence did it have on you?
As far as live music, there was more than you’d expect for a small rural area. I mostly sang at church, the rodeo, and the county fair, but in the summer there was quite a lot going on. There was a pretty popular music festival nearby called Jam in the Valley, which had huge national acts (as a kid I wasn’t really allowed to go). You could also see national acts at the Erie county or the state fair. Plenty of local venues had music too, and my mom runs the Wyoming County Arts Council that puts on all types of entertainment throughout the year, and there’s local restaurants that have live music.
I listened to everything, and my parents loved all types of music but I enjoyed mainly gospel and country. My vocal teacher took me to my first country concert when I was maybe 12 years old; it was Reba McEntire, and the second she got on stage I knew that’s what I wanted to do for a living. At the time, I was training classically, so I thought my stage would be a little different but a big stage nonetheless.
I see you studied opera as a child. How would you say that’s contributed to creating your vocal sound and overall musical direction?
Honestly, it didn’t really contribute to my writing or current style, but it gave me a great foundation for keeping my voice healthy.
Your newest single, “Gonna Need My Love,” is such a powerhouse of a song. What does the song mean to you?
Who hasn’t had a breakup where you feel like you’ve given everything you had? This song is about taking it back and reversing the damage. When I heard the demo, I thought “what a cool concept for a song!” I think almost everyone can relate to this, and that’s what makes it so great. It instantly takes you to that place between being hurt and mad then saying nope, I’m taking everything I gave emotionally right back because there’s someone else who deserves it. It’s such a badass empowerment song.
What’s different about this song from others you’ve written and/or performed?
Well, to start it’s mainly different because I wasn’t the writer on this one. Keith Wallen (Breaking Benjamin) wrote this for me a while back and it fit like a glove. Also, this song is the gateway for what’s to come. In the past, I’ve tried out a lot of styles and genres, figuring out what’s right. I spent a lot of time in the country world, but my music just kept getting more and more alternative rock. So, this song is a preview of “the new me.”
Was there anything difficult about the recording process for the song?
We had so much fun! If there was anything hard, I don’t remember, other that it not getting released when we originally planned (thanks, Covid). We just had a total blast making the song come to life.
Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP?
I’d like to say absolutely, but I’m not going to say it’s 100 percent that the song could be on an upcoming album or it might stand alone. We haven’t totally decided yet. We just know that there’s more music coming and this is just the start.
Being an LGBTQ+ ally, what did it mean to you to headline Pridefest in Le Roy?
Well, technically I’m not an “ally” because I’m a community member. My wife and I got married a couple years ago, and we are both totally thrilled that I’m headlining my home area’s Pride. It’s awesome. As soon as I came out publicly I said, “now I want to sing at pride” and I’m making that happen!
What’s your favorite part of playing gigs where you grew up?
The people. Maybe I’m just partial, but better people don’t exist, lol. I love being home. I love being in the country; it’s a complete recharge for me. It’s fun to come back to where my dream started and to see the folks who’ve encouraged and supported me for years.
It seems you’ve got a lot on your plate for the rest of 2021. Are there any tour plans in line or show bookings?
We don’t have any tours planned, (though that could change) but we do have quite a lot going on in Las Vegas. Primarily my main residency at Aria Resort and Casino. For everything else, you’ll just have to follow me on social media! It’s too much to share at once!
When you reflect on your career so far, what are one or two pinnacle moments for you as an artist?
I’ve had some really cool things happen to me. I’ve been on “The Voice,” I’ve sung the Anthem for the NFL and the MLB, I’ve even had the opportunity to sing for an ambassador, a senator and the Queen of Jordan all at the same time. But I think the two most memorable moments for me were opening up for Hunter Hayes in Las Vegas (the crowd was unbelievable) and my outdoor hometown show after “The Voice.” Thousands of people came and I had never sung for that many people that were only there to see me. It’s a moment I’ll never forget, no matter how many other huge crowds I sing for.