The Grand Ole Opry brings country music legends like Bill Anderson and Jimmy Dickens, today’s superstars like Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton, and up-and-coming artists together on one stage creating unforgettable shows every week. Into The Circle introduces the newest Opry performers as they make their Grand Ole Opry debut and step into the circle for the first time.
“It’s a complete honor to be asked to do the Opry. When I found out that I was doing it, I cried. It was one of those things on my bucket list. I’m so excited to stand on that stage and to play with the Opry band. My parents will be there as well celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary. So what a way to celebrate,” Gwen said prior to making her Grand Ole Opry debut.
Performing is nothing new for this North Dakota native. Gwen moved to Nashville and was signed to a record deal in late 2009. It was her EP V.I.P. that truly put her on the map in 2010. After a few years of tireless touring, she decided she’d dedicate herself to music for one more year. It was then that the tables turned.
Gwen made a spontaneous decision to audition for NBC’s The Voice and she ended up on Team Blake Shelton on her national television debut. Her experience also landed her a spot on Blake’s tour.
“Having it all click doesn’t have to happen when you’re 17,” she says. “And if it had, I wouldn’t have been ready for it all. I realized that if I didn’t try everything and really go for it, I might regret it. My time for this to happen is now and I’m embracing it. You don’t have to stop dreaming.”
Gwen has worked hard in pursuit of her dreams and now that they’re in sight she has no intention of stopping.
Gwen played two songs during her debut, one being her new single “Met Him In A Motel Room.” It’s a song with a surprising theme- that people can find God anywhere and usually do in places they’re least expecting. It’s a tune that is fresh and instantly memorable.
“I’m excited and nervous,” Gwen said, described her feelings a few days prior to her debut Opry performance. “But it’s a good nervous. I can’t wait to get there and I can’t wait to meet Little Jimmy Dickens. It’s nice to see a place for people who started country music and for legends to be able to play and I actually get to get on that stage so I’m honored and hopefully I get asked to come back.”
“Every little girl wants to be a movie star or a rock star, stuff like that,” Jaida Dreyer once said in an interview, “but coming from where I did, it was never tangible. And now that it’s all happening, I guess I just proved myself wrong.”
Reading Jaida’s twitter feed is all you need to get a grasp on what the Opry performance meant to her.
I can’t keep it a secret any longer! I’ll be making my debut on the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, June 23rd! Dreamt of this since I was a kid!
— Jaida Dreyer (@jaidadreyer) June 9, 2012
I moved to Nashville because I love country music. I can’t put into words what it means to be playing on the Grand Ole Opry stage tonight. — Jaida Dreyer (@jaidadreyer) June 23, 2012
Work is not work. instagr.am/p/MPpNs3u0s8/
— Jaida Dreyer (@jaidadreyer) June 25, 2012
While Jaida has always had an interest in music as a child, her constant relocation across the country could really only fuel her first passion, showing horses. Jaida’s resume of world championship wins at horse shows is exemplary of her tireless work ethic. This worth ethic has translated into her forging a path for herself into country music. It wasn’t initially about being an artist for Jaida. With no formal vocal training and no idea what she was doing, she first aspired to simply be a songwriter, especially after learning that you could actually be paid to write songs after being offered several publishing deals.
“I originally had no aspirations to be an artist,” says Jaida. “Not because I didn’t want to be, I was just a realist. I knew that I didn’t sound like the female country singers I was hearing on the radio at the time, and I just figured my place was as a songwriter. I was okay with that. Little did I know that someday people would actually like my voice for the exact reasons that I thought they wouldn’t.”
Jaida puts a youthful twist on songs about her “old soul” experiences with her nothing-but-country voice. “For me, I just love good music and it’s important to me. More than anything, my songs and my music are just real.”
Jaida Dreyer is an artist who works hard but also takes things as they come to her. “In this industry, timing is everything. Patience is a virtue and fortunately it’s somewhat one of mine,” she says. “I’m young, so I’m not in that big of a hurry. I want to be around a long time, so I want to do it right.” Her Opry debut was a milestone for this 21 year old as she performed her new single “Confessions”.
“Performing at the Grand Ole Opry stage is like a right of passage in country music and has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl,” said Jaida. “I feel honored to get to take the stage that so many of my idols and country music favorites have all performed on.”