Singer, songwriter and actress from stage to screen, Diana DeGarmo has released her highly anticipated second studio album GEMINI through Jimmy Buffett’s new music label, Cherry Bomb Records. Recorded in Los Angeles with her longtime pal, Dylan Glatthorn, GEMINI displays a fresh sound for the American sweetheart. It is Big Band Country, combining flavors of western swing, rock, blues, R&B, soul, and more; plus a lush, romantic ballad with Diana DeGarmo’s real-life husband, Ace Young.
“If Dolly Parton and Bette Midler had a love child, she would be named GEMINI,” DeGarmo declares.
Diana DeGarmo’s GEMINI, including the single “Lickety-Split,” a toe tappin’, heart thumpin’ high energy dittie about how sometimes in life, you gotta get going and not stand in your own way is available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital retailers.
As a big “American Idol” fan, I thought this would be a great time to sit down with Diana for this exclusive Hotspots interview:
Were you always a performer or when did it start?
I have been performing as long as I can remember. My mom says I came out of the womb singing and dancing. I was the kid in traffic that would sing to the cars next to us.
You became nationally known in 2004, when you appeared on “American Idol.” Do you remember how that happened?
I went to an audition and stood in line like everybody else. I had already been singing for like 10 years, and I knew I wanted and needed my career to go to the next level. I figured if I got on TV, I could be seen by lots of people and hoped it would jump start my career.
Did the top 12 become close and are you still close? Who are you closest with?
Some did, and some still live in the competition. I am actually closer with people from other seasons, but I am still close with Matt, Amy and Jasmine from my season.
You sing, you have been on TV, in movies and in theater. Is there one you prefer more, and if so why?
I have always just considered myself a performer. Just give me a platform and let me entertain you. Although, I do love being live on stage. That energy is unbeatable! It’s fascinating and wonderful.
You have done many Broadway shows and tours. Do you have a favorite role?
You have to find a way to connect yourself to the character, and through the process I have been shocked on some roles that I really enjoy. For example, Penny in “Hairspray.” One of my other favorites is Lucy in “Jekyll and Hyde.” It hard to pick a favorite as you grow a relationship to each character.
You married Season 5 contestant Ace Young. As a huge “AI” fan, I am dying to know how you guys met, and how did he propose?
Ace and I met in 2010 in the Broadway revival of “Hair.” We were cast as the leads and our director came to us the first day of rehearsal, and told us how the company’s connection was like magic and she needed the two of us to know each other well. She then suggested we hang out as much as possible. We did the show for a few months and created an incredible friendship. Then about a year later the universe kept bringing us together and the friendship evolved into love. We kind of got together and never separated. When he asked me to marry him on the season 11 finale of “AI,” I was totally shocked. However, it was so nice to celebrate with people that have been such a big part of our lives.
What do you do for fun?
Part of fun for me is creating music, but we also love hiking, as we are big nature nerds.
How did your new Album, GEMINI, come about, and how did you pick the name?
Gemini came about around three years ago. I hadn’t recorded in awhile. I was like artistically stagnant, and forcing creativity creates nothing good, so I took a break. All of a sudden I had this vision after a pride event in New York after seeing a bunch of Drag Queens performing.
I realized life was so short, and I didn’t want to be boxed into what the world thought I should sing. So I made the record I wanted to, and I hope my fans love it and see how much fun I had. I call the record Big Band Country. Because I am a live performer, we wanted the record to feel like you brought the show home with you.
Dylan Glatthorn is a musical chameleon and he helped me. We got together for six sessions and we wrote…it was like lightening in a bottle. We wrote 14 of the 16 songs in those sessions. I feel so lucky that Dylan got to show how talented he is with this record.
My precious hubby produced the record and he was able to help me with all my ideas and frame the picture.
I am a Gemini and that’s where the name came from.
How was it to record a romantic song with your hubby?
We wrote the song seven years ago, with no intentions of recording it. It was shortly before our wedding and we had our first dance song picked out already. However, after we wrote this song we turned to each other and realized that it was our first dance song. We have held on to this song this long, and when we needed one more song for this album, we realized it was the perfect song to put on this record.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m hoping to take Gemini out on the road, but it is very stressful because we are self producing everything. I love that I am finally getting the chance to do things my way. In addition, for the first time, Ace and I are doing a Cabaret together.
For more information on Diana or to purchase her Vinyl of Gemini, please go to: DianaDegarmo.com. Every vinyl purchased comes with a digital download. Diana DeGarmo’s GEMINI is also available on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms Na2la took pics.