She’s Got Soul
Aspiring songbird Deanna Mussington aims to build on her family’s musical legacy.
When did you first become interested in singing?
When I was 4, I sang in church, but as I grew, I started singing in concerts and realized I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps. My dad said that when I was three, Barney [the purple dinosaur] came to Anguilla. When he got to singing the ‘I Love You’ song, I ran out of my mom’s lap, grabbed the mic, told him to leave me alone and sang the whole song.
Who are some of your musical influences?
My main influence is my dad. Celine Dion, too, because I really love her range, her voice, and her lyrics. I also love Bob Marley.
Entered any competitions?
My first was Center Stage at age 10. I sang ‘Phantom of the Opera’ with my face painted half woman, half man. I won.
At 13 or 14, I entered Digicel’s Rising Stars. It was nerve wracking because there was so much talent. I was terrified and had to give myself a pep talk. But I tried my best, did what I had to do, and won. Together with Deon Gumbs, I also won the St. Martin Interscholastic Idol and Ms. Valentine Pageant in 2009.
Do you write your own music?
I do. Right now, I still need guidance. Dion Gumbs helped me write the first single, “In My Life.” My problem is that when I sit down and start writing, another topic pops into my head, and by the time I get to the end and look at it, it’s a mixture of too many things.
How did you end up singing Soul/R&B?
When I was young, my dad used to sing a lot of old soul songs with me. It was his way of spending time with me. At 12, I tried soca, but stopped. I needed to be able to pour my heart out when I’m singing, and soca didn’t allow that.
What is your favourite part of having a singing career?
I get butterflies before I go on stage, but I try to turn it into energy instead of being scared. But when I get on stage, the feeling that I get has no words.
Have you travelled for singing?
I’ve traveled to Canada, St. Martin, and other parts of the Caribbean. I’m currently working with Ivan Berry, CEO of C2W (Caribbean to the World) music. He gets writers from all over the world to come together to write songs for potential artists, records demos, and sends them to record labels. I’ve done two demos with him. Hopefully, I’ll meet some producers soon.
Ever met any famous singers?
Sure – Kelly Osbourne, Keri Hilson; I also met Alaine and Gramps Morgan who gave me some good advice. They’re people I look up to. I was also in the ‘Sunshine Glow’ video with Jamere Morgan.
What else do you do?
I go to the gym a lot; or go to the beach and read. I love the beach [laughs]. I love surfing the net. I love learning new things from Youtube [laughs].
I also like to surround myself with mature people, especially my grandmother, because I like to learn new things and find inspiration. I love when she sits me down and tells me all her stories, her little quotes… I want to know about the history of my island.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Hopefully, a lot of hit songs [laughs]. I believe that if one thing doesn’t work out, there is always something better. I just want to make my family and my island proud.