Photos by: Julio Machado – Jeremy Taylor
Las Vegas, known to most as ‘Sin City’, is far more than a tropical paradise in the desert amassed with over-the-top luxury hotels and an adult playground with a bevy of nightclubs, live production shows, restaurants featuring the best chefs from around the world, and casinos that attract millions of daily visitors from many countries who are drawn in by the allure of possibly striking it rich.
People come to Las Vegas for many reasons; some come to let loose, dress up, feel good, and have fun by breaking free from the everyday hustle and bustle. However, as they rush from one place to the next, they are missing what is possibly the most spectacular attribute about Las Vegas today.
A Mecca for entertainment, Las Vegas has recently become the music capital of the world. The old hot spots for future superstars such as Los Angeles or New York no longer hold the crown. Las Vegas is where the music superstars of yesteryear, today, and tomorrow are all gathered in one place. Every nook and cranny throughout the city is filled with exceptional musicians performing throughout most hours of the day and night.
For example, thousands of people walk through The LINQ Promenade to go from one casino to the next or to take a ride on the High Roller, and there will be a few street musicians playing off to the side. They are not street musicians just trying to make a living on tips; event planners for the casino association hire the performers.
Few visitors don’t take the time to stop and listen to the artists, and what they are unknowingly missing could be the next music superstar. Case in point, as people stroll through the Promenade, there is an attractive young girl in her early 20’s playing a keyboard and is a vocal powerhouse with a sultry and unique voice that reaches inside and plucks the heart strings who is a shining star on the rise. Some people might recognize her; her name is Ddendyl Hoyt, and she was a Season 6 contestant on NBC’s popular reality television show, “The Voice” with Colombian Superstar, Shakira as her coach. During the show, Shakira stated that, Ddendyl has one of the most unique voices to appear on The Voice.
Ddendyl was born in South Carolina, but her desire to become a musician began when she was a child when her family moved to a rural area of Castile, NY where her supportive parents nurtured her. “I’ve always been very musically inclined. I started taking lessons at age 7 with the violin. A little later on, I started the Oboe. I have a pretty extensive background in classical music,” says Ddendyl. She began studying Classical Vocal Music and singing Opera at the age of 9. Ddendyl taught herself how to play the piano so she could compose her own music. The incredibly talented young girl, dedicated and focused on a career in music, obtained a well-deserved scholarship at the prestigious Interlochen Academy of Arts. It was there that she got into other genres of music such as Hip-Hop and Blues, but her roots are with Country music. “I grew up amongst the cows and corn,” she giggles, “Literally!”
While focusing on her studies, she landed a deal with a talent agency in Los Angeles. Ddendyl was only given the weekend to pack and relocate. She stayed in Los Angeles for four years before signing with a small label in New York City. A year later, she realized the label was not a good fit for her because she wanted to change direction and focus on down home blues and country music. She then relocated to DC to pursue a full-time career as a musician playing venues in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City. During that time, Ddendyl was named “2014 Artist of the Year” for the Western New York Area by the Batavia Daily News. She was then contacted by Caesars Entertainment and relocated to Las Vegas. As a resident, she works performing cover songs in lounges while working on original music. Ddendyl, explains, “Moving to Las Vegas was the best financial decision I’ve ever made.”
When asked about her inspirations, with an infectious laugh, Ddendyl responds, “Jonny Cash and Reba McEntire are my all-time inspirations. Unfortunately, I never got to see Johnny Cash perform live, but I know many people that did, and I’m a sponge listening to their stories whether they got to see him live or actually toured with him; I soak up their experiences and live vicariously through them.” Her other influences are Chris Stapleton and Gretchen Wilson which can be heard on the groovy, rockin’ Country Opus, “Kicking and Screaming” from her EP ‘Lonely Heart’. “I’ve tried a lot of different forms of music trying to find who I am in the industry,” she adds, “It’s amazing, they always say you come back home, and that’s very true when it comes to music. I don’t physically live where my parents are, but musically, I’m back home to my roots where I started with country and blues.”
Ddendyl had the privilege of sharing the stage with ACM (Academy of Country Music) New Artist of the Year, Justin Moore in a sold out concert in Traverse City, Michigan. She has also performed with Sebastian Mikael and Grammy Award Nominee, Elle Varner. Ddendyl has also had the pleasure of participating in the Chasing Dreams Tour and the Texas Swing Tour with fellow “Voice” contestant Clarissa Serna. She had the pleasure of sharing the spirit of the Holidays for Macy’s in Washington, DC with the new face of Under Armor and Prima Ballerina, Misty Copeland. Ddendyl is also a featured singer in The Rasta Rock Opera.
Ddendyl is currently working on a new album. Her first single will be released in the late Spring. She hopes that the new album will catapult her career to the next level.
To see Ddendyl perform live, her current Las Vegas residency is The LINQ Promenade every Tuesday and Wednesday. She also performs at the Red Rock Casino every Monday. She can also be caught rotating from the Hard Rock Casino and the M Resort on Fridays.
To stay up on the news regarding Ddendyl, upcoming show dates and her new release, visit her website at www.ddendyl.com