Daves Highway is a sibling country band featuring Delaney, Erika, and Zach Daves. Originally from Mississippi, the trio is on an upward trajectory in country music. Their three-part harmonies are exceptional, and their music is relatable. I enjoyed sitting down with the Daves and learning about their background, music, and who they are away from the music. Please keep reading to learn more about Delaney, Erika, and Zach.
The Beginning of Daves Highway
You might think Delaney, Erika, and Zach started singing together as toddlers, but that’s not exactly how it happened. So how did they get their start? Zach, the middle child, said, “It wasn’t on purpose, and many different stories exist. But I think the official story is Delaney was singing the national anthem at a pep rally in middle school. While practicing, for some reason, she was practicing in front of the whole family, and Erika started singing harmony with her. Our parents wanted to be musicians, but they never pursued it. However, they are both very talented.” Erika added, “Our mom could not hear harmony, and she always talked about people who could hear harmony as some special fairy or something.” Zach continued, “So imagine the shock when Erika started singing harmony with Delaney.”
The beautiful three-part harmony you hear now from Daves Highway didn’t start that way. Zach added, “It took a little longer for me. When we started singing together, I would sing the same octave as Delaney. But my ear developed, and we began those three-part harmonies. Erika continued, “We learned triads on the piano.” She laughingly said, “That was a terrible time in our lives.” Zach added, “We began singing together in 2007, and 2009 we started the band. We were not officially Daves Highway yet, but we began traveling and singing at churches.”
From Singing for Joy to a Career Choice
Music was always a part of the Daves’ life growing up, but eventually, it would become a career pursuit. Delaney said, “When we were little, our dad was always in front of us with a video camera asking us to sing a song.” Then Zach added, “We were always singing, but it wasn’t serious. For example, I sang the national anthem over the intercom in kindergarten because they asked me to. Erika continued, “Everyone knew we would be singers.” Of the three siblings, Delaney had designs on a music career. Delaney, the oldest, said, “I wanted to be a singer, and I sang into my karaoke machine every day. But Erika said, “It just happened for Zach and me.”
While it may not have been their plan, the Daves’ talent was undeniable. Zach said, “The official story is that while we were on a family vacation at Disney World, we posted a video of us singing Chris Tomlin’s “Jesus Messiah.” We had been singing in the car on the way back from church, and Dad wanted to make a video when we got home. We didn’t think anything else about it because we were trying to get Dad off the computer so we could ride Space Mountain. But Chris Tomlin saw the video and shared it on his blog, saying if we were ever close, he would ask us to sing with him. Before this, we had our hometown fans on Facebook, but by the time we got home from our trip, we had 15,000 followers, and it continued to grow from there.
Delaney, Erika, and Zach Choose Music
Sometimes when children show talent in something, parents can push them too hard. But for Daves Highway, that wasn’t the case. The youngest, Erika, said, “Our parents encouraged us, but it was healthy and supportive encouragement. It might be difficult to believe, but I was shy as a kid.” For those of us who have met Erika, it certainly is. But she added, “I had stage fright and didn’t want to sing. So one year, we entered the Mississippi state fair talent competition together. Still, my parents also entered me separately, which was weird. I was crying off-stage, afraid to go up. But I ended up singing a song acapella by myself, and I won. So our parents pushed us, but we had a choice.”
Before music, the Daves had other interests too. Delaney said, “I was a cheerleader, and Zach played every sport he could.” Zach quipped, “Clearly, that worked out well for me.” Then Delaney continued, “Our parents said, do you want to do cheerleading or music? Because if you pursue music as a career, you don’t have time for both. So, we chose music. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. There is nothing else I am passionate about. So, when we went to college, we considered studying other things as a backup plan. But we ended up studying music. So, this is it for us!” Once you hear them sing, you’re sure to agree Daves Highway made a good choice.
Songwriting with Daves Highway
When we started talking about their songwriting, I got honesty and levity from Daves Highway. Erika said, “I’ve been writing since I was little. At six years old, I wrote horrible songs and have continued until now.” At this point in the interview, I took an opportunity to poke fun at Erika by saying, you have continued writing horrible songs? The four of us had a good laugh, but while she has continued writing, she is no longer writing terrible songs. Erika continued, “Songwriting has always been part of my DNA. I had to do it, and I am passionate about it. While Nashville is a co-writing town, Erika Daves most enjoys writing alone.
On the other hand, Delaney and Zach prefer co-writing. Zach explained, “Songwriting doesn’t come as easy for me as it does, Erika. So I write when we are all together, but never alone. As for Delaney, she said, “I remember sitting in 7th or 8th grade writing little songs about boys I liked or whatever was going through my mind at the time. But I never put any of it to music, so they were more like poems. So now, I don’t write much by myself. I don’t enjoy my thoughts that much.” I imagine as you read that last sentence, you may have questions. Everything is okay. Delaney was laughing when she said that.
Daves Highway jokingly will tell you their music focuses on Erika’s love life. Erika explained, “It’s really bad, though. I am currently single, and I am good with that. But I have this tattoo on my arm for one of our songs. It says “no room,” and it’s in a heart. People are going to think I am psycho. Our songs expose the crazier parts of my brain, but I promise I don’t act that way.
Daves Highway is Catching People’s Ears
Daves Highway debuted music in 2021, two songs penned by Hannah Ellis, Josh Kerr, and Natalie Hemby. For those unfamiliar, that’s a stellar group of songwriters. So I wondered how they got those songs. At first, Erika laughed and said, “Honestly? I don’t even know.” But Zach explained, “Good Company Entertainment manages us, and they also manage Jake Owen. So they were looking for songs, and Jake found “Why Do We Need Em’?” He said this song is a hit, and you must listen.” Erika added, “I remember hearing “Hate that You Hate Me,” while riding in the car. I had a bad attitude about it because I wanted to do my songs. But when I heard the song, I said we must record it.”
Daves Highway has also caught the attention of national radio host Bobby Bones. Zach said, “Bobby Bones has been so supportive of us. First, he played “Why Do We Need Em” on the radio, and that would have been enough. But he invited us to come on the radio show too. We have also been guests on his podcast. Then in February, Bobby asked us to play his Million Dollar Show at the Ryman Auditorium.”
Daves Highway at The Ryman
Two days after Daves Highway debuted at the Ryman, they were gracious enough to play Undiscovered Nashville’s Pre-famous showcase in the Clubhouse at Sonny’s Nashville. While our showcase seems insignificant compared to the Ryman, both were unique experiences for Daves Highway.
Playing the stage at the Ryman Auditorium is a lifelong dream for anyone in country music. Daves Highway talked about the experience. Zach said, “It was unbelievable to walk out on that stage during soundcheck, standing behind a microphone in a venue you have dreamed of playing since we were kids. Not only were we able to play at the Ryman, but the show was raising money for St. Jude, which made it even more special to be part of that show. Delaney added, “I remember the feeling and singing during soundcheck, but the actual performance was somewhat of a blur. I remember being backstage about to walk on, but only a little after.
Two days later, Daves Highway was on our small stage in the Clubhouse at Sonny’s. One thing I appreciate about Erika, Delaney, and Zach is how humble they are. For example, Erika said, I know you were telling us your stage at Sonny’s, doesn’t compare to the Ryman, but we had so much fun playing your show. Sitting, talking, and hanging out with everyone while we played was so much fun. It was two days after the Ryman show, but it was one of the best things we have done in a while.”
Daves Highway to Release “First Rodeo,” the Album, on May 19th
The album will feature eight songs consisting of five previously released singles and three new songs. “First Rodeo,” the title track, came out on April 24th. Daves Highway wrote the song with Lydia Vaughn. Delaney said, “Going into the write, we all had recently returned to relationships with exes. Zach’s worked out well, but Erika’s was, in her words, “a flaming disaster.” But mine, we aren’t going to talk about that.” Zach added, “The song is about being comfortable returning to something you had before. The lyric is, “This ain’t our first rodeo. We’ve been down this road before. You have a lasso kind of love; I can’t get enough. So we felt it was a relatable topic.”
Daves Highway is undoubtedly excited about the album. Zach said, “I am excited about the musical aspect of the new songs. I was able to play guitar on them. We wrote five of the eight songs, and Erika solo wrote most of those. ” Erika added, “The songs coming out are truly special to me. “No Room” is already out, but it was the first song we released in which I was the sole writer.” We are in for a treat if the new songs are as good as those previously released.
Who is Daves Highway outside of the music?
Is what you see what you get with Daves Highway? My conclusion is yes. But there are things you may not know about the trio. For example, Zach said, “Most people wouldn’t know Delaney has 152 pairs of boots.” Erika laughingly said, “I feel like you can look at Delaney and say, yep, she has lots of boots.”
Do they share a love of shoes? Possibly. Zach said, “We all have things outside of music we enjoy. Delaney makes her own clothes or modifies stuff she buys. I like cooking, and not just putting a pizza in the oven, but making things from scratch. Is it good? I don’t know, but it’s good for me. I also enjoy watching Gordon Ramsay shows and have a large collection of Jordan Ones.” Erika continued, “I probably have a large shoe collection too, but I don’t want to discuss that. I’d rather talk about my plants because I have so many; it’s ridiculous. I am a plant and dog mom.
New to Daves Highway?
So for those new to Daves Highway, here are some things they want you to know. First, Zach said, “We are family, which means a lot to us. It’s so important that it permeates into every part of our lives. We live together, and while we have different jobs to help pay the bills, our goal is to make music together. Our goal is to shine light in places and bring encouragement to people. We want to people to feel understood.” Erika said, “I want to write songs that affect people’s lives.”
In over four years of interviewing the rising talent in Nashville, this interview was one of my favorites. I had so much fun talking with Daves Highway. Delaney said, “We enjoy each other’s company, and it’s not just for show.” It was apparent to me that what Delaney said was true.
It’s not a matter of if they will break out but when. Daves Highway is on an upward trajectory because people will be instant fans when they hear their three-part harmonies. You will walk away knowing you witnessed something special when you see them perform live. So, do yourself a favor, listen to the album, and see them live if they come to your town.
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