Thursday, August 13, 2020
Singing for Tips Through COVID
Thursday, July 30, 2020


Her signature song is “My Mom’s a Hippie, My Dad’s a Marine.” And she’s written a song about Idaho—something that’s rare given the many country and folk songs written about Montana, Colorado and Texas.

Daisy Sellas is a singer/songwriter who recently moved to Sun Valley with her family from San Juan Capistrano, Calif., where she grew up on a cattle ranch four miles from the Pacific Ocean.

And with the music scene greatly silenced by the COVID pandemic, she’s been making her way around town playing for tips at places like Whiskey Jacques and Ketchum Town Square.

“The music industry was already teetering before COVID came along, and I miss getting to attend big concerts,” she said. “But the biggest challenge for me is not being in Nashville where I’m studying songwriting and creative writing at Belmont University.

“On the other hand, it means I get to spend five months here,” she said. “I’ve learned to use technology, doing livestreams during COVID. And the pandemic has given me time to write as I reflect on myself and the times we’re living in.”

Sellas cut her teeth on the Patsy Cline and other country music stars her parents played--that’s why you’ll hear an occasional Johnny Cash or Taylor Swift in her repertoire, as well as a little “Me and Bobby McGee.”

But she also typically inserts a Rolling Stones song in every show.

“They have this way with lyrics and music coming together that captures feelings and emotions so beautifully,” she said.

She started playing guitar and writing songs when she was 9, and she’s written some 150 songs so far.

“I thought it would be a good way to express my feelings,” she said.

Among her songs, the heretofore mentioned, very soulful song, “My Mom’s a Hippie, My Dad’s a Marine:”

“I use my hands to weed the garden of my soul, My nails get dirty but it’s worth it when I feel whole,

“I wear scarves and bellbottom jeans and carry a pocket knife. I walk the straight and narrow, but only when it feels right.

Some folks like making small talk, I’ve never been able to say,

Some folks’ minds are like tunnels, but mine is an open highway,

And I know how to keep my feet on the ground, and I know how to dream,

Cause my momma’s a hippie, and my dad’s a marine!”

She wrote “Idaho” to honor the place where her family has long spent summers and winters, moving here in the early days of the pandemic.

“Sawtooths in the background, green grass below, And I think to myself I’m finally home, oh, I can’t wait to get back to Idaho!”

“In winter, of course, it’s all about skiing. In summer lots of fun hikes, fishing, biking, and all the restaurants. It’s God’s country,” she said.

While she started out to be a songwriter, Sellas soon learned that she loved performing just as much.

“I love playing songs that people recognize and enjoy and I love playing my own songs and hearing people say, ‘I really love that song,’ ” she said. “When I’m up there focusing on my music and people are stoked, there’s no better feeling.”

Right now, Sellas is playing solo out of necessity because of COVID.

Back in Nashville she plays in Women with Strings, a folk-rock trio featuring herself and two Belmont University classmates on guitar and fiddles.

“Nashville is one of the kindest towns as far as business—there’s competition but there’s collaboration, as well,” she said.

Sellas introduced a new single, “Skinny Means,” in mid-June. And she will break out “Smoke Break,” which she wrote about a guy in Nashville who’s out in the alley on smoke break, on Aug. 7.

“Studying songwriting at college has taught me that a good song is not always a hit and that hit songs are not always good songs,” she said. “If I write a really good song that never makes it on the charts, I’m happy with it.

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