Meet the Kollaboration Star 2015 Finalists: Chicago’s Dhaea

Meet Dhaea, winner of this year’s Kollaboration Chicago and one of the six finalists at this weekend’s Kollaboration Star

What is your self-described style and influences?

You would think I’d have a go-to answer for this question after being asked so many times… I would say acoustic singer-songwriter, though I understand this is a pretty vague description… I picked up the guitar when I was into a pretty heavy classic rock stage (particularly AC/DC and Van Halen) in my early teens, though I can’t say that my writing is even remotely influenced by Eddie Van Halen’s style. I do find myself listening to a lot of strong female singer-songwriters, like Regina Spektor, Alanis Morisette, and Alicia Keys among many others.

How did you start playing music and what are your musical dreams?

I used to “write poetry” in my early teens, which transferred into some of my earliest songs when I eventually picked up the guitar. The first time I performed in front of a crowd was at my sister’s wedding reception when I was 19- from then on, I was hooked! Right now I’m just having fun writing and playing around town.

What has participating in Kollaboration meant to you?

It has definitely pushed me to continue to do what I love- writing and performing! I auditioned for Kollaboration on a whim when I was at a point in my life where I had taken a step back from music and had thrown myself into other work. My experience with Kollaboration made me realize that I need to continue to nurture my creative side in order to feel like my best self.


How are you preparing for STAR?

Other than playing over the song I plan on performing, nothing

What do you hope the audience will take away from your performance?

I hope that they will be able to identify with the song’s theme and that they will be able to connect with some of the emotions I was feeling at the time I wrote the song. The song I plan on performing is one of the first I wrote and one of my favorites to play- I wrote it during a time of transition I’m sure most people can relate to.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals that you do to get ready to sing?

For some reason, more often than not, I feel like I always come down with a sore throat right before a performance, so I binge on tea with honey and lemon and cough drops. Maybe it’s just nerves?

Where can people find more music of yours?

I have some videos and recordings posted on my facebook page at . You can also find recordings at

What inspires you to write new music?

I find that I am compelled to write when I’m going through some sort of crisis or change, be it positive or negative (okay, more so negative!), to help me process the situation.


Watch Dhaea perform for the chance to win $10,000 at Kollaboration Star, taking place 11/14/15! Tickets are on sale now at