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Dana Nyson is a musician, singer/songwriter, artist, and graphic designer residing in Grand Rapids, MI.

photograph by August Nyson 

What does it look like when someone finally admits to their true passion, but they aren’t living it? For Dana, it started in California in 1985 with a graphic design course that rekindled an interest lost after dropping out of art school in Michigan four years prior. Here was a practical way to earn a living yet still explore his creative talents. Fast forward to 2010 when a gnawing from deep within forced Dana to finally admit to himself, that for the majority of his life, crippling performance anxiety denied him his true passion—creating and performing his own music.


In 2014, with the support of his music mentor and family, Dana released the six-song E.P. “So Far” under the moniker His Name is Dana. With this freshman endeavor, Dana created a collection of sophisticated indie-pop melodies with gritty, soul-searching grooves..


The E.P., and Dana’s story, garnered the attention of Michigan Public Radio's Stateside contributor Mercedes Mejia. The interview emphasized his story of trying to push past his life-long crippling fear of performing in front of others and proving we are never too old to pursue our passions. In an interview with Brent Ashcroft, a reporter for Grand Rapids television station WZZM, his song “Lay Here Long for You” was highlighted for its touching homage to his parent’s love during his father’s last days in Hospice care. A successful show opening up for Vox Vidorra at the Pyramid Scheme followed in 2015.

For the next eight years, while juggling life’s daily demands and battling his seemingly indissoluble fears, Dana continued to write and record music. Life, aging, and a forceful nudge onto the bumpy path of therapy and self-discovery has culminated in his soon-to-be-released (November 30, 2022), self-produced, debut album “openings”. Here, Dana dives further into songs wrestled from the human condition by weaving rich audio tapestries of organic instruments, bathed in distorted chords and electronic textures. “openings” reflects the universal journey of observing and questioning, fighting, then choosing to surrender to the necessary hard work of connecting to self and others.   


"openings" is an ambitious work combining Dana’s love of art, music, and video—ten songs, ten works of art, and ten videos. A closeted life’s passion finally being realized.

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