B I O G R A P H Y
Dave Herrera has worked as a commercial broker at Colliers International for the past several years, where he is required to take a personality test. He has also taken that same test at home with family and friends, and consistently, the test identifies him as a “defender.” By textbook definition, Herrera is observant and steadfast, yet warm and unassuming, paying careful attention to the intricate details of life. "It's an introvert in a way. You analyze rooms and try to figure out what environment you're in,” Herrera elaborates. The personality type suits the singer, songwriter and real estate agent who notes that he’s often awe-inspired by his surroundings. "I'm thinking at a 30,000-foot level,” he observes. “That's how I look at the world."
Raised in Sacramento, Calif. by a single mother and his grandparents, high school was a formative season in Herrera’s life. It’s when he found the rundown, ‘69 Chevrolet Chevelle that would become his first car, spending endless hours pouring over the antique vehicle that was both a necessity and a cherished heirloom. "I’d work on my car in the morning to get to school. I'd basically go with grease under my nails smelling like exhaust," he recalls. "I put my heart and soul into the car. It's something that I didn't want to ever let go of; it's a part of my life. It's really all I had at the time.”
It’s also when he began dipping his toes into music, writing songs and playing guitar with his friends, calling the craft “a real passion.” Viewing music more as a hobby than a profession at the time, it wasn’t until his grandfather’s health began to deteriorate before his passing - a man he thought of as a father figure - that is when Herrera’s mindset about pursuing music professionally started to evolve. "With my music, I've always been private. I'll write it, I'll record it and I'll just sit on it,” he analyzes. "It was a relief, a getaway, to write. To know that you can dump that emotion into the writing and the recording, it helped to fill the void.”
But it wouldn’t be until adulthood that Herrera solidified his desire to be an artist. After attending a real estate and development class at California State University Sacramento, he soon had a growing interest in commercial real estate brokerage, currently working as Executive Vice President at Colliers International. Along the way, music was the invisible element guiding him along, receiving consistent signs that it was part of his destiny. One such sign arose when Herrera met Bret Bair and Eric Rushing, previous owners of Sacramento music venue, Ace of Spades (now owned by LiveNation). Through commercial brokerage, the three businessmen have since teamed up to open multiple live music venues across the city with Bair and Rushing owning the businesses and booking the acts, and Herrera representing them on the real estate side. The positive reinforcement Herrera received after playing some of his songs for Eric, esteemed audio engineer Jeff Balding (who mixed and co-produced the music) and a couple of his own close friends, who also have a sharp ear for music, reassured that he has a gift worth sharing.
Herrera cites Guns & Roses, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson among his influences, attributing the iconic rock band for bringing out his “fun and upbeat side” while the country legends taught him how to write about life in a meaningful way. Lyrically, he draws from a versatile well of inspiration when crafting his songs. There’s “My First ’69,” his love letter to the beloved vehicle he still owns to this day; “Sittin’ on the Hollywood Sign” that tells the story of a couple ending the night sitting on the hillside with the iconic sign as city life carries on below - a true testament to enjoy the simple things in life as it goes on, the sign standing as a symbol like that of a special person who is always looking over you; and “Visiting Nashville” chronicling his “overwhelming” first trip to the Music City with his wife for their anniversary where he was awestruck by the elite musicianship.
Herrera has a way of writing thought-provoking material, also demonstrated by such songs as “Shades,” a tale about a woman who catches a man’s eye with her dark sunglasses that aren’t used to block the sun, but as a barrier to the outside world. But once she pulls up the shades, one realizes there’s something deeper. Then there’s the contemplative “Aging Man,” inspired by a real-life moment shared with his young son Weston, the singer reflecting on the cycle of life in a song he calls a “celebration” of inevitable aging. “When I wrote these songs, I didn't think of people listening to them. I wrote because how I felt with things that I've done in life,” he expresses. “Since I've been able to look back at life, I start to understand it more now and it helps me write. My life experiences transpired onto paper and then from paper into the studio, from the studio into music.”
As the songs continue to flow from his heart and into the world, Herrera’s artistry ties back into his core identity as a defender. A distinct nature of the personality type is the desire to do good unto others, Herrera embracing that altruism whole-heartedly with how he hopes to use his growing platform as an artist. "If something did go well, I'd probably try to figure out how can I be a positive influence on a large group of people, especially kids that grew up in a single family. I like to see other people have enjoyment,” he assures. “That's what the defender personality is.”