Exclusive Interview by Michael Aaron Gallagher of StayFamous.Net
As one of MTV’s most charismatic hosts, Lenay Dunn is enjoying the new season of her hit show “10 on Top,” which recently welcomed celebrity co-hosts Joe Jonas and Victoria Justice to the set.
In a busy week that included an invitation to the “5 Days of War” movie premiere, an after-party, shopping at Ari, getting her nails done, filming for MTV and preparations for the new season of “10 on Top,” Dunn also managed to fit an interview into her busy schedule – that is, after she ate her pancake breakfast and watched “Degrassi.”
From skydiving and dirt biking to sailing with Zac Efron and co-hosting shows with Ashley Benson, Selena Gomez, Jake T. Austin and Raven Symone, her career has taken off, leading her on exciting adventures from coast to coast.
In fact, she recently hosted the Red Bull Beach Club at the 2011 U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California, where she hung out with surfer Ian Walsh and the other Red Bull athletes.
“Red Bull and MTV get along. I feel like they’re like BFFs,” Dunn said. “It’s cool that I get to be a part of two of the coolest companies ever.”
Photo by Spencer Combs
As an up-and-coming TV personality, she’s no stranger to the red carpet. Although, every now and then, she is mistaken for another famous celebrity, like the time she says Perez Hilton interviewed her and the website mistakenly identified her as Leann Rimes.
“There’s a couple of times when people are talking to me and they think that they’re talking to Leann Rimes, but they totally are not,” Dunn said. “That is one thing that people ask about my show, they’re like, ‘Oh how was your wedding?’ and I’m like, ‘I’m not Leann Rimes.’”
But what you may not know about Lenay (besides the fact that she doesn’t like scary movies and has a cat named Paisley) is that she is also passionate about making music. In fact, music has played an important role throughout her life.
“I’ve played piano since I was in Kindergarten,” Dunn said. “And then I learned the guitar in college.”
At the University of Minnesota in Duluth, she would spend hours in a practice room, where she played guitar and wrote songs.
On July 21, she released her new music video “Daylight,” featuring Jeremy Lardani of the band The Hey Loves. The video, which was directed by Thaler Films was shot both in Nashville and New York City. Lenay convinced the group to allow her to record some of the scenes in the band’s artsy, two-car garage turned studio space, which was decked out with lights and different colored rugs.
“It’s hard to like make a video match a song so well. So that’s what I struggled with,” Dunn said. “I just wanted the video to reflect the song. Sometimes you can see a music video of a song and it makes you love the song even more or hate it. Because I didn’t really like ‘Last Friday Night’ by Katy Perry until I saw the music video and now I love it… So I was terrified that a music video that didn’t reflect the song well would make people not like the song.”
Since its release a few weeks ago, “Daylight” has already garnered more than 33,000 views on YouTube and has received a positive response from her fans. The song, which she co-wrote with the band The Hey Loves talks about the connection that two people share even though they are separated by distance.
“I love the synth-pop feel the producers give my songs. It’s cool to hear them change from an acoustic demo I make, to something someone could bump in a car with lots of bass. I like cranking up bass in cars! I also like it when voices sound like instruments. I think it gives it a cool effect,” Dunn said.
Although the characters never meet up at the end of the music video, Dunn believes that long distance relationships can work.
“I think it’s something that people can relate to,” Dunn said. “Everybody’s probably dealt with distance in one way or another, most people have. But I think it can work in the long run. So this song’s about staying on the phone talking all night with someone you really like and how it can still work.”
So what can fans look forward to this season on “10 on Top?”
“Expect awesome co-hosts and hopefully fun-themed episodes,” Dunn said. And who knows, if Lenay’s music career takes off, she may someday make the countdown herself.
Want to know more about Lenay Dunn? Visit www.lenay.tv and be sure to read the original StayFamous.Net interview with Lenay to learn about how she got her start in TV (click here). You can also download her song “Daylight” on iTunes and on Amazon.com (click here to purchase), add her on Twitter @Lenay13 and become a fan of her on Facebook.
“MTV’s Lenay Dunn releases new music video”
Copyright © 2011 by Michael Aaron Gallagher
Photographs courtesy of Creative Management Entertainment Group
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