aka Level Seven is the singer-songwriter musical duo Chris and Daya-Devi Doolin, located in Central Florida.  Chris, originally from Newton, Mass., grew up in a musical family and with a piano-playing father. He studied piano from a young age, and fell in love with the guitar as a teenager, went on to graduate from Harvard college as an English major, but spent his time learning the guitar licks of Jimi Hendrix, CSNY, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin when he was not studying.  He then learned finger picking and acoustic blues style guitar. Daya, born in Paulsboro, NJ, grew up in Philadelphia, Pa. and graduated from Ryder College.  Her dad played the ukulele in his spare time. She caught the music bug while working as an elementary school teacher, taught herself the guitar and began writing original songs. They met as street musicians in Philadelphia, where they performed as part of an original acoustic funk street act. Their duo continued on when the band broke up at the end of the tourist season and they have continued to perform their original mix of contemporary acoustic music since then. Their first intriguing year together is an amazing story that is recounted in more detail in their book Smile America. Along the way, they have been part of the country band Raindance, the Celtic Rock band the Reels, and the progressive world music band SkyEarth Orchestra, but maintained their identity as a duo.
Chris is a graduate of Audi Recording Technology Institute and Daya studied recording engineering with Grammy-award winning producer John Lowson. They incorporated these skills into their first self-produced CD album, Level Seven, produced in 2005. Their second CD album, Smile America, was produced in conjunction with Grammy-award winning producer Maurice Starr in 2011. That connection has its roots in Boston, where they performed on the same stage as Maurice and Gloria Gaynor and received an award for the song Momma in the 2nd annual Celebrity Awards show. They were members of the musician’s cooperative Good Company Productions and the New England Songwriter’s Association at that time, performing in the prominent Hatch Shell concert with that group. Chris sings vocals, plays guitar, keyboards, synthesizer and works on arrangement for both CDS. Daya contributes vocals, rhythm guitar and works with arrangement to the original songs she co-wrote with Chris. The songs Let Me Explain (Not Too Late)-2011 and Not My Job-2012 from the CD Smile America were top 5 finishers in the prestigious Song of the Year international contest. A new as yet unreleased song, Go Out A Champ, was similarly honored in the 2016 competition. The Doolins have been awarded in other forums for their songwriting and vocal harmonies. They found early on in their street playing days that Chris’ mellow voice complemented Daya’s sweet sultry vocals to create a distinctive balanced harmony which blended with their guitar interplay.
People ask them what kind of music they do. Chris has been known to say we perform folk-rock-roots-Americana-inspirational pop music and their eyes glaze over and they say, What the ? The point is that there are many influences in the range of music like contemporary acoustic musician David Gray to the rock of the Moody Blues to Van Morrison and world influences of Sting to the harmonies of Feetwood Mac. It’s pretty hard to pigeon-hole but this will get you in the ballpark.
Currently, the Doolins are working in the studio on new songs and re-arrangements of some of their older songs that have never been released, planning for performances to promote these songs once released. Daya is an author of several self-help motivational books, who just released the book, Grow Thin While You Sleep. Chris and Daya have been guided by dreams ever since their days as street players and are putting together a book on dreams called Hidden Manna. Stay tuned for where their dreams will guide them next.