Singer-Songwriter, Actor, Dancer, Makeup Artist, Stylist
& Native Children’s Survival Board Member
Dakota is a lifelong performer with world experience, beginning her show business career during her first years of life under the wing of her parents. Born on the summer solstice in Santa Monica, California, Dakota first modeled with her mother, New York model Suzanne Mitchell in Chicago, Illinois at the tender age of one. At the age of two, Dakota appeared in her father, musician and activist Robby Romero’s award-winning Native Children’s Survival music videos ALL THE MISSING CHILDREN and IS IT TO LATE. Prefaced by President Mikhail Gorbachev’s historic environmental message at the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders in Moscow, IS IT TOO LATE was broadcast around the world from the Kremlin and premiered at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City during the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Children and the Environment Project.
“Growing up as my father’s daughter, I was always surrounded by music and culture, its home to me.”
Dakota went on to perform with an international children’s choir at the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She hit the road in the United States with her father on the 1994 Red Thunder Indian Country Tour, 1995 Blues Traveler-founded tour, H.O.R.D.E. Festival and again with the following summer’s H.O.R.D.E. Festival Tour. She sang and danced with Red Thunder, Blues Traveler, Rickie Lee Jones, Rusted Root, and Natalie Merchant, all before the age of 10.
Dakota quickly began exploring another passion and art form that runs in her family, acting, as she appeared in plays and musicals in Los Angeles.
“I love theater. There’s a live audience, and you do the entire thing every night. Start to finish.”
After graduating elementary school, she earned the lead in the indie film short, HIDDEN MEDICINE produced by Academy Award-nominee Roland Joffé, co-written by Chief Oren Lyons and written, directed and scored by her father. HIDDEN MEDICINE premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and screened at the American Indian Film Festival, the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and went on to air in the “Best of Sundance Film Festival” series on Sundance Channel.
With no intention on leaving music behind, during high school, Dakota crafted and recorded her unique version of Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross’s hit single, MY MISTAKE which was featured in the rockumentary film, AMERICA’S LAST FRONTIER. After high school, Dakota entered Loyola Marymount University to study classical music.
While in her sophomore year at LMU, Dakota was presented with a unique and life-changing opportunity. She traveled to Europe to sing and perform with her father, German rock legend Peter Maffay and other renowned artists from around the world on a 15-city arena tour in Germany called “Encounters II – An Alliance For Children.”
“I went from performing for thirty people in class to thirty-thousand people in arenas.”
While on the tour, Dakota sang in three languages – Lakota, Hebrew, and English – and she became friends with the diverse artists bridging cultures. The performances they did together bonded them into an unorthodox family.
“It was a truly extraordinary experience. As artists and friends, we learned from one another, both musically and culturally.”
Following the tour, Dakota joined her father, Carlos Santana, Peter Maffay, and Yusuf Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens) in a Concert for Peace in Bochum, Germany. Dakota had the distinct pleasure of performing with and singing Carlos Santana’s classic hit OYE COMO VA.
Continuing her education, Dakota studied abroad in Paris, where she fell madly in love. The two didn’t even speak the same language.
“We created our own language, a combination of Spanish, English, and French. We probably sounded absurd to those around us, but somehow we made sense to each other.”
Her experiences in the City of Light would be the backdrop of the music she would later create. The pain inspired her to write her first song titled after the city itself, PARIS.
After graduating with a B.A. degree in Music, Dakota was invited to attend and perform at COP15, the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark. Attending meetings and singing at various events during COP15 including the Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration at the Museum of Denmark, her involvement reinforced how Dakota wants to live her life and how passionate she is for the rights of Mother Earth and all peoples.
“My eyes were opened to how profoundly we all matter to each other.”
Upon her return from Europe, Dakota began writing with a diverse group of artists and musicians and performed at renowned venues in Hollywood and in the Southwest including the House of Blues, Conga Room, Santa Fe Band Stand, Taos Plaza Live, and the Taos Performing Arts Center. She sang and performed in the Native Children’s Survival music picture WHO’S GONNA SAVE YOU that was broadcast on SABC Africa during the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, COP17 in Durban, South Africa and screened during the Permanent Forum On Indigenous Issues at United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
Following her Grandmothers transition and journey to the spirit world on 11 June 2012, Dakota’s beautifully haunting debut recording of the classic traditional song LA LLORONA (English: Weeping Woman), dropped on 11 June 2013 and debuted on KXMT 99.1 FM Northern New Mexico. The LA LLORONA music video was released on the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Metros) 1 November 2013. Dakota’s performance is dedicated to the memory of her Grandmother.
“I dedicate my version of this classic ranchera about a weeping woman to my beautiful Grandmother Ida Mae Aragon aka Rita Rogers.”
In 2015 Dakota once again found herself in Paris and at another historic United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, COP21. On the occasion of the closing ceremony of ArtCOP21, an exploration of the cultural stakes of climate change, Dakota closed the programme with her unique voice and multicultural style at the Gaîté lyrique in Paris, France where more than 200 artists, poets, professionals, scientists and thinkers imagine together other narratives and other perspectives to reinvent our world.
“Until we understand our connection, only then will we understand our responsibility.”
Dakota’s ethereal vocal style can be heard on the 2014 single IRON HORSE and the upcoming single release EARTH REVOLUTION scheduled to drop in 2017.
Surrounded by theatre, music, film and fashion, Dakota developed an interest in the art of makeup. After being hired as a makeup artist and stylist on several music videos, Dakota graduated from the Aveda Institute in New York City, was duly licensed to practice Esthetics, and created Dakota René Artistry lash artist / makeup artist / esthetician / www.dakotareneartistry.com
Keep an eye out, and ears open for Dakota Romero, who continues turning heads with her sophisticated touch to pop music, makeup, style and art.