John DeNicola Returns With New Single, ‘She Said’

Out now, ‘She Said’ is the new single from John DeNicola. The song is the title track from his upcoming album, due for release on November 5 through Omad Records.

John DeNicola’s new album, ‘She Said’, is a very exciting one indeed. Although he’s been in the music industry for about five decades, it’s been very much behind the scenes, with DeNicola writing and producing for others. And you’ll definitely know his work – John co-wrote with Frank Previte the classic songs, ‘(I Had) The Time of My Life’, and ‘Hungry Eyes’, best known from the film, ‘Dirty Dancing’. The soundtrack stayed in the top spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart for 18 weeks, and to date has sold more than a staggering 60 million copies worldwide. Additionally, it saw DeNicola win an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Grammy nomination, and awarded the gong for ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in 1988. So it really shouldn’t be much of a surprise that it took him until 2019 to release his debut album, ‘The Why Because’. Even then, it was an album of DeNicola’s interpretations of tunes he’d originally penned for others. The songs on ‘She Said’, however, were written to be sung by one voice – his own.

“The groundwork laid down on The Why Because gave me the confidence to do another record right on its heels,” DeNicola explains. “I holed up in my barn studio and built these tracks from scratch, playing all different instruments from guitars to synths, sitar to congas. I’m comfortable working this way, yet it was new for me and really fun to write purely about what I wanted to say.”

Sure there’s some familiar sounds to ‘She Said’; there’s a definite nod to the 60s and 70s soul and rock that DeNicola grew up with; indeed, the first notes put us in mind of Robert Palmer’s ‘She Makes My Day’. There’s also no doubt that it’s written by DeNicola: but his ethereal vocals, relatable lyrics, and somewhat striking instrumentals declare a brand new, very pleasing song. There’s definitely universal appeal.

A native of Long Island, New York, DeNicola started out in the 1970s as a member of the jazz-fusion quintet Flight, releasing the much-acclaimed album ‘Excursion Beyond’ through Motown Records. For some reason however he found his way behind the scenes, but we’re certainly glad he’s come out from behind the curtain.

Wbile he does most of the playing on ‘She Said’, DeNicola still managed to find space for some other gifted artists, such as keyboards from Vinny Jessel, synths from Ray Weiss, and guitar from Zonder Kennedy on the post-apocalyptic ‘Morning Dew’. Written by Bonnie Dobson in 1961, it joins Steve Winwood’s ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ as one of only twoo covers on the album.

Speaking of how he managed to gather around him such a cast of fine musicians during the Covid-19 Pandemic, DeNicola said,

“I’d send a cowriter a basic track with a definite melody, possibly a few chorus lyrics, and hope that it painted a picture of what I was going for,” he says of the long-distance dynamic. “For the musicians, it was largely the same, except the tracks were more fleshed out.”

“It’s hard to explain why and how adversity or turmoil can be fertile ground for creativity,” he says. “These songs came together organically and rather easily, revealing themselves on an unconscious level, yet were nonetheless written in the midst of a pandemic, a challenge to our democracy, and some stark realizations about race relations—an overriding disappointment in the way Americans see each other.”

‘She Said’ is out now. The album of the same name will be released on November 5. You can stream it on Spotify, and YouTube.

Catch up with John DeNicola online on Instagram, and Facebook.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email