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Flight 619: Dakota Wilkinson

Dakota Wilkinson

Major: Hospitality Management at Kent State University / Aeronautics Flight Technology at another school 

Year: Senior, 2018

Favorite Starbucks drink: Venti Americano, or when I’m feeling fancy, a Starbucks Double shot on Ice with coconut milk and no classic!

Dream job: First officer pilot for Hawaiian Airlines!

Her Campus: Who is Flight 619?

Dakota Wilkinson: Dakota Wilkinson (Lead Singer), Dave Rudolph (Guitarist), Mark Matthews (Bassist), Dylan Roth (Drummer)


HC: When and how did the band start?

DW: The band started in 2014 after my dad and I were frequently going to rock concerts. We became extremely motivated and decided to try it ourselves! My dad started by contacting a friend who is an engineer and he began wiring together a recording studio in our back yard; which is now a real, up and running recording studio in Hartville known as Mad Rabbit Media. It was around that time when my dad found Dylan Roth on Facebook because he’d advertised himself as an audio engineer. Little did we know, Dylan was a really good drummer! From there, we brought in Mark Matthews as our bass player because we knew him from a local band. We knew that Mark Matthews is an extremely talented and experienced musician that would benefit us greatly. We met our current guitar player through networking around the area. Dave Rudolph is also an extremely talented guitar player that plays around with multiple bands!


HC: Why the name Flight 619?

DW: My dad and I both are really into aviation and we both fly. Whenever we return from a trip, we know that we are almost home when we reach Route 619 in Akron. Therefore we thought the perfect name would be Flight 619; “The Flight Home”

HC: What genre of music does the band fall under? Why did the group decide to fall under this genre?

DW: We decided to fall under ‘rock’. We thought this would best describe us because we are not too heavy, but we are definitely not anything near classic rock or pop. 


HC: How many concerts/shows have you done so far? Are they local or does the band travel?

DW: We’ve probably had about 20 shows altogether. Most of our shows stay local because the Akron music scene is so strong and supportive. However, we have gone to places like Tampa, FL and Nashville and absolutely loved it. We plan on broadening our horizon in terms of show locations soon!


HC: How does it feel performing on stage?

DW: It feels super comfortable to be honest. I make eye contact with my friends and family, which really motivates me to keep going and stay energetic. However, my adrenaline kind of kicks in during my first song and it’s all a blur by the time I’m done.

HC: What’s the best memory you’ve had with the band thus far?

DW: The best memory I’ve had so far is working with Dave Rude of the band Tesla. Tesla was one of my favorite bands growing up and it was crazy working with their guitar player! I was also able to play with the band Jackyl who are another favorite of mine. I’ve crossed so many things off of my bucket list just by being a part of the band.


HC: If you could relive one of your past performances, which would it be?

DW: I would relive the Tampa, Florida show because the crowd was so diverse and so into the music! If not the Tampa show, I would relive playing at the Alrosa Villa. One of my music influences was Dimebag Darrell of Pantera. He was unfortunately shot and killed at the Alrosa Villa in 2004. Being at the venue was amazing, and the fact that we got to play on the same stage that he played on was something special. And lastly, I was able to play a show with another music influence; Sebastian Bach of Skid Row. The guitar player even wore a Flight 619 shirt and I felt so honored. 


HC: What advice would you give to someone that wants to start a band?

DW: I would tell them to be patient and true to themselves no matter what. Don’t feel pressured to please people because the only person you should please is yourself. The industry at a larger scale can be sleazy and conniving. Work hard, but your band should be fun! Never make it a competition. Team up with other bands, you can only help one another. Remember to always stay humble, and remember where you came from and that every band you’ve ever loved started as a local band, so support as many local bands as you possibly can. 


HC: Where do you want to see the band 10 years from now?

DW: I see the band touring and recording still – hopefully! We have a lot of exciting things coming up and even an album coming out in the next few months. We will continue to work and record!

Check out and learn more about the band at https://flight619.com/


Photography done by: Brandon Bounds

Instagram: @citybounds_photography

Shelbie studies journalism at Kent State University, while also concentrating in fashion media and writing. She’s a true coffee addict and enthusiast. You can easily find her at a local coffee shop or the campus library. Her career goals include working within the publishing industry, becoming a travel writer and voicing the voiceless in her work. She’s excited to work with Her Campus and see what’s in store for the Kent State chapter.
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