Megan Dawson (Q&A)!!!

Emma-Lee Photography
  1. Hello Megan, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?

Before becoming a country musician I actually attended my first year of University whilst also coaching volleyball! I definitely loved music and secretly would sing but never in front of people. I didn’t play an instrument at the time and so I would write poetry and lyrics but had never written a full song. About a year later, I met some family friends that were musical and I would do some backup vocals in their band through summer of 2016. In the Fall that followed, I went and bought my first guitar and then taught myself how to play four chords through Google and YouTube. From there, I wrote my first song and have continued writing and performing ever since!

  1. What made you want a career in country music?

I have always loved a wide range of types of music including, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift etc. In regards to writing and creating music, I have found home for me is incorporating hooky melodies with lyrics that really capture an emotion and tell a story. I feel this is where I have found the balance with a pop-country sound and where my music feels most authentic to me.

  1. Who are some of your musical icons?

Shania Twain has always been one of my favorite artists of all time. Her ability to be so versatile in her sound has always really inspired me in being fearless in the pursuit of creating music that has a unique sound. Taylor Swift is definitely another artist who has inspired me from both a songwriting and artistry perspective, especially in her ability to continue to grow and enter into new chapters as an artist over the duration of a long career.

  1. What is the background story behind your new single “Kissed Me Like That?”

I first heard this song about a year ago and immediately fell in love with it. The song was written by Emma-Lee, Madeline Merlo and Lindsay Rimes and brings to life the concept of experiencing a love unlike you’ve ever experienced before. This felt so fitting to where I am at in my life and the overall vibe and sound was so on point with the type of song I wanted to record. It brings a vibrancy that really resonated with me and also felt like the perfect summer song.

  1. What is your recording process like when you are making and creating new music?

For my last few singles I have been able to work with my amazing producer, “Dan Swinimer” and it was such an amazing experience. For my first two singles this year, I had the opportunity to be the voice on these songs written by such incredible writers and it was such a great time bringing my sound and story to the concept created by the writers. The recording process was so much fun and I found it challenged me to grow into my voice and learn so much about myself as an artist. 

  1. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?

I would say; bright, relatable, authentic.

  1. What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?

I love playing at The King Eddy in Calgary. I have so many amazing memories of both acoustic and full band shows at this venue and I find the audience is always so present and attentive which is really special. I also loved playing at the YYC International Airport and being able to welcome people into the city, I always had a story to tell after playing here for a few hours and I always thought that was such a cool and unique way to share live music with people. 

  1. What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” – Babe Ruth. I love this quote because I have always found that getting out of my comfort zone, challenging myself and pursuing through something that brought upon a sense of fear at the beginning, is one of the most rewarding feelings.

Megan Dawson~ Artist Spotlight!!!

Emma-Lee Photography

Megan Dawson is a country and pop singer and songwriter from Calgary, AB. In July of 2021, she was nominated for the YYC Music Awards “Solo Artist of the Year.” Dawson has joined many artist development programs such as Canada’s Music Incubator’s Artist Entrepreneur West professional development program at Studio Bell, home of the National Centre (2019) and the RBC Launchpad Entrepreneur program (2021).

With over 640,000 combined streams on Spotify, making the Yangroo DMDS “Most Active Indie” list on its first week at radio with “Influence” and being shown on various editorial playlists on Spotify (Live Country, New Music Friday Canada, Fresh Finds Country), “Influence” has made for a great start to 2022.

Dawson’s latest single, “Kissed Me Like That,” was produced by Dan Swinimer, and written by Madeline Merlo, Emma-Lee and Lindsay Rimes. The song showcases a thrilling sound for the artist. It also brings hooky lyrics and a lively melody expressing the feelings of happiness when falling in love. With the mixing of Dawson’s dazzling vocals, this song showcases a lively sound to the pop/country scene. 

If you would like to find out more about the talented Megan Dawson go take look at her social media pages down below. Thanks again MD, for wanting to be a part of my site! 

Emma-Lee Photography

Social Media Accounts: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MeganDawsonMusic/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/megandawsonmusic/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MegDawsonMusic

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKiOGQtJQXuXHkwbY1lYTnA

Jon Edmund~ Q&A!!

  1. Hi Jon, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Before I became a country artist, I was actually a drummer in a pop/rock band called ONE TWO TEN.  After doing that I was hooked, I knew I wanted to work in the industry, but not always as a drummer.
  2. Who are some of your musical icons? My main musical hero is Toby Keith.  I believe as a writer and an artist he has been able to not only have one of the most successful careers but able to impact so many people through the music he continues to make.
  3. What made you want a career in country music? As I grew up in Oklahoma, country music was ingrained in my lifestyle, so I think it was more of an instinctive thing to want to write country music than anything.
  4. What is the background of your latest single “Country Girl Swing?” I wrote Country Girl Swing about people always judging other people about how they live their life but when in reality everyone just wants to enjoy life even though they may go about that in different ways.  I have the dream of watching people line dance to this song.
  5. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Upbeat, Driven, Storytelling
  6. What is your recording process like when you are creating and making new music?  I actually wrote these songs by myself so it wasn’t until taking it into the studio did I start involving other people.  For Country Girl Swing, I got to work with some people I really look up to like Rich Redmond (Drummer for Jason Aldean) and Trent Bell, and Chad Copelin to name a few, so it was just an amazing experience getting to have them be a part of bringing this song to life.
  7. What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? Some of my favorite venues are actually in Oklahoma.  I have gotten to play at some amazing venues like The Zoo Amphitheater, The Jones Assembly, and Diamond Ballroom.  All very different but such cool places.
  8. What is one of your favorite quotes? The quote that I live my life by is “Don’t wait for opportunities, create them”. I’m not sure if anyone is quoted saying that so I say that I made it up (even though I am sure other people have said it too).
  9. Is there anything else you would like to share? I would like to share that this is just the beginning.  I am releasing a three-song EP called Southern Gentleman in June.

Jon Edmund~ Artist Spotlight!!

Country singer/songwriter Jon Edmund is 22 years old and is from Norman, Oklahoma. Although he is new to releasing his music, he is not new to the music scene. Through playing in many different bands, writing, producing and mixing, he feels greatly thankful to get so many outlooks on how music is made and how the industry works. His first EP, “Southern Gentleman,” will be coming out on June 10th, 2022 and will feature three songs that will show what kind of artist he wants to be. 

Edmund’s latest single is “Country Girl Swing,” and it came this year. His music is available to listen on both Spotify and Apple Music. If you would like to find out more  about Jon Edmund please go check out his social media pages down below. Thanks again Jon for being a part of my site. 

Social Media Accounts:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jonedmundmusic/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jonedmundmusic

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSKRURYB_RNXRDWavffS06Q

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JonEdmundMusic

Kate Cameron’s Eclair Cake (No Bake) Recipe!!!

Ingredients:

1 box Original Graham Crackers

2 instant French Vanilla or Vanilla pudding 3 cups cold milk

12 oz. Cool Whip

1 Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge frosting

Directions:

On LOW speed mix together pudding and milk for 2 minutes.

Fold Cool Whip into pudding mixture with rubber spatula.

In 9 X 13 pan, layer 1 package graham crackers (DO NOT CRUSH)

Layer 1/2 pudding mixture, another layer of crackers, rest of pudding, top with last package of graham crackers.

Microwave “opened” container of frosting 45 seconds, stir with butter knife, immediately pour over top layer of crackers. Chill in fridge overnight.

Kate Cameron~ Q&A!!!

  1. Hello Kate! Can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country artist?

I grew up in a beach town between Boston and Cape Cod called Duxbury MA. Around age 7 I took voice lessons which eventually led to some piano lessons as well. At age 11 I taught myself guitar on a Martin my dad had in our basement which he played from time to time. Even though I did play  a lot of music growing up, I had a really cool childhood, played a lot of sports and was in a lot of different friends groups which, I believe, made me a really well rounded person. I am the youngest of 3 and neither of my older siblings can sing or play any instruments but they always had their friends over blasting music. At my core I have always loved the radio. I didn’t really get into country music until highschool but when I did it totally changed the course of my life. 

  1. What made you want a career in country music?

In highschool I changed my friend group who all LOVED country music. I’ll never forget one of them gave me a couple Miranda Lambert CD’s and I was floored. I never heard anything quite like it yet had never related to something so quickly. At the time Eric Church and Lady Antebellum were also hitting their first huge wave of success so I got really into both of them as well. I was pretty close to going to college in Nashville but ended up getting a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston which I took as a sign that I needed to be there.

  1. Who are some of your musical icons?

As a musician this question always throws me for loop because I never clung to one specific artist for too long. I was constantly jumping into different genres. But several big names I took a lot of inspiration from are Joss Stone, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Miranda Lambert, Gavin Degraw, Maren Morris and you could even say Britney Spears for her attention to her performance. 

  1. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?

Soul, Style, Grit, and Grace.

  1. What is the background behind your new song “Turn on Your Light?”

In August of 2020 I received a track from a musician in town. He asked if I wanted to write to it as he had a female artist friend in mind for it. He actually told me the girl he wanted to create it for was going through quite a tough year. At that time we had all been through a tough year so I took that concept and flipped it into a comforting song of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Long story short, I then brought the song to Peter Shurkin who I have worked with for several years who produced the song with Goffrey Moore. We ended up cutting the song with more live band production which ended up being the best fit for the lyrics and melody.

  1. Where are a few of your favorite venues to play at?

Since going to Berklee I never had a typical social college experience so playing in bars and clubs in my late teens and early 20’s really became that for me. In Boston I used to play 3-4 nights a week over the summer and really gained my chops in every type of dive bar to five star hotel possible to play in town. Once I moved to Nashville, I started playing a bit Downtown but over the years really gravitated towards playing in Midtown. I have played so many songwriter nights on Demonbreun it feels like several hundred. This past year I started playing 4 hour cover gigs at Live Oak which has become quite the spot for musicians in town. I really enjoy it there, the staff and crowd are always fantastic. 

  1. What is your recording process like when making and creating new music?

It really depends on the song. “Turn On Your Light” was really unique because I wrote it to a track rather than starting it on my own. Usually I can demo all my songs on my own then send them to a proper producer to create.

  1. What is one of your favorite quotes?  

“Be a jack hammer” –  Billy Ray Cyrus  –   I recently heard him say this in an interview on the Bobby Bones podcast. His story really hit a note with me in the fact that he played bars and clubs for a decade before getting signed to any sort of deal. (Which essentially could be my story as well) The phrase basically means hit your daily grind from all angles and as many times as possible. 

  1. Is there anything else you would like to share?

I really hope most people can take one part of “Turn On Your Light” and resonate with it! Hope to stay in touch! XO

Kate Cameron~ Artist Spotlight!!!

Country singer Kate Cameron is equal areas of soul, grit, and grace. Cameron’s clear and rare vocal sound lands between two places her Boston background and her Nashville icons. At times you can hear aping soul and rock vocalists such as Susan Tedeschi or Aerosmith yet she also has the song/songwriter appreciation of singers like Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert. 

In 2015, Cameron graduated from Berklee College of Music, obtaining a Bachelor of Music focusing in Songwriting and where she also got the chance to perform for and honor Doug Morris, a top industry executive who formerly was a CEO of Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. While attending Berklee allowed her to refine her vocal craft before taking on Music City. Cameron has been working in the Nashville music setting ever since moving there to release her self-written and co-producing different artist projects. 

Cameron’s latest single “Turn on Your Light,” came out this year and is available to listen on both Spotify and Apple Music. If you would like to find out more about the talented Kate Cameron then please go take a look at her website at (https://www.katecameronmusic.com). 

Social Media Accounts: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katecameronofficial/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katecameronmusic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kate_Cameron

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcyHiQGbpn2lPoMGE48Y-SQ

Eric Lee~ Cadillac Margaritas Recipe

I’m known for my margaritas at parties so here’s my preferred recipe of the Cadillac Margarita!

Directions:

– 3 oz of Casamigos Reposado Tequila and squeeze 1 fresh lime (1 1/2 if you prefer more citrus/tart flavor.)

-1/2 ounce of simple syrup, 1 oz of grand marnier and add a pinch of salt to enhance flavor.

-(If you don’t have Casamigos or want to save money, use any reposado tequila that is 100% de agave and just add a few drops of vanilla sweetener. It’s my secret weapon!)

Eric Lee~ Q&A!!!

  • • Hello Eric, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
    • Sure thing. I’m Eric Lee and I grew up living in South Florida just outside Davie. I live with my wife, cat, and we just got a golden retriever pup named Billy the Kid. Over the years, Before I became a country musician, I mainly worked as a music producer, collaborating with a variety of artists and have made music for TV, Film, and ads. When the pandemic hit in 2020, those types of projects went on hold so I bet on myself and finally laid some of my own songs down. The immediate reception was far greater than anything I could’ve ever imagined.
  •  What made you want a career in country music?
    • I must’ve been 7/8 years old when my grandmother would play Dolly Parton and The Judds cassette tapes in her car. My grandmothers have always had a profound influence on me, instilling values I hold high to this day. One of the things I love about country music is that it’s a community of core values and southern hospitality and being able to sing about those things. During my time as a producer, I always dreamed of performing live for huge crowds of people. I was able to write for the artists I produced but it took many years searching for my unique voice as a songwriter. But then about 5-6 years ago, these songs just started pouring out of me.
  • • How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
    • Country RocknRoll with Heart n’ Soul
  • • What is the background story behind your new song “Come Break My Heart?”
    • I’ve written a few songs for my wife that I’m excited to release in the near future but this one came to me during lockdown. I think a lot of couples were put through “patience building” circumstances at home in the past couple years haha – but me and my wife’s unconditional love for each other pulled us through it all. I don’t think there’s anything more special than standing by the one’s you love no matter what, through the ups and downs. It’s definitely a unique take on a love song but it feels authentic to me and I think a lot of people will relate to it after everything we’ve gone through.
  • • Who are some of your musical icons?
    • Dolly Parton, Dwight Yoakam, Chris Stapleton, and Eagles to name a few. Those are all just phenomenal, iconic story tellers who sing form the heart and each have their own unique personas that have inspired millions all over the globe.
  • • What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
    • Well, I haven’t had the opportunity to play many shows just yet since I’m the new guy in town but I’ve played The Troubadour once in Los Angeles with a past band which was a lot of fun. My dream is to play The Ryman, Grand Ole Opry and huge festivals to seas of people all over the world one day soon.
  • • What is your recording process like when making and creating new music?
    • A lot of my songs have came to me in random moments of life. Just sheer inspiration. Sometimes I’ll finish writing it by myself and sometimes I’ll want to collaborate with others. I always start with an acoustic guitar and the voice memo app on my iPhone. My philosophy is that once the songwriting is bulletproof with just my acoustic guitar, the song will essentially produce itself. Doing it this way gives me the freedom to imagine what the instrumentation will sound like and the ability to try different chord progressions on the fly. After that, it’s essentially paint by numbers while producing the song in Pro Tools at my home studio since most of the arrangement has already been planned in my head for the song. It also allows me to give my full attention each process of a song’s creation separately. First I put on my songwriter hat and then I put on my producer hat. I find it’s a very efficient way to work for me. When I’ve finished both my jobs on each song, I then send the sessions off to Vance Powell to mix. He’s my favorite mixing engineer, a legend, and the nicest and most generous guy (not to mention he’s worked with Chris Stapleton and Jack White and won several CMA and Grammy awards). It’s an honor and a lot of fun getting to work with him. 
  • • What is one of your favorite quotes?
    • “Love thy neighbor as thy self”. I’m not a highly religious man but my grandmother took me to church every Sunday as a young boy and this was the most important value for her that I learn. There have been many experiences and different people I’ve met over the years that have taught me a lot and reaffirmed this ideal. Most recently, I watched the film 42 shortly after Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away. I realized it was the only film of his I haven’t seen yet so my wife and I put it on. The film is incredible and Chadwick gave a powerful performance. But there’s a scene where Harrison Ford, acting as Branch Rickey who managed the 1946 Dodgers, recited this famous bible verse and then proceeded to explain that it can be found in the bible 9 times and is in fact the most mentioned verse above all others… which get’s me thinkin that it’s gotta be the most important value we should all uphold in life.
  • • Is there anything else you would like to share?
    • Absolutely! Please check out my covers of “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and “If We Make it Through December” as they are both benefiting great charities and I’m hoping to raise money! You can also hear a traditional country version of my song “Same Dirt Road” exclusively on songsforhope.org which raises money for many important causes.