Hello Josh, can you tell all of us a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?“Sure! I work as a social worker in Baltimore and play at weddings and private events on the weekends. I started releasing country music at the end of 2021 and the response has been amazing so far. Moving to Nashville to perform and record my own music is the ultimate goal.” Who are some of your musician icons? “Randy Travis and Vince Gill are my songwriting icons, if I can write 1/2 as good as them that’d be great.” What is the background story behind your brand-new single “Kinda Man?” “I originally wrote the song from a female perspective about a girl who is being taken advantage of by a dishonest man. Then my friend suggested I switch it to a man being taken advantage of by a woman and then it became really interesting!” What made you want a career in country music?“I’ve been releasing acoustic pop since 2016 but have always loved country music, so last year I decided to start releasing country and haven’t looked back! How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? “A different take on country’. What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? I record all my music in my bedroom, which I think gives my music a unique and intimate vibe’ What are a few of your favorite venues to perform at? ‘Live Oak’ and ‘The Listening Room’ What is one of your favorite quotes? ‘It’s all about the song’ Is there anything else you would like to share? ‘I’m really grateful to be featured on this blog’
Hi Ashlyn, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I was majoring in Elementary Education at Clemson University. I always loved kids and grew up with 5 younger siblings who I adore. I wanted to have a practical back-up plan, but when the pandemic hit, I realized I would never be fulfilled in any field other than music. I changed my major to Performing Arts Voice and decided to stop hiding my original songs from the world. I was always a singer, whether it was in church or school choir or national anthems for basketball and football games. I’d say that my inner child would be overjoyed with the path I’ve chosen and where I’m at today.
What made you want a career in country music?
I grew up in the south. My family loved all kinds of music- from rock and R&B to gospel, pop, country, etc. I admired Hannah Montana and quite literally wanted to be her as a child. She was a popstar with that famous country twang and that is exactly what I’ve always aimed for in my music. I first went to Nashville when I was 17 and got to visit the Grand Ole Opry with someone who is like a second mother to me. She encouraged me to sing in the circle during a tour. I was so scared, I almost didn’t do it. But when I started to sing “I Will Always Love You”, people actually cared to hear me. I felt at home there.
Who are some of your musical icons?
Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato
What is the background story behind your brand new single “Blind Horse Blues?”
“Blindhorse Blues” is an upbeat breakup song based on the iconic honky tonk bar in my hometown, the Blind Horse Saloon. I first went here with my boyfriend and was amazed at the history it holds. Ask any country singer about the Blind Horse Saloon in Greenville and they’ll have a story or two to tell. This place was my mom’s old stomping grounds and now I get to sing about it.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Fun, Pop, Twangy, Angsty
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
Being that I started all this in the middle of a pandemic, I haven’t been able to play many live shows! I will say, the biggest place I have performed at is the Spectrum Center. I’ve sang the national anthem for the Charlotte Hornets a few times and there’s not much I can compare to singing in front of such a large crowd.
What is your recording process like when creating and making new music?
My favorite songwriting technique is something called top-lining which is basically humming and singing random words until you get a hook or something catches your ear. This is how my best songs are written. I like to find a catchy melody first and then pick out the words later. But sometimes it’s the other way around!
What is one of your favorite quotes?
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d just like to say a huge thank you to my FOUR incredible parents. Not many people can say that their broken home turned into a blessing- I was raised differently than most and I am forever grateful for the different perspectives they’ve given me. My Mom & Stepdad and my Dad & Stepmom are all polar opposites and somehow managed to work as a team while I was growing up. They made sure I never went without and always did their very best in raising me. They gave me a huuuuuge family and more blessings than I can count, not to mention my love and knowledge for music.
On January 14, 2022, country-pop crossover musician Ashlyn Marie, put out her debut release-“Blind Horse Blues.” The debut release was produced by Billboard famous producer Brandon Manley (RVSHVD), Chase Matthews & David Morris).
Marie wrote this song almost a year ago on the day of the release. She know the instant this hook came to her that it would be a huge one. She reached out to one of her best friends Kaeley and told her about it and could not help but cry, shared Marie. This song is an anthem for anybody who had been to the Blind Horse Saloon, which is a landmark in my hometown of Greenville, SC. I knew from the start this song had to be my launch to the music industry.
Marie is from Simpsonville, South Caroline, she is currently a performing arts major at Clemson University, while pursuing her musical career. She is right in the studio with her producer and has more music coming out also in 2022. If you would like to find out more about Ashlyn Marie than please go take a look at her social media accounts which are listed below.
Hello Lianne, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? So I’ve been a solo artist since I was about 16, but for the last few years I have fronted a rock/country band called Blooms. I started writing from the age of 13 and have always swayed towards writing country inspired songs.
What made you want a career in country music? I’ve always loved Country and also country rock and pop. It feels natural writing music with country nuances and it’s the music I love listening to all the time, so it inspires me to write that kind of music and become an artist inspired by that kindof music.
Who are some of your musical icons? Some of my musical icons would include Hayley Williams, Avril Lavigne, Carrie Underwood & Michelle Branch. They inspire me massively as artists and songwriters.
What is the background story behind your latest single “I Miss You?” My latest single ‘I Miss You’ was written about an old best friend that I sadly parted ways with years ago and wish we could have worked out our friendship, as we were very close. I think the song can be related to in different ways as it’s really a song about loss and heartbreak which is something we all go through. Saying you miss somebody is very raw and vulnerable and it’s something we all feel at some point in our lives, so I hope people can relate to it.
What is your recording process like when making and creating new music? The process of writing for me has usually revolved around finding lovely chords on guitar that will inspire me, and then coming up with a cool melody or a hook. However lately I’ve been getting lyrics just randomly come to me (sometimes late at night as I’m just about to go to sleep!) And I have to quickly write them in my notes, which is cool. Recording wise I have a lot of great musicians around me that I can tell exactly what I vision for the song, and they make it happen. I also have a great producer. I love hearing the finished product of a song, is a brilliant feeling.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Powerful, captivating, relatable
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? I’ve played the Camden Barfly which is a cool venue, but I really enjoy festivals and some small but reverby venues! Is cool if it’s just me and my guitar.
What is one of your favorite quotes? You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.
Is there anything else you would like to share? I’m about to start recording my next few singles that will be released throughout next year, which I’m really excited about. You can find me on my socials at @liannekayemusic for videos, content and music updates! My recent singles including my new song ‘I Miss You’ are out now on all streaming platforms, and also featured on Spotify’s ‘New Music Nashville’ playlist.
Lianne Kaye is a British Singer/Songwriter from the South East. Some of her influences are Hayley Willams (Paramore), Carrie Underwood & Michelle Branch, Kaye’s original music is a combination of guitar-driven, country-influenced songs, also stripped back and climbing vocal ballads.
Following the advancement of her well-known YouTube channel. That has gone over 10 million views. Kaye has started a loyal online fanbase, that has followed her since the beginning of her online journey which started in 2010.
Kaye played many live sets at the Summer in The City, Slam Dunk festival, Camden Barfly and many others. Kaye’s voice is a powerhouse and fantasizing, and one to keep an eye out for.
In November 2021, Kaye put out her latest single “I Miss You.” The song is available on both Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about the wonderful Lianne Kaye you should go take a look at her social media accounts, which are located down below.
Hello Skrizzly, can you tell us all about yourself before becoming a country musician?
While I’m a big fan of country music, I am not a country artist; I’m an alternative rock artist. I’ve been extremely lucky in the last year to have received editorial Playlisting support in the country worlds of Spotify and Amazon.
2. What made you want a career in music?
I feel like it’s just something I’ve always loved and been obsessed with since I was 5. There was no one defining moment of influence, I’ve always had this strong gravity pulling me towards music.
3. What is the background story behind your latest single “Come Out Tonight?”
I actually wrote Come Out Tonight for my debut EP Stains when I was 19. At the time it felt incomplete and too country for that project. Now in 2021 it felt perfect to release it as a single for my upcoming second album.
4. Who are some of your musical icons?
Springsteen, Kanye, Van Morrison, Eric Church, Bob Seger
5. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Bass Heavy Heartland Rock
6. What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
Trees in Dallas, Mercury Lounge NYC
7. What is your recording process when making and creating new music?
I own my own studio and pretty much live there. For me it’s all about chipping away everyday and always gaining an inch.
Hello Andrea, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before becoming a country singer? So not many people know this about me, but I grew up singing in a punk/pop band! I was in the band for about 5 years, and we started when I was 8. It wasn’t until after the band broke up that I decided to continue my solo career and focus more on country music. I started writing songs when I was 9, and fell in love with it.
What made you want a career in country music? Country music has always been the most welcoming genre I have ever encountered. I grew up going to country concerts with my cousins, and that’s what really introduced me to it. Once I started writing more and finding my voice, I knew this was where my music belonged.
Who are some of your musical icons? A few of my musical icons would have to be Elton John, Queen, George Strait, and Carly Pearce. Each of them use their art and make it completely their own, all while simultaneously staying true to themselves. It’s something I will always admire.
What is the background story behind your latest single “Starting Over?” Starting Over was actually one of the last songs I had written for this EP! I was going through a season in my life where I had to reassure myself that it was okay to miss something, but not want it back. I remember I was in the car with my dad and it started pouring rain. We were on the expressway and passed under a bridge and for a split second the rain stopped and it was the most calm I had felt in a while. I remember going home and the song just flooded out of me. I was so emotional when I finished writing it, because it ended up being that “ah-ha” moment I didn’t know I needed. Immediately I knew that’s what the EP would be called.
What is your recording process when creating and making new music? Usually when I start writing a song, it begins with a phrase or a line that’s just a thought. I could be driving or taking a shower and the idea just pops in my head! I am always jotting down lyrics in my notes app on my phone too. From there I usually have a melody in mind or I will sing that one phrase in a particular way and build on that. I’m always recording voice memos too, because I could love how something sounds and then somehow completely forget how I did it! Once I finish the song with just lyrics and guitar, I can usually hear how I want things to sound in my mind. Whether it’s the drums or piano, I have a general idea, but it can always change. That’s why I’m so thankful for my producer, because he can envision the songs in the way I do, but with a different creative perspective as well.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Honest, Real, and Relatable
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? I’ve played at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville a couple times and it’s definitely one of my favorites. There have been so many incredible artists and writers that have played there and it is so intimate and special.
What is one of your favorite quotes? “Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
Is there anything else you would like to share? These 7 songs on ‘Starting Over’ tell a story from start to finish! If you listen carefully, it really shows that you don’t always have to be involved with someone romantically for them to break your heart. Though that may be the case for some, it could also be friends, family, and even strangers. There is a song for everyone, and I hope this helps others with their own starting over.
While growing up on the outskirts of Chicago, Andrea Veltri has never had a problem in her mind that music was the direction for her. At 5 years old she got her first guitar, and soon started taking lessons at 6 years old. When she was 8, she commenced playing in a punk/rock band as the lead singer and guitar player. Sadly, five years later the band broke up, but that did not stop Veltri’s love for music.
Instead, it directed her to country music and inspired her to seek a solo career. Since focusing on her writing and originality, she started to play at different venues and opened for many for different musicians like Jana Kramer, Anna Nalick and Jason Michael Carroll.
On November 16th, 2018, her first single “What I Know Now,” was released. Since then, she has launched herself into her music and writing and it’s imitated in her debut EP “Starting Over,” which was released on October 22, 2021. The seven songs show growth, honesty and reliability. On this EP Hughes opens up about heartbreak in all forms. The EP marks a completely new chapter and shows that starting over can be done with grace.
Hello Taylor, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country singer?
It’s hard to imagine a time when I wasn’t a country singer! Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to sing. I always loved performing, putting on little talent shows at home and singing to my favorite songs at the top of my lungs, but I didn’t start my music career till I was around the age of 18. Before I decided to follow my dreams, I was heavily involved in athletics; volleyball to be exact. I played for several years and had plans on going to college on a scholarship…God had other plans for me though! I suffered from a knee injury my junior year and was never able to fully recover from it which led me back to the music path; I would say it was a blessing in disguise for sure.
I started taking guitar lessons then and my teacher realized I could sing. After about three lessons, he called my parents and told them he wanted to take me to Nashville to sing on a TV comcast called “Nashville Spotlight.” My parents were quite confused; how could I possibly know how to play guitar that quickly, but he explained to them it was my ability to sing that gave him the idea. They had never really heard me sing before; I did choir growing up but nothing that ever would have showcased my talent. After playing my first show in Nashville, I caught the performance bug and knew this was what I was meant to do.
I started singing for the show every few months, started diving into songwriting, and playing open mics in my hometown. Once I was old enough to get into bars and travel on my own, I started playing with a guitarist several days a week, traveling and performing wherever we could, and I loved it! So many great memories, funny and crazy, that had been made. Several years later I made the move to Nashville with my husband to keep pursing my dreams in the country music world. Almost four years in music city; playing, writing, creating new friendships, releasing my own music and now releasing my next single! Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for these gifts and the opportunities I’ve been giving. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
What made you want a career in country music?
Like I mentioned before, I’ve always loved to sing and perform. The stage is my home; it is where I feel like my true self and honestly, it makes me feel alive! I grew up listening to country music along with some southern rock and blues which is where I get a lot of my style and influence from. We always had music playing in the house too. I remember waking up on Sunday mornings to the sound of music blaring through the surround sound speakers and the smell of fresh blueberry pancakes in the kitchen. Music was something my family always connected with; my dad had the same taste in music as me and my mom was a professional singer back in the day so I guess you could say it runs in our blood.
What I always loved about the country music we listened to was the story telling aspect of it. Real life situations, good and bad, being told in song and they were stories you could relate to or at least understand when listening to them. I also loved the power and confidence that I heard when jamming to female artists like Reba, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Miranda Lambert (my favorite) and Carrie Underwood. Hearing them belt it out made me want to join in and sing my heart out too. Their songwriting inspired me as well. Honest, feisty, and true to who they are and owning it. I wanted to be just like these strong and talented women.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
If I had to describe my music in 3 to 5 words, I guess I would say that it’s edgy, sassy, passionate, gutsy, and honest.
What is the background story behind your brand-new single “High on Something?’
My new single, “High on Something,” was a fun one to write with my co-writer, Stefanie Joyce. Her and I had written multiple songs together before this but none of them were ever love songs. For us, that just wasn’t a subject we typically wrote about because our styles are a little more sassy and edgy. Love songs have a tendency of turning out cheesy if they’re not done right. We walked into the writing room that day though and decided that it was time to take on this challenge BUT we had to make it our own. If we were going to try a love song, then it had to be done right and it had to be different then other love songs people hear all the time. We wanted to write about a relationship that already had a foundation; one that probably had its fair share of ups and downs but was still strong and still growing each day. We took ideas from things that we both enjoy (bourbon, cowboy boots, etc.), things that don’t last long, and then compared them to the kind of love we have with our husbands and basically tried to write how we feel about them…of course without crossing that cheesy line! By the time we were through writing it, I knew I had to cut it. It might have been a love song, but it still had that “Taylor Hughes” stamp on it. It was also a chance to really showcase my vocals in a way that not only showed power but also a little vulnerability. It’s a song I’m proud to release.
Who are some of your musical icons?
I get inspiration from multiple artists, but I would say some of my biggest influences are Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Gretchen Wilson, and Chris Stapleton. Miranda Lambert has always been my idol. Her songwriting, her ability to tell a story, and her badass attitude are something I’ve always connected with, and I’d say that is why I love Ashley and Gretchen as well. The three of them are a great example of strong, independent and unbelievably talented women. Chris’ style, vocals and storytelling are something I admire as well. I mean, talk about a powerhouse vocalist, I could listen to him all day. His ability to blend blues, country and a little southern rock are something I really connect with as well since my style is very similar. The both of us are also Kentucky artist so there’s a little favoritism there!
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
I have been blessed with a lot of opportunities to travel, meet new people, and play at some pretty awesome venues. If I had to pick, I would say my favorite spot to play in my hometown is at The Elkhorn Tavern. It’s a great bourbon bar in the distillery district and the audience is always an absolute blast! Another spot I really enjoy playing that I’m sure most songwriters love is The Listening Room in Nashville.
What is your recording process like when making and creating new music?
When I’m making new music, the recording process really depends on the song. When I first started writing, my focus was the melody, lyrics and how to play it on guitar. I didn’t put much though into the whole picture until I started working with more and more people in Nashville. I learned how each piece of the puzzle is equally important and that you need to have an idea of how you want the song to sound before walking into the recording studio… it makes life a whole lot easier. Now when I’m writing, the melody is still a big focus for me since I’m a singer, but I also start imagining where different instrumentation will come in, where will the build up be and where (if needed) does the song need to “breathe.” I also try to imagine what a music video would look like for the song which helps when writing the lyrics. Once the ideas start to come together, I can go into a studio and start focusing on the story telling aspect of it. This is such an important part of what I do as an artist. It’s one thing to sing a song but it’s whole other level to be able to tell a conveying story and to connect with your audience.
What is oneof your favorite quotes?
I recently did a piece in a health and wellness magazine where I talked about juggling a music career and mental health. I referenced a quote in the article that I love and has always stuck with me. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there is still going to be someone who hates peaches.”- Dita Von Teese. I love this quote and I think it’s one that everyone can take something from, especially in the music industry. Sometimes as an artist, we get caught up in trying to please everyone and we try to make music that everyone will love but the reality of it is, is that it isn’t possible. You can realistically make everyone happy, and you shouldn’t try to. That’s way too much pressure to be putting on yourself! We should make music because we love it, because it’s what we were born to do. Once you start creating art for the right reasons, the right audience will follow and that is who you want to connect with.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am very excited for the world to hear my new single, “High on Something.” Releasing music is always an exciting process but this song showcases another side of me; one that most probably have never heard. It’s a little scary but also exhilarating! I want to show people that I’m not a one trick pony and that though I love to sing a fun party song and have a good time, I’m also capable of being vulnerable. This is also a song that really showcases my powerful vocals, and everyone needs a good ballad, right? I am very proud to be releasing this single and I hope everyone loves it!