Aubrie Lynn is a singer/songwriter and CMA member from the College Station Texas area. In September 2008 Lynn and her family made a visit to Nashville for the first time to flee the hurricane brewing in the Texas Gulf. After a Ryman employee talked to Aurbie into standing on the main stage to perform for the audience, she decided music was her calling. Lynn went back to Texas and started the process of studying everything she would need to know. In a couple years she was playing over 110 shows each year, plus also playing and writing her own songs.
In the last 2 years Lynn has began crating her place in the Nashville music scene. In 2018, she put out her first Nashville produced, self titled, 3 songs EP, that got people chatting. Her first radio single “Slow,” got national radio notice, when it was played on over a 100 radio stations across the United States. Since the release in January 2018, she has went back into the studio to record her latest single “Don’t Lie,” which is set to release in February 2019.
Lynn’s other passion is working with different charities to use her music platform to make a change in the world. She is currently working with Food For The Hungry as an Indie Artist Ambassador, with many other cancer foundations and military fundraisers. In 2019 Lynn plans is to continue to bring new music to her fans, also a new look to her performances and stay active in her charity work.
1. Hi Mac, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
Music has always been a part of my life, I know that sounds cliche but it has. Growing up I played all kinds of sports, my main sport being hockey. My family has a deer camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and that is where I was first introduced to live music. My cousins all played and were fantastic, still are. I always looked forward to going to camp to watch them play. I was always so busy with hockey so I didn’t get to go as much I like to. When I graduated high school, I was given the opportunity to play in the United States Hockey League, the top junior hockey league in the country. I played a couple years and decided to hang up the skates and start going to college. I was young, figuring out life, and then I decided to teach myself guitar. Haven’t looked back since.
2. When did you start listening to country music and when did you know you wanted a career in it?
I grew up listening to traditional country music, Motown, and Irish drinking songs. True story. My dad always listened to Johnny Cash, Merle, Willie, all the good ol’ boys. Mom loved her Motown music. My mother always loved to sing and had me singing karaoke with her since I was a kid. My family has always loved going to concerts, my first was Bruce Springsteen when I was ten years old. One of our favorite artists is Kenny Chesney. We have been going to see him for the last ten years every summer. One year, Kenny was on tour with Tim McGraw, and I remember watching them in awe. At the time I was just starting to really get into playing gigs and such and I just remember watching them thinking, I want to do that. I want to play music and have people be in that moment with me someday.
3. Who are some of your musical icons?
I have to say I have so many influences in the music industry. Eric Church is in a league of his own. His song writing is great but his performance is magnificent. His presence and attitude is inspiring. Kip Moore has a style and a way with words that have inspired me in so many ways. He also is an incredible performer, he has the kind of fun people want to see on stage. Kid Rock, good hometown guy, is one of the best performers I have ever seen in my life. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny his talent. Johnny Cash, one of the best story tellers to ever put pen to paper. Garth Brooks, amazing performer and still going strong. James Taylor, Pearl Jam, Aretha Franklin, Pink, Adam Levine, Donna Summers, I could go on and on. These are just a few influences, but they inspire me in some fashion every time I put pen to paper.
4. How did you come up with the title “Dynamite,” for your latest EP?
When I moved to Nashville, I had this vision of what I wanted to accomplish. I have written plenty of songs up to this point in life and wanted to try some new things. I wrote a lot of ballads and love songs and wanted to try to get into some more upbeat melodies. I went and saw my neighbor at the time, Eric Paul, play at a place in Printers Alley called, Alley Taps. I was blown away at his overall stage presence and incredible guitar skill. We became great friends over time and started jamming a bit. I had this idea in my head for some lyrics but it was really about the music. I wrote Dynamite so I could have Eric Paul play on the track. He nailed it, I love the song and what we did with it. So I decided to make an EP and that song would be the title track. It’s powerful and that’s why I chose that to be the name of the record.
5. What is your favorite song off “Dynamite?”
It’s hard to say. I wrote all the songs, so naturally I love them all for different reasons. I think my favorite song on the record is Faith. That song means more to me than you could understand. It’s a song about my mother and her battle with cancer and my internal battle with God. It’s beautiful.
6. Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2019?
I am getting ready to release a new single, Coming Home, February 8, 2019 if all goes according to plan. The music industry can get crazy sometimes haha. I have other songs in the works and plan to tour around the midwest as much as possible this year.
7. How would you describe your music in three to five words?
Real. Relatable. Honest.
8. What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Be fabulous”- Bill Burton
9. Is there anything else you would like to share?
We are all good people. Just always be the best version of yourself.
Nashville recording singer, Mac Watts, is an up and coming star in the country music world. Watts grew up just north of Detroit, Michigan seeking to play university ice hockey but always had a love for music. When he chose to hang up his skates, he taught himself how to play guitar, write his own songs and sang karaoke with his mom. Watts found his calling and picked up a couple shows at local bars in the Metro Detroit area.
Watts moved to south Flordia to finish his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and supported himself by performing music. He played in acoustic duo with another local singer, John Patterson, and later he started a band called “Mac Watts & the Shotgun 40.” Both proposed diversity of steady shows to support him while attending college. After graduating in December, Watts traveled to Music City to follow a career in country music as a singer/songwriter in Nashville, TN. Since February 2017, Watts has become a known name on Broadway. Watts and his band from Nashville were picked as the opening act for country band A Thousand Horses at the 100thAnniversary of Selfridge Air Base, Mt Clements, MI which held over 5,000 guests. Also, they were the winner of the 2018 Nash Next Regional Final contest, and was a opening act for Phil Vassar at the Boots and Boats Festival, Port Huron, MI. Watts also played a VIP show at a Kid Rock Concert at the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater, West Palm Beach, FL and his opening solo act at the Jen’s Bostic’s show in Jupiter, Flordia. In 2017, he was Regional Finals Winner for the Nash FM America’s Talent Search and earlier that year Watts put out his single, “Ain’t Through Loving You,” which has been playing on local radio stations in the state of Michigan and Metro Detroit.
In 2018, Watts put out his newest EP “Dynamite,” which can be found all popular music platforms. With the help of Tim Angsten, Watts created a music video for his hit tune “Faith,” which is playing on YouTube.
Hello, can you give me a little bit of background about your outdoor apparel line?
FWD (Pronounced Forward) Clothing Company started in June of 2016 with the mantra of “INSPIRING OTHERS TO DO MORE.”– Do more for yourself. Do more for others. Do more to live a fulfilling life. A lot of our designs are centered around living a fun, laid back, and outdoor lifestyle with the idea of always striving to do more.
Being based in Nashville, TN – I originally started, and continue to do so to this day, creating Nashville centric apparel (Tees, hats, sweatshirts, jackets, etc.) to showcase the booming and ever-evolving city our brand started in. Coupling one of the hottest cities in the country with our own unique twist to each design, we have seen great success with the brand.
Comfort is, and always will be, a key ingredient with every piece of clothing we create. By creating what we feel is a great brand story, cool designs, and comfortable apparel…we have set ourselves on the right track for something special.
“INSPIRE OTHERS TO DO MORE” -> #liveFWD
How did you decide on the name “FWD Clothing Co,” and was there any other names that you were thinking instead?
It’s interesting you ask this question…in a recent video we released on Instagram, I discuss why the brand was started and how the FWD name came to be. Originally we went with Going Forward but as time passed, we knew the adjustment to name was necessary and it would fit perfectly to the market we were after. It emulated the style of other brands we strived to be like yet allowed us to have our own unique story.
Some of the brands we appreciated that told a great story were ones like: (i.e. MVMT Watches, RVCA, Patagonia, etc.) – And a common thread throughout was simplicity and a minimalist brand name that spoke volumes when dissected on a deeper level! This was something we knew we had and really wanted so that is why we made the brand adjustment.
It’s important to note that no great brand happens over night. We may have pivoted our brand in the public eye (public eye of our 5K followers that is ha-ha) but it has been a key ingredient in our continued success today.
The word forward had appeared everywhere…commercials, billboards, license plates…you name it, I saw it. It was such a testament to my life story of always pushing FWD no matter what life threw my way…I knew immediately it would be a focal point in the brand name!
Where do you see “FWD,” in 5 to 10 years?
The 5 to 10-year plan for FWD encompasses several of our own boutique stores in dynamic, hot cities like Nashville. The key, though, is to not move too fast and find just the right spot like our current Mobile 12 south Nashville location. Along with several of our own boutique stores, we hope to land a few larger retailers as well as expand our online ecommerce platform. Lastly, we hope to continue to spread our product offerings and continue making a huge impact around the world.
Have any famous celebs worn any clothes from the collection?
We have been fortunate to get some awesome people to support the brand…one of our biggest supporters is Kip Moore. He fits the brand vibe perfectly and loves being outdoors more than anyone we’ve ever met. Plus, he’s one of the most talented musicians around and being that our brand was founded in Music City, what a better advocate to have than him!?
A few others we have had the pleasure of getting gear into their hands include Miley Cyrus (yes, she actually stopped by the mobile VW Shop in Nashville one weekend to purchase which was super cool). Michael ray and Jimmie Allen have been seen rocking our FWD Guitar Pick necklaces (something we dubbed “A PICK WITH A PURPOSE”). – You can check the necklaces out on our website to learn more!
Last but not least, we have also gotten product into the hands of several reality TV stars from various shows like the bachelor/bachelorette and Very Cavallari!
What is one of your favorite event(s) to be a part of?
We love being a part of our non-profit partner Make-A-Wish of Middle, TN. Each month we sponsor one kid, create some awesome, one-of-a-kind apparel for them, and donate a certain amount of money that goes toward a trip they have chosen for their wish. Being able to meet these families and the kids is something that cannot be put into words…the only way to describe it is incredible. The positivity that radiates from everyone of them while dealing with such difficult situations is remarkable. On top of that, Make-A-Wish Middle, TN is led by the awesome Beth Torres and her entire staff/team are such a pleasure to work with! They also donate 80% of their donations towards the wishes year after year which is an incredible statistic for non-profits.
Is there anything new coming up with your company in 2019?
We have a lot coming this year. From Custom manufactured clothing (shirts, ¼ zip pullovers, jackets, outerwear, hats) to Custom FWD Shades and everything in between…it’s going to be a big year for us! We are also hoping to land our first permanent retail location by this summer and are in talks to hit several music festivals around the U.S. so stay tuned!
What advice would you give to a up and coming clothing company?
This is an awesome question and I have been getting asked this more and more lately (it seems to be a common theme ironically with our mantra being “inspiring others to do more”) ha-ha.
Anyways, although we have made significant strides in 2.5 years, we are miles upon miles away from where we want to be. We still consider ourselves to be up and coming as well, so the advice I will give is purely what I tell our team everyday. JUST START!
Take your ideas, put it out into the universe, and see what happens. Create a brand that means something to you, that tells your life story, and begin creating product and content for it! Your story may be just the key ingredient to helping someone else tell or find their story (in our experience, this has been key because so many can resonate with the FWD story of life’s ups and downs and simply having a lust to DO MORE in life). These individuals, in turn, want to be brand ambassadors which is huge for any brand).
Founder of TOMs Shoes, Blake MyCoskie, discusses in his book, START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, that getting advocates or brand ambassadors…whatever you want to call them, is crucial for brand success. Imagine if you could have 10, 20, 50, 100, or 1,000 advocates telling your brand story because they were inspired by it!? With all the great advertising out there, there still is nothing better than a personal word-of-mouth recommendation! I truly believe that. So go build it and find your advocates!
The word lifestyle gets thrown around so much in today’s branding world but if you can truly and authentically create a lifestyle and story that resonates with others…you are on the right track!
When you fail, and I say when because you will, learn from it, grow, and let it go. You will have bad designs that flop, people will criticize your brand, and not everything you create will work…but that’s okay! Go back to the drawing board, use it as motivation, and keep pushing FWD!
Lastly, if you can consistently work hard, stay patient, and build upon as many genuine relationships as possible, you will do well!
Think of it like this, when someone goes into cardiac arrest, you immediately perform CPR on them until a more permanent solution is available. The techniques used in CPR provide oxygen to the brain and generate blood flow to the heart so that the person can hopefully and eventually stay alive. Just like breathing life back into an individual, you have to breath life into your business idea! By giving that idea life you are performing a business version of CPR that in a way exhibits C (Consistency), P(Patience), and R(Relationships). Consistently performing the correct techniques, patiently waiting for all the hard work to result in the best possible outcome, and relying on yourself and others to build genuine relationships will help your business ideas come to life!
What is one of your favorite quotes?
There are so many quotes I love but one that has been with me since day 1 is this:
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog!”
This quote is everything to me because it showcases the idea that no matter how big or small someone is, if they have the determination and mindset to make it work…they will get it done! CPR!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I just want to thank you for this awesome opportunity to be featured on your blog! It is truly a privilege to have done this and it is our hope that if just one person reads our story, and is inspired, then we have done our job! So thank you for showcasing us on your platform!
Continue to create awesome content, follow your dreams & passions, and pursue your wildest aspirations!
Strive to do more for yourself, for others, and to live a life that makes you happy!
Mission Statement:“Inspire others to do more. Do more for yourself. Do more to help others. Do more to live life now.”
Step 1: They found a cool 1968 Mobile VW Bus to sell their apparel out of it. The bus was something classical and something groovy, but most importantly, it was paradoxically symbol to the bumpy ride we all experience in life. It also represented the idea of overcoming life’s problems, pushing FWD and Doing More to live a wonderful life.
Step 2: FWD describes their founder’s story and desire for life to DO MORE and chose that creating a lifestyle around the FWD clothing brand was the best way to encourage people to live their lives to the fullest.
Step 3: They found local non-profits to associate with and sold cool and relaxed attire to support their mission of giving back and inspiring their FWD society to DO MORE.
Once you shop with them, you are more than a shopper; you are an expansion of the FWD family. You can help them to continue to make great gear, make a different in their communities and live life in FWD clothes.