- Hello Nick, could you give me a little background of your life, before you became a country singer? Well I played a lot of sports in high school and college, and was actually the front man to a Christian Rock/pop band before we disbanded and then I became a solo act.
- What made you want to become a country musician? It is the most comfortable for me to do. I am from the south, a small town in East Tennessee, so the small town lifestyle and country music was prodominant to me.
- Who are some of your musical icons? I love Justin Timberlake, Boys Like Girls, Travis Tritt, Randy Travis, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, The Fray, U2, Michael Jackson.. So many more.. But those are a few.
- What is your favorite song on your latest EP “Tailgate Dance Floor?” My favorite song is “Tailgate Dancefloor.” I wrote it about my truck… Aka my baby hahaha!!
- If you could do a duet with a famous singer or band who would it be and why? Luke Bryan, big fan of his and his music. I think it would be a killer track
- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years in your music career? Hopefully playing in arenas with radio success.
- What has been one of your biggest accomplishments that you are most proud of? Anytime I write a song that doesn’t suck I consider it a big accomplishment haha, but releasing “Tailgate Dancefloor” to country radio was a huge accomplishment
- If you had to give an advice to an up and coming musician what would you tell them? Work hard, do not get discouraged, and make the best music you possibly can.. Do not settle. Great music will find a way quicker that not great music.
- When you are not working on your music, what do you like to do in your free time? I love to golf and travel. The beach, theme parks, or sporting events are my 3 favs. I am a HUGE fan of the university of Alabama.
- What has been your favorite venue to play at?I know it’s crazy, but 12th and Porter is my favorite venue. Not to big and not to small.. Holds plenty of people and still intimate. The sound and lighting there are great as well
- What are some of your favorite things about Nashville? The community. Nashville will make you the best you that you can be. Everyone here is better than you, so it forces you to either get better to have a shot. Or choose another career haha
- Do you have any upcoming news you can share about your career for the rest 2016 or 2017? We are currently in the process of selecting the next batch of songs for a new ep.. We will start recording at the end of the year, release a new single sometime in February, then release the new ep in May. I am really excited about it.
Artist Spotlight: Nick Hickman
Nick Hickman is from Knoxville, Tennessee. He moved to Nashville in 2014. Nick’s musical icons are Justin Timberlake, Travis Tritt, Luke Bryan and The Fray. In 2016, Nick released an EP called “Tailgate Dance Floor.” The EP contains his well-known single “Summertime Southern Style.” His second single “Rain” which is out right now, is also gaining popularity. Ryan had the chance to work with producer Colin Brittain on his EP. Brittain has produced music for the band 5 Seconds of Summer and singer Sonia Leigh. He also worked with Jeff Zacharski who is a producer, mixer and award-winning songwriter. Zacharski has worked with artists like John Legend and Mike Posner. “Tailgate Dance Floor” is currently on the Top 100 Nashville’s Music Row Chart and is being played on many popular country music stations throughout the United States. His latest single “Rain” is a strong ballad that showcases what Nick is capable of doing with his vocals.
If you want to hear more about Nick Hickman music then check it out on Spotify and ITunes. Also for any upcoming news about him, you can view this website: www.nickhickman.com/.
Social Media Accounts:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/thenickhickmanvideos/
Top 5 Favorite Songs-Sept 26
- Lindsay Ell “All Alright”: Ell’s new single “All Alright”, talks about things going wrong, but how a individual can show happiness into the situation and make the hardest of times, more hopeful. This single is Ell’s second single. Her first single “By The Way”, has over 2 million download on Spotify. So if you are fan of Ell’s then checkout her music on ITunes and Spotify.
- Ryan Robinette “Beer Season”: Ryan Robinette newest single “Beer Season” is an upbeat kind of country song. This song explains how the season is now fall and the sport to be watching is football. Also the song showcases all you need around this time is good friends, a good place to party and tasty beer. This song is available on Spotify and iTunes; if you are a Robinette fan then you should probably checkout his new song.
- The Lost Bandoleros “Where Do You Go?” The Last Bandoleros is a all male band that showcases its Tex-Mex sound with country music. Their single “Where Do You Go?” is an upbeat song that will have you dancing along while listening to it. This song tells a story about heartbreak that a man has, after his woman leaves him. The man goes out and has to many drinks, to realize she has left him for good.
- Kyle Park “Rednecks with Paychecks”: Park’s new single “Rednecks with Paychecks” describes the good time of being a working country redneck. This song is about boys and girls who love their adult toys like jet skis, RVs, and pickups. This song is available on ITunes and Spotify.
- American Young “Soldier’s Wife” (Don’t Want You To Go): American Young new song “Soldier’s Wife” (Don’t Want You To Go), tells the story of a soldier’s wife, who does not want her husband to go. This has a special meaning because even though not everyone has a husband in the service, it does tell the common story of how some one can be missing the one they love, while they are away. This song is available on their latest EP “AY” on iTunes and Spotify.
Website of each Artist and Group:
Lindsay Ell: www.lindsayell.com/
Ryan Robinette: www.ryanrobinettemusic.com/
The Lost Bandoleros: www.thelastbandolores.com/
Kyle Park: www.kylepark.com/
American Young: www.americanyoung.com/
Q & A: Scott McLaughlin: “Scotty Mac Band”
- Could you tell me a little about your upbringing before you came a country musician?
I grew up in a small desert town called Hemet in California. I started playing guitar at 13 and spent a lot of time playing music and writing songs in high school. I moved to Orange County so I could go to school and ended up liking the area so I stayed. I started the band as a fun side project with my drummer John off a Craigslist ad.
- How did your music career take off?
I’m not sure it feels like it has “taken off” in the sense that a lot of people mean that phrase. Looking back we have come a LONG way but to me it still seems like an everyday thing, and I hope that never goes away. I wake up everyday and just keep plugging away at it.
- So far in your music career, what part of it has made you the most proud and why?
The fact that we have done it all ourselves. We have no record label support and everything we’ve built, we’ve built it by working for it.
- If you could a duet with an artist or group who would it be?
Male- Ronnie Dunn
- Who are some of your music influences?
Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Brooks and Dunn, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley are some of the top ones. I usually find something different about every artist that influences me.
- What is your favorite song on your EP “Messing Around”?
I like them all 😉 but if I had to pick it would be Trainwreck. I really like the lyrics to that song and I remember being pretty proud of it when I finished it.
- What show or concert has been one of your favorite to play at and why?
Night in the Country (Yerington, NV) has always been a blast. That crowd likes to have a good time. We played for them until almost 4am in 2015.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years in your music career?
Headlining my own tours and making a difference in the country music scene. I’d like to see people getting back to writing more meaningful songs in the genre. It’s great to blend and mix in outside influences but country is in a different place right now and I would like to steer it back in a direction that’s a little more true to its roots. Good story telling, well thought out lyrics, and real instrumentation.
- In your free time when you are not busy with your music, what do you like to do?
Lol.. There’s not much of it right now, but if I find free time I enjoy being active so I work out and I love to read. I’ll read anything but fiction is usually my first choice.
- If you have to give advice to an up and coming artist or group what would you tell them?
-You have to put this first. Everything else in your life has to come after this career or it won’t work.
-Don’t give up.
-Be prepared to work harder for it than anything else. It’s worth every minute of it, but it’s a LOT of hard work.
Artist Spotlight:Scott McLaughlin :”Scotty Mac Band”
Scott McLaughlin is from a small Southern California town surrounded by a dairy farms and annual horse shows. Scott’s love for music started when he was introduced to classic rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band. He fell in love with country music when he received his first guitar from his dad at the age of 13. By high school he was writing and singing his own songs. When attending California State University, Long Beach he was a part of many bands and performed at different places throughout Southern California.
Scott formed the Scotty Mac Band in 2014. The band’s early success led them to Nashville in November 2014. Also in 2014, Scott and his band recorded their first EP called “Messin Around.” Scott and his band’s success continued in 2015 as they were invited to perform at many country music festivals. Scott has had the chance to tour with country musicians such as Chris Young, Easton Corbin, Parmalee, Jake Owen and Luke Bryan. In 2016, the Scotty Mac Band was an opening act for Chase Bryant. For the rest of the year, Scott and his band will be performing at different venues and festivals. The Scotty Mac Band’s music is available on Apple Music and Spotify. For any upcoming news about the band checkout their website: www.scottymacband.com.
Favorite Songs of the Week: September 19
- Dee Jay Silver feat. Austin Webb “Just Got Paid”: Both Silver and Webb wrote “Just Got Paid.” Silver is the first ever DJ to be signed to a Nashville record label. He is also the first DJ to play at the ACMs. Silver is known for touring with country artist Jason Aldean. Webb is an up and coming country music indie artist. This song combines EDM mixes with a country sound. The new track has been available since July 15th, 2016 on iTunes and Spotify. This single is a catchy song to sing and dance too.
- Courtney Cole “Ladylike” Country Cole: Courtney Cole was recently on tour with Miranda Lambert last year. The other opening acts on Lambert’s tour were Ashley Monroe, Raelynn and Clare Dun. In this song, Cole shows her rocker side but also has a sweet instrumental sound to it. She also shares how she does not always act like a lady but more like a tomboy. If you like this song then you can give it a listen on iTunes and Spotify.
- Olivia Lane “Make My Own Sunshine” Olivia Lane:In this song Lane tells the story about how people sometimes has bad days, but it is up to yourself to make it better. I agree that life sometimes can be crazy, but it is also okay to have fun and to not harp on the little things in life. This song is available on Spotify and iTunes.
- Lucas Hoge “Boom Boom”: Hoge’s single “Boom Boom” is written by Ben Glover and is an up-tempo modern pop country song. This song tells the story about how people are always trying to find new way to say I love you. This single is available on iTunes and Spotify.
- James Barker Band “Lawn Chair Crazy”: The Ontario-based group consists of James Barker, Taylor Abram, Bobby Martin and Connor Stephen. This song is a great summer tune. If you are having a nice day at the beach or just hanging out with your family and friends then this song will fit right in. This song also showcases being with the ones you love, sunny days and drinking a cold beer. The band is hoping to release this song on an upcoming EP before 2017.
Tyler Rich Q & A
- Hi Tyler, what made you cross over from alternative/rock music to country music?
I’d played with many bands over the years with different sounds and genres. When I started doing the solo thing full force, I was finally able to take the route I’d wanted to without having other band member’s input on what they wanted to do genre wise.
- You released your EP Valerie last year, which did quite well, is there any new music that will be available in 2016?
I’m hoping to have a new single out by the end of the year!
- If you had to pick one song that you have recorded from your EP, or just a song you wrote, what is one of your favorites and why?
My new song I wrote “Rebound” is definitely my newest favorite. I love the meaning behind it. The Lyrics, melody, everything about it. It’s personal to me, and I hope everyone else loves it the same as I do!
- Also last year you move from California to Nashville, how has it been living there?
Nashville is amazing! It’s a necessary move to pursue country music, and I love living here!
- When you were on tour with Dustin Lynch, Chris Lane and DJ Hish, how was that experience for you, and what was your favorite venue to play at?
Such a fun time, I miss it! My favorite cities of the tour were Denver, Orlando, NYC, and Anaheim.
- If you could do a duet with any musician or band whom would it be and why?
I’d love to collaborate with someone from another genre; a hip-hop artist like Kendrick Lamar would be amazing.
- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?
Touring full time and living this dream to the fullest!
- If you have to give advice to an up and coming country artist, what would be your advice?
Keep grinding, it never gets easier, but it becomes worth it. Don’t slow down, you’ll end up regretting time wasted. Play as much as you can, promote as much as you can, and be humble, genuine, and kind.
- What is it about having a close relationship with your fans on social media and also in person?
We live in an era where social media lets us connect with our fans like nothing any artists before us could have imagined. It’s great to utilize it, we can’t take it for granted. I started off by trying to sell CDs to people standing in line to concerts a decade ago in my earlier bands. Now, you can message strangers from anywhere across the world, it’s amazing.
- When you are not busy what do you love to do in your free time when you have it?
Honestly I love to travel and explore new places, and cultures, especially overseas. If that isn’t able to happen, then I like to relax as much as possible, hang with my dog, watch movies, and catch up with friends, you know. Everyday normal life stuff.
- What was the first tattoo you ever got and would you want to get any more?
On my left tricep when I was 18! Song lyrics “These Knuckles Break Before They Bleed” referencing the fact I would die, before I’d give up with my career. Haven’t given up yet! And, I have a couple more ideas in mind for new ones 😉
- What is your favorite thing about being California Grown?
California is such an amazing place with so much diversity. From multiple cultures, climates, etc. it’s a great place to be raised and a place I’ll always love calling “home”.
Sept 12, 2016
- Casey Donahew “Kiss Me”-“All Night Party”: Casey Donahew’s new single, “Kiss Me,” is on his fourth album “All Night Party.” This song is a classic love story with a girl waiting on a boy to finally make a move. Many girls can relate to this song’s lyrics. The song tells a story about an outlaw cowboy who falls for a girl, from another town. The boy chooses love and leaves his outlaw life in the past. Both of them try to make their love last, but then the girl is killed with a bullet.
- Natalie Stovall and The Drive’s “Heartbreak”-“Heartbreak EP”: Natalie Stovall and The Drive’s newest single is called “Heartbreak” which is on their latest EP “Heartbreak.” This single features an R & B beat. Stovall sings about certain people causing her heartbreak. The song’s unique lyrics sets it apart from other country artists. You can tell this group provides a lot of energy when performing this song.
- Jennifer Nettles: “Hey Heartbreak”-“Playing With Fire”: Jennifer Nettles new song “Hey Heartbreak” is on her new album “Playing With Fire.” This song is about a breakup and how the person is still heartbroken over their ex. The song explains how it is in the best interest of individual to move on from a relationship if their spouse is walking over them. I think this song provides strength to females when deciding how to handle a relationship.
- Margo Price: “Hands of Time”-“Midwest Farmer’s Daughter”: Margo Price’s new single “Hands of Time” is available on her EP “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.” Price sings about leaving her hometown to follow her musical dreams. While trying to make her dreams come true, she falls into some bad habits and problems. At the end of the song the girl wishes she could go back in time to her normal, simpler life.
- Muddy Magnolias: “Brother, What Happened”-“Broken People”: The duo of Muddy Magnolias has produced a new single “Brother, What Happened.” This song is available on their new EP called “Broken People.” The song is an anthem for people to stick up for themselves. In this song, Jessy Wilson and Kallie North, bring different types of sounds and genres including country music. I feel more and more country artists and groups are bringing in different music genres to make country sound new and unique.
BOOTS ON STAGE PRESENTS: Chaley Rose, Caleche Ryder, Jill & Julia, Katie Dix and Sophia Scott – Wed, Sept. 7
On September 7th, Boots on Stage had a showcase at The Hotel Café featuring up and coming female country artists. The lineup for this show included Caleche Ryder, Chaley Rose, Jill & Julia, Katie Dix and Sophia Scott. As I was heading to Los Angeles, I was excited to be checking out a new concert venue in Southern California. Since opening in 2000, The Hotel Cafe has featured famous musicians such as John Mayer, Adele, Sara Barellies and Katy Perry.
The night started around 8 p.m. with sister duo Jill & Julia. Jill & Julia are from Las Vegas but currently reside in Los Angeles. During the show, they shared how they are enjoying their time in Los Angles and think it is really neat to play a live show on a weeknight. My favorite part of their performance was when they did covers of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” I like how country musicians can cover other genres of music and make it their own. I also had the privilege of meeting Jill and took the time to thank her for being part of my blog a couple weeks ago as an “Artist Spotlight” and “Q & A.” Jill was very happy that I introduced myself and came to see her and her sister play live. If you get a chance, check out their songs on Apple Music and Spotify. Make sure to like their social media pages, which feature some great live videos of the girls singing their own original songs.
YouTube channel: (https://www.youtube.com/user/jillandjuliamusic)
The next performer of the night was Chaley Rose. Chaley Rose was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana. After high school, she graduated from Indiana University and then spent some time studying acting in New York. She is now living full time in Los Angeles. She is best known for her role as Zoey in the drama series Nashville. Chaley is truly making a name for herself in the television and music world. She has been playing many local concerts in California this past year. In 2016, I have already seen her perform twice. She has a small set at Boots on Stage’s pre-Stagecoach concert and she joined up and coming country artist, Tyler Rich, for a duet at the famous Troubadour. Each time I have seen her play she truly shows her talent and how grateful she is for all the accomplishments she has achieved so far in her career. I do not think this will be the last time LA or any other popular city will be graced with Chaley and her wonderful music. If you want find out any news about Chaley Rose then checkout her Instagram:(https://www.instagram.com/chaleyrose/).
Following Chaley Rose was country female artist Katie Dix. Katie is from Bakersfield, California. She was introduced to country music by country legend Buck Owens. When Owens found out about her talent, he showcased her regularly at his venue, The Crystal Palace. Since Owens passing, Katie has made a name for herself as a country singer in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. She also takes many trips to Nashville to help her create songs that have a Cali-Nash vibe. A song that I enjoyed of hers was “Don’t Count the Stars.” I feel many young women can relate to this song. It is about how girls are hoping the boy they are dating is into them and they can see a happy ending in the future. If you want to find out more about Katie Dix, then checkout her Instagram: (https://www.instagram/katiedixmusic/). Her music is also available on (https://soundcloud.com/katiedix).
Sophia Scott was the next artist to play at the showcase. She is from Boulder, Colorado and currently living in Los Angles, California. She is a country and R&B singer-songwriter. My favorite performance of Sophia’s was when she did a cover of Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey.” This song is a hard one to cover, but I felt that Sophia made it her own and was proud many people in the auidence enjoyed it as well. If you want to find out more about Sophia Scott’s music and upcoming shows then checkout her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiascottmusic/) or her Instagram: (https://www.instagram.com/sophunky/?h1=en).
The last performer of the night was my new favorite country musician, Caleche Ryder. Caleche grew up riding horses in San Diego County, California. She then moved to Reno, Nevada where she became Miss Nevada in 2007. She is now living in Los Angeles with her husband and recording music. My favorite part of her performance was when she brought up all the other acts to cover Maren Morris’ “My Church.” I was also happy when she sang “West Coast Cowgirl.” “West Coast Cowgirl” is an anthem Caleche wrote for all SoCal girls who love and are proud of everything country. It was also nice to catch up with Caleche before and after her set. You could tell she was happy that her loyal fans came out to see her. I was also lucky enough to meet some of her family members who were very happy to hear how much I like Caleche’s music. If you are going to Route 91 in Las Vegas, be sure to check out Caleche’s set. If you want to find out more news about Caleche Ryder, visit her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/calecherydermusic/) or Twitter: (https://twitter.com/calecheryder?lang=en). Her music is available on Spotify and Apple Music. Lastly be sure to watch her music video for “West Coast Cowgirl” on Youtube: (https://youtube.com/user/leche510).
This showcase was so much fun to watch. It was a real treat to see five up and coming female artists sing some great original and cover songs. I hope Boots on Stage and Ricky Abramson do many more showcases and concerts in the near future.