Cross Parallel~ Artist Spotlight!!!
Danielle Marie is a 2015 CCMA Spotlight artist and Ray McAuley Horizon Award winner and Jordan Pritchett guitarist of June nominated, platinum-selling band. Faber Drive met in a song-writing meeting in 2015 and fell for each other. For the next couple of years, they played together as individual artists on stage, fighting the ineluctable, until both of them finally gave in and came together into a new duo group called Cross Parallel.
They have previously got the attention in the music industry and built an online platform, with 175 + streams on Spotify and 29K + views on YouTube in their first couple of years as a duo. They played their 2nd single “Don’t,” at the 2019 BCCMA Awards Show after having a busy summer, including opening for CCMA Hall of Famer, Terri Clark. Later that year, they released a cover of the classic, “The Christmas Song,” with Jordan’s father, Aaron Pritchett, and his brothers in AtlantisOne.
Cross Parallel is on the brink of greatness, attracting attention from the music industry and fans around the whole world because of their different sound and relatable lyrics. They are honestly getting “Better With Time,” which is applicable as that happens to be the title of the first single from their upcoming EP. Lately, Cross Parallel has joined up with Records and together they plan to take the music industry by storm.
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Devon Beck~ Q&A!!!
- Hello Devon, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Before I became a musician, I was a high school student who was struggling to find their fit in the world. I wasn’t good at sports; orchestra & chorus was NOT for me. but I always loved music, I just didn’t know how to get involved. When I found my fit, singing country stuff, I never looked back.
- What made you want a career in country music? I never knew you could have a career in music. Honestly, when I pictured musicians, I pictured me standing on the side of the street, playing guitar & singing, with my guitar case open, asking for money. I had no idea I could go to local venues and play on the weekends. I attended my first open mic and that really opened my eyes. It showed me that there are alternate ways to peruse this career and be able to support myself.
- Who are a few of your musical icons? I wouldn’t say I have famous musical icons. My icons are the local musicians that took the time to help me become the person I am today. They spent so much of their free time giving me tips, what to do, what not to do, and lessons on playing guitar. Without them, I wouldn’t have the knowledge I have today, and I’m so very grateful for that. I hope to pay it forward one day.
- What is the background story behind your brand-new single “Mirrors?” My last single was released July of 2020. I had a set-back that following year and lost complete direction of where I was going in the industry. Fast forward to January 2021, I sat down with the co-writer of this song, Sam Grow, and he helped me voice how I was feeling. This song helped me find my new direction and I’m so thrilled people will be able to hear my side of the story.
- What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? I like to switch up my style every time I release something new. I don’t like being predicable. If you listen to my songs, they all are just a bit different in their genre, topic, structure, etc. I like to go in and trust the producer, to see what he can come up with and then we just go from there!
- How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Full of Emotion.
- What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? I’ve played many venues in PA, they are all great and I love the hosts, so I’m not going to pick there!!! But in Nashville, I really enjoy playing at The Local, Nash House Saloon, Tootsies Orchid Lounge Broadway, & Tin Roof Broadway.
- Is there anything else coming up with your music in the next few months? Yes! I have another single coming out hopefully this summer!! It’s my favorite song I’ve written so far. I’m so excited for everyone to hear it!
- What is one of your favorite quotes? Always be on your A game. You never know who may be in the room or listening.
- Is there anything else you would like to share? Thank you very much for your willingness to interview me. It was a pleasure answering your questions. I can’t wait to read the article. Thank you!
Devon Beck~ Artist Spotlight!!!
Devon Beck graduated from high school in 2020 and recently made the move from her hometown in Central Pennsylvania to Nashville to follow her singing/songwriting career.
Since moving into Music City, she has quickly gathered attention from artists, songwriters, and insiders. On June 17, 2021, Beck’s single “Mirrors,” was the “Here For This” Feature of the Day on The Ward Guenther Show (https://music.apple.com/us/station/hot-wax-hot-minute-with-dave-fenley/ra.1572043367) on Apple Music. Country artist Jimmie Allen also featured her on his Instagram for a New Artist Showcase and named her as an “artist to watch,” after the release of her EP, “One Sided Expectations.” Beck was also asked to perform at Pennsylvania 2020 & 2021 York State Fair by Scott Donato, a radio personality with Forever Media’s Froggy 107.7.
With her grown-up lyrical attitude and heartfelt vocal delivery, Beck brings you into her music. Her laidback, unique voice envelopes the likes of Maren Morris and Adele into her individual sound. She smoothly combines country and pop flavors into her work, bringing the center between country twang and soulful pop.
Beck’s debut EP, “One Sided Expectations,” came out on her 18th birthday in July 2020. The four-song recording is a truthful and honest impression of the heartbreak and bumpy relationships Beck has experienced; however, the lyrics are sincere and relatable at any age. The title track duplicate as track one. “One Sided Expectations,” brings the listener down a road of letting go of unhappy expectations. Track two, “Love Me or Get Lost,” will make you move as Beck sings about wanting someone to cherish her. “Forgive Me,” track three, is a piano-driven song that appeals for grace and forgiveness for errors made. The last track, “Devil in Disguise,” showcases a rock sound as Beck names out past betrayals.
One “Sided Expectations,” has been nominated for Album/EP of the Year at the 2nd Central PA Music Awards to be held in July 2021. Beck has also been nominated for Best New Band/Artist.
Beck has played in over 150 shows and continues to tour across Nashville, Tennessee and Central Pennsylvania by covering a broad assortment of everyone’s favorite covers and her own EP. All of Beck’s music is available to listen on Spotify and Apple Music. If you would like to find out more about the talented Devon Beck (https://devonbeckofficial.com).
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- Hello Gracia, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a country singer? Well. That would probably be when I was in the womb… Hahaha. I have really been singing and have had dreams of this since I was a child. Ever since I learned that it was not possible to become a mermaid, I set my sights on the entertainment industry. I did a lot of acting when I was younger in community productions and such, and that didn’t really stick. What did though, is singing. We used to live out in the middle of a cornfield, and there was a big shed in the backyard with a concrete circle where a grain silo used to be, and so in my head I kind of made it like a little ampitheater, and would go and SIIIING all night long to nobody, but I would pretend obviously that I was putting on these large, sold out concerts. As I got older I definitely did kind of start re-evaluating my life plans; especially being from a small town, you usually don’t get the option of like, “oh yeah, you actually CAN move away and become something bigger than this”, and so, while I kept singing locally, I started to consider nursing school at the end of high school. Which was genuinely probably not something I actually WANTED to pursue, but like, everyone else was doing it and ya know, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Plus, music never seemed attainable in my world back then, just because I never really was exposed to the right environment with OPTIONS to do so, you know? I lived in a town where everyone went to school and stayed there and settled down. So it always seemed like this very far away, unreachable dream that only very lucky people were able to obtain. This was also back before Instagram was even a thing (it took off my senior year of high school; back when we all used like awful filters and posted anything and everything), and so, it wasn’t like it is in the current world with social media platforms and more opportunities than ever without even leaving your hometown. SO, I was like, well. I guess I’ll start trying out for singing shows. So I started auditioning for reality shows, in hopes that I would make it. I think I did American Idol like 4 or 5 times, and I never made it to the Hollywood week. I auditioned for the Voice for season 2, and didn’t make it, so I went back for season 3. They remembered me, and I remember I got a call at my job working in the kids center of a fitness facility in my hometown, and got told I was going to the next round in LA. From there, it was history!
- What made you want a career in country music? I grew up on country, and grew up IN the country in a small town in Illinois. My entire family listens to country, so it’s just what I grew up on. I remember my mom had like, Trisha Yearwood, Blake Shelton, Shania Twain, and LeAnn Rhimes’s debut CDs, and I’d always listen to them when I was young. While I appreciate all genres, country has always been what I’ve been drawn to. I will say though, my love for pop is a close second, and I’m most inspired by pop music; so I try to incorporate pop lyrics and sounds in to my music, alongside country elements.
- Who are some of your musical icons? Halsey, Kelsea Ballerini, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain and Lady Gaga. Which, they are all so very different, butI’m inspired by different things from each of them. I love everything about them as artists, but I’m most inspired by Halsey’s attitude and her lyrics and ability to make a sad song bop, Kelsea for her personality and style of music, Dolly because… she’s Dolly and extra as hell (same) but 100% herself, and Gaga for that reason as well. Shania, she’s just amazing and truly paved the way for pop country artists.
- What is the background story behind your brand-new single “hey? So I started writing this song and didn’t even really MEAN for it to end up being like, what it is now, but it ended up becoming a love song about how my boyfriend and I met. The storyline in the song comes from past experiences I’ve had dating. I had been in a relationship that ended badly, and spent a few years just really being wary of being involved with anyone else beyond anything casual, going out a lot, etc. We ended up in a relationship and he’s great to me, and has kind of been the reason I slowed down and realized that it’s not so bad when you’re with the right person.
- What was your favorite part of being a part of The Voice? Honestly I loved the entire experience. From just the excitement of being on the show, the crew and other contestants that became like family, and just getting to experience hanging out in LA and being around so many amazing artists. I made a lot of lasting friendships and continue to make them! It’s kind of funny, we all may have been on different seasons, but it’s like, we’ll meet on whatever social channels or even in real life, and it’s just like, distant family kind of. Like, we all went on this show and have this common denominator. Haha.
- How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Fun, bubbly, and feel-good. For now. I want to release some deeper tracks in the future, but I’m currently sticking with the upbeat bops!
- What are some of your favorite venues to play at? Honestly, I don’t think there’s been many places I didn’t enjoy playing! I just love doing what I do. I of course, LOVE supporting national acts or headlining fairs and festivals, but I also love smaller more intimate venues as well. They’re both so great in their own ways. There’s such a rush with the bigger venues and shows, but the smaller ones are always so fun, especially when everyone’s having a good time and you get to interact with people on a more personal level. It feels like you’re at a home-town bar/venue and I love that feeling equally.
- What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? So usually ideas come to me and I just jot them down and come back to them, sometimes I write the entire song right then and there, or sometimes I save it for a co-write because it’s just not coming out how I expected. It just depends on the song, really. I usually have a pretty good idea of what I want it to sound like, and the vibe of the song whenever it comes to my head before I even start writing. Which of course sometimes that changes! As far as making the music itself, I enjoy being in the studio while the track is being produced, and being able to listen and build it alongside the producer. Looove watching it come to life.
- What is one of your favorite quotes? Okay well… I cannot pick one, so top 3?! I literally like, collect quotes on Pinterest, so I am full of them. Hah. I LOVE Dolly’s quote, “Find out who you are, and do it on purpose”, “You will never influence the world by trying to be like it”, and lastly, “Be somebody who makes everyone feel like somebody.”
- Is there anything else you would like to share? That everyone should go CHECK OUT “hey” NOW, ADD IT TO YOUR SUMMER PLAYLISTS. Also, I’m getting ready to release more music so be on the lookout!
Gracia~ Artist Spotlight!!!
With some background in the Midwest but the soul of a city girl, Gracia (formerly known as Gracia Harrison) shows her love of both through her music, by combining pop factors and lyrics with a country sparkle.
From down-to-earth beginnings singing at country fairs and festivals in the Midwest, Gracia move on to find herself on Blake Shelton’s team on NBC’s the Voice. Being the first contestant to yodel on the show, she received praise from all four of the show’s coaches, as well as many major country media outlets.
After her time on the Voice, Gracia went on to release her debut single, “Jezebel” which charted on the Music Row charts. After she found herself moving in more of a country/pop direction, and later put out her lively, summertime, upbeat single “Boys in a Beach Town.” She has headlined many Midwest fairs, festivals and NASCAR race events, as also supported artists such as Scott McCreery, the Eli Young Band, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Lee Brice, Tyler Farr, the Swon Brothers and Tyler Farr.
Her first self-written single “hey” was released in May 2021. The song found a spot on many Spotify playlists, such as the ACM New Music Friday playlist. Gracia has plans of putting out more new music in 2021, including an EP and a Midwestern tour to follow. If you would like to find out more about the talented Gracia then check out her website at (http://iamgracia.com).
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Christian Yancey~ Q&A!!!
- Hello Christian, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? So I am 24, grew up in Mcdonough, GA, a small town about 25 min south of Atlanta. Before I really dove into country music I was a college track athlete at Ole Miss. My main event was the 400 meter hurdles, and I also was a part of the 4×4 relay team. I graduated from Ole Miss in 2020 with a degree in Managerial Finance. Then after my track career started writing and recording country music.
- How did you come up with the name “Old Bronco,” for your brand new EP? The song “Old Bronco” was probably the 3rd song I ever wrote. In highschool my first car was a 1993 Ford Bronco. I wanted to write a song about the memories I had in highschool driving that Bronco and that is what I had come up with. The song became a favorite and has been long awaited with my friends and family that had heard my songs so I decided that to be the title track for the EP.
- What is your favorite song off the EP? I can’t say that I have a favorite song on my EP, they all stem from experiences from my life with a twist of the country music style I love and grew up on. My favorite song is typically the mood that I am in for the day so its hard for me to pick exactly one.
- Who are some of your musical icons? My biggest icons in country music that I grew up on are probably Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, and Randy Travis. I try to write music that would honor that style of country music. I have found a lot of respect for people in the industry now like Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, and HARDY. I feel like these guys are carrying on that same style of country music with their own twist.
- What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? I typically sit down and write the songs on my piano or my acoustic. They typically start with an idea of title and I write to those ideas. Once I get the songs written I pitch them to my team and see what they think. Once we get ready to cut I meet with the musicians in the studio and talk about the direction I would like for the songs, the instruments that I want, style of country, etc. and then we cut the songs live.
- How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? I would describe my music as “Classic with a modern twist”
- What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? Well I have had the privilege of playing some awesome places, my favorite so far would be Southern Roots Tavern, McDonough, GA, Red Clay Music Foundry, Duluth, GA, Live Oak, Nashville, TN, and The Dogwood, Nashville, TN.
- When you are not working on your music, what do you like to do in your free time? I am a big outdoors guy, I grew up fishing a lot with my Dad, and for most of my childhood I wanted to be a professional bass fisherman. Over the past few years I have gotten into deer hunting a lot as well, so most of me free time is spent on those things
- What is one of your favorite quotes? One of my favorite that I have heard and has stuck with me since I heard it is “Pray like its 100% up to God, and work like its 100% up to you”
- Is there anything else you would like to share? I just want to give a thank you to my family and friends for being so supportive throughout this, and encouraging me to chase my dreams. It makes it a lot easier when you have the support that I have. Also I want to give a big thanks to my team that I work with for seeing something in my songs and helping me make these ideas come to life. And most importantly I want to thank God for this, my faith is a very important thing to me and God is the one who blessed me with the words to say and the ability to write these songs
Christian Yancey~ Artist Spotlight
Christian Yancey is a country singer and songwriter from McDonough, GA. The town is a little south of Atlanta, GA. Yancey started writing and recording music only a few years ago and since then he has put out 4 singles and his EP “Old Bronco,” which came out on June 11th, 2021. Yancey’s music is classical like 90’s country music he grew up on with a new modern sound.
Yancey’s music can be found on Apple Music, Spotify and Youtube. If you would like to find out more about the great and talented Christian Yancey then check out his Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/christianyancey_/).
AJ Gatio~ Q&A!!!
Hello AJ, can you tell us all about yourself before you became a country musician? I was a college football player and student and then as soon as I graduated I moved to Nashville!
Who are some of your musical icons? Dierks Bentley – Just a well rounded example of how to be an artist. Great person, great music, and puts his family first. John Mayer – Not only do his lyrics make you feel something, it’s impressive how emotional his PLAYING is in terms of guitar. The 1975 – I’m all about adding weird things or parts to songs that don’t sound “normal”. Let’s keep it weird.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? “It’s 100% me.” This time around, I’m hands on through the whole process. It’s the first time I’ve played guitar on my own songs instead of having my guitar player do it (minus the electric parts). Everything from song structure, to the riffs, drum production, comes from my brain. I’m no longer leaning on someone else it build up the song for me. I’ve also stopped chasing what “modern country” is, lyrically. This year I’m putting out a new song every 3-4 weeks and a lot of the topics/lyrics are things that most mainstream artists would never dare say in a song they’re sending to radio (I cover many self-criticizing topics to say the least).
This applies more so to the new songs coming out this year and not so much what I’ve put out previously but “It is who I am”. The new music is literally a combination of pretty much all my influences of what I listen to. Less chasing some sound, more letting my ear dictate the sound.
What is the background story behind your brand new single “Do You Miss Me?” So I remember having the idea for the chorus around the time LAUV dropped his album. In true pop music, some songs have literally the most repetitive, quick, vibey choruses that don’t require much thought or lyric. They let the melody carry the chorus. Originally the lyric of “do you miss me” didn’t carry much weight with me, as I wrote it pre-breakup, however, once the breakup hit, the song really evolved into something more for me (so I tweaked the verses) and I knew we were gonna do a real version of it for the record.
What made you want a career in country music? Creating or playing music with my friends is whereI feel the most joy and I really believe that life is too short to not be doing something that is fulfilling for you, personally. Writing can sometime be therapy for me. Playing Iive is the closest I get to feeling that rush you had when you were a kid and went to the playground.
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? My favorite that I’ve played so far is Tin Roof Cincinnati. Our hometown shows get WILD. I also loved a bar that recently closed due to the pandemic called NashVegas in Columbia, Missouri. That was one of the first college bars I played and we would play there once a semester and I made so many good memories playing there!
What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? To keep it short… I typically make a demo at home of a song I’m thinking about recording to see if I can dress it up to sound the way I want to. If it feels really good to me, I take my rough version of the song (I’d say probably 75% of the way done) and take it to my co-producer Dan. While I know a decent amount about production, Dan knows so many more tips and tricks that he can do to really make the song feel polished and shiny. While we do this to finish the song, it also is a great way for me to learn new things about producing!
What do you like to do in your free time when not working on your music? Free time is a funny concept as I usually have NONE. I workout, a lot. I don’t do it nearly enough for fun but I really, really like traveling.
Is there anything else you would like to share?There’s gonna be a new song dropping every month for the foreseeable future! (at least well into 2022)
What is one of your favorite quotes? “Big trees fall hard”. Literally first thing that came to my mind. No idea why.