*Trew’s great-aunt Dee Ann makes “watermelon” sherbet every summer.
Directions: * It’s a lime sherbet spread around a bowl filled in the middle with raspberry sorbet that’s mixed with chocolate chips. Trew describes how it LOOKS like a watermelon and also how it is a “death row dessert.”
Hello, Maddye! Can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
Hi…yes! I’m Maddye Trew. I grew up just outside of Memphis in a spot called Atoka, TN. It was a ‘one Kroger, one restaurant where you saw everybody’ kinda town. I have a little brother who was a record-breaking quarterback in the city, so our parents always called us their ‘little Peyton Manning and Carrie Underwood.’ Both sets of my grandparents lived next to us, so my little brother and I always had support with our fun passions. My mom got a job as a choir teacher at the school I ended up going to, so I jumped in on that with her and was a choir kid until I graduated in 2014. I was in every musical we put on, and I really miss that part of my life. Someday in my career, I’d love to add Broadway to the resume.
What made you want a career in country music?
My first concert … and my Nana. We enjoyed watching American Idol together so much that she bought us tickets for the Season 2 tour with Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken. As soon as the first song ended, I knew that becoming a famous singer and playing the FedEx Forum [in Memphis] was what I wanted to do. I was so jealous, and I have relived that moment at ever concert I’ve attended since. Being from TN and loving Shania Twain, I grew up with a love for country music, and when I turned fifteen, I decided to go for it by auditioning for American Idol myself. Sadly, my Nana had passed away by then, so I was also going in her honor.
My first shot was in St. Louis where I made it to the second round. We were thrilled, and we figured if we made it past one [round], we should make a trip out of it and go every year. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I got my golden ticket to Hollywood. That became the last confidence shove I needed to go to Nashville to pursue a career in country music, and I know my Nana is still cheering me on to do it, too.
Who are some of your musical icons?
Carrie Underwood, Patsy Cline, and Shania Twain. If I met any of these women, I wouldn’t be able to hold my self together. Carrie Underwood is my top icon. I strive to have the professionalism, respectability, and standing as her. She’s just a nice country girl that can wail her heart out on great music. She’s got style, humor, and wears the most beautiful dresses. I honestly think I’m her top Spotify listener. Every morning I play whichever album, mostly Storyteller, in my car and imagine it’s me performing at any of the renowned stages in Nashville or my home city, Memphis.
Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” was the first song I learned from a voice teacher and played out with a full band. Having those educational experiences at an early age led me to love and focus more on her vocality. I enjoyed singing in mixed voice after that. I write songs now while keeping her phrasing in mind. Her phrasing and mixed voice is so smooth, and I love her lower notes. Check out “Leavin’ on your Mind” – the live version. You’ll be speechless.
Shania Twain is the pop side of me. She was the first country artist I gravitated to at an early age. My mom had the CD of her Come on Over album, and we would play it over and over in the car. She said that I wanted to listen to it so much that I would finally just get in the car and ask her to play the specific numbers of the song on the CD; I had the numbers memorized. She [Shania] is also just such a performer. I wanted to move like her and take the crowd like she does. I really loved pretending it was me, as her, in the backseat. Mom said I crushed it.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Gosh, I don’t know. Um, I know how I would want others to describe it. Authentically, unapologetically “Maddye!”
What is the background story behind your new single !That“s the Lonely Talkin“?”
“That”s the Lonely Talkin ‘” written by my friends Katie Barbour and Jimmy Thrasher. With Katie, loneliness was connected to divorce; for Jimmy, it was his becoming a widower. When I heard first heard the song, I was in middle of losing my “normal,” as my parents were separating. It’s really a universal take on grief, and I love songs like that. Songs that can reach everybody. And as it did for us, I hope it gives people a space to listen and sing through the pain while remembering that
everyone else around you also has theirs, and you’re all in the same boat. So, you’re not totally alone.
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
I love playing the !Porchlight Pickers” round at the Local in Nashville. It’s a good vibe. I always hang out after the show with my family and friends that come to see me; we grab a beer and enjoy the next round. I’ve had the honor to be on the Listening Room stage a few times – both the one in Nashville and the new one in Pigeon Forge. Killer venue, and they have my favorite drink, the !Hide the Wine” – named after Carly Pearce’s song. I hope to have my own drink there someday. Lastly, Belcourt Taps. It was my first writers round. It’s a very welcoming spot to the new dreamers, and everyone knows everyone there, so you can make friends and find talented co-writers.
What is your recording process like when creating and making new music?
My super-creative producer, Luke Buishas, is helping me to discover and refine my sound as I cut both pop and traditional country songs, because I love it all. He’s helping me find my lane. After I write a song and give it to him, there are no rules. We mess with it. Experiment. I will send him reference tracks of songs or sounds that can completely change the original melody or idea of how it started. I’ll attach notes and markers of the spots where I like the instrumentation or the phrasing of another singer in the reference track.
Recording vocals is fun. We will change the phrasing a lot to really hit the emotion; the idea is to make it so relatable that the audience might sing these same lines to themselves. We really wanna tell the story successfully with both the vocals and the coolest sounds we hear. And there’s always a “behind-the-scenes” story of some certain part in a track where we may see the work, the deliberate choice, but to the audience, the song is done the way it should, be in its entirety – and they feel the emotion.
But on our end, to get them to that point, we represent that emotion through the instrumentation. For example, let’s say a heartbreak song focuses on the anger side of the relationship. The drum hit is you … mad. Then we add a sudden musical stop after the drum hit, symbolizing the “wait. Think. Dang…I still love them.” We’ve given you space in the song to make that turn and feel that. Producing a song is fascinating. It’s all storytelling, and I’m blessed to have Luke teaching me his studio magic.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” – Erma Bombeck
Maddye Trew was born and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and started making her mark as a performer at a young age. She first took the “stage,” (the middle of her grandfather’s fireplace), singing Shania Twain covers for her family members. She sang “ Walkin’ After Midnight at the famous Strand Theatre at only 10 years old, took many roles in a different high school theater and musical showcases while a student at Tipton Rosemark Academy and eventually went to Nashville to get her Bachelor of Arts in commercial music from Belmont University.
After graduating, Trew has worked to craft her skills as a singer/songwriter and celebrated her first release, “Only Sometimes,” in December 2020. She has next been invited to share her songs at the popular Listening Room as well as other Nashville venues including The Local, Belcourt Taps, the Moxy Nashville, and Honeytree Meadery.
Trew has also been an opening act at the legendary Nashville Palace, and at the beginning of the summer, she was honored to join several artists including Trace Adkins for the celebrated Memorial Day Mulefest concert event in Colombia, TN.
Trew’s latest single “That’s The Lonely Talkin’,” showcases sparkling, spunky and country. The single is available on all digital platforms. The single was written by Jim Thrasher and Katie Barbour and produced by Like Buishas. Trew has paid tribute to the artists of musical icons such as Loretta Lynn, Pasty Cline, and Carrie Underwood, with her “whiskey-smooth delivery of the heartbreaking lyric and a fearless openness for beyond her years.” The song was showcased on Radio SorBro’s NuMu Friday (an all-streaming radio platform that allowed listeners to enjoy Nashville’s songwriter worldwide).
Hello Erin, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Looking back on my life before music, well, there wasn’t anything but music really. I grew up always playing music or involved someway in it. Before i moved to Nashville from Lakeville, Minnesota i never had a job. I was always paid to play my music which is definitely something i miss haha.
2. What made youwant a career in country music? I started realizing about halfway through my high school career back in Minnesota that academics were not my strong suit. I knew music was what I always wanted to do, but assumed I needed to go to college first. I was told by my family and teachers that college wasn’t for everyone and that it would be in my best interest to move to Nashville. Once I had that affirmation, I knew right then and there that going into music as an artist was exactly what I needed to do, but also seeing all the artists I look up to doing what I wanted to do really made me want to chase the dream as well.
3. Who are some of your musical icons? I have so many but my top 3 are probably Maren Morris, Keith Urban and Bruno Mars)
4. What is your recording process like when creatingand making new music? The recording process for me is the most exciting. I feel like I get my most creative once I get into a studio. Im extremely comfortable in a studio as well so I feel like the process all in all goes pretty quick and smooth. It typically starts in the morning and ends by then end of the day for an EP project.
5. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? I like to say its Soulful, Cheeky, Sexy, Fun. and unapologetic. I speak my mind and sing what I want and its the realm when you hear what you hear!
6. What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? In Nashville I would say The Listening Room and in Minnesota I would say The Troubadour Wine Bar
7. What is one of your favorite quotes? I don’t know who said this but I always live by it. “play every show to the best of your ability because In that audience is someones first show and someone’s last show…”
Music artist Erin Grand, all trails led to a career in music from the beginning. Grand was born and raised just outside of the Twin Cities (a place that merrily isn’t commonly known to host a big population of country fans, the pop/country singer, whose new single “Lonely Does” came out on August 28, 2021. The song is delightfully driven by a piece in the performance arts. Grand shares that “she never really excelled in school, it just wasn’t her thing. She all shared she never had a full-time job that didn’t involve music. It’s what I was put here to do.”
Grand grew up in a family that celebrated music and supported her dreams, she first discovered her appreciation of singing at 8 years old, she started finding her land in the country music category soon after. Her parents raised her on both country and rock and roll, which Grand is forever thankful for. Like others, she started performing in church, joining a youth band as a head singer. Then, her talents were called by the church’s adult worship team. Next, Grand sang in a secular pop band, which later became a duo. Grand mentions it was a “bit of a balancing act: some people at church weren’t too keen on her performing in a secular band on the side. It was the best of both worlds, and she was able to do what she loved full time. She paid to sing, it didn’t get much better than that.”
The trends moved, though, when her duo partner decided on another career path and Grand would next become a solo artist. She had learn to play by herself and was starting to learned how to play the guitar but still needed some practice. Also, she started working on her songwriting skills. Her first few songs were not so good, but she knew she had to start somewhere. Grand also started taking monthly trips to Nashville, becoming part of Music City’s never-ending talent group to showcase her melodic and lyrical skills. During one of her trips, Grand was asked to join the notable group Song Suffragettes (a group of female singers who love supporting one another in their musical careers).
In February 2020, Grand moved to Nashville and was directly met with an altered version of what life in music would look like when the COVD-19 global pandemic created the industry to come to a screeching halt. It was hard, but she kept moving in a forward direction. She made friends from her many trips down. So she up a lot Zoom writes. It wasn’t planned, but it kept her in the game. Some of Grand’s favorite artists are Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars. Grand continued to develop her sound, which she calls “pop country with a lot of soul. Grand also likes to write about what could be made up of things, such as imaging things in a way that most individuals would dream of wanting in their own lives.
From the co-writes came sizzling, lively first single “Mood” (October 2020), next came easy-going, funny upbeat single “Better With Wine (July 2021). As Grand continues to put out new music, aided by a team entirely made of women. Grand’s different vocal tenor and strength, joined with honest (and sometimes witty) songwriting keep bringing in new fans and put her as one of the industry’s most up and coming talents in the country music world.
If you would like to find out more about the talented and kind-hearted Erin Grand then please go check out her website at (https://www.eringrand.com).
1. Hello Sterling, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country singer?
Thanks for the interview! I was originally born in the south east and since then I’ve spent time in just about each corner of the country. I particularly spend a lot of time between western Montana and Nashville. I’ve been involved in Nashville as a songwriter for three years.
2. What made you want a career in country music?
I don’t think I originally intended to seek out a “career” in country music. I just enjoy writing songs and playing music and at some point I realized that my passion needed to supplement itself financially in order to continue pursuing it.
3. What is the background story behind your brand new single “Roll the Dice?”
Roll the Dice is a simple song about taking a chance on love! I attempted to package the song in a contemporary interpretation of Western Swing arrangement, one of my favorite forms of music. I sure hope it translates well with others!
4. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Neo-traditional country music
5. Where are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
I’ve had the opportunity to play some amazing venues but I have to say my top venues would have to be:
-The Old Saloon, Emmigrant, MT -The American Legion Post 82, Nashville,TN -White Horse, Austin, TX -Luckenbach Dancehall, Fredericksburg, TX
6. What is your recording process like when making and creating new music?
I usually accumulate a collection of songs and try to find a consistent production value or instrumental arrangement amongst them. Then, I’ll take them into a studio live room and cut them all together with arranged musicians. When it comes to my own artistry I like to arrange the production and work alongside an engineer.
7. Who are some of your musical icons?
Roger Miller, Ray Price, Larry Sparks, Glen Campbell, Ralph Stanley, Willie & Waylon, Red Steagall, Bob Wills, and Marty Robbins
8. What do you like to do when you are not working on your music?
I spend about a half of the year working as a hired hand for a ranch in western Montana. I enjoy being an ever-evolving student of both horsemanship and stockmanship. I also like seeing the country through visitings other friends of mine in the ranching community. You learn a lot by experiencing the different ways in which folks get the job done. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time on the road. When I get some down time I enjoy learning about history through books, music and film. I’m a low key nerd.
9. What is one of your favorite quotes? Ride me down easy, Lord, ride me on down. Leave word in the dust where I lay. Say, I’m easy
come, easy go, and I’m easy to love when I stay” – Billy Joe Shaver
10. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I hope you all enjoy the latest single! Keep an eye out for more music and an upcoming EP by fall this year! Find me on Spotify, Instagram, or Facebook.