Hunter Thomas Mounce~ Q&A!!!

  1. Hi Hunter, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? I graduated high school in 2012 and decided I’d go to the fire academy that fall. I remember being in the academy and being passionate about music. I was always showing the guys in my class new music I had discovered, though I did not play guitar or write songs yet. After I graduated that Winter, the job hunt began. It took me 3 years to find a firefighting job. In that time, I waited tables at Harrah’s Casino In Kansas City. Then attended Community College in Springfield, MO where I started learning how to play guitar in my 600 square foot apartment. 
  2. What made you want a career in country music? I didn’t know I wanted a career in country music. At first, I just wanted to be good enough to play around the camp fire, or play a song or two at a party my friends were having. Then, as I progressed, I started getting some good feedback from my friends. They may have been lying to me, because lord knows I was probably horrendous, but their encouragement back then carried me all the way to where I find myself now. I can’t thank those early believers enough. Then, I wrote my first song “Can’t Get Enough,” and the reaction to that song was unreal. I still have people tell me all the time it is their favorite song of mine. It felt great to sing a song people loved that you wrote yourself. I still get that same high to this day when I write/record a song and people love it. That is what has kept me going. 
  3. Who are some of your musical icons? When I was young, one of my first memories is listening country music. I vividly remember riding to the creek for a swim with my family and hearing “My Maria” blaring out of the speakers. I also remember hearing my dad’s tapes in his truck. Our favorite was Mark Chesnutt’s album. The song “Almost Goodbye” was our jam! I remember always asking my dad “Who sings this?” and he would always tell me. From an early age, I wanted to know who to give credit to for the music I was enjoying. Fast forward to today, I really love the Texas country music scene. Cody Johnson, Koe Wetzel, Randall King, Turnpike Troubadours, Flatland Cavalry, and William Clark Green are some of my favorites, but that just scratches the surface of who I listen to. But, my favorite artist of all time is Eric Church. He has shaped my perspective about music and continues to inspire me with every record he puts out.  
  4. What is the background behind your latest single “Alone in the Lone Star”?  “Alone in the Lone Star” was not my idea at all. It was the third song I wrote with my good friend Joe Costa. The first two songs we had written were both my ideas, but the day we wrote Lone Star, I was out of ideas. When I asked him if he had any ideas he simply said “Not really, but I do have one line.” He had just talked to a friend on the phone who lives in Texas. His friend said he was drinking Ranch Water which is Vodka and Topo Chico. He sang the first line of the song, “Tonight I’m drinkin’ vodka and Topo Chico.” Something about that line alone drew me in, so I said, let’s work with that, and see where we end up! 
  5. What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? Get the song written correctly. Get it to a spot you are extremely happy with, but also, don’t over think it too much. Get a simple iPhone Recording so you have the melody, chord progression, and lyrics. Then, when you are ready to take the song to the studio, tell your producer if you have a vision for how the song should sound, or send them a reference song if you want it to be in the same world as something that has already been done. If you have no idea what direction the song should go, just let the producer and the session players go to work. I’m extremely lucky to have a Producer that I trust. Kenny Royster at Direct Image Studio always nails my recordings and I never have any regrets about how the songs come out. The session players he gets in there are world class, and have played on songs that have collectively been played around the world billions of times. It’s honestly overwhelming to think about. 
  6. What are few of your favorite venues to play at? There are 3 shows I can think of right off the top of my head that I’ve had the pleasure of playing multiple times. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival. This festival has thousands of people show up. They love original music. The people who book it have been gracious enough to put me on stage as Direct Support for the headliner both of the times I’ve played it. Dallas Safari Club Benefit in Casper, Wyoming. Though it’s not always the same venue, this group of people take care of the band and I and they support everything we do. We love playing for them, and we love the great cause they champion all over the world. The Cass County Fair. It is always incredible to play in front of my hometown crowd. They know every word to most of the songs. They are wild. I’m always reminded of my purpose and how valuable music is when I play at the fairgrounds in Pleasant Hill, MO. 
  7. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Full Name, Full Flavor Country
  8. What do you like to do in your free time? I love hunting and fishing with my dad and brother. I love long drives to new places. I love skiing in the mountains.I don’t do any of these as much as I’d like. 
  9. Is there anything else you would like to share? 2021 is going to be a big year for my music. I’m putting out a ton of new songs, music videos, and other content. I’m also going to play more shows this year than I ever have before. 
  10. What is one of your favorite quotes?  Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. —Theodore Roosevelt 

Nikita Skogen~ Q&A

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 122015909_1493073674224740_6971769474907469822_n.png
  1. Hello Nikita, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself, before you became a country artist?

Hi! Yeah of course I can. So my name is Nikita Skogen, I’m a 27 year old country artist and songwriter from Norway. I started to sing and Dance when I was just a little girl. I have always loved Music. So there was no doubt that I was gonna do something that had to do With Music. I was an active kid. I was a dancer and I tried gymnastics for a while. But I always ended up back With singing. When I was around 12 years old I started going to a vocal Coach. She said that she heard something in my voice and she believed that if I really wanted to, I could make something out of it. That made me believe in myself. I started to Write songs and I spent every day in my room, singing and dreaming. I recorded my first single when I was 12. Just for fun, for my own. I did some School performances and stuff. I went on auditions for Norwegian Idol, Norway’s got talent, x factor, etc. But it never went my way. But looking back, I am glad. Because they were right. I wasnt ready. I then recorded my first Public single in 2010. «I Wonder», a song by Kellie Pickler that I did a cover of. It was just released to youtube. As the years passed I felt that something wasnt right With my body. I felt so tired, always sick. In and out of hospitals etc. But the doctors never believed me. In 2014 when I gave birth to my daugther, it was like my body gave in. It didn’t want to work normaly anymore. I was tired all the time, I got sick just by doing the laundry and easy Things like that. I kept going in and out of hospitals, trying to figure out what was wrong. Finally in 2016 I got diagnosed With Fibromyalgia and ME. Not something you want, but it was an explanation to why I was feeling so sick. So to shorten Down the story I can say it like this. I am a stay at home mom because of my illness. I spend most of the day on the sofa or in bed. I have good days and bad days. But i 2020 I got the oportunity to make my dream come true. I got to know Davis Branch. He wanted to produce my Music, it was a once in a Lifetime thing. And I am glad I took it. I can do everything from home, that is why I can do this. I want to spend the little engergy I have on doing something that makes me happy. I now have a Family. A fiance and two kids. They support me all the way and we’re making it the best way possible so that I can fullfill my dream, despite everything.

  1. What made you want a career in country music? 

When I was a teenager I heard the song «Remember When» by Alan Jackson. That song made me fall in love With country Music. It was how he told the story,  how it moved me. Even though I was so Young. Then Carrie Underwood won American Idol. I loved her Music, her way of writing and telling storys. Before that I only listened to pop Music. But country pulled me in , because it was storys I could relate to in a deeper way. I could cry my eyes out or I could Dance on the table. I could also see how country Music brought People together. I thought to myself that this is what I want. I want to Write storys like these. I want People to relate to my Music as I related to country Music. So that built the Foundation for me and country Music.

  1. Who are some of your musical icons?

Growing up my first musikal icon was Britney Spears. I think a lot of Young Girls were there at some point. But when country Music came along, it was Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler that I looked up to. They were the kind of artists I inspired to be. But today, Gabby Barrett is a huge inspiration. I love her Music, how she tells the storys , and she can tell one story in so many different ways. So that People can relate in different ways. She has got me singing on her songs every single day.

  1. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
    Modern, true, inspirational, happy, country
  2. What is your recording process like when creating and making new music?
    I start With the writing. I don’t play any instruments myself, so it’s just me and my pen. I sit Down and think about what story I want to tell. And then I get inspiration from either my own life, or maybe a friends life. But sometimes I can just Write about something I think that a lot of People can relate to, and that I think People need to hear. Then I sit Down With my producer and co-writers , to make a melody and go over the lyrics. That is such a fun part. Then The Music is made, then I lay Down vocals. Since I live in Norway, I record my vocals in my very own studio at home. Then I send them Down to Nashville where my producer Davis Branch lives. He puts it all together and does the mixing and stuff there. So even though I live in Norway and records the vocals here. Everything else is done through Nashville. That’s why I can Call myself a Nashville recording artist. I just can’t wait for Covid to be over so I can travel Down there!
  3. What is the background story behind your latest single “Break Your Heart?”
    The story behing «Break Your Heart» is easy to tell. When I was gonna record and release my first single I thought about what I wanted to release as my first. I wanted it to be personal. I wanted to be able to tell the story behind it, and let the fans get to know me. So what was better then writing a story about my life at that point. Me and my boyfriend has been together for 8 years now. We have two kids. But Things are never just a Dance on roses. It has been ups and Downs. And what I sing about in «Break Your Heart» is that sometimes Things are so bad that you just want to end it, but then you hang on to those little Things. You find the Things that made you fall in love in the first Place, and you fight. You love the person so much that you fight for it. And a love that big will be even harder to lose. A fling will die like a little spark in the end, but a love like this will break you if you lose it. It’s the kind of love that will never og away. It will leave you With a broken heart, to hard to fix.
  4. What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
    I don’t play any live gigs yet. So that I don’t know. Maybe I will in the future. But what I do know is that I have Places I really want to play. The Bluebird Cafe and The Listening Room in Nashville are of course on that list. But I reallu want to play some Places in the UK as well. I have just started out, so I Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
  5. What do you like to do in your free time? 
    Since I am a stay at home mom I have a lot of free time. And I usually relax and sleep. Because that’s what I need to do because of my illness. But I also work on my Music. When the kids are home from School and kindergarden and my fiance is home from work, we spend time together as a Family. The most important time of the day. We can play games, watch a Movie, Dance in the living room. All those little Things are the Things I like to enjoy on my free time.
  6. What is one of your favorite quotes?
    “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
    ― Victor hugo
  7. Is there anything else you would like to share?
    Yes there is! In February, my second single «I’m My Own Person* Will be released! I hope you all will like that one. It’s a good one. So keep Your eyes and ears open!
    And remember, I am just getting started. This is just the beginning.

Jade Helliwell

1.   Hello Jade, can you all of us a little bit about yourself before you
became a country musician?
I have performed since I was around 9 years old but didn’t start it as a full time career until 2017. Up to then I worked in a hospital, a office and my final job was as a teaching assistant in a Primary School.
2.   What made you want a career in country music?I always knew I wanted a career in music but when I began playing the guitar and writing songs aged around 19, I was discovering artists like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift and fell in love with the genre.I love the storytelling aspect. It naturally effected the way I wrote my own music so I kind of fell into the genre from that point and never looked back.3.   How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?Fun, emotional , reflective, sassy
4.   What is the background story behind your latest single “Telephone?”I wrote Telephone as a private song for myself after suddenly losing my Grandma. I never finished it and when I lost my Grandad in 2020 I returned to the song. I never intended to release the song butI played it on my weekly Live Stream and the fans loved it. I was luckily then gifted the money to record the song and share it with everyone. It’s a story about loss and longing to have one more conversation with those who’ve passed on. I think most people can relate to and the reaction has been incredible.
5.   Who are some of your musical icons?I love Taylor swift, Dolly Parton, Maren Morris and Carrie Underwood.
6.   What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?I always love to play at Gullivers in Manchester. The Holmfirth Tavern is also a favourite as the shows there are really intimate.
7.   What is your recording process like when creating and making newmusic?When I’m writing I’m either in a co write or on my own in my bedroom or my reading room. Recording I will have sent a demo beforehand so my producer knows what we’re working on. We normally spent a few days layering up the instruments and then I leave him to work his magic and get a mix back few days after.
8.   What are some of your goals for 2021? I have so many songs I would love to release so that’s a goal. I had so many exciting shows in last year that had to be cancelled so my goal is to be able to do those and just continue connecting with fans and releasing music I’m proud of.
9.   What is one of your favorite quotes? Life is short. It’s not so much a quote but I really believe you have no idea what’s comings should always try do the things that make you happy and surround yourself with people that make you happy. 
10. Is there anything else you would like to share? Check out my live streams every Thursday at 7pm GMT on Facebook (@jadehelliwell) and check out my music on Spotify.

Joe Hanson

1.     Hi Joe, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I grew up in Naperville IL all my life and come from a family of seven. I have four other siblings plus out family dog. Growing up I was really into baseball till around sophomore year of high school, that’s really when I got into music. Before I pursued country music as a solo artist, I got my start in music playing drums (drums was my first instrument) in a worship band that my brother and I started, playing on mission trips and retreats. 
2.     How did you get into country music and what made you want a career in it?
I got into country music from a very young age. My parents pretty much brainwashed me with old school Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, and early Rascall Flatts and Keith Urban and that’s how I originally fell in love with the genre and music itself. I really wanted a career in country music because I love the storytelling. I think there is incredible power when you can bring unity to a group of people through a shared experience or story. That for me is my mission statement as an artist, to being unity through my stories and give people hope to know that whatever shoes they’re walking in whether it’s about losing a loved one, reminiscing on old memories, relationships, breakups, love, having a party, whatever it is they are not the only ones going through it. 
3.     Who are some of your musical icons?
My musical icon is Keith Urban. His level of musicianship and ability as an entertainer is incredible and really inspiring to me. 
4.     What is the background story behind your brand-new track “Wishlist?”
Wishlist actually has a funny story behind it. I was window shopping with my girlfriend and we wound up in a Kohls one night and came across this massive stuffed alpaca. It’s kind of a running joke between her and I because she jokes about wanting to have alpacas one day and so I impulse bought it, not thinking. This stuffed llama is almost taller than I am, and I am 5’10 if that gives you a reference to how massive this thing was. Anyways after I bought it I didn’t wanna return it so I decided it would be my mission to write a smash song sitting on the back of it (it was super sturdy so it was practically a seat as well). So i brought the llama to my zoom write that day and i sat on it the entire time and we ended up writing Wishlist! Can’t help but think it went so well because of the llama haha. 
But for me, Wishlist is simply a song about being thankful. Looking around I see that Christmas has become so materialistic and often times we forget just how many blessings we actually already have. The eyes of the fool are on the ends of the earth, always seeking more, never content with what God has given them. Being human I sometimes find myself forgetting that and for me this is my way of bringing back joy into the Christmas season by making a list of things I’m thankful for instead of things I want or need. My hope is that it can inspire those who listen to really take the time to count their blessings rather than their wants.
5.     What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? 
The recording process is really fun for me because I get to make it with one of my very best friends, Austin Shawn. He was the first person I actually met when I moved to Nashville three years ago and he’s been producing me every since. It’s a great vibe when we create and his house studio is really a place where I can comfortably be myself. 
6.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Honest, authentic, hopeful 
7.     What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
My favorite venue that I’ve played at is Joe’s Live in Chicago. It was the last place we played opening up for Russell Dickerson and Lindsay Ell before quarantine shut everything down. 
8.     What do you like to do in your free time?
I love getting outdoors, anything with hiking or getting out in nature is my favorite. 
9.     What is one of your favorite quotes?
One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t tell God how big your mountain is, tell your mountain how big your God is” for me my faith in Jesus Christ is the single most important thing and for me being able to spread his gospel is my main mission in every aspect of my life. I encourage people that are going through a storm or facing a mountain in life whether it’s physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual to remember who’s child you are. Don’t let the mountain do all the talking, talk back to it and speak life to yourself and self encourage yourself because verbal expression has more power than people realize. God loves each and every person he created, has sent his son to forgive them of all their sins and make them a brand new creation. God also gave them a very specific purpose and assignment that nobody else has ever had nor will ever have, so I would just encourage them to remember that quote! 
10.  Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am currently working on my debut EP and have a new music video coming out soon so make sure y’all stay on the lookout for it on my social media!! 

Steven Cade~ Q&A!!!

Hello Steven, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?Before I came a country musician I was teenager who just moved from Houston, Texas to California. That was a bit of a culture shock only being 15. My parents unfortunately divorced and we moved California to be close to my grandmother. My grandmother lived 2 miles from the beach so naturally I spent many days sitting in a line up waiting for a wave. I learned to swim in the ocean, boogie board and surf, and then on to skateboarding and snowboarding. I loved the outdoors, but who wouldn’t when you live in sunny and 71. What made you want a career in country music?Nothing necessarily made me, it was more of a byproduct of growing up and being born in the south. I was around country people and music from the start and I loved the stories behind the songs. 
What was your favorite song?  My favorite right now is my single I just released on Thanksgiving, “Still Find Christmas.”

What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? My recording process has been done in multiple ways but one way that is proving to be effective is when I go in a cut a single with a full band assembled, then take the tracks to an engineer who can also produce tracks if needed. 

How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Uplifting, Clean Country, Music with a meaningful message.
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?Listening Room, 3rd and Lindsley, Blue Bird Café.

Who are some of your musical icons? Keith Urban, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson

What is one of your favorite quotes? Philippians 4:13″I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Is there anything else you would like to share? Please check out our family VLOG about a songwriter moving from so cal to Nashville to attain success in the music industry:

Nate Barnes~ Q&A!!!

Photo Taken By: Jason Myers

1.     Hi Nate, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?

I’m originally from South Haven, Michigan.  Previously, I was a  nuclear power plant worker but I’ve been playing music since I was a very young kid.

2.     What made you want to have a career in country music?

Well, I’ve always wanted to play music ever since I could remember. My grandad was the man who inspired me. He would sit and tell us stories of blues musicians and of life. I fell in love with wanting to tell stories and play music right away. When I was 21, my dear friend Dennis – who’s also a blueberry farmer – introduced me to country music in a way I’d never heard it before. From then on I knew country music was where I needed to be. It just felt like home – like something I’d been missing my whole life.

3.     Who are some of your musical icons?

BB King, Prince, Elvis, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Keith Whitley and many more.

4.     What is the background story behind your latest single “You Ain’t Pretty?”

It was written by Jimmy Yeary, Jason Sellers, and myself. The true meaning behind this song is about building people up and not tearing them down.  It talks about the inner beauty in a woman. It’s not about the hair or make up.

5.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Strong. Honest. Real. Grit.

6.     What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? 

Foundry Hall and the Park Theatre in Michigan. Also – any small town venue.

7.     What is your recording process like when making new music?

Cut the song in the studio with an amazing band, then work on overdubs and vocals. It’s an honor to work with my producers Mickey Jack Cones and Derek George who truly bring these songs to life. I love every minute of it. I’m a new artist and it’s been great learning all that I can from the very best. 

8.     What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Don’t die with your music still inside you.”   ~ Wayne Dyer

9.     Is there anything else you would like to share?

I feel so blessed for this opportunity and for the amazing team I get to be a part of at Quartz Hill Records. It’s truly a dream come true.  Thank you to Benny Brown, Jason Sellers and Paul Brown for believing in me. It’s gonna be an amazing year for all of us!

Bear Redell~ Q&A!!!

1.     Hello Bear, can you tell us all a little about yourself before you became a country musician?  Hi! I grew up in Solvang, CA and I’ve always been musical. I took piano lessons as a kid and I performed in all the talent shows. I was also very interested in football so I played for about 10 years. I graduated high school and proceeded to attend UCLA for 4 years. I was a walk-on linebacker for the bruins and kept up with songwriting/music classes on the side. I joined songwriting classes at UCLA and I knew I wanted to move to Nashville to better my writing. I graduated last year in 2019 and moved to Nashville in January 2020 right before COVID. I’m been writing a lot and working on new music – church & cash is my new single and I’m really proud of it!

2.     What made you want a career in music?   I’ve always been passionate about music in all capacities. I keep up with charts and new music – I even like the artwork associated with songs. I get hired to cover songs at bars, weddings and private parties. I have a interest in a wide variety of musical genres including country, rock, to even hip-hop/rap. Music as a whole is a a great unifier through social and political division. I have always loved storytelling and country music is the genre that embodies that action. We have a fundraiser in my hometown called Nashville Nights where #1 Hit Nashville writers play a round in the local amphitheater. This whole show is very personal and intimate because the stories behind the song are told. It’s an amazing act of artistry to move people through stories and lyrics and because of this I wanted to move to Nashville. My dream is to play a whole set of originals to an audience that sings back every word. I just know I organically surround myself with music so I had to follow music in any capacity as a career path.

3.     Who are some of your music idols? Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton & Tom Petty

4.     What is the background story behind your latest single “Church & Cash?” I met Stephen Ray back in August 2020 and I had this idea in my phone for a year with the hook “a whole lotta church and a little bit of cash.” I knew I wanted to play on the double meaning by telling a story but also utilizing Eric Church and Johnny Cash song titles in the process. Stephen helped me make the song what it is and I’m very grateful for our relationship. It’s a breakup song and the only things that will get someone through the severe drinking at bars is “a whole lotta church and a little bit of cash,” as well as subtly mentioning music as a key healer in heartache (Eric Church/Johnny Cash). 

5.     What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? I worked with Shayne Hill to help produce this track. He hired his team of amazing musicians and they really gave this song life. The whole process at Omni Studios was amazing because it provided a little insight to how Nashville recording studios are operated. When writing new music, I usually record a crappy GarageBand demo and make sure the lyrics are really clear for revisiting.

6.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Country Storytelling Rock

7.     What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? Bluebird Cafe, Tootsies, Live Oak, Kid Rock’s Rooftop

8.     Is there anything else you would like to share?

I saw Tom Petty’s last concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 2017. He played American Girl with his band and got a standing ovation. He died 7 days later. He is a huge influence on my music. One of the best of all time.

I’m a huge Office fan – my college roommate and I can quote the whole series front to back. We competed in LA on Trivia nights about the show and we take it very seriously. I can play the theme song on the piano.

9.     What is one of your favorite quotes? “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” – John Wooden

Matt Koerner~ Q&A!!!

  1. Hi Matt, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?

I grew up in Southern California with my sister and parents in Tustin. I never thought I would be a country music singer growing up, playing guitar and singing was always a hobby. I wanted to play professional baseball haha. 

  1. What made you want a career in country music?

After baseball didn’t materialize I worked a few odd jobs after college and started playing local gigs around Orange County. After about a year of that I decided to make the love to Nashville and pursue a career in music. Moved to Nashville in 2014 and haven’t looked back.  

  1. What is the background story behind your brand new single “Stayed Alive in ’45?

The song is about my grandfather Carl Joseph Koerner who was a WWII vet. When I was a kid I would ask him about his experience in WWII but he would never want to talk about it. I was 8 years old and didn’t understand why he didn’t want to talk about it so I kept asking him. One day he sat me down at his dinner table and talked to me for three hours about his wwii days. That’s an evening I will never forget. So the song is about one of the stories he told me. He was 18 years old when he was sent over to southern Germany to fight. He and 30 men were running along a riverside and they were being chased by a German battalion that outnumbered them heavily. My grandfathers company came to a fork in the river and on the right hand side a bridge crossed over the river. Grandpas sergeant stopped the 30 men and picked 5 of them to stay back at the bridge so when the German battalion caught up, this 5 would slow them down for as long as they could so the other 25 could run off and get away. My grandpa was one of those 5 chosen….he made it through and at the end of the song you find out how!   

  1. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?

Fun, feel good, happy! (That’s most of my music but not Stayed Alive in 45 haha) 

  1. What is your recording process like when making new music?

Once the song is written I’ve had a couple of different recording experiences. Early on I did a lot of layering where we would record drums and bass first, then rhythm guitars, then lead guitars, then vocals and then back ground vocals. We would record all of those pieces individually. 

The last 3 song we recorded, including Stayed Alive in 45, I had the privilege to work with incredible Nashville studio musicians who came in and recorded everything at the same at Emporium. It was an incredible experience to here the song go from acoustic guitar to what it is on the recording and it all happened at once.   

  1. What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?

Village inn on Balboa Island in Newport Beach California, rockwells in Villa Park California. Two places I’ve been playing for years!!! 

A bigger venue that was amazing was Club Rodeo in Wichita Kansas when I got to open for Luke Combs in 2017. 

  1. What do you like to do in your free time when not working on your music?

GOLF! Love everything about it! Playing it, watching it on TV, I’m in a fantasy golf league….HUGE golf nerd.   

  1. Is there anything else you would like to share?

I just want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way and continues to do so. It takes a village to make a music career go and I am very thankful for mine!  

  1. What is one of your favorite quotes?

“ Strength doesn’t come from winning, your struggles develops your strengths!” -Arnold Schwarzenegger 

Jake Hoot~ Q&A!!!

  1. Hello Jake, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? I am the 2nd oldest of 9 kids in a missionary family! We grew up in the Dominican Republic for over 10 years! I went to Tennessee Tech University when I moved back to the states and played college football! I am also engaged to the love of my life, and a girl dad to the most beautiful 5-year-old princess!
  2. What made you want a career in country music? I have always loved music, even way back before I could talk! Before college, I had wanted to go to college to study opera music but decided at the last second to go for education! While there, I began playing open mic nights and ended up really loving it! However, it wasn’t until after I graduated that I began playing shows at local restaurants and breweries and got a taste for it, that I considered doing it full time!
  3. What is the background story behind your latest single “Nadine?” I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Nadine on a trip out to see family in AZ! Immediately she opened up about her love story with her late husband, Hack, who she was married to for over 72 years! I was so touched by their story, that I had to write a song about it! How they danced every day, wrote each other love notes every morning, and just always loved one another unconditionally! I had just written the song as a gift for Nadine, but once we saw the response to a video that her granddaughter in law posted, we knew we had to release it!
  4. What made you want to do a cover of the hit song “La Bamba?” Growing up in the Dominican Republic, we had to learn Spanish, and La Bamba became one of my siblings and my  favorite songs to sing together! I had requested to sing it on The Voice but didn’t get to! It’s also one of the crowd favorites at all my shows! La Bamba is such a classic and timeless song that I can’t wait for everyone to hear our take on it!
  5. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Country, deep, inspirational, substance, and fun!
  6. What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? The Opry tops them all! I love playing my big stages, but I also love playing breweries and other smaller venues like Red Silo, Stonehaus Winery, SPankies, Tin Roof, The Listening Room, etc…
  7. What is your recording process like when making and creating new music? To start off I have to write the song, practice it over and over until it’s the vibe I’m going for, and then get in the studio and watch the magic happen!
  8. Who are some of your musical icons? The Eagles, Chris Stapleton, James Taylor, John Denver, Tom Petty, Roger Miller, etc…
  9. What is one of your favorite quotes? The biggest influences on the future are the opportunities we take advantage of in the present!
  10. Is there anything else you would like to share? thank you to each and every person who voted for me on The Voice, and who have bought and streamed my music since then! I really do have the best fans in the world, and I can’t wait for Y’all to hear what we’ve been cooking up in the studio!