The Jensen Sisters (Q&A)

1.    Hello Kendra and Kansas, can you two tell me a little bit about yourselves before you became a country female duo?

We grew up in a very rural area of Northern Minnesota. We are so proud to be from that little nook of the country, it instilled some great values in us and really made us who we are today. Although we didn’t start singing together until our high school years, music has always been a huge part of our lives. Almost every night our parents would have the radio on. Those will forever be some of our favorite memories. 

2.    How you two come up with the name “Highway Hippie,” for your latest EP?

Well we wrote the song ‘Highway Hippie’ about a year and a half before we even decided to record the EP. Immediately after we wrote it, we both decided that if we ever got the chance to make our own music that song was going to be the title track. We credit Highway Hippie for igniting a sort of spark between the two of us. That song definitely put us in the mindset to write the rest of the EP. Highway Hippie really did become a way of life for us. 

3.    What are your guys’ favorite songs off “Highway Hippie?”

It’s hard to have favorite, especially when all the tracks off the EP are so different. Every song is its own story that encapsulates what we were feeling at the time we wrote it. 

But with that being said, there is a song off Highway Hippie that really developed while we were recording it and that is ‘Not Ready’. Originally it was this super slow & sad country song and after working on it in the studio it morphed into something completely different, we love that track. 

4.    Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020?

Yes! We are so excited about the new project we are currently working on. We can’t say too much yet, but this one will be a full length record. 

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

“New Wave Retro Country”, that’s a phrase we coined about a year ago and really it’s the only way we can describe our sound. The both of us have a true passion for traditional country but we’re also two young girls living in a modern world. I think the mixture of that really shows in our music.

6.    What was the first country album you ever bought?

That’s a great question! We’re not completely sure to be honest, we have a hard time remembering what happened yesterday. Haha! The first Country Artist we remember listening to though was Johnny Cash.

7.    Where are some of your guys’ favorite events or venues to play at?

What makes every show to us is the people listening. Making a true & genuine connection with whoever is in the audience is always our number one priority but one of our favorite venues is The Sanctuary in Fargo, ND. It was originally an old church they turned into a music venue and every time we play there the energy in that room is just explosive. Some venues you can just feel and The Sanctuary is definitely one of them.

8.    What are some of your guys’ favorite quotes?

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

We believe that Dolly Parton has a perfect quote for everything. One of our favorites from her is “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

Yeah sure! Along with our music we also have a couple of other projects we’re really passionate about. The first one is our radio show called ‘Gypsy Outlaw’. It airs every Thursday night at 7pm CST here in Minnesota but you can also tune in live from anywhere online. Doing radio is super fun for us, it’s basically 2 hours of us laughing, talking, and playing music we love. 

Another project we’re really excited about is our clothing collection that just launched with the Simply boutique located in Warren, MN. We went in and designed a line of about 15 pieces that we love. Folks can take a look at that online as well. We have all the information on our social media pages. 

Alexis Taylor~ Q&A

  1. Hi Alexis, can you tell me a little bitt about yourself before you became a country musician? I was born in the small town of Huntsville, Ontario to two very musical parents. Growing up, I always remember the house being filled with music. My dad played guitar and sang, and my mom played piano and sang. It was only a matter of time before I started attempting to play guitar and piano myself. But of course I was too stubborn to sit and let them teach me, so a lot of what I know is self taught. Even before I had officially decided that music was what I wanted to pursue, it was such a huge part of my life! 
  2. What was the first country concert or show you ever attended? The first country concert I ever attended was a festival called Boots and Hearts. It’s a huge country music festival in Ontario and it was nothing short of amazing. I think I was 18 or 19 when I went. Some friends and I decided we would bring tents and camp out for 4 days while the festival went on. I still remember how much it rained the entire weekend, and completely flooded our campsite including my tent! But I got to see Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean, and many more – so it was totally worth it!
  3. What made you decide to do a remix to hit song “Just One Look?” I had been thinking about doing a remix for one of my songs for a while now, and when I released “Just One Look”, I knew it was the right song to use. In my opinion, “Just One Look” is the most pop-sounding song I have released as an artist. So putting an electronic dance beat behind it was a no brainer. After trying to remix the song myself (and not getting very far), I decided to try to find someone who could capture exactly what I wanted – WARINER went beyond that!  WARINER has remixed songs for some amazing artists too, such as Dustin Lynch, Chris Lane, Cale Dodds. He is super talented and I look forward to working with him again in the future! 
  4. Is there anything else coming up with your music in 2020? Yes!! I have actually been busy in the studio working on some new music. I don’t have an exact date yet, but I will definitely be releasing some new music in the spring if all goes as planned! I can’t wait for everyone to hear it! 
  5. When working on new music what is your recording process like? My recording process is somewhat the same every time I have been in the studio. The hardest part is going through my catalogue of songs and picking the right song to release next. After that, it’s all about getting the right sound to match the lyrics. First, we record the drums, then the rest of the main instruments get filled in around that. After that, I record a rough vocal track. Then we layer more instruments around my vocals, then recut the final vocals and add background vocals. Luckily I have been able to work with some of Nashville’s best and my songs have turned out so much better than I could have ever expected. It definitely makes the process fun and exciting! 
  6. What are a few of your favorite venues or events to play at? I love playing events where my family is in the crowd. My parents have always been my biggest supporters, and having them come to my shows is always a chance to show them my gratitude for always believing in me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their love and support.
  7. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? If I could describe my music in 3 words it would be honest, catchy, and emotional.  
  8. What is one of your favorite quotes? One of my favorite quotes will always be “Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart” from The Eli Young Band song “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” written by Eric Paslay and Will Hoge.  Ever since I heard that song, I feel like it relates to my journey as a musician perfectly. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I highly recommend it! 
  9. Is there anything else you would like to share? Yes! I would love for everyone to go check out my very first music video for “Just One Look” that is on my youtube channel, and make sure you subscribe!! 

Chancie Neal~ Q&A

Hello Chancie, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?

I didn’t grow up in a musical family. My dad loved country music but other than listening to music, it was foreign. I grew up training horses and running barrels. I was actually a world champion barrel racer at age 9. I started playing music when I was 13 and moved to Nashville when I was 15, so music became my life very early on.

What was the first country concert you ever attended?

I went to see Brad Paisley- Rodney Atkins and Taylor Swift opened in Bossier City, Louisiana. My mind was completely blown! 

What is the background story behind your latest single “Rodeo Money?”

I grew up training and breaking horses and traveling all over the US competing in rodeos. Sometimes that one paycheck was only enough to pay your fuel to get to the next one, but it made you feel like you were on top of the world.  

I always say that growing up in the world of rodeo prepared me to have a career in music. It’s a lot of late nights, sleeping wherever you can, miles and miles of highways and a ton of hard work and responsibility. You have to work hard if you want to win. Music is so similar! 

Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020?

I have 3 singles planned for 2020! My next single is going to be a song I wrote by myself called “Flowers Can’t Fix” and I am so proud to be able to say that. The one after that is going to rock the boat a little. It’s called “Hell Mary” and it just may be my favorite song on the EP.

Do you have any New Year Resolutions for 2020?

I really want to do a tour in Europe. That is more of a goal that a resolution, but I love how country music is becoming so global and I would love to have that opportunity. Also, I am a very active person with horses and a farm, and I love working out- so getting in the best shape of my life is a big focus for me this year while also loving myself no matter what my body looks like. I encourage everyone to do that!

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

ACTUALLY country, True to me, Tells you a story

What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?

I love playing festivals. I get to meet so many new people and fans in those settings. And they are music LOVERS. When I sing and someone who has never heard of me comes up and compliments my singing or my songs, it never ever gets old and takes me back to my roots of why I fell in love with it so much. I also got to play the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this year and that was a bucket list show for me!

What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Only dead fish go with the flow”

It’s a little “out there” but that’s what I love about it. I am not sure who said it, but it spoke to me because Lord knows I do not go with the flow. My other favorite is “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” -Mark Twain. As a songwriter, I can totally relate. We tend to dissect every word in a song and it matters.

JT Harker~ “Q&A”!!!

  1. Hello JT, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country music artist? I like a lot of  boys, I thought I was going to be a pro baseball or basketball player haha…. I was obsessed with  sports, they were my first love… but as I became an adult this hidden dream of being on the radio and playing big stages stole my focus and I’ve been dreaming of that ever since
  2. What was the first country concert you ever attended? Reba!!! She was incredible!!! At the Shark Tank in San Jose. Amazing stage presence, great performer, just as good as it gets 
  3. What is the background story behind your brand new song “If I Ain’t Got You?” Well this is a very special song to me…. I wrote this song about me and my girlfriend, we broke up very soon after I started this song…  it was my FIRST ever write in Nashville. I Brought what I had written and Derek George finished it with me, and made it a million times better… my last single “Heaven Lost An Angel” I was very proud of, but it was a little more serious, I like that this song is more fun and light-hearted…. all the money and things in the world don’t matter if you don’t have someone special to share them with 🙂
  4. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Feels. PARTY!!  truthful FUN!!! HopefulI’m touching on everything with my music 
  5. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2020? There will be a lot!!! There will be some awesome music videos, and at least three more singles coming this year… probably some other surprises as well, but I can’t tell you everything 😉
  6. If you could sing a duet with any singer or group who would it be and why?  John Fogerty… or Bob Seger, those are my two favorite voices  of all time 
  7. What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? We play so many great places and I’ve had the privilege of being on stage for some amazing events and festivals… My band and I built most of our Fan base at Moonshine Flats and Moonshine beach in San Diego, simply amazing venues, and We played Stoneys in Las Vegas as well a few years back.  Old Crow in Huntington Beach, CA is also one of our favorites. As far as festivals, we opened for Jake Owen and Josh Abbot band at Coastal Country Jam and later that month played Stagecoach Festival the same day as Luke Combs, LANco, Thomas Rhett and Kenny Chesney… that was an amazing day 
  8. What is one of your favorite quotes? The Harder You Work, the luckier you get …. I don’t know who said it, but it has held true in my life. 
  9. Is there anything else you would like to share? The support so far from all the amazing people that have been with me for years as well as the thousands of you that are hearing my music for the first time, from the bottom of my heart I appreciate everything. We’re gonna keep this train movin !! gonna give you guys all the feels!

Haley Decker~ Q&A

Q&A:

Questions:

1.     Hello Haley, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?

2.     What is the background story behind your latest single “Slowly?”

3.     Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020?

4.     Does your family play an important part in your music career?

5.     How would you describe your music in three to five words?

6.     What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?

7.     What was the first country album you bought?

8.     What is one of your favorite quotes?

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

Answers:

1. I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life. My dad works in country music, so I’ve been around it for years! I started doing background vocals for his clients before I got the bug to start writing my own music! I wrote my first song when I was 12, and as expected…it was awful! Nevertheless, I kept on and really fell in love with the process. I just finished writing for my first album! 

2. When I started writing “Slowly”, I reached out to my friend Sego. I sent him the voice memo, and he loved the idea so less than a week later I met up with him, he made the track, I recorded vocals and that was that. I had been through a really complicated relationship that was headed in a bad direction. I knew it wasn’t going to last so I decided to end things before I got hurt. I was talking to my best friend about it, and I said,” I just can’t stand to watch him let me go”. As soon as I said it, I wrote it down in my phone and later that night I started writing. 

3. I just finished writing for my first album, so the next couple of months will be full of studio sessions, to finish up production and track vocals! I’m shooting for the album to be out before the summer. I’m so excited to share the new music. It comes from a very vulnerable place, and I just hope that my listeners can relate to them! 

4. My family plays such an important role in my music. My mom is the most supportive person and is always excited to listen to my new stuff! I wouldn’t have a career at all if it wasn’t for my dad. He is the sole reason I have made the connections that I have made and have been able to create the music that I have created. I am so thankful for everything he does. My brother is also such an important person in my life. We are only three years apart, so he always knows what’s “current”. He’s usually the first person I share my music with because I know he will give me an honest opinion. 

5. Honest, Powerful, and Fun. I try to be as open and honest with my music as possible. Some of the hardest things I have had to go through are expressed through my songs. I try to make music that I would want to listen to, which is usually something that you can put on in the car when you’re riding around with your friends, screaming the music at the top of your lungs! 

6. I love to play anywhere downtown! The bigger the crowd, the better! I did play the bluebird when I was 17, and I had the time of my life! As fun as big crowds are, there is something so special about the small intimate settings!

7. The first pop album I bought was Aly and AJ “Insomniac”. I still have it in my car and sing my heart out just like my little 7-year-old self did! The first country album I bought was Carrie Underwood “Some hearts”. I watched her on American Idol, and when she released her album, I was so excited to get my hands on it! 

8. “Take everything with a grain of salt” People are so hard on themselves, and especially in my generation everyone is so quick to judge others, without really knowing much about them. I don’t want to live my life with any regrets, so I try to not take myself too seriously. At the end of the day I want to enjoy making music! 

9. I am so excited to share my music with everyone this year! I want to say thank you to everyone for sticking with me so far and being so supportive of everything that I have released. 2020 is going to be a year full of music and performances, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear what I’ve been working on for the past four years!

Elizabeth Lyons~ “Q&A”

Hello Elizabeth, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Born and raised in the Midwest… I’ve always had a love for music and performing. I’ve always had a town of energy and when I put my mind to something I do everything to try to get it done. 

What was the first country concert you ever attended?
Kenny Chesney at Soldier’s Field with Luke Bryan as the opener!

What is the background story behind your brand new song “24?”

“24” is an ode to being in your twenties and not knowing what is next in life. I wrote the lyrics when I was 24 in Nashville and finished ’24’ when I was 27 with co-writers in New York City. There aren’t enough songs about being in your twenties and wanted to tap into those feelings and emotions of this chapter of life. Listen HERE

Many are prepared for the transition between high school and college, but few are ready for the real world after graduating college” It’s the first time in your life when everyone is in different stages of their life; some of my friends are in relationships, some are completely single, some have defined dreams, some are still figuring out their passions, some people are making money, some are struggling.

“24” has been 4 years in the making and a fan favorite during Lyons live show. “24” is about feeling lost and not knowing what will happen in the future but following your heart even when there’s no clear road and finding out where you’re supposed to be and who you’re supposed to be. We did a lot of stack percussive and toms stuff playing around with keys and guitar throughout evoking and the confusion one has in life.

Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2020? Yes! I’m super excited about the next single! It’s my always been a favorite of mine.

What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? I recently had the privilege of singing the National anthem at Yankee Stadium Playoff Game and it was a dream come true. Its important to honor our country and veterans.

How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Empowering, Inspiring, Real

.If you could sing a duet with any singer or group who would it be and why? I got to open up for Little Big Town at one of my favorite festivals Country Fest. They called me the girl that sang in the rain because I did my entire set regardless of the rain. “Boondocks” was one of the first country songs I could not stop replaying over and over again. It would be a dream come true to do a duet with them because I love how they use their music to spread a message.


What is one of your favorite quotes? “STOP TRYING TO PREDICT THE FUTURE!  Stop wasting your time thinking about what CAN happen and start spending your time MAKING SOMETHING HAPPEN TODAY!”

Is there anything else you would like to share? I’m so grateful to record and release this new single communicating my struggles as I know all 20 somethings experience and where I’ve been personally and continue to go through. My single’s goal is to try and help other 20 somethings know they’re not alone – we all feel it. Putting this message into music is a real gift. These songs feel more personal and more rooted in my truth than ever before and I’m so excited and nervous to share them with you. Thanks for being on this journey with me and being patient while I focused on writing and what I wanted to say to the world. I also thought would be cool given it’s 2020 – to release my ode to the 20’s in the 20s!

This is a twenty-year old’s anthem “24” I co-wrote with Charlie Brennan, Jonny Fung, and JD Pinto in New York City, produced by Johnny Dibb (produced Lacy Cavalier, Taylor Edwards and more), mixed by Jonathan Roye (Kelsea Ballerini, Jana Kramer, and more), and mastered by Daniel Bacigalupi (Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum and more) in Nashville. I worked with Nashville photographer Alex Berger (Abby Anderson, Jon Langston and more) on album art and the music video shot in New Orleans to be released on January 31.

Sarah Morey~ “Q&A”

  1. Hello Sarah, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country singer? I actually started songwriting when I was only seven years old, so there wasn’t much time in my life before I began to dream about being an artist/songwriter.  However, I did not start pursuing my dreams professionally until high school.  Before high school, I attended my neighborhood elementary school in Tampa, FL (where I lived my whole life before moving to Nashville) and took piano lessons starting in kindergarten.  My first big inspiration was Hannah Montana (haha, keep in mind I was seven years old at the time) and she inspired me to start writing songs and dreaming about becoming a performer!  I was also inspired by the songs I grew up listening to on country radio.  Then, when I was ten years old, I had to do a school project on a public figure and I chose Taylor Swift.  For this project, I read books and watched videos on Taylor’s life and career.  This was the first time that I started learning about the music business in Nashville and I decided when I was only ten years old that Nashville was the place for me.  At this point in my life, I had been writing all of my songs a capella or with a piano because I had not yet learned guitar.  I started guitar lessons at the same time I started middle school and that was a big time in my life because I began attending performing arts school in Tampa.  This was a great step for me because I felt out of place at a “normal” public school because I was writing songs all the time and no one else around me really had the same goals as I did.  However, at a performing arts middle school, I was surrounded by other kids my age who wanted to pursue creative careers which provided great support for me at a young age.  Throughout middle school, I continued to work on my craft of songwriting and performing.  The summer between middle school and high school, I was accepted into Grammy Camp Nashville 2015.  This was my first time going to Nashville to work on music.  This camp was eye opening to me because I got to meet other kids from all over the country who specifically wanted to pursue a career in the music business.  I also got to meet and work with industry professionals on music row for the first time.  When I went back home after the camp ended, I began playing live regularly in Tampa, releasing music, and working harder than ever on my career.  After high school, I finally moved to Nashville, which is where I am now!
  1. What was the first country album you ever bought? Wow, that’s a tough question!  I am going to say that it was most likely Fearless by Taylor Swift.
  2. What is the background story behind your brand new single “Drive Fast?” I wrote “Drive Fast” shortly before moving to Nashville, so I have had that song for a couple of years.  When I was writing “Drive Fast” it was the summer between high school and college, so I was reminiscing a lot on life at home because I knew that was going to be ending very soon for me.  In high school, I had a boyfriend who didn’t live in my neighborhood, so I always had to take the interstate to get to his house.  However, I also had a curfew, and instead of cutting down time with my boyfriend, I would try to cut down on the drive time between my house and his.  As you can probably guess, this resulted in a lot of speeding (which I do not recommend! but it’s still a fun memory I have from high school).  There is a behind the scenes video from when we filmed the “Drive Fast” music video and I explain the song in that video, as well.  Here is the link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbenbyoXPlM
  3. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2020? Yes!  I have so much more music coming very soon that I can’t wait to share with you all!  You can follow me @sarahmoreymusic and sign up for my mailing list at https://sarahmoreymusic.com to get the latest updates!
  4. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Story-telling, country, and catchy!
  5. What are a few of your favorite events or venues to play at? One of my favorite places I ever played was Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa, FL.  The crowd was so much fun and they were all so into it!  Another Tampa venue that I love playing is The Attic in Ybor City.  That venue has a really cool energy and the crowd is always there for the music.  So far my favorite venue in Nashville is Live Oak (I have a show coming up there very soon…).  However, I’ve heard that The Listening Room is a lot of people’s favorite venue to play in Nashville and I also have a show coming up there very soon!
  6. What made you want to become a country musician? I wanted to become a country musician because I love how it is a story-telling genre.  Country music allows me to say what I want to say in the way that I want to say it.  Country music is also the first thing I turn to whether I’m having my best day or my worst day.  It is my go-to genre and makes me feel better no matter what.  I also have always had a slight twang in my voice that makes almost anything I sing sound country.
  7. What is one of your favorite quotes? This is another hard one!  Quotes have always been a big source of encouragement for me, so there are a lot of quotes I love.  However, the quote from Theodore Roosevelt that says, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” is something that has had a huge impact on my life and I try to always remember that.
  8. Is there anything else you would like to share? Thank you so much for taking the time to read my answers!  If you’ve gotten this far and want to know more about me and my music, follow me @sarahmoreymusic 🙂