who-is-john-king

Who Is John King? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is John King? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

who-is-john-king
The Beginning:

This week our spotlight shines on John King, an incredible singer-songwriter in country music. King grew up in a little town in Northeast Georgia, where he honed his craft as a songwriter and fell in love with music.

“There isn’t a whole lot to do there,” began King. “It was pretty much sports or music as your entertainment options.” Although he was an athlete, the artist recalls always singing in church and loving music. “My mom bought me my first guitar, when I was ten or eleven and I learned some chords.”

Growing up, King was exposed to many genres of music. “My dad was a big classic rock, hard rock guy and my mom was a country fan and the singer-songwriter fan, so it was a good blend of both worlds,” adding later, “They both always inspired me to chase after that and become so much better.” King names artists like Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Steve Earl, and The Allman Brothers as some early inspiration.

He continued to pursue music throughout his elementary and teen years. “I always loved music and was a lover of music first, and just a fan. I just started studying the way songs were written, the way chords worked, and the way melodies and lyrics made me feel.” King recalls seriously writing music in middle school, filling up pages and pages in his notebook. “I wrote 100s of songs when I was a kid.”

The Turning Point:

Eventually, King headed off to the University of Georgia, where he learned even more about the music industry. “I think it really clicked for me when I went off to college at the University of Georgia,” he shared. “I was taking some classes there in songwriting, I was a music business minor. […] That’s kind of where I discovered I needed to go to Nashville.”

After college, King made the move to Nashville, where he was quickly met with opportunity and a whole lot of talent.  “When I came here, I couldn’t believe the amount of talent,” shared the singer. “I was like I have to get way better, way faster,” he joked.

Since coming to Nashville, King has found his own artistry, while finding inspiration in the singer-songwriters of the world. “Those are the people I grew up heavily influenced by. You know the Eric Church’s, the Johnny Cash’s and all these people that were artists, but they were writers too.” His sound is now a fusion of all the genres he has grown to love, such as rock and country.

Today:

Flash forward to today, King just released his debut album, Always Gonna Be You. A dream come true, the record is the singer’s re-introduction to who he is as a human and as an artist. As someone who writes a lot of songs, the ten that made the cut were hand-selected and meticulously selected by the singer and his team.

“I remember that feeling of listening to album from top down, first song to last song. And for me, I wanted it to feel like that for my fans and I wanted it to flow and have a purpose and a message.” Later King added, “It really is an autobiographical record, my story. Starting in small town, Georgia, meeting my wife there in my hometown […] and now to our life with as a married couple with our baby girl. […] It really is the story of me.”

One of the songs that stands out on the brand new project is the lead single, “Try Saying Goodbye.” According to King, “That song was just one of those gifts. We knew what we wanted to say that day. It just kind of just poured out.” The song, though heartbreaking, is one that has resonated with fans from all walks of life.

“It really started the trajectory for this album,” began King. “It kind of made me like re-tune a little bit, about what I wanted to say. When I saw the way fans reacted to the song, I needed to make sure that every song that I put on this record is just full of truth and really speaks honestly.”

The record is definitely honest, vulnerable, and deep, all reasons why fans will continue to fall in love with King. There is so much more in store for the artist. Be on the lookout for more music and shows in the near future!

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news and announcements about future John King releases.

To keep up with John King, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Always Gonna Be You is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Who Is Lily Rose? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who is Lily Rose? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

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Lily Rose // Photo Credit: John Shearer

The Beginning:

This week’s Swag Spotlight artist is someone you may already know and if you don’t, you will. Lily Rose is an absolute force in the country music industry right now. She first burst on to the scene just a year ago, and has already won the hearts of millions of country fans everywhere. Learn more about her artistry, her new EP Stronger Than I Am, and her journey below.

A Georgia-native, Rose grew up with a supportive and music loving family. “I grew up in a household where music was always playing,” she shared. “My parents did not play instruments, but there was always music playing.” Although she did not grow up around musicians, her parents noticed a knack for music and rhythm in Rose at just nine years old. Her parents bought her a drum set and subsequently a guitar, which she taught herself. 

She credits her parents for her early musical influences, as well as their unconditional support in her and her interests. “My parents would take me to concerts when I was just eleven years old. And they let me stay and watch the guys in Mexican restaurants sing ‘one more song’,” she laughs. “They always fed into whatever my passions were and I think it’s really important for parents to do that outside of sports and academics.”

More specifically, Rose’s father introduced her to the likes of artists like Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys. According to the singer, “My biggest songwriting and country influence is really Bruce Springsteen. […] I think he’s the best songwriter of all time.” The songstress also found inspiration in Taylor Swift, when she was a freshman in high school, due to her relatable storytelling.

“She really was the encouragement and the push over the edge to start writing songs. How do I write something that my friends feel relatable with,” shared Rose of Swift. “ I kind of just explored that without any seriousness all through high school.”

At fifteen years old, Rose started songwriting and cultivating her own musical interests. “I’m really thankful that I didn’t try to hone in to one genre. I’m super influenced by different artists like NEEDTOBREATHE, Ben Rector, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift, while also loving country music. I just continue to make music even through my move to Nashville that just felt like me,” exclaimed the singer-songwriter.

The Turning Point:

Although some would say that moving to Nashville and joining TikTok was the biggest turning point in her career, Rose reflects on a specific turning point much earlier on. The songstress discovered country music for herself when she turned sixteen and had her own radio. “It was “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “Dirt Road Anthem”. I never turned back. Country is what I was listening to the most,” shared the singer of truly falling for the genre. With that being said, Rose’s music is still heavily influenced by the likes of John Mayer, Maroon Five, the pop-rock scene, and of course, rappers like Kendrick Lamar and J Cole. 

After beginning to play open mic nights in college, Rose realized that music was exactly what she wanted to do for a living. She found herself moving to Nashville soon after. When she arrived and started to co-write with other artists on the scene, Rose recalls thinking, “This is the music I’ve been trying to make over the last eight years.”

Soon after in October 2020, Rose downloaded TikTok, and the era of “Villain,”, her viral hit was born. “To put it into perspective, 365 days ago I did not have TikTok,” she declares. “It’s insane what’s happened in the last 9.5 months, let alone, the last year.”

Today:

Today, the singer gets to officially celebrate all the success culminating with the release of her new EP Stronger Than MeThe seven-song project was crafted thoughtfully over the last several months by Rose and her team. “The project as a whole has one theme that I look at on all seven of these songs, it’s what made “Villain,” which is relatability.” Adding later, “All of them have a really cool way of saying ‘I’m heartbroken’ or ‘I need to get over you’ or ‘I haven’t gotten over you,’ just so many ways in country music that this is topic is done over and over again. We found titles and hooks or we wrote titles and hooks in ways that have never been done before in country music.”

The EP is a unique collection of songs that Rose has penned, as well as songs that she selected in order to fill out her setlist. Interestingly, the singer has gotten to sing all these songs at her live shows over the past few months. “It’s really special that all of these songs I’ve been playing live and if you’ve been to a show, people have heard these already. So what I’m excited about is to see the growth of the song and see people sing them back.”

Every song is special in its own right, but the title track is the song that speaks to Rose the most. “I feel like the “Villain” chapter of the last ten months is turning into the “Stronger Than I Am” chapter,” she begins, “There’s a reason that, that song is the title track, that song stands above the others. I think it’s really one of the best written country songs that I’ve heard in a long time.”

Fans can catch Rose on tour with Chris Lane this concert season. Find tickets for the show at lilyrosemusic.net. Also make sure you give the EP a listen to below!

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Lily Rose’s debut project, ‘Stronger Than I Am’ is out now

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Lily Rose announcements and releases.

To keep up with Lily Rose, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Lily Rose’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Who Is Brooke Moriber? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who is Brooke Moriber? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

Brooke-moriber

Brooke Moriber

The Beginning:

We love introducing our community to up and coming artists in the country music world. Today we get to introduce you to a New York native, Brooke Moriber. The songstress is both a stellar songwriter and a powerhouse vocalist. Her story is one of resilience, strength, and perseverance. 

“I grew up in Greenwich Village, a super artsy neighborhood in Manhattan,” shared Moriber. Due to her Manhattan upbringing, the singer was able to fall in love with all sorts of musical genres. “I was exposed to every kind of music under the sun and I always wanted to be a performer, since before I could remember,” she tells us.

Growing up, both of her parents were formerly involved in the arts. Because of that, they were hesitant about Moriber getting involved in the industry. “I actually got my first professional gig at eight years old. I begged my parents to bring me to the audition,” she recalls. As a child, Moriber landed the coveted role of the child Cosette on the popular Broadway Show Les Miserables. “I feel very very blessed that, that was my first intro to performing at any capacity.”

This started the songstress on the trajectory to perform for a living; despite, always having a desire to share her own story. She found inspiration in artists like Linda Ronstadt and Billy Joel, but truly loved many genres. “It ranged from 90s hiphop, to grunge to people like Sheryl Crow, Sara McLachlan, and Shania Twain,” shared Moriber. “I guess that’s where some of the country comes out of me, but I was listening to everything,” she adds.

Unfortunately, when the singer was a teenager, she was diagnosed with a rare eye disease that left her blind for four years. After a painful and tough road, to the doctor’s surprise, her disease went into remission, allowing her to fulfill her dreams once again. “When I went into remission, I realized that I really felt the power of music had helped me heal through it and I got to the point where I didn’t want to tell other people’s stories anymore, I wanted to tell mine.”

The Turning Point:

Moriber continued to perform on Broadway and played gigs with her band as much as she could in New York City. However, it was after many people kept telling her to try out Nashville that she fell in love with another city. “Everyone kept telling me that the type of music you write and the subjects that you write, you should go to Nashville.”

Eventually, Moriber went out to Nashville to do some co-writes. Although hesitant at first, she ended up falling in love with the city. “I’m a very, very proud native New Yorker, and I never thought I’d fall in love with another place,” she begins, “But Nashville has become my second home,” she tells us.

Moriber later adedd, “After my first writing session, I just knew this was home. A lightbulb just went off, and I formed a family out there of friends and musicians, and I felt like they welcomed me with open arms.” It was then that she began to travel back and forth from New York to Nashville for work.

Later the true turning point came when the singer chatted with her agent. “I walked into my agent’s office at a certain point and I said don’t send me on auditions anymore, I’m going to Nashville. I need to pursue my recording career.” Moriber added, “I knew that if I didn’t take the opportunity now, I would never have the guts to do that again and this was always what I truly dreamed of in my heart of hearts.”

Today:

Flash forward to today, Moriber is a signed artist with Reviver Entertainment Group. Her debut song, “The Town Made Us” is due out October 8th. We got an early listen to the song and we can attest to how good it is.

According to the singer, “I wrote it for my two hometowns. The two places that shape me and got me to this moment. All the things I’ve ever written about; resilient, strength, and overcoming challenge, those were the qualities that those two towns were showing during a really difficult time.”

If you are dying to listen to Moriber’s music now and cannot wait, then we encourage you to check out “In It Together” and “Better Days,” two songs that came out of Zoom writes during the Pandemic. On the latter, Moriber shares, “We were writing about being hopeful for the future, saying there’s going to be better days, I can feel it in my bones.” It is truly the anthem we need.

Fans can look forward to the release of her upcoming single, as well as the lyric video for “The Town That Made Us.” Moriber also promises more new music coming a the top of 2022. Be on the look out!

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Brooke Moriber announcements and releases.

To keep up with Brooke Moriber, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Brooke Moriber’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

Who Is Belles? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who is Belles? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

The Beginning:

Country music touches fans all across the United States. Our Swag Spotlight artist this week, Belles is a shining example of that. Growing up in the middle of the country in Omaha, Nebraska, Belles fell in love with country music at an early age. She spent her childhood watching her mom on tour and falling in love one song at a time.

“I always wanted to do music, ever since I was a little kid. I wanted to be just like my mom and my aunts, and my grandma,” she begins. “My grandma was actually a Jazz singer in Chicago and then my mom was in a Pop band with her three sisters.” Despite the fact that her mom was in a Pop band, Belles credits her mother for introducing her to country music.

“I grew up listening to The Judds and Brooks & Dunn, and 90s country like Shania [Twain] and then Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, the [Dixie] Chicks were a huge influence,” shared the songstress. Belles also mentioned a love for artists like Dolly Parton, John Mayer, The Civil Wars, and Kacey Musgraves.

Although her grandmother had taught her to sing at an early age, it was not until she was fourteen that she started to perform. “When I was about 14, my mom was kind of playing coffee shops around Omaha and writing her own songs, and I asked to be her backup singer. It took a little bit of convincing,” she shares. Adding later, “Eventually she said yes and that kind of slowly turned into us becoming a duo.”

The Turning Point:

Belles took a short hiatus from music, when she followed the more traditional route after high school. She went to college for two years to pursue a degree in Chemistry with the hopes of becoming a doctor. “I ended up not really loving Chemistry,” she laughs. “I really just loved music and so after two years of that, I ended up moving to Nashville and started to write songs and meet as many people as I could.”

At nineteen years old, Belles made the move to Music City. Since being in the country music capital, the songstress worked to craft her songwriting and cultivate her artistry. She did not originally set out to pursue country music, but the organic nature of the genre captivated her. “I run the gamut of genres, but ultimately though, I just love country music,” declared Belles.

During her time in Nashville, Belles got a call from her friend and entertainer JoJo Siwa asking her to audition as an opener for Siwa’s tour. The songstress nailed the audition and Belles and her mother opened at arenas across the world for Siwa for an 82-city arena tour.

Although not used to the down time, the singer-songwriter continued to write songs even during quarantine, writing with anyone who wanted to write with her. “My goal was to write at least one song during every work day […] Through that, I grew so much as songwriter and as an artist.” She lated added, “I will always look back at it as a very pivotal time in my career.”

Today:

Flash forward to today, Belles is making the transition to become her own artist, rather than a band with her mother and brother. She has already released her EP entitled All Hat No Cowboy. The record both introduces fans to her talent, as well as, showcases her personality.

“I like to write songs from a really strong female point of view, so when I was crafting this EP, I was really picking out songs that I felt like encapsulated my journey, a little bit of coming of age during the pandemic, and being this strong female figure that is really important to me,” she shared.

Belles also let us know that the EP was only supposed to be four tracks, but after a couple of songs went viral on TikTok, she knew she had to include them. “So I chose most of the songs and the people chose some of them as well.”

One song in particular, “Human Kindness”, was written during the pandemic and truly captures the emotive side of Belles. On the other hand, the title track, “All Hat No Cowboy” was one of the singer’s favorite tunes, but it almost did not make the project. Belles ultimately included the song because fans fell in love with it on social media.

Clearly this is only the beginning for Belles! After another stint out on the road for January through March with her mother and Siwa, the songstress promises there is more coming! “For the rest of the year, I’m going to be writing and playing a bunch of writer’s rounds here in Nashville and definitely playing shows next summer.” Another EP is likely on the horizon!

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Belles announcements and releases.

To keep up with Belles, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Belles’ music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Who Is Trey Lewis? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Trey Lewis? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

who-is-trey-lewis
The Beginning:

This week our spotlight shines on Birmingham, Alabama native, Trey Lewis. Lewis has been grinding in the music industry for over a decade. Although his viral song “Dicked Down In Dallas” might have introduced you to him, there is so much more to the singer-songwriter’s story. 

Despite the fact that Lewis did not start playing music until he was nineteen, he grew up loving music. “I remember looking at him and thinking man I might want to something like that someday. That’s pretty cool- being a songwriter,” he tell us, sharing about a family friend. As a child, the singer recalls listening to the music his mom and sister were into.

“I’ve always been a fan of country music […] In the 90s, back then we had a ton of female country singers. We had Jo Dee Messina, Lorrie Morgan, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, The Chicks, all these great female country artists.” Lewis also credits artists like Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, and Jason Aldean as some of his early influences.

Over the years, his music taste began to widen. “When my sister went off to college and it was just me in the house, that’s where I started to find the music that I liked,” he shared. “I went through a rap phase and a hardcore metal phase, but like, I feel like country music was always a part of that.”

Unfortunately, Lewis hit a rough patch in his adolescence. He found himself in and out of jail and addicted to drugs. However, when he was nineteen he went to rehab and has been sober for the last fourteen years and counting. “Part of me getting sober, I was working at a smoothie shop and took half my paycheck and my grandfather gave me the other half and I went and bought a guitar and I taught myself how to play it.”

Lewis candidly added later, “Music totally saved my life. I don’t know where I would be without it.”

The Turning Point:

Though getting sober is what allowed him to pursue his dream of playing music for a living, Lewis’ endless drive and determination is what propelled his career forward. Three years ago, the singer-songwriter made the move to Nashville to pursue a music career.

Lewis spent time playing countless shows across the southeast of the United States. He played cover songs and some unreleased originals, garnering fan after fan. He continues to grow his organic fanbase, even to this day both in person and on social media.

The singer felt blessed to be making a living playing music, but yearned for some more success as his own artist. “I’ll never forget, that one day I’m driving around in my van and I was like,” he begins. “God if all you want me to do is play cover songs for a living, that’s fine, but wouldn’t it be cool for me to have a little success and show people to never give up.” Soon after that his song, “Dicked Down In Dallas” went viral.

His success on social media led him to share more and more original songs on TikTok, ultimately leading to his most recent EP, Shut the Door. “I’ve been sharing songs on TikTok and people were like ‘when is this song coming out?’ ‘when is this song coming out!?’” he tell us.  “I just said screw it, instead of doing a single, let’s just put five songs out.”

Today:

Lewis’ EP is a collection of five songs that really give the listener an inside look into what he is all about as a person and as an artist. Whether he wrote the song or chose to cut it, every song was hand-selected by Lewis. “My life is so different now where I’m at today. I’m finally making a decent living and things are great in my life. I feel like I’m turning the corner on a lot of stuff,” he shared, as he discussed the meaning behind the title track.

On the record, Lewis has more cheerful songs like “Backup Man” and more nostalgic songs like “Whatever Happened To That.” On one of our favorite songs off the project, “Anybody Other,” fans get a taste on the unapologetically authentic side of the singer. “I just am who I am and that’s all there is to it,” shares Lewis.

Ultimately, the project is solid. According to Lewis, “I do think all the songs do go together, sonically and lyrically. […] I feel like there’s a song on the EP for everybody even though every song is not for everybody.”

Fans can expect even more music coming soon too! “We’re going to keep coming at you all with more music and the best music we can.” There is truly no stopping Lewis!

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news and announcements about future Trey Lewis releases.

To keep up with Trey Lewis, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Shut the Dooris available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

who-is-jenna-paulette

Who Is Jenna Paulette? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who is Jenna Paulette? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

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Jenna Paulette // Photo Credit: Nick Swift

The Beginning:

This week we shine our spotlight on Texas-raised country star, Jenna Paulette. Growing up in North Texas, Paulette embodies everything that country music is all about. “I grew up loving country music. It was always on in the kitchen when my mom was cooking dinner,” shared the singer. Adding that she would even listen to music out on the cattle farm with her grandfather. “I’d be listening to George Strait, The Chicks, I was just really kinda heavily influenced by very commercial versions of Texas country music that kind of sang about the life that I grew up in and love and admire so much.”

At an early age, Paulette knew she was made to be a country music singer and songwriter. She recalls her mom and her family instilling confidence in her throughout her childhood and teen years. “I remember watching the ACM’s with my mom, and her being like ‘you’re going to do that one day.’” Later the songstress declared, “There was never really a doubt in my mind about what I’m supposed to do in my life.”

Although country music in general was her passion, Paulette specifically loved female artists like Lorrie Morgan and Lee Ann Womack. Today, she finds inspiration in artists like Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves. “My voice is more the nuances and the texture that I bring in the storytelling aspect,” shared Paulette, addressing her similarities with Lambert and Musgraves.

“I always felt it was such an honor to sing about the life that I come from and the people I get to represent through country music.”

The Turning Point:

After high school, Paulette headed to The Savannah College of Art and Design on a full scholarship. Although she did not apply to the school, she was offered a full ride after the school saw her perform. “I knew when I went to college that I wanted to be a country artist and I knew what I wanted to represent.”

With the desire to use her education to further her career, Paulette majored in Marketing and utilized her school projects to build her own personal brand. “I wanted to be able to figure out how to communicate who I am so well that people listen to a song or go to my Instagram or Spotify for whatever and they know exactly who they’ll get.”

After college and a brief stint in Austin, Texas, Paulette finally decided to make the move to Nashville, Tennessee. “I’ve been doing this ever since. It’s just been growing the whole time,” she shared. “We’ve been here for 5.5/6 years and I absolutely love it,” said Paulette, about Nashville.

“It’s just so cool to kind of look back at my whole life and see everything that led me to where I am now with so much purpose. I couldn’t love what I’m doing more.”

Today:

Flash forward to today, Paulette is making strides in her music career. Her latest two songs “Country In The Girl” and “Pretty Ugly” have been a hit with fans and social media. The former went viral on Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. The songstress shared that she wanted to write a song about her life growing up raising cattle.

“It’s gotta be something about the way real life people live on a daily basic verses what people think about the country because I did grow up in it,” she shared during a write with her co-writers. The track was something special almost instantly, and after it went viral, Paulette knew she had to record it.

As for “Pretty Ugly,” the track was one of the several songs the singer wrote on a writing trip. Although she initially passed on the title three times, it was in that writing room on the beach that she finally felt the title was the right song for her. “Parker [one of the writers] said ‘heartbreak makes pretty ugly,’ and it was the fastest song we wrote.”

“It feels pretty and badass at the same time. And that’s the type of songs I like to listen to. […] And it’s really fun for me to get to perform a type of song like that.” Paulette also shared that the music video for “Pretty Ugly” is slated to come out soon.

As for other new music, Paulette has three songs coming down the pipeline soon. The two originals are called “Bless Your Heart” and “Slow Draw.” The last song is a cowboy version of the popular Christmas song “Santa Baby.” Fans can look forward to the new music and for the singer to get out on the road with artists like John Michael Montgomery and Aaron Watson this fall.

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Jenna Paulette announcements and releases.

To keep up with Jenna Paulette, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Jenna Paulette’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Who Is Erin Kirby? The Story Behind Her Journey to Music

Who is Erin Kirby? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

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Erin Kirby // Photo Credit: Juliana Grace Photography

The Beginning:

This week our Swag Spotlight artist is a young songstress making waves with her music. Erin Kirby, a seventeen-year-old from Jasper, Georgia is a budding singer-songwriter, whose talent goes far beyond just one genre. We chatted with the artist about her path to music, her new song, and what she hopes her career blossoms into.

The small-town girl grew up always being outside and hanging out with her friends. Despite her self-proclaimed “tom-boy edge,” she became interested in pageants early on which ultimately led her to music. “I jumped into a local pageant,” she began. “I competed in talent and that moment was incredible and I knew that music was what I wanted to do forever.

Kirby had found her passion at just eight years old. Still feeling too young to pursue anything in music professionally, the songstress competed nationally in various pageants. During one of the competitions in Orlando, Florida, she was noticed by a family member of Justin Timberlake’s manager. “[The family member] sent a video of my talent performance to him and he came off tour to come and meet me which kind of gave me the confidence to jump into music.”

Kirby credits her early love for music to her parents for introducing her to a wide variety of genres that she finds inspiration in today. “So I listened to every single genre because my parents loved music so so much. […] I listen to 80s rock bands, I listen to Motown music. I would listen to hip-hop, pop, country, whatever it was, we were always listening to something new.”

The songstress also shared that Atlanta was an important place in her career and music intelligence. “I learned a lot of my writing and studio experience from Atlanta and still keeping the soulful part of my voice,” she adds.

The Turning Point:

Kirby began to record music in Nashville and eventually began writing at age thirteen. “I recorded a couple of songs and kind of just told my story as an artist.” At the same age, the popular talent show, American Idol also reached out to her. Since she was not yet fifteen, Kirby could not participate.

At age fifteen, American Idol called her again. “I really didn’t know if I wanted to or not,” shared the singer. “They wanted me to come to L.A. because they only had two audition spots left.” Eventually, Kirby did fly out to L.A. to audition. She received some incredible feedback from the judges, which added to her confidence as an artist. “I went into the celebrity judge audition and it was incredible. The judges were super kind […] Lionel Richie said he wanted backstage passes for my tour.”

Since American Idol, Kirby has continued to hit the ground running, furthering her artistry and really finding her voice as a singer-songwriter. Although known as a Pop artist, she shared with us a desire to lean a bit more country. “I’ve definitely been writing some music that is a bit more country,” she shared. “Over the course of the pandemic and hanging out with my small-town friends, I’ve turned into this country gal who does music all the time.”

Today:

Most recently Kirby released her song “Waste More Time.” Lyrically, the song has that country music story-telling aspect. The song stemmed from a real-life heartbreak that the singer went through. “Waste More Time was written during FaceTime during the pandemic with a group called Sleeping Lions,” adding later, “We got on the phone and I was like I have this idea because I just went through something with a guy.” The song is inspired by a situation where the guy led her on, something most of us can all relate to.

It is important to the singer that her fans feel what she is going through. “I feel like it’s a song that anyone can relate to. Because even if it’s a friendship that somebody is wanting you to wait on something and you’re just tired of being there for them and they’re never there for you […] I feel like everyone can relate to not wasting time on somebody.”

Besides the enticing single, Kirby promises that she has more music in the works for fans. She will be playing some shows this year, but her primary focus is on continuing to write more and more. Her hope is to release more music at the top of next year with the country genre heavily in mind. Kirby is definitely one to look out for!

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Erin Kirby announcements and releases.

To keep up with Erin Kirby, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

“Waste More Time” is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Who Is Dylan Schneider? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Dylan Schneider? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

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The Beginning:

Growing up in Indiana, our Swag Spotlight artist this week, Dylan Schneider’s first love was sports. He grew up playing baseball and participating in choir but always had music lingering on the sidelines. “I didn’t really get into music until I was like fifteen or fourteen,” he tells us. Despite this, Schneider recalls getting his first guitar at only eight years old.

“I just didn’t really have the patience to learn at the time,” he admits. As he matured and realized baseball was not his true passion, Schneider found himself gravitating towards music even more and was eventually introduced to the country music genre.

Around the time he started listening to country music, Schneider found himself wanting to pick up the guitar again. This time he wanted an acoustic guitar. His parents surprised him with one just a few days before Christmas. Perfectly timed, the singer was able to get his guitar signed by someone he admired, Brett Eldredge. An early influence, Eldredge grew up close to Schneider. “That was a huge inspiration from the very beginning and after that, it just stuck with me. I started teaching myself to play and writing songs after that.”

The Turning Point:

After high school, Schneider hit the ground running with music. He developed a large social media following on YouTube and committed to playing music for a living. In 2016, the artist made the big move to Nashville. “I kind of just decided I wanted to do it,” he shared. “I just loved music so much and playing shows.”

Schneider added, “I always said regardless I wanted to go to Nashville and play at the bars. As long as I could make a living, make some money, I wanted to do music, because I loved it so much.” The singer found so much freedom in music and that was special to him. 

Combining his electric love of musical genres like rock (Nickelback), rap, pop, (Justin Bieber, One Direction), and country, the singer was able to create music that felt authentic to him. “As I grew up, I kind of went through a phase where I wanted to be a rockstar. I had a phase where I thought I wanted to be a rapper. […] Eminem was somebody that I really liked. Drake, Lil Wayne, kind of in the beginning of middle school,” he recalls.

His grind in Nashville and his love for music catapulted Schneider to play on stages with artists like Florida Georgia Line, ultimately leading him to his first record deal and a slew of successful EPs. 

“At the end of the day, I love that there are so many different influences going into country music right now. People like Sam Hunt, I think that stuff’s cool. It’s individuality. You’re telling your story anyway, it doesn’t really matter what people have to say or what’s right or wrong. As long as it sounds cool.”

Today:

Now, Schneider is a BBR Music Group artist with even more fans and music under his belt. The singer has truly found his sound and his home in Nashville. He continuously makes music that his fans fall in love with, without losing the authenticity that he has had all along.

Most recently the singer debuted his first major-label single, “Lost In A Small Town.” The song started to take shape at the end of 2019. “I threw out this line that was like ‘she’s the kinda girl that would leave you lost in a small town,’” begins Schneider. During a write with his producer and his friend, Gabe, the song would go on to live many lives.

Despite the fact that it was finished, Schneider felt that it was not good enough, and the men redid the entire song. “We ended up writing the song twice and it stemmed from an entirely different song.” Now the singer says,  “I like the way it is now and I’m excited about it.”

The song is a fresh way to share about a break-up in a small town. Instead of focusing on the girl, the song really focuses on how it feels to feel like everything in your life is different. The perspective change and unique story-telling makes the song a great one.

If that is not exciting enough, Schneider promises that more new music is coming down the pipeline. Switching it up from what he has done in the past, the singer has decided to release individual songs over the next few months. “Each song is going to have their opportunity to be heard.” The singer promises that there are a lot of songs that are ready to release. The next song should come in the upcoming weeks.

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Dylan Schneider’s latest release “Lost In A Small Town” is out now

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news and announcements about future Dylan Schneider releases.

To keep up with Dylan Schneider, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

“Lost In A Small Town” is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

Who Is Cooper Alan? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Country music artist, Cooper Alan joins us to chat about tour, his viral success on TikTok, taking ownership of your music and more. Learn more in the interview below.

Cooper Alan

Cooper Alan

The Beginning:

Cooper Alan starts off our conversation with explaining how he came to love country music. “I’ve gone through all the phases of loving different genres. Country has always been the most dominant,” Alan began. “Music was always something my family enjoyed and liked, but I’m the only one that plays. We would always go to concerts and share music with each other – it was a way we bonded with each other.”

Alan attended his first concert, Tom Petty, when he was five years old. “I slept through the whole show,” he laughed. Even though he wasn’t awake, it ignited a spark. He learned his first instrument in elementary school and second in middle school – the trumpet and guitar respectively. “I started playing guitar in 6th grade because I figured girls probably thought it was cooler than a trumpet. I started my first band in 8th grade and played through all of high school and college. My music taste always comes back to country music.”

He started cultivating his songwriting when he was a teenager, but it’s really performing his music that is his true passion. “I’ve been most inspired by the entertainers that I’ve seen live. Live performing is my thing… so concerts have inspired me probably even more than music has.”

After high school, Alan went to UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad, and he received not only a college education, but he received a hands-on education in live performing and entertaining. “Some people can move to Nashville when they’re 16 or 18, and be totally fine, but I just kinda needed to learn how to entertain a little more and kind of cut my teeth – it was probably the most valuable part of college.”

The Turning Point:

When the world paused in March 2020, it gave Alan a moment to brainstorm new ways of reaching fans and being creative. “I couldn’t play shows, so I had to find something to do. My girlfriend mentioned that I should get on TikTok, and I thought it was just kids dancing!” Alan recalled laughing. “I started digging in and studying the app and had my first video go viral and that’s when it really hit me.”

Over a year after starting TikTok, Alan’s singles have racked up millions of streams, and he has even signed and created a publishing company with his mentor, legendary songwriter Victoria Shaw, called “Cooped Up” records. “‘New Normal’ started going viral on TikTok and people started to care about my original music. Victoria and I had an opportunity to treat this like a real business and record company and that’s what we decided to do. We’ve worked together since I’ve gotten to Nashville, so she’s been my champion this whole time, so it was a no-brainer.”

Today:

Alan has recently finished the first leg of his In Real Life tour with artists Alexandra Kay and Thomas Mac, as they’re currently making their way across the country. “It’s been so wild and awesome to be on tour. Before COVID, I couldn’t go play a show where people would come and be there for my original music and be there to see me… it was the first time I really experienced any of that. It’s a really special feeling.”

As for what’s next for Alan, new music and tour dates are already starting to come to fruition. He is coming to the New York area this Saturday night at Mulchay’s, grab tickets here, and will continue down the east coast before heading South to Texas and Louisiana. He’s an artist you won’t want to miss out on.

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news and announcements about future Cooper Alan releases.

To keep up with Cooper Alan, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Cooper Alan’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Who Is Kolby Cooper? The Story Behind His Journey to Country Music

Who is Kolby Cooper? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…

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Kolby Cooper

The Beginning:

A little over a week ago, we introduced you to a new artist in country music, Kolby Cooper. His major-label debut project Boy From Anderson County is currently one of our favorites of 2021. We chatted with Cooper about his EP and his journey to country music. Learn more about the newcomer below.

Growing up in Bradford in East Texas, Cooper lived a typical country boy lifestyle. The singer recalls growing up on a ranch and riding horses as a young kid. Of course, country music was all he listened to at first. “My dad was always playing Texas Country,” he tells us. “He also introduced me to southern rock and I kinda took that and ran with it.

It was not until Cooper turned thirteen that he really considered playing music himself. “Around 13 or so I started playing music and I kinda figured out that it felt a lot cooler to play music than it did to go be a nurse or to do whatever I was planning on doing in college,” shared the singer.

During this time in his childhood, the singer lost his father to his battle with cancer. “We really bonded over music, so I think it definitely drove me to want to make music.” Additionally, the singer shared, “It just felt right. It was something he was proud of me for doing.”

With blessings from both his mother and his then girlfriend (now wife), Cooper put college on hold to pursue his dream. Combining his love for country music, like his favorite Waylon Jennings, and rock bands like Blink 182 and Nirvana, Cooper was destined to create a sound all his own. 

The Turning Point:

Just out of high school, the singer was able to capitalize on his one-of-a-kind talent. He amassed over 100 million streams prior to his debut major-label release. “For the first time in a few years, I took a couple of minutes to think about it and I was like damn, I’m right where I’m supposed to be and I’m doing what I’m meant to do,” shared the singer, reflecting on his journey thus far.

Cooper later added, “There’s been a lot of amazing moments. Whether it be playing our first decent size show […] all the way to playing our first big sold-out show.” Both personally and professionally, Cooper could not be happier with where he is now. He credits his wife and two young daughters for all that he has been able to accomplish so far.

Today:

Cooper created his EP, Boy From Anderson County from the joy he was feeling. “I wanted to make a happy record.” Adding later, “I wanted to kinda show anyone who didn’t know who I was or fans who do know who I am, I wanted to show where I am in my life.”

Although Cooper truly loves all six songs off his project, the singer-songwriter identified the title track and “Way To Go” as two standouts. With the latter, “I really go to explore musically areas that I haven’t gone before.” For the autobiographical tune “Boy From Anderson County,” Cooper got to share his full truth with his fans.

Similarly, the comedic and clever song “Her Favorite Songs” also pulled from a real-life experience. “Every song I write, it’s pulling from some real story, whether it be my story or someone else’s,” declares the rising star.

Fans can gear up for the full-length version of Boy From Anderson County slated to come out at the top of 2022. Cooper also promises that he will continue to hit the road hard, touring as much as he can throughout the rest of the year.

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Kolby Cooper’s debut EP “Boy From Anderson County,” is out now.

Connect:

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Kolby Cooper announcements and releases.

To keep up with Kolby Cooper, follow him on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

Boy From Anderson County EP is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.