Who is Lauren Watkins? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Lauren Watkins
Birthdate – 08/25/1999
Hometown – Nashville, Tennessee
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Musical Influences – Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson, Miranda Lambert
Label – Big Loud Records / Songs & Daughters
Current Single – “The Table” as of date of article: 11/27/23
Today’s spotlight artist is a Nashville local that we truly believe is about to have the biggest 2024. Lauren Watkins, Songs & Daughters and Big Loud Records recording artist shared with us all about her upbringing, her journey to music, and everything in between.
“I grew up in Nashville, which I know is pretty rare. Nobody believes me anymore when I tell them that,” began the songstress, “I grew up with three sisters and my older sister, who is two years older than me, she’s super into music too. She’s a songwriter in Nashville, and I guess just growing up around country, we were around it all the time. My parents are not musical, but they are music lovers. So the two of us got into singing and playing guitar really young.”
At an early age, Watkins recalls always being captivated by the country music genre. “Honestly, country has always been at the top for me. It’s always been my favorite,” she shared. Adding, ” I was born in ’99, so I grew up in the Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band era. That was sort of my middle school.” Watkins also credits artists like Miranda Lambert and Eric Church as some of her biggest music icons.
Additionally, the singer learned to appreciate older country artists, like Alan Jackson and George Jones, from her dad. While her mom brought a different flavor of music to her catalog. She loved entertainers like Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson,” shared Watkins. “I actually have so much of that piano pop influence in my songwriting and even Colbie Caillat, like the early 2000s girls that were killing it.”
With that love of music intact prior to college, Watkins and her sister, Caroline, would play the Nashville music scene as often as they could. “I try not to take it for granted, so we’d play little bars, all the Pucketts locations in Nashville, and then when we got old enough, we’d play the Broadway bars.”
The Turning Point:
Upon graduating from high school, Watkins headed to Ole Miss for college and decided to put music on the back-burner. “When it was time for me to go to college, I don’t know if it was out of fear or what, I was like ‘I don’t think I’m going to do music for a career.’” However, while in school, Watkins never stopped loving music.
“About two years in, I was having the time of my life in school, I realized that I had to go home to Nashville, when it was over. It was in my soul. I couldn’t get rid of this pull that kept saying ‘You gotta do music.'” Still, Watkins decided to finish out her degree, but began posting some clips of her singing and playing guitar on her Instagram. “I would just sit all night in my room and play my guitar, and I would take little videos, and post them on Instagram.”
Serendipitously, Rodney Clawson, famed songwriter saw one of her Instagram posts. At the exact time, Clawson’s wife, Nicolle Galyon just started her venture as the label-head at her record label imprint, Songs & Daughters. “He showed it to Nicolle, who had just started Songs & Daughters, and she reached out to me,” shared Watkins. Adding, “I went home for a weekend, and I met with her, we had breakfast, and she basically introduced me to the team at Big Loud and introduced me to a ton of songwriters, and set me up with a bunch of writes.”
For six months, Galyon and Watkins stayed in touch before Watkins landed her publishing deal and later, her record deal. “I had a lot of developing to do as a songwriter and an artist, and eventually it led to a publishing deal. Then for another year, they just kind of let me work. I just hustled and wrote a bunch, and played shows when I could. I was just sorta booking my own shows, and just tried to play to whoever would listen. And then that turned into a record deal.”
Flash forward to today, Watkins is quickly becoming one of the most buzzed about newcomers on the block. With only two EPs to her name, she already boasts opening spots on Conner Smith’s headlining tour, as well as, Morgan Wallen’s record-breaking stadium tour this spring. We also anticipate more new music coming down the pipeline soon.
For Watkins’ current EPs, while they are different, they each tell a story that connects. Her debut EP, Introducing: Lauren Watkins came first and was followed by her latest EP, Introducing: The Heartbreak. “Accidentally, all the writing turned into ‘Introducing: Lauren Watkins’. […] Those seven songs that we put out felt like the perfect fit for ‘Introducing: Lauren Watkins,’ because it’s about where I went to school, things I have gone through, and the way I think about things. It was just the perfect little touch of what’s to come next.”
After writing some more, her second EP fell out. “I kept writing, and that’s where ‘Introducing: The Heartbreak’ came in, and without saying too much, I kind of feel like this one is going to be the middle ground for what’s to come next, because I wanted to introduce me and introduce what I’ve gone through, and I feel like that’s the perfect set-up for whatever else comes next.”
Watkins’ catalog of music continues to impress both fans and the industry, and it is only a matter of time before everyone knows her name!
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For tour dates and more, visit the singer-songwriter’s website here.
Lauren Watkins’ 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.