Who is Shelby Darrall? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

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


Shelby Darrall // Photo credit: Anna Schaeffer

Quick Facts:

Full Name – Shelby Darrall
Birthdate – 04/28/1995
Hometown – Calistoga, California
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Musical Influences – Eric Church, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Eagles, Etta James
Current Single – “When I Don’t Love You”  // as of date of article: 4/8/2024

The Beginning:

Today’s spotlight shines on a songstress that knows exactly who she is in this industry. Shelby Darrall is an incredible singer-songwriter, who creates music that has heart, grit, and a whole lot of relatability. We chatted with the singer about her music, her journey thus far, and everything in between.

“With growing up in California, I feel like every time I’m trying to explain where I’m from to people, I just reference ‘The Parent Trap’, because that’s what it felt like growing up there. I’m really lucky to be from Napa,” shared the budding artist.  “It’s a lot of land, and time, and space, and I think country music just filled all of that there. It’s all we ever grew up listening to.”

Darrall recalls loving country music her whole life, finding inspiration in many country artists of her youth including Eric Church. The singer also comes from a musical family, with her dad playing music too. “My dad was in a country band, so I was basically surrounded by country music at all times and I loved it,” she shared. Adding, “I just kind of watched my dad and I wanted to be like him. Eventually, I learned to play myself a little bit and started to play songs. I tried to get gigs wherever I could, but Napa’s small, so it was mostly wineries.”

At just thirteen years old, the songstress taught herself to play guitar and started to write songs whenever she could. “I think it’s just the most natural thing that’s ever come to me I think, and I also love it, so it just made sense right away, but probably because I watched my dad do it so effortlessly that I was like ‘it must run in my blood somewhere’,” she shared. Adding, “I had little songbooks hidden all over my house and under my mattress, and I just practiced, practiced, and practiced.”

The Turning Point:

Upon graduating high school, Darrall knew she wanted to pursue music for a living, but she headed to school in Arizona first to get her degree and then eventually finished her education at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I was trying to understand how people have careers in this business […] So I was like ‘where can I go in this business’, and Nashville felt like the most comfortable, like the most similar of where I’m from. I just kind of knew that, remembered that, I went to school in Arizona and then transferred to Belmont to finish.”

Once in Nashville, Darrall hit the ground running. “I don’t think there’s a straight path for anyone in the business, so I think I just tried things until something kind of stuck, I remember when my career started moving in a way that felt kind of real is when I met my now manager, Autumn. […] I was playing the Key West Songwriters Festival, and I met her there. I think she was the first person to kind of grab the reigns of my career and help me know what I’m doing,” she shared.

As she progressed, her team grew bigger, and Darrall was able to put her focus on her art. “We started creating an EP and releasing music, and started meeting people in town more. It was the first time I felt like I had a team behind me. It’s gotten even bigger since,” she shared. Adding, “I always knew that my talent belonged to me, and I wanted to make sure it was constantly sharp. It’s always been what I worked the hardest on.”


Presently, Darrall is making waves in the industry and is truly at the top of her game. With many festival dates lined up, her first headlining show in Napa on the books, and opening spots on tour with Elle King, the singer is having an incredible year.

Additionally, Darrall’s newest song, “When I Don’t Love You” is impressing both fans and industry members alike. “My writing style comes from real experiences for me, at least the best ones, and my favorite ones do,” she shared when asked about her new single. “The day before, that exact experience in that song happened. I ran into an ex and I kind of just realized all of those thoughts, and I went into co-write the next day, and I was just explaining that. I was like, ‘I think I just don’t love him anymore.’ […] The song just kind of naturally fell out and it’s very honest and very real.”

From the time Darrall recored the demo, she knew the song was something special. “I played it at shows, and I always had a good response with that one, so we decided to release it,” she shared. “Sad songs are easier for me to write. I have a harder time with happy songs, probably because that’s my preference and that’s what I like listening to, but this song felt sad. However, it’s actually has an empowering message, too.”

Fans can catch Darrall singing “When I Don’t Love You” and many others at her various gigs this year. Stay tuned for more new music coming down the pipeline soon!


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Shelby Darrall’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.