Your father, Bobby, wrote for Ronnie MilsapBarbara MandrellHank Williams Jr. and more. At age 16 you were living in Las Vegas, performing on the world-famous Strip. Moved back to Music City in 2017.

The following year you released the acclaimed Leather Souls EP and started Jammin In Jammies, the weekly live show which features songwriters performing their hit songs in pajamas. First European tour, through Scotland and Ireland, was in 2019. What are your plans for the coming year?

Lots of things coming up this year! More music. More videos. More shows. More traveling. All of my favorite things. I’ll be pushing some boundaries. Stay tuned. 😉

Kyle Hershman (right) has engineered so many projects for me over the last 8 years. That’s his handiwork you hear on my brand new single, “Friend Like That.” It’s been pretty cool watching him go from a talented kid behind the board to the man who runs the show. (Studio 19) No one told me that one of the coolest parts of the journey is watching your friends grow up and rise to the top. It’s a longer story how I came to meet Rob Galbraith, the famed producer of some of Ronnie Milsap’s finest work. We instantly clicked. After spending some together, I hesitantly asked if he’d wanna come sit in on a studio session I had coming up. He came and loaned us some of his genius. His musical mind is special. I was also lucky enough to record my vocals with him too. The end of “Friend Like That” is my favorite part of the song and it’s because of his guidance.

“Let’s. Talk. The. Grind.” Work ethic. Songwriting. Playing gigs. Making ends meet.

Megan and Kelly McKay

Being presented with the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Graduate Award at the office you first wrote a song. The award goes to NSAI members who have signed publishing deals and moved into the professional songwriter category. One of your co-writers on your latest single, Kelly McKay, also received an award. “This journey has a ton of ups and downs. A lot of ‘no’s.’ But today I can’t stop thinking about the people who have given me little “yes’s” and have always believed in me.” What does it mean to be an artist in Nashville?

I so appreciate the picture you just painted. “It’s about the journey.” That’s what we’re told time and time again while we’re racing toward a finish line. There’s beauty in naivety. When we’re young, we swear up and down we’re ready for things that we don’t understand. It isn’t until we get a few miles under our feet that we start to see what the road ahead might actually look like. All poetic metaphors aside, any creative endeavor is tough. You face a lot of rejection. There’s a whole lot of persevering that has to happen in order to be successful. Now to finally answer your question. Being an artist in Nashville, to me, means to stay on your toes and to dig them into the dirt. Spend so much time preparing for opportunities that when they come, you’re more than ready, you’re chomping at the bit. Being an artist in Nashville means not looking at other artists as your competition so much as your peers. We learn from each other. We inspire one another. Being an artist in Nashville is an honor. The cream of the crop flourish here. If you’re a Nashville artist and you’ve made any kind of mark on this town, you’re doing something right.

“No one told me that one of the coolest parts of the journey is watching your friends grow up and rise to the top.” Filmed the video for your latest single (co-written with McKay and Tyler Flowers) at Santa’s Pub in Nashville, where cold beer and karaoke have been served up for the past decade. The Young FablesDallas RemingtonAlaynaAlyssa TrahanSteel Ivory, and Kinslee Melhorn joined you in the video. Which local venues, like Whiskey Jam, are your favorites to perform at?

Filming at Santa’s Pub is something I can cross off my bucket list. Playing Whiskey Jam (more than once, *humble brag*) always comes with so much energy and excitement. I feel like I might blast off like a rocket. Being invited to play a song I wrote at The Bluebird is one of the greatest honors a songwriter can have. And seeing my name on the official CMA Fest lineup is a moment I won’t forget!

Post show places to eat. Where do locals like yourself love to dine in Nashville?

After playing Whiskey Jam, we usually hit up Waffle House. I can’t help myself! I’m also a huge fan of Oscar’s Tacos. Being a partial west coast native, the place scratches a very specific itch. I love Chinese food so I’m usually trying new spots in town to find the best. So far, the best is hands down China Wok in my hometown of Hendersonville.

You shared before that you love talking about the details of creating music. Any future plans to take fans behind the scenes, songwriting and/or in the studio?

I’ve done a bit of this in the past! I always felt like I was kind of a nerd, but now that I know others might enjoy that kind of content as much as me, I’ll make sure to share more 🙂


Visit Barker’s websiteSpotify, YouTube and connect with her on InstagramFacebook and TikTok.