If you were to write an intro for “Black Sheep” before it played on the radio, what would you want listeners to know about the song?
That it’s a song I at first never saw myself putting out because of how honest it was, but I knew it that it was important to. It’s the song that I needed and if even one person feels seen because of it, that means I did something right.
6 Things You Don’t Know About Me:
North Carolina native. Joined your older brother in a rock band at age 11. Went on to Berklee College of Music and Belmont University. Favorite college class and why?
My favorite college class that I took actually had nothing to do with music, it was a psychology class. It’s so interesting to me why people behave the way that they do, and I feel like it made me a more empathetic person. In a sense, I feel like it added depth to my songwriting because I started thinking outside of my own perspective and life experience.
You shared that Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” inspired you to become a songwriter. What makes this song’s composition such a standout for you?
I remember being in elementary school listening to this song for the first time and it literally stopped me in my tracks. I thought it was the most beautiful song I had ever heard, and the contrast of Stevie Nicks grit had me absolutely mesmerized. It’s one of the first songs I ever learned how to sing!
Viral sensation in 2021 with “Far Boy” to this year’s debut EP, Honeydew & Hennessy, which highlighted a new phase of life for you. Title track was co-written with Jason Reeves and Emmi Elliott, “It’s cool and interesting and different. That’s exactly what I represent. This song is kind of my vibe.” How has your music evolved over the past two years?
I feel like I’ve really found myself over the past couple of years and know my voice and what I want to say. Everything I write comes from such an honest place and I feel like my new music has a vulnerability I’ve never really shown before.
Zach Bryan. If you were to go on tour with Zach, which venues would be bucket list stops?
My literal DREAM venue is Red Rocks Amphitheater and Zach’s fan base has such an insane energy I just know it would be incredible!
“I want to be at the Grammy Awards; I want to see my name on the nominees for CMA Awards. Like, why not set the bar as high as you can? I’m definitely a dream-chaser, that’s for sure.” What is one goal you’ve set for yourself outside of music?
I know this sounds corny, but to be genuinely happy with my life. The music industry can really beat you down at times, so it’s important to have good people around you that support and love you no matter what which I’m really lucky to have.
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Definitely performing live at a dream venue. The adrenaline rush of performing live for people that love your music is a feeling I will chase for the rest of my life!!
Can you share 12 songs that have influenced your life and career?
“Don’t Stop Believin’” – Journey.
I know it’s corny, but it’s the first song I ever performed on stage in front of an audience when I was 10 and it will always have a special place in my heart. Also listening to Steve Perry’s vocals made me want to practice singing every single day.
“Yellow” – Coldplay.
This song literally changed my life and the way I viewed music the first time I heard it, and the song that sent me to the rest of the Parachutes record which is still one of my favorites of all time. The feeling and the emotion just feels so big and that is why I wanted to start making music in the first place. So, whenever I need a reminder, I go back and listen to that album.
“Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers.
This song will always feel so nostalgic to me and has always been a favorite of mine to cover and play on stage. I love the baseline and the soul this song has; it just feels so good.
“Blackbird” – The Beatles.
One of the first Beatles’ songs my parents ever played for me on my dad’s record player. I was just so mesmerized, I would listen to it on repeat for hours until my family begged me to stop haha.
“If It Hadn’t Been For Love” – The SteelDrivers.
The first time I heard this song was the first time I heard Chris Stapleton’s voice and my jaw literally hit the floor. The soulfulness in his voice is something so rare and beautiful, I still get chills whenever so hear him. so inspiring to me as a singer and songwriter.
“Dream A Little Dream of Me” – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong.
My mom used to sing me this song all the time as a little kid and so it will always make me think of her. I remember when I was in high school I surprised her at one of my shows I was playing at a local bar and sang it and she started crying, it was such a wholesome moment.
“Landslide” – Fleetwood Mac.
The first Fleetwood Mac song I ever heard, and I remember just singing it over and over again for days on end. I even posted a video to my personal Facebook page in fourth grade of me singing this song to a karaoke track on YouTube into a hairbrush. iconic honestly.
“Crazy On You” – Heart.
As you know when I was younger I was in a 70’s rock band and this was my absolute favorite song to sing at shows. It was so difficult, it’s honestly impressive to me now that my 11-year-old self was able to pull it off.
“Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” – John Mayer.
Have always been inspired by John Mayer and his ability to convey stories in such a poetic and beautiful way. This is one of that songs that made me want to start writing songs.
“High Time- Kacey Musgraves.
I remember one day in 2016 I want to say this song randomly popped up on my Spotify and I was instantly a super fan doing a deep dive of her music which to me was just one insane song after another. Her songwriting is next level and her tone sounds so unique to anything else I’ve heard.
“Speechless” – Lady Gaga.
One of the most underrated Lady Gaga songs in my opinion. have always been such a fan, I even dressed up as her for Halloween in third grade! Insane talent, insane performer, insane singer, AND writer … she can literally do it all. Always super inspired by everything she does.
“I Put A Spell On You” – Nina Simone.
I sang at a jazz club for a year when I was in high school and this was one of my favorites to play with the band. It has such a cinematic feel to it, and I learned a lot about feeling a song rather than just singing a song. Jazz music has a special place in my heart for sure.
Press Photo Credit: Preemo