If you were to write an intro for “Figured Out” before it played on the radio, what would you want listeners to know about the song?
You know that co-worker whose life seems so easy? How about that person you graduated with that you still follow on social media? From the outside looking in at only the highlights, it’s easy to think that you’re the only one who doesn’t have your life quite figured out yet. Maybe you aren’t working your dream job, maybe you don’t have the picket fence. Maybe you thought by this age or time in your life, you’d have more cash on hand, be more responsible, be further along. If this is you, then you’re like me. And it’s ok to not have it all “figured out”!
Pittsburgh. Ice Hockey. How has your experience playing team sports influenced your career as an artist?
Ice hockey has always been a huge part of my life. My parents actually met when my mom played goalie at UCONN for the women’s ice hockey team and my dad was a coach, so hockey is in my blood. I was always very grateful for it growing up, not only for the teammates I bonded with, but for the opportunities it gave me to travel, to learn the meaning of hard work and discipline, and for giving me the drive to succeed. As an artist trying to make my mark on the music world, I think a lot of those benefits still apply. I am fortunate to have many incredibly talented collaborators in the studio, writing room, and on stage. I have been humbled more times than I can count. And I still love the friendly side of competition that compels me to be my absolute best. Plus, I love a good pick up game every now and then. 😉 Belmont University, dual-major, Songwriting and English. Masters, Education. Favorite class at Belmont?
My favorite class(es) at Belmont were definitely the songwriting classes. They gave me the chance to hone my craft and forced me to write outside of my comfort zone, even on days that I wasn’t feeling creative. But I think the best part of Belmont happened outside of the classroom, learning through various internships, and writing and networking with friends and like-minded people. It was great because for the first time, I was surrounded by people with the same dream and drive to “make it”. It truly inspired (and continues to inspire) me.
Multi genre influences, “I just want to make good music whether that’s blues, country, pop, reggae, or something completely new and different. I’ll always be a country artist first, but when it comes to creating music, I want to let the song be what it’s meant to be.” From a composition perspective, which song is your favorite and why?
Favorite one I’ve written? I think that changes weekly. There have been a few that I feel are incredibly honest to me personally. They include “Flame”, “Let It Snow” (released on YouTube and written for my late grandpa), and “The Reason” (not released). They’re simpler productions, but I think they all really let the lyrics do the talking. They aren’t roll the windows down kind of songs, but then I’ve always been a sucker for ballads.
“…sometimes the hustle means more work behind the scenes and less to publicly show for it…” Launched your own Nashville publishing company, Steel Fox Entertainment along with Michael Funk of Funk Studio. Can you share the music you are working on?
Still a true quote! Everything these days is so geared towards content, content, content, that I think artists all have a constant fear of becoming irrelevant if they are not putting out something new every single month (and posting to their socials daily). The truth is, it takes time and energy to make good music. You spend hours writing a song, and weeks, months, and even years producing it to make it say exactly what you want it to say. I’m trying to be better about the things I announce and release, but I’ll always prioritize the art over the ever-hungry monster that is social media. 2021 was an opportunity Michael and I took to launch our own publishing company (something I’ve wanted to do for a while) and establish a house where we maintained creative control. While most of that publishing company is currently geared towards pitching songs to other artists and labels for placement, the songs I’m getting ready to release this year fall under the Steel Fox umbrella! I can’t wait for you guys to hear. Funk Furniture Studio. How did you get started in the refurbishing business?
Like most artists I know, we have a side hustle! So if you’re local (or want to explore shipping), and have a need for furniture, give us a shout! We started just by flipping a bedroom set for our own house, but since we both like working with our hands (and we’re both creative by nature), we ended up making it into a little side business. Michael does most of the heavy lifting, but we love restoring old and antique pieces as well as saving furniture headed for the trash and making it into something unique. We have an Instagram page we started for anyone wanting to follow along!Marley, Australian shepherd. Where are your favorite spots in Nashville to explore together?
He’s the “goodest” boy! He’s turning 2 this year and is super high energy, so we like to take him with us to a lot of places. Not only are we frequent visitors of the dog park, but Marley loves coming to listen to music with us at The Local and Live Oak in Midtown. He’s all about kissing random people he doesn’t know- I’ve been telling him not to come on so strong right off the bat. It doesn’t seem to hurt his game though…
Can you share 12 songs that have influenced your life and career?
“Still The One”- Shania Twain
The first song I fell in love with when I was just in elementary school. It made me want to start writing music.
“Landslide”- Fleetwood Mac
I sang this for my fifth grade graduation and have always bonded with my dad over Fleetwood Mac.
I sang in church growing up and took voice lessons from Dr. Starr at St. Paul’s in Pittsburgh. I was classically trained and sang pieces like this all the time.
“Shimmy Low”- The Clarks
The Clarks are an awesome band out of Pittsburgh with a huge local following. Super catchy and made me believe a career in music was possible.
“You Belong With Me”- Taylor Swift
Fearless came out when I was in high school and I immediately was drawn to how relatable and conversational Taylor’s lyrics are.
“My Girl” – The Temptations
This was always mine and my mom’s song. I love how a certain song can evoke a memory or emotion.
Up All Night- Kip Moore
Was listening to this album a lot during my first few years in Nashville. I love how the whole album flows seamlessly and the songs seem to fit together.
“Good Girl”- Carrie Underwood
Carrie came out with this one while I was interning for some people associated with this album. Brings back memories of first learning the industry.
“Cowboys and Angels”- Dustin Lynch
This one I associate with my husband, Michael. It was the song I walked down the aisle to (we did an instrumental cello version- it was perfect).
“Get Me Some of That”- Thomas Rhett
I met a ton of my friends on set for this music video as an extra. They ended up being some of the people I collaborate most with in town.
“Paris (Ooh La La)”- Grace Potter
Pristine voice and incredible stage presence and attitude- I draw so much inspiration from Grace’s performances!
“House That Built Me”- Miranda Lambert
Not only are the lyrics tear-inducing and raw, but the fact that this took over a decade to get cut by Miranda really encourages me to have persistence with my own music.