I collaborated with Caroline McGowan and Kipper Lee Linville to write “Outloud,” which was deeply personal for me. This song mirrors the personal process and experiences of finding the confidence to love who you love proudly regardless of what others may think.
6 Things You Don’t Know About Me:
“The middle schooler who watched American Idol religiously while praying one day that would be her. To the high schooler who tried but had many mess ups and sound system fails. And especially for the college me who was told I couldn’t do it.” What continues to help you most when you deal with the unique challenges a career in music presents?
I’ve tried to step away from music several times. I didn’t write or touch my guitar for four years. No matter what I tried to do, it always kept knocking on my door. It is who I am and what makes me feel most like myself. When I want to give up, I get a call. When I want to throw in the towel, someone asks me to join them in a show. So, I just keep staying the course and take breaks when I need them so that I don’t get caught up in the competitiveness or negatives of the industry and remember that this path was chosen for me.
“Music education truly changed my life. I was fortunate to have a high school choral director (Mrs. Mavis) and college directors (Dr. Hinson & Dr. Ringwall) who reinforced my passion for music.” How can we help support school music programs?
Support your local choral and musical theatre programs. Buy the tickets and refreshments sold during intermission. Share their posts and help support financially if you are able to. Funding for the arts in schools gets cut regularly though it truly saves students’ lives and keeps many of them in school. I am one of those students.
“(To Dolly Parton) I know you don’t know me, but I was wondering if you’d give me some advice just like you gave Jolene?” Best advice another artist has shared with you and how did it impact your career?
As a songwriter and artist, it is easy to feel like a nobody in certain places and spaces. Being a newbie in Nashville, I often feel like the deadweight in a round or writing session. Peytan Porter once told me to focus on ‘leaving a fingerprint’ instead of feeling the pressure to do everything or feel like I contributed equally. As long as what was created couldn’t have been done without me there, that is good enough. So, I strive to ‘leave my fingerprint’ on every writing session, round, or show I am lucky to be a part of.
In your day to day, you work at a music business firm downtown. What has this job taught you that has changed how you view the business side of the industry?
I have learned so much about the industry and how it all functions day to day! It has greatly grown my respect for the people behind the scenes. So much goes into tours, shows, releases, and collaborations that I did not realize until seeing that side. I am thankful to have the opportunity to learn more every day!
“Grit is my driving force and the need to keep going is ingrained deeply even if other people don’t support or understand it. I hope you can find something that fuels you to keep going too!” Which other artist inspired you to never give up?
There are so many inspiring artists so this is a hard one! I often remember the process Maren Morris took to get where she is today. She put in her 10 years and watched the CMA’s from a bar. She was close to giving up and told herself she had to be there the next year or she was done. We all know her career is thriving and know that she did make it to the CMA stage the next year. I am at the ‘sitting in the bar watching the CMA’s’ phase right now.
“Serve, give, love, advocate, & speak up. … In 20 years you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than what you did.” How is this reflected in the lyrics in your new release?
Love is a grounding factor in so many great songs. Whether that is love of another person or finding love for oneself, my songs embody that. My newest release, “Outloud,” showcases self love, love for others, and speaking up to advocate for that ability, for all people, no matter who they are.
Can you share 12 songs that have influenced your life and career?
These are in no particular order.
The Chicks “Landslide”
This is a staple country song and one that I listened to daily as a kid. And yes, I know the original was by Fleetwood Mac. I listen to that version too!
Cam “Burning House”
Love the lyrics, the visualization, the guitar intro is a 10/10, and I just love Cam!
Maren Morris The entire Hero album.
This album sparked my music love to come back! I had given up and then drove around to this album. I knew I had to get back to music!
JoJo Literally anything by her, but this started with “Leave (Get Out).”
I am just obsessed with her music and want to be friends with her so badly!
Kelsea Ballerini “Legends”
Though this song is about a love interest, this song really inspired me to move to Nashville to pursue a music career. It gave me hope, and the line, “we wrote our own stories…,” really got to me. I was like, “well the story I am writing right now is not one I want to read so I’ve got to change the narrative!”
Faith Hill I grew up on her music and her album Breathe was on repeat.
If you were born in the 90’s you just know the weight Faith carried!
Hilary Duff As a young girl, her album Metamorphosis was THE album.
This album was one I would ‘perform’ in my room in middle school. This was one of the first times I felt like I could actually do this. It helped build my confidence as a confused 10-year-old.
Jennifer Hudson Absolutely anything she sings.
She has vocal chords of solid gold. She does no wrong! I just love her. She is at the top of my list of artists I would love to share a stage with.
Mitchell Tenpenny “Drunk Me”
His hooks and lyrics are always so clever. I love his voice and listen to his songs most mornings on the way to work. They match my morning vibe!
Eminem “Till I Collapse”
This is my #1 hype song. I listen to this on the way to the gym most afternoons and always feel like I can take on the world with this one. This was always on the playlist when I played soccer so that must be where it comes from!
Giveon Really anything he does.
I am obsessed with his vocal tone! Goes without saying that he is insanely talented.
Rihanna “Needed Me”
When I had a heartbreak or bad situation happen, this was THE song that pulled me through it. I still listen to it to this day when I need a reminder.