For new fans, what song do you think best represents you as a songwriter and why?
Good question, but such a challenging one to answer! I think it’s hard to have perspective on yourself and your writing because you’re so close to it. Each song is different.
“Figured Out” (which I put out this past March) is very candid and funny.
What is the most unusual inspiration you’ve ever had for a song?
When I was still in college, I thought it’d be funny to write a song that was all cliches. I got about halfway through and realized nobody would get the irony because it sounds like every other country song you’ve ever heard. haha.
What is the most important thing you have learned about songwriting over the years?
Craig Wiseman once gave me the advice that “everyone in the writing room is equal”, meaning everyone, regardless of experience, age, or ability, has something equally meaningful to contribute. That’s what makes cowriting so cool. Not only do you come in with your own life experiences and perspective, but you get to share a little bit of everyone’s to make the best possible song. It’s made me less intimidated in some rooms and more open minded in others.
What is your favorite song that you’ve never released?
You just might hear it in 2024… 😉
What is the song that you’re most proud of?
The song(s) I’m most proud of tend to be the ones I write specifically for people. They’re not even necessarily ones I ever put out publicly, but as a songwriter, I find so much satisfaction when someone is able to heal or be comforted from something I write for them. They’ll never be sung down on Broadway, but they’re more important than the “hits” you might hear on the radio.
What is the most memorable experience you have had as a singer-songwriter?
There have been a few cool moments that stand out: playing my songs at the Bluebird Cafe, hanging backstage with Little Big Town before I opened for them, hearing my song on the radio… but it’s so hard to choose just one!
“Mama’s Been Prayin’,” co-written with Lainey Wilson. How did you come to write this song with Lainey?
I got set up with Lainey back when I was signed to my first publishing company. We moved to Nashville around the same time, so I already knew her from around town and through mutual friends, but it was awesome to get to write with her. She didn’t have a deal back then, but was insanely talented. We started talking about the kind of girls southern mamas want their boys to bring home, and it kind of started from there.
What is your favorite lyric in the new song and why?
I like how tongue-in-cheek the whole song is because I love whenever we get to put some sass into something. My favorite lyric is probably in the second verse just because it made my mom laugh after I sent her the worktape: “She’s a lipstick in your pocket, hairspray it and lock it/ hell, I don’t even own a brush”. This is probably a small homage to my tomboy middle school days.
How do you stay inspired as a songwriter?
I’m constantly writing title ideas and bits of conversation in the note section on my phone. Everytime I have a cowrite scheduled, that’s always the go-to. But the best way to stay inspired is to live life, meet people, and experience things. There’s always something you can find to write about, whether it’s somebody’s story, a funny one liner you hear out at a bar, etc.
What is one thing you wish more people knew about songwriting?
That the songs they hear aren’t always written by the artist! There’s a whole world of writers who don’t get the recognition (or pay!) they deserve. The artist has a big job as far as pulling off the song and performing it, but the writers are the ones responsible for the melodies and heartfelt lyrics that so many people resonate with. Whenever I listen to a new song, my first move is to go to the credits section where the writers are listed. You’d be surprised how many top hits across all genres have been penned by the same talented group of writers.
As an artist, though, I often do love singing ones that I’ve written on because I feel like they are personal to me. However, next year I am planning on releasing my first song that was not self-written- it was written by my talented friends and it’s too good not to be heard!
What do you like to do outside of music that contributes to your musicality?
Hang with friends is probably my main thing! Not only are most of my friends incredibly talented musically, but our shenanigans always provide the best inspiration for songs.