So as you can tell, I’m not too great at keeping my blog up to date. The last post I made was in 2018 and ironically, it was when I first released “Guilty”, the title track off of my new EP. If you listen to the original version, you don’t hear country. I just wanted to explain a few things.
I wasn’t born loving country music – mostly because the people around me weren’t raised on it. I grew up with a mom who played NIN and Pink Floyd. There was no twang in her blood or anyone else in my family. It wasn’t until the summer of 2019 where I truly fell in love with this genre.
There’s a country bar in downtown Buffalo on W. Chippewa called The Cowboy and I scoffed at it whenever we walked by to the more hip clubs. It was always crowded and I didn’t understand why. It’s not like Buffalo was a happenin’ place for that style of music. I didn’t really know of any country bands in the area and the only big country fest we had once a year was Taste of Country – where I assumed people only congregated to drink cheap beer all day long. (I used to be very judgy when it came to country music.)
That summer, I was dragged into The Cowboy by one of my friends because everywhere else was dead. That night, my life changed forever. I know that sounds dramatic but it’s true! Now I understood why it was always packed – it was the most fun I had EVER had on a night out. I slow-danced with cute boys, laughed with the girls wearing cowboy boots trying to show me line-dance moves, and met the most amazing people that night. I thought to myself, “What took me so damn long to give country a chance?!”
I started adding some pop-country crossover songs onto my running playlist – stuff that could also be heard on the Top 40 radio stations. And then, I went all in. I followed those country playlists on Spotify and hit shuffle. I even started writing some country tunes and began to freak people out with my new obsession. I remember the day I told my mom and aunt that I liked country music.
*Sitting in the car with them*
Me: “Guys, I have a confession.”
Me: “I really like country music.”
Aunt: “I had a feeling you were going to say that!”
Mom: “No, you can’t!”
And now I have forced them to listen to country at every opportunity. Hell, I wrote a whole country album and they HAVE to support that. ;D My first country tune, “Won’t Make it ’til ‘I Do’, was put on YouTube in 2019. It wasn’t my first stab at country but it was the first song I decided to show my mom and producer. She actually LOVED it, like WAY more than I expected (I knew I’d convert her eventually). My producer was over the moon for it, too! I recorded it with him and he added some changes to make it as awesome as it is. Fun tidbit – the version you’ll hear on the EP is the SAME version. One take of that song all the way back then was perfect. I couldn’t have done it any better.
I saw that Buffalo’s Taste of Country for 2020 was having a contest for the opener of whatever large band was going to headline. I thought, “Hey, why not take a chance?”. So I submitted my only recorded country song to this contest and made it into the top 6, and more than that, I was the only solo artist who performed. Talk about guts, huh? I didn’t win but I’m really happy about that. You had to sign an iron-clad contract that made you perform whenever WYRK asked you to and with England being a possibility in the Autumn, I would have had to make some very expensive plane rides back to America. The groups I competed with were the nicest musicians I have ever met. There was no jealousy or judgement like I’ve felt with other genres in the area (pop-punk or rock). We were just happy to be there and proud of the groups that won first and second place. That’s when I realized I always wanted to feel happy like that and I wanted to surround myself with people who genuinely make me happy to be alive.
So there you have it! The full explanation to how this pop-rock girl crossed over to country. It didn’t come naturally to me like most country artists who are born and raised in southern states. I might be a novice at writing music in this style, but give me a few more years and I’ll be right up there with the best of them. 🙂 Some of my fans aren’t happy about my venture into country, and I get that. I wasn’t too keen on this style for most of my life, too. But people latch onto new things all the time, and this is what happened to call to me at the random age of 23. I think there’s something to be said when an artist can break out of there normal genre, too. It means I have to work harder at making country music because it’s not what I’m used to, but I think the added focus makes it that much better and fun to listen to.
My final thoughts are biased, because how can anyone in this world put on a country song and not be filled with happiness? That’s what I want to know. Country music immediately puts a smile on my face. It makes me want to take a long drive with the windows rolled down and the music blasting. I want to hear songs that make me want to dance with a stranger in a crowded bar. When I listen to a country song, I feel free. All my troubles are melting away and I can live in the now. So maybe not everyone has the same feelings as me, but I’d like to think you understand where I’m coming from. This genre switch wasn’t out of the blue. It wasn’t a gimmick to draw out new fans and make a ton of money. It’s just me and I hope you like the new version.
Love always and forever,