1. How did your experience in theatre help shape “Drama Club Days?” Additionally, do you have a favorite improv or warm-up exercise?
If you had told me in middle school that I one day would create a musical theater inspired album, I would have believed you but I would’ve been very confused as to how it would all unfold. When I began songwriting, I took up the craft as an exploration outside of the world of musicals I found myself in. I had always been attracted to the art of storytelling & felt like it was time I begin constructing my own. Until the “Drama Club Days” album, however, I hadn’t allowed myself to be as extravagant in arrangements & story arc.
Concerning my favorite warm up or improv, I’m always up for a classic siren or “‘mother made me mash my m&m’s” to get things started.
2. If you could create a concept album out of any play, which play would it be, and why?
The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde has been a favorite of mine for a few years; I adore Wilde’s frank & self aware writing style and think his societal comedy would translate well to the culture we find ourselves in today. The rise of online persona’s has certainly opened an interesting conversation with how much is too much to share about one’s “real” life. I think a concept album exploring the different character’s experiences would be pretty entertaining and relevant.
3. Twin Peaks was the influence for your recent music video “Gin.” When recording the song, was this idea already formulated?
Actually, yes! I’m very much a planner & like to spend time imagining the world a song will live inside of while recording. Because of the love-triangle situation that inspired “Gin” and the setting of an internal dialogue unfolding in a diner, Twin Peaks came to my mind when visualizing.
4. You describe your music as “poetic pop.” Who are some of your favorite poets? Which one influences and inspires you the most?
I started using the term “poetic pop” recently because no other label has ever felt right when describing my music & I wanted to emphasize the importance with which I craft the lyrics in my music. Reading has always been my passion & the exploration of language is such an incredible gift to the world. A few of my favorite poets include John Keats & Edgar Allen Poe from the Romantic era, and Ocean Vuong, Mary Oliver, Florence Welch, T.S. Eliot, and E.E Cummings from the more modern era. I also read Shel Silverstein semi regularly now as an adult – his range is incredible. “Masks” can still bring me to tears!
5. What is your songwriting process?
The process truly varies from song to song, which is refreshing. An idea will strike at the most unexpected time…going for a walk, cooking breakfast, stuck in traffic, etc. and I always try to keep my voice memos app close by in case. I’m trying to release a lot of perfectionism right now & approach songwriting more like I did when I was 11 or 12; allow the song to flow out as needed & switch gears to the “editing” side of my mind afterwards.
6. How has TikTok helped you as an artist? What advice would you give musicians just starting out on the platform?
Honestly, I resisted TikTok for a long time. The thought of an additional social media platform to manage did not excite me. Ultimately though, I heard stories from my friends about genuine connections they were making with others through the app & felt like I should at least give it a try. I’m so happy I did! I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made on the app – like yourself! My only advice would be to create on your terms. There is such a “hustle” and trend forward mindset associated with creating nowadays…you will find your folks when you allow yourself to create how you are uniquely made to.
7. You’re the recipient of BMI’s John Lennon award for your song ” LaZboys” Can you recall how you felt learning you won?
I was over the moon!! I still am! Spending abundant time on a craft like songwriting can start to feel lonely sometimes and it was such a wonderful confirmation to receive such an honor from BMI. I’m so grateful and humbled by their recognition.
8. How was it being on NBC’s “The Voice?”
“The Voice” was quite a roller coaster ride! I met some insanely talented vocalists and artists; many of whom I’m still in touch with today. The experience further solidified how much singing my own original songs means to me & how thankful I am to explore my artistic freedom in creating.
9. Mustard is a condiment. Could you describe to them the “human condition?”
Mustard might have a difficult time grasping the “human condition” due to Mustard’s innate perfection. Suffering & pain are not associated with such perfection as Mustard possesses; however, the untamable joy sometimes experienced in the human condition is very closely related to Mustard. Hope that helps.
10. Do you have any upcoming projects or shows you’d like to promote?
“Naturally”, the final chapter of the “Drama Club Days” music videos is releasing on April 26th! Subscribe to my YouTube channel to see the music video! Also, if you are in the Nashville area, my second annual “Garden Party” event will be taking place on May 1st!
Additional Show Dates:
4.21 Atlanta, GA with Sofar Sounds
4.22 Chattanooga, TN with Aloft
4.23 Knoxville, TN with Lost & Found Records for Record Store Day
4.24 Woodstock, GA with Rootstock Listening Room
5.1 Nashville, TN Ele Ivory’s “Garden Party”
6.4 Nashville, TN with Musicians Corner Festival