Category Archives: Interviews

All of our interviews that are not a Spotlight Artist of the Week will be posted on this page.

Ashley McBryde Becomes Most Added Female/New Artist to Country Radio

Ashley McBryde’s debut single, “A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega” is having quite the success on the radio.

Ashley McBryde has had a very successful year from touring to Eric Church, to making her Opry Debut, to having a Number 1 Radio Single on Sirus XM, and it looks like this is only the beginning for her. She was recently signed to Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville, where she able to get the platform to release her single, “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega”.

The New York Times stated that “What makes ‘A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega’ transcend is songwriting, songwriting, songwriting… It’s intelligently constructed and casually delivered, full of rich imagery… potent singalong moments… and words throbbing with outright lustrous feeling.” You can definitely feel all of the emotion when listening to Ashley McBryde’s music, and this is what helps set her apart from other artists in the Nashville music industry at the moment.

McBryde is scheduled to perform on Sirius XM Presents: The Highway Finds Tour in late October through early November with other upcoming country artists including High Valley.

Interested in learning more about Ashley McBryde and where you can see her? We have listed her Social Media Links here: TwitterFacebookInstagramSpotify

You can also find her upcoming tour dates on her website: Ashley McBryde

 

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Spotlight Artist of the Week: Josh Gray

Meet Josh Gray. He is a Nashville based singer-songwriter, who has his own unique sound. His musical style comes from the old folk, bluegrass, and country roots. Josh released his debut EP, Josh Gray, in 2015 and it is definitely an album you will want to listen to. Below is our interview with Josh Gray.

On The Verge: Nashville: What made you want to become a singer-songwriter? Did a certain artist or performance influence your decision?

Josh Gray: I started writing poetry when I was around ten or twelve and eventually that turned into writing lyrics. I never wrote with the intent of performing but maybe it was always subconsciously there. When I was sixteen my parents got me a guitar and I slowly taught myself to play. Music was something I just did for myself for many years. I didn’t started performing live until sixteen years later. That might sound crazy, but for the longest time it was just something I did for my own enjoyment.

OTVN: When describing your musical style , you said that it’s “a blend of folk, bluegrass, and country”. What made you gravitate to this style of music?

Josh: My interest in lyrics has always gravitated towards the storytelling and social messages. Because of this, I think it was only a matter of time before I found folk, bluegrass, and old school country. These genres celebrate our commonalities, I like music that is honest and somewhat minimalistic. When I listen to a song about 90% of my focus is on lyrics. I don’t have the interest or time to become a great guitar player. To me, music is primarily a canvas for lyrics. This isn’t to say I don’t want to make songs with nice melodies, but how many artists do you know that are great lyrics writers and musicians? It’s rare, most artist lean towards one discipline at least slightly more than the other. 

OTVN: Let’s talk about your songwriting process, how do you go about writing songs?

Josh: I make an effort to free write daily. I can’t say a ton comes out of it, but it’s a way of keeping the gears oiled. Lyrics come to me a line or a verse at a time, and I could be anywhere. I find the best stuff comes late at night when my internal editor has gone to sleep. Writing has never been easy for me, I’ve never written a song in fifteen minutes. Songs typically take months and some even years. I’m kind of a perfectionist, but if you aren’t you’re doing something wrong. 

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Photo Credit: Taylor Dukes

OTVN: What do you find most inspires you to write a song?

Josh: Inspiration can come from anywhere, I try to write in different styles. People say write what you know and I say sure, but don’t limit yourself. Don’t write what you know if what you know is boring. I’ve written songs about relationships and songs about high-speed car chase shootouts. I’ll leave it to you to decide which one is writing what I know. 

OTVN: Do you play more than one instrument? If so, which one is your favorite to play?

Josh: I play guitar, but I think my voice is my favorite instrument. I’m starting to write songs that challenge my voice more which has been fun. 

OTVN: Who are your musical influences and why?

Josh: I listen to a lot acoustic blues from the ’20s and old folk, country, and bluegrass. When I was teaching myself guitar, I made the decision not to learn cover songs. I didn’t want to subconsciously pick up the guitar style of another musician. Due to this, I like to think I have somewhat a unique style. 

OTVN: Who are some current artist or songwriters that you would love to collaborate with?

Josh: I like what some of the modern Americana bands are doing like Shovels and Rope and Hurray for the Riff Raff. I respect anyone out there speaking their mind with their music, it’s sadly a rare thing. I have a good group of friends here in Nashville I collaborate and play shows with, namely John Dennis, Jason Erie, and Holly Bruce. Keep an eye out, we have a big show at the City Winery in Nashville on 10/23.

OTVN: What are your plans and hopes for your music in the future?

Josh: Well I have a band now, Josh Gray and The Dark Features. The plan is to play a couple of shows in Nashville each month. The rest of the time I’ll be on the road. I like visiting places and meeting new people. In the coming months, I’ll be in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and all over Tennessee. Make sure to sign up for my email list to stay up to date on where I’ll be.

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Photo Credits: Kayla Kohl

OTVN: We loved listening to your Debut EP, Josh Gray! Is there any future projects that you are working on that you would like us to watch out for?

Josh: Thank you, I’m currently finishing up writing my follow up, full length to be released early 2018. Expect more of a full band sound overall, but there may still be a few solo songs as well. Lots of love to my Maryland and Tennessee friends who have supported me, I couldn’t do it without them. We’re going to take this thing all the way!

Follow Josh Gray on his website and social media sites, linked below:

Official Website: www.JoshGrayMusic.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JoshGrayMusic

Youtube: www.youtube.com/JoshGrayMusic

Instagram: www.instagram.com/JoshGrayMusic1 

Spotlight Artist Of The Week: Alyssa Marie Coon

 Meet Alyssa Marie Coon. She is a 12 year old singer-songwriter from West Palm Beach, Florida.
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OTVN: Describe your musical style. What makes your music unique?
Alyssa: My music style is a blend of indie, pop and country. I love to play and sing different varieties of music and different instruments too. Right now I’m enjoying mixing the blend of pop and country together. I’ve been told my voice is clean and pure.
OTVN: Who are your musical inspirations?
Alyssa: My inspirations are Taylor Swift, Danielle Bradbery, Carrie Underwood, the Beatles and many more.  My parents are my true inspiration. They support me and encourage me. They provide me with the tools I need to be successful.

 
OTVN: What made you realize that music was what you wanted to pursue?
Alyssa: I’ve wanted to pursue music ever since I was 2 years old. Ever since I can remember, I always sang. I enjoyed watching children’s musicals and TV shows.  I was listening to and singing all of the songs to The Wizard of Oz.  I distinctly remember singing in the car and remember by the third song on the CD, the two people sitting next to me just turn and look at me with their jaw opened in awe at the fact I knew every word and was singing on key.
At 4 years old, I was given the karaoke machine and was singing to a majority of the tracks. Then I started finding tracks on iTunes and YouTube to sing too.
At 7 years old, i started taking vocal and piano lessons. I then did my first cover music video of Born to Fly by Sara Evans. I started performing live in different events locally.
OTVN: Favorite venue that you have performed in? Also, what is your dream venue to perform in?
Alyssa: I really enjoy performing at different songwriters and local festivals. My favorite  venue was Deerfield Beach Country Music Festival. 
All of the performers were so supportive of each other. It was like we were all family and have known each other for ever.
I would love to perform for CMT and CMA’s.
OTVN: Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you are most proud of?
Alyssa: In February 2017, I was competing in a local talent competition. Each week, I was singing and playing different styles of music and still wasn’t advancing in the competition. I decided to write my own original song on a weekend and then I performed it live 4 days later
The crowd was really impressed with my age and how I wrote a song so quickly and performed it flawlessly 4 days later.
My family was proud of me and that made me proud of myself.
 
Another proud moment was a years ago when I got to perform live and play my new guitar with a band during my vocal coach’s showcase after only practicing one time for 10 minutes. It was the best time too.
OTVN: What is your motto/advice you live by? 
Alyssa: Don’t compare yourself to others. Let others be your inspiration but be the best version of yourself. 

 
OTVN: If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Alyssa: Taylor Swift and Blake Shelton. 

They are awesome writers and musicians. 

OTVN: What is your favorite song to belt out in the car or sing at a karaoke night?
Alyssa: This is a tough question because I love many songs.
Lately, I’ve been singing and playing Sway by Danielle Bradbery. Another song is Heavy by Linkin Park. 
If I need a song to showcase my voice- I’ll sing The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston.

OTVN: Are you currently working on anything at the moment that you would like us to look out for?
Alyssa: I’m currently in the process of recording my second original song. I’m hoping to release it within a month.
I have three more songs ready to be recorded as well. 
I am looking forward to releasing an EP and then an album.

OTVN: Where can we find or buy your music?
My music is available in iTunes, Amazon and Google

You can also find Alyssa Marie Coon on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram listed below. 

www.alyssamariecoonmusic.com

www.facebook.com/AlyssaMarieCoonMusic

www.instagram..com/AlyssaMarieCoon

www.twitter.com/AlyssaMarieCoon

Spotlight Artist of the Week: Kendal Conrad

We hope you have been enjoying these Spotlight Artist’s posts as much as we have been making them. Today, we want to introduce you to Kendal Conrad from Pottstown, PA.

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Photo Credits to Jenn Curtis Photography

On The Verge Nashville: Describe your musical style. What makes your music unique?

Kendal: I am a pop/country artist. I write honest songs about my life — even if they aren’t so pretty, so I wear my heart of my sleeve.

OTVN: Who are your inspirations?

Kendal: Whitney Houston, Ariana Grande, Reba, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban, to name a few! I find new influences every day. Right now, I am obsessed with Judah and the Lion and Phoebe Ryan.

OTVN: What made you realize that music was what you wanted to pursue?

Kendal: The funny thing is, I never made a conscious decision to pursue music. That’s all there ever was and all that has ever been for me. I joined the school choir in fourth grade and beat out all the fifth graders to get a solo at the choral concert. That was kind of when I thought…. Maybe I’m good at this! 

In high school, I taught myself how to play the guitar. Then, my dad and I went down to the music store and bought a bunch of equipment that we didn’t know how to use, and I started playing local gigs to make money. 

OTVN: What is your favorite venue that you have performed in? Also, what is your dream venue to perform in?

Kendal: My favorite venue is anywhere that I have an audience. My dream venue is the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. Hillary Duff was my first real concert, and I saw her play there. It would be kind of going back to where it all started. 

OTVN: Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you are most proud of?

Kendal: No, not particularly. I’m very proud of the fact that I haven’t quit or given up. Music is just as exciting to me today as it was when I first started to play. Every time I get the chance to get behind a mic is something to be proud of. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sclByp6zfS8

OTVN: If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Kendal: I would love to record a pop/country crossover with Ariana Grande. I went to her Dangerous Woman show in Philadelphia, that girl can SANG! Tour collaboration is hands-down, forever and always, Keith Urban. What an incredible performer and human being. Let’s hit the road together Keith. Call me.

OTVN: What are five things that you can NOT live without?

Kendal: My parents.

Coffee.

My Martin Guitar.

Skinfix lipbalm.

Siggi’s yogurt.

OTVN: Are you currently working on anything at the moment that you would like us to look out for?

Kendal: New music is coming (hopefully) soon! I’ve been perfecting my sound and getting the right batch of songs to release, which is a looooonnngg process.

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Photo Credits to Jenn Curtis Photography

OTVN: Where can we find or buy your music?

Kendal: I don’t have anything out yet, but keep your ears peeled.

OTVN: Finish this phrase: In 10 years from now you will be… 

Kendal: On a stage, somewhere in a sparkly dress, with a guitar.

You can find Kendal Conrad on all of her social media platforms linked below. 

Twitter: @KendalConrad 

Facebook: Kendal Conrad Music

Youtube: Kendal Conrad

Instagram: @KendalConrad

Spotlight Artist of the Week: Toni Clare

One of our main series we wanted to have on our blog was a Spotlight Artist series. We have so many amazing new comers of the Nashville Music Scene coming up within the next month and a half.

For this week’s Spotlight Artist, We want to introduce you to Toni Clare!

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My name is Toni Clare, and I’m a 15 year old singer/songwriter. I am from Virginia, but Nashville is definitely like home to me. I have performed at the Bluebird café and some venues on Broadway. I know so many amazing artists from Nashville, and I have collaborated with some of them. I recently joined NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) and I am meeting other singer/songwriters and am able to exchange ideas. It’s very exciting and, I have to admit, a bit overwhelming as there is so much talent out there.

On The Verge Nashville: How would you describe your musical style?

Toni Clare: My roots are country. That’s my main passion, and I definitely want to stick to that. I do enjoy bluegrass and rock as well, because they push me in different directions with the guitar and my voice, so I mix it up a bit. Right now, i’m just developing my own style and trying not to box myself in on the type of music I play.  

I have met some incredibly talented people in Atlanta and Nashville. Country music is going to keep growing and evolving and I hope through my songwriting that I can be apart of it. 

OTVN: Who are your inspirations?

TC: Personally, my biggest influences are my parents who have always been there for me supporting my music. Mark Maggiolo, my music teacher, is a walking music encyclopedia. As far as musical styles go, my biggest influences are Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Mary Chapin Carpenter for voice and stage presence. Also Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney are big influences because of the way they “mix it up” on stage with their music. 

OTVN: What is your overall goal with your music?

TC:One of my goals is to perform on the Grand Ole Opry stage. I need to keep writing and playing my heart out on every stage i’m on. It’s all about networking. You never know who you’re going to meet.  I met Tanner Hendon a while back and he produced a CD. I have also met Wyatt Oates, a sound engineer for Adam Levine, OutKast and few others, and Peggy Still Johnson, who is my incredibly talented coach. 
When I was in Nashville, I happened to meet Philip Powell, a gospel/country singer-songwriter, who arranged a meeting and tour for me with one of the most prominent music producers in Nashville. You just never know who you’re going to meet and I am constantly inspired to get out there and keep working. I am hoping to get into a music college or see if my music takes off earlier. I am still in high school, so I have a little time to think about it. 

My biggest overall goal is to get my EP “It Takes Two” on national radio stations, but I eventually want to pitch some of the songs I have written to country and pop artists and to perform on bigger stages. 

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Pictured Above: Tori Clare with 103.1 WJMA Radio DJ

OTVN: What made you want to pursue being an artist?

TC: My first step was learning to play the guitar at age 8 from Mike Vinson after coming back from a trip to Nashville. When I saw performances from artists like the Band Perry, Love and Theft, Don Campbell, and Craig Morgan, I said “I want to be on that stage”. So I have been performing wherever I can such as state theaters, restaurants, parties with our family and friends, and talent shows. My younger sister, Frances and I won a 4-H talent show at age 7 and 9, and we won Grand Champion for singing an old Band Perry song. We are now in a five string band together with my older sister, Kati. 

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Toni Clare (right) and her sister, Frances (left)

OTVN: What have been your favorite venues to perform it?

TC: I have played in Memphis, TN and I loved a show that I did at the Lafayette Music Room. It was a packed house, and it was so exciting. I also really liked playing at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. There is a lot of adrenaline for that one, and so many famous singer-songwriters got their start there. 

Some of the unexpected or unplanned shows, I have learned, turns out to be the best ones. For example, last month I was asked two days before the show to perform in front of 1,500 teenagers in Northern Virginia and play my original songs with a band. It was so much fun!

OTVN: If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

TC: If I could collaborate with anyone, I would choose Chris Stapleton, because he is such an authentic songwriter and musician. Chris is very creative with his lyrics and he continuously inspires me to persevere in my writing and singing. 

OTVN: Tell us something that nobody knows about you. (Embarrassing moments, favorite food(s), any obsessions, etc)

TC: One embarrassing moment (out of many moments) is a time I was singing the national anthem at a huge basketball game. In the middle of the song, my microphone gave out, and it didn’t turn back on, but I smiled and sang louder. It ended up being okay in, and everyone said they could hear me. and it sounded good, but I would never want to experience that again!

My favorite food would have to be ribs, but only the ones my dad makes. He such an amazing “chef” and he teaches me how to cook. 

An obsession I have would probably be coffee! If I don’t have a cup of coffee before I start each day, I would not be able to function. 

OTVN: Are you currently working on anything at the moment that you should like us to watch out for?

TC: I have been writing songs for a while now, and recently recorded my first EP — a CD titled Toni Clare, “It Takes Two”. It is avaliable on my website (toniclaremusic.com) and on iTunes and Spotify. It was my first time in a studio and I worked with some unbelievable artists including Tanner Hendon, who recently played with Paul Rodgers and the Bad Company and with Collective Soul. I’ve recently have started playing my music and crowds have been really supportive and are reacting positively. I play covers at restaurants and parties, and that is what people mostly want to hear. My goal is to play at least half of my own music and half covers to mix it up. 

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OTVN: Where can we find your music?

TC: You can find my music on my website (toniclaremusic.com), iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and  pretty much anywhere you can find music. 

You can follow Toni Clare on her social media sites listed below:

Facebook: Toni Clare Music

Instagram: @ToniClareMusic

Twitter: @ToniClareMusic

Youtube: ToniClareMusic

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Thank you Toni Clare for being our Spotlight Artist of the Week! Do you want to be the next Spotlight Artist? Email us at onthevergenashville@gmail.com, tweet us at OnTheVergeNash, or comment down below!

Old Dominion Just Dropped A New Music Video And It’s Amazing!

We are completely in love with Old Dominion’s new music video for “Be With Me”. It is a song that features girls of every age and every size, which we think makes this video so incredible! The interview segment is such an amazing opener to this music video. You also really get to know some of the girls in the video by letting them add their own voice to the beginning of it. Our favorite is the phrase that starts it all, “the best part about being a girl is…”, and getting to hear an unscripted version from the girls who rocked it!

Below you will hear from two of the girls in the music video, and their experiences and what they took away from the video shoot. Just a heads up, you guys are going to love this!

On The Verge Nashville: Did you know you were going to be in this video, or was it a “set-up” where they led you to believe you were doing something else? Continue reading Old Dominion Just Dropped A New Music Video And It’s Amazing!