Category Archives: Spotlight Artist’s

Spotlight Artist Of The Week: Katie MAC

Meet Katie MAC, a girl from Kansas, who is getting ready to take Nashville by storm with her new single, “Nice Guys”. 

OTVN: Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you want to pursue a career as an artist?

Katie: Well, I’m originally from a suburban town in Kansas and I went to small Catholic schools, so I don’t have a particularly musical background, other than fronting a pop-punk band and high school choir. I started playing guitar when I was a sophomore and songwriting came super naturally. It just sort of clicked and I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I made the move to Nashville in 2014, and I’ve been making music here ever since!

OTVN: Describe your musical style.

Katie: I would call my style, Female Power Pop. I want my listeners to have fun when they listen to my music, but I also have a lot to say! Some of my songs are upbeat and empowering like, “Nice Guys”, but some are super delicate and vulnerable. 

OTVN: Where do you get your inspiration for your music?

Katie: Literally everywhere. “Nice Guys” came from personal experience, but I’m constantly writing down ideas from things I hear in conversation, in movies/TV, or read in books. 

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset

OTVN: Who are your musical influences and why?

Katie: My earliest memories of music are tied to older groups like The Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, and the Dixie Chicks, but I grew up listening to Top 40 pop, so it’s super broad! The sound I’m going for now is definitely influenced by other pop artists like Taylor Swift, Astrid S., and Mo.

OTVN: What can we expect to hear from your single, “Nice Guys”?

Katie: I think people can expect to bop along to “Nice Guys”, and I also hope that people can relate to it. I think anyone who has fallen for someone and then discovered that person was totally not who they thought can relate to parts of “Nice Guys”. 

OTVN: What has been your favorite part of the music creating process?

Katie: Definitely taking an idea and then seeing it evolve into a fully produced song. There is so much work that goes into it, and it’s amazing to see how the right team of producers, writers, and musicians can take something simple and create something that people all over the world can relate to. 

OTVN: Who is your dream musical collaboration?

Katie: Ryan Tedder. Hands DOWN. 

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset

OTVN: What are 5 things you can not live without?

Katie: 1) Coffee, 2) Headphones, 3) My amazing family and friends, 4) Time alone, 5) Time spent creating

OTVN: What has been the best advice that you have received when it comes to working in the music industry?

Katie: I used to be extremely self-conscious going into co-writes, shows, meetings, etc. One time, I was having a talk with a professor and explained to her how I felt like I didn’t belong because I was never the best guitar player or piano player in the room. She sort of laughed and said, “Katie, be comfortable being good at things you’re good at and be comfortable not being the best at the things you’re not the best at”. Basically, she taught me the value of collaboration and that advice she gave me transformed the way I interact with my team. 

OTVN: Is there anything other projects that you would like us to keep our eyes and ears out for?

Katie: There will DEFINITELY be more music coming out very soon, but for now, I hope people continue to jam out to “Nice Guys”!

Below we have linked Katie MAC’s social media(s) and website if you would like to learn more! 

 

Advertisements

Spotlight Artist Of The Week: Kate Gillespie

On The Verge: Nashville would like to introduce you to our Spotlight Artist of the Week, Kate Gillespie! Kate is a Folk/Americana singer-songwriter. She is originally from Toronto, Ontario, but now resides in Nashville, TN. Her debut EP, Pink and Gold (link to her Spotify herereleases Friday, September 29th! We interviewed Kate before the release of her debut EP, and this is what she had to say!  

OTVN: At what point in your life, did you know that you wanted to pursue being a singer-songwriter?

Kate: I have been singing since I can remember, but when I was fifteen years old, my brother, Alex passed away at age 17. A few months after the accident, I was contacted by the mother of a childhood friend, who was also the owner of a local school in Toronto. She offered me a scholarship to participate as a singer in her ensemble bands and cowrite with some of the older instructors in the group. This shift in focus allowed me to be creative and expressive so it provoked me to devote as much time as I could to songwriting, collaborating, and performing. I really fell in love with it, and ever since then, I haven’t wanted to do anything else. 

OTVN: Describe your musical style. What makes you unique?

Kate: I define my style as Folk/Americana, but I often times pull from Country and Indie as well. The bare bones of my songs always include finger-picking on acoustic guitar, transparent lyrics, and a little bit of wit. 

OTVN: Being a singer-songwriter, how do you go about writing songs? What is your songwriting process?

Kate: I wish that I could lay my writing process out step-by-step, but it is honestly a bit of a jumble. Some songs start from hearing a compelling line in a movie and jotting it down and some start by fiddling around on my guitar and trying to find melodies that fit it. My favorite way to write is to let whatever emotion I am feeling at the time drive what I create. In my opinion, my best songs have come out that way. 

OTVN: Who are your musical influences and why?

Kate: My top three musical influences include Brandi Carlile, Ingrid Michealson, and First Aid Kit. They can all be classified in the Indie/Folk genre, yet their music is all different from one another’s. Brandie Carlile has the gut-wrenching lyrics and vocals. Ingrid Michaelson has a quirky but heartfelt feel to all of her songs. First Aid Kit is my favorite though when it comes to production and arrangements. I think that my music has taken influences from all of them just as a result of listening to them so consistently for years. 

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

Kate: In addition to the influences I listed above, I would love to collaborate with Kacey Musgraves, to get a glimpse into that clever, witty brain of her’s would be a dream. I’d also love to write with more of my close friends who are also songwriters!

OTVN: We love your new single, “Storybook”, and it has made us excited to hear your new EP! What can we expect to hear on your EP, Pink and Gold? Does it go along with what we heard while listening to “Storybook”?

Kate: Thank you so much! I think that each one of my songs bears its own unique quality. “Storybook” let me paint a picture around a simple concept. Although it consists mostly of book-related metaphors, I came up with the idea after one of my friend’s exes cheated on them. They appeared to have this perfect storybook kind-of-love then all of the sudden there was an abrupt, surprise ending. 

The other four songs on the EP, are based on specific events and people but the references are far more obvious. This EP has some optimism, humor, a lot of heartbreak, and a lot of honesty on it. 

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

Kate: I plan to continue pursuing my artist career by playing shows around and outside of town, writing new songs every day, and working on a full-length album a little further (but not too much further) down the road. 

You can follow Kate Gillespie on her website and social media sites listed below. 

Instagram: @kategillesp

Facebook: Kate Gillespie Music 

Website: KateGillespieMusic.com

Spotlight Artist of the Week: Tim Gallagher

On The Verge Nashville: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Why did you want to pursue a career as an artist?

Tim: I’m originally from a small town in the UK called Crewe, but moved to Manchester when I was 21. I never really had a choice when I was younger, I grew up in a very musical family. Both of my parents were musicians, so being surrounded by music growing up was always going to steer me into a musical career. 

OTVN: Describe your musical style.

Tim: I take most of my inspiration from soul and blues music. Growing up I listened to a lot of Stevie Wonder, Etta James, and all the old school rock n’ roll music. Continue reading Spotlight Artist of the Week: Tim Gallagher

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. 

Josh Gray 2

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.

Josh Gray

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.
image1
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.

1B8A4290.jpg

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.

1B8A4294

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!

FullSizeRender

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. 

FullSizeRender (1)

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. 

FullSizeRender (2)

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. 

FullSizeRender (3)

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

FullSizeRender (4)

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!