“Liquorish was a lightbulb moment for me. When I first moved to town, this girl named Allie was a part of the crew that I rolled with. She was into me, I was into her, but it wasn’t until I was a junior in high school that I had the courage to ask her out. We got married when I was 21. I wanted to write a song that perfectly captured the moment when I realized that I wanted more than a friendship. Liquorish is my love story,” Brady explains.
In September of 2020, Brady Lee debuted into the country scene with his single I Can Do This All Day which debuted on Apple Country Hot Tracks and New In Country Editorial. In late 2020, singer-songwriter signed an artist development deal with Perkins Publicity which was announced by All Access and Music Row.
Taking inspiration from the likes of Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett, and Russel Dickerson, Brady’s sonic style is very much radio driven pop-infused anthems that showcase his outstanding vocal and songwriting skills.
Lee also has a strong worship music background, which means he has a strong faith-based connection running throughout his lyrical output. He has an impressive back catalog that also includes a writing credit on Christian Nuckels’ album. Brady Lee also has notable credits on projects from Six Hours Prior, Native Tongues, Trevor Gonzalez, and Connor Cook, and while music is his main career focus, the father of two also leads the main stage worship for Districts 2019, a 6,000 student conference in Green Bay, WI.
You can learn more about Brady Lee by visiting www.thomasbradylee.com and connecting digitally on Facebook and Instagram
A simple request to sing demos for a producer ignited Amy Wilcox’s love of music into a professional dream. Rather than making her complacent with success, a brief stint on reality TV put Amy’s true goals into sharper focus, compelling her to work harder and be recognized for her craft instead of her name. Fittingly, her debut EP West is a triumphant celebration of overcoming personal struggles and defining oneself as an artist. Moving forward, Amy plans to add another installment to her beloved cover series, “Something Old, Something New, Something True.”
Cliché: What first sparked your passion for music?
Amy Wilcox: Growing up, I always loved to sing and perform. My dad was an avid music lover and would strum on his acoustic guitar to songs he loved. He was super into the Laurel Canyon music scene, like the Eagles, Jackson Browne, and Linda Ronstadt and I really gravitated toward that sound. As my love for music and singing grew, I started searching for more female artists, and discovered people like Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Joe Dee Messina, and the Dixie Chicks – all these badass women who were so determined to push the boundaries. I was determined to make music a part of my life.
What is it about country music as a genre that speaks to you?
The songwriting. I love that country music has always told a story and you get a glimpse into what that person is going through. In my own writing, the lyrics always come first, so I love that country music really paints a vivid picture for people to be able to relate to.
Was there a particular moment that motivated you to pursue music professionally?
In college, I recorded a few songs with my acapella group for a competition. Being in the studio was so exhilarating, and I had the time of my life. After college, I was working in a studio in Atlanta and was asked to sing a few demos for a producer. Singing in a studio, I knew that I had to pursue my own career and push to record my own songs.
You were featured on the A+E reality show, Crazy Hearts. Did the show alter or influence how you saw yourself, either personally or as an artist?
I learned a lot from that show! I learned that you really need to know who you are and where you stand or you can get lost in this business very quickly. I was proud of the way I was presented on the show, but at that time, there was a lot of pressure to fit into to a certain mold to “take advantage” of all the “buzz.” I knew that I wanted to be an artist and hone my craft, and not just be a reality star. It reminded me that no amount of success will make you happy if you aren’t being authentic to yourself.
Talk about your new single, “Jailbird.” The lyrics talk about being so completely in love with someone that you never want to leave. Were you drawing on your own relationship experiences?
Yes I wrote this about my own relationship! I was super determined in the momentum of my career and didn’t want any distractions and this relationship kinda snuck up on me. The song talks about the struggle and balance with wanting to be independent and unwavering in pursuing your dreams, but also wanting to dive head first into a relationship that makes you feel amazing. Sadly that relationship didn’t work out in the end, but Taylor Swift made a career writing songs about her exes, so I guess I can too!
You’ve said that your new EP, West, reflects changes you’ve faced. Elaborate a little more on that. How have those challenges shaped who you are as an artist?
Thank you! I am so happy it is out in the world! When West came about, I was in the process of pulling myself out a rough period in my life. I was dealing with breaking off my engagement, which put me in quick an emotional rut. It took me a while to pick up the pieces and readjust to getting back on track with my career. It was hard at first to jump back in creatively, but it forced me to really take a step back at decide exactly where I wanted to go next. I knew this was my opportunity to really dive in to exactly who I wanted to be as an artist and start that new path. I started writing and experimenting with different genres, and I grew a lot in my understanding of my own style and sound.
Describe your journey towards discovering your own unique sound.
I have always loved music from a wide range on genres. In the journey towards signing with Blue Elan Records and creating new music, I got with my producer, Cass Dillon, and we labored for days on really getting down to the bones of why I loved certain genres or songs. I always love music that has some grit and soul to it and I wanted that to shine through in my own unique way. I love performing live and I wanted to write songs that presented my own experience of hope and self discovery, AND would get people up, having fun and dancing. Creating “West” was my time to get back to the basics of who I am as an artist in an organic way. My producer and I set up shop in a little cabin overlooking a lake, started writing, and over the course of that year, West was born!
Do you have a favorite track on West? If so, why is it so significant to you?
I love the song “Bandwagon.” It was the first song we wrote in the cabin, start to finish, and it just clicked. I was so excited the moment we put down our guitars, because I knew we had found the direction and sound I was searching for. The song itself talks about not being scared to make a change, stop going through the motions, and pushing yourself to find what’s really going to make you happy. This song really is the theme of the album and what I was going through while writing West.
What are you excited for? Any fun projects coming up?
I am so excited to have all these songs out in the world! I just played my very first showcase at SXSW which was a bucket list show for me, and I have a bunch of shows coming up throughout this summer. I did a cover series called “Something Old, Something New, Something True” where I created my own versions of songs that inspired me, and I am getting ready to release another installment of that. I am excited to hit the road and keep working on new music and just continue on this new journey!
Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com Singer Amy Wilcox Starts Her Next Chapter in Her New EP, “West”. Photo courtesy of Amy Wilcox.
Carly Pearce certainly has the perspective to truly savor success. The country music star endured crushing disappointments both professionally and personally early in her career, losing her original record deal with Sony and dealing with a devastating breakup. In spite of all this, Carly never lost her faith. Ironically, her greatest heartbreak would eventually become the kindling for her greatest triumph, serving as the inspiration for her emotional ballad “Every Little Thing.” She was fully committed to portraying the experience as authentically as possible, even going so far as to personally select a dead ringer for her ex to play her muse in the accompanying music video. Her raw vulnerability resonated deeply with her fans, launching her meteoric rise to prominence on the country music scene.
Cliché: You started touring with a band when you were 11. What was it like to have the opportunity to perform that early in life? Did it shape your vision of your career goals as an adult?
Carly Pearce: I think it was SO valuable to have that kind of experience at such a your age. We are developing so much of ourselves in those adolescent years that I think it helped me to start to understand what it really meant to be an “artist” and put on a show.
At 16, you quit high school to take a job performing at Dollywood, which still holds a special place in your heart. Why did you want to perform there? What did the experience teach you?
I wanted any excuse to be able to sing and perform full time. My grandma was a huge Dolly fan, so from a young age I fell in love with her music and everything that she represented. I had visited Dollywood several times as a child and remember seeing the shows. When I saw the audition, I knew that THIS would serve as the “high school” I needed before making the jump to Nashville. That experience taught me SO much about performing so many times in a day, singing sick, taking care of my voice. It was my first job!
Talk about your debut single, “Every Little Thing.” What was the inspiration behind that song?
“Every Little Thing” is a true diary entry out of my life of losing love. I went through a pretty devastating heartbreak in my early 20s that shook me.
How have you managed to get over heartbreak? Any words of wisdom for anyone else dealing with heartbreak?
I am a big believer in faith. I had to constantly remind myself that whatever was meant to be for me was coming and that this wasn’t the situation that God wanted for me for my life. I think taking it day by day and understanding YOUR worth are so important. You WILL find someone who deserves you and treats you with respect. It’ll be easy.
In contrast, “Hide the Wine” is seemingly about resisting the temptation to get involved with someone. Do you think that writing about your personal life in your music gives you a greater degree of emotional clarity with respect to your relationships?
Definitely! I think being completely authentic in my writing allows me to tackle some things in my own life that I need to “deal with,” all while being so transparent that it relates to listeners. I am no different than any other woman in their late 20s. I just so happen to have the microphone.
Which of your songs is most meaningful to you and why?
Definitely “Every Little Thing.” It obviously is the reason I get to do this and made SO many dreams come true for me, but I also think it was the true marker for me of “wow, when you’re willing to go there and be vulnerable, look at what happens.” I always reference that song in my mind as the bar for what my lyrics need to represent.
Uproxx determined that you had “the best country debut of 2017.” What about 2017 was so important for your career? How do you hope to expand upon that success?
I had SO many firsts. First record deal, first song on the radio, debut album release, first song going #1, first national TV appearance, etc. 2017 was my introduction into the country music family. I claimed my identity and hope that I always view that year as the one that gave me my shot.
Your road to country music stardom hasn’t always been smooth sailing – you’ve spoken about losing your first record deal with Sony. How did you overcome that setback without losing faith in your own talent?
Trust me, I had moments of wanting to give up. I cried more in that phase of my life than any other. There was something inside of me that KNEW this was my destiny. From the time I could talk, all I knew was country music. I had amazing parents and friends that helped to pick me up and encourage me to keep fighting.
Country music in particular is heavily male dominated. What was your experience like as a woman trying to break into the industry?
I think that it’s obviously harder for women, we all know that at this point. I had plenty of industry people tell me “oh wow, debut single from a new female… a ballad? In the summer? That’s never going to work.” But what’s so beautiful about my story is that the FANS showed them they wanted to hear my music. I’ll never forget that.
How have other women in the industry reacted to you, both when you were starting out and now as an established singer? Is the atmosphere more competitive or supportive?
There’s SO much love! I’ve had so many cheerleaders along the way. Kelsea Ballerini being the biggest, taking me on the road with her to open shows before I even had a record deal– and now, so many of us keep in touch and text and really are in each other’s corners.
Most recently, CMT honored you with their Breakthrough Video of the Year award for “Every Little Thing.” As an artist, what does it mean to you to not only bring your vision to life in the video, but have it recognized on such a huge stage?
Oh my gosh, HUGE! I wanted the video to mirror how transparent and honest I was with writing the song. I hand-picked the guy to even LOOK like the guy who was my ex. When I watched the first edit with my mom, she cried because she remembered how devastated I was during that time.
Are you enjoying your current tour with Rascal Flatts and Luke Bryan?
I am having the TIME OF MY LIFE out on the road right now. To be able to be a part of tours of male acts that I’ve been a fan of for years is truly a dream come true. AND THEY’RE SO KIND! I feel like I’m gaining lots of country music uncles.
What’s next for you? What projects do you have your eye on?
I’m starting to write for CP 2 which I’m very excited for. I see hopefully a headlining tour at some point, CMAs & ACMs… my biggest goal is to become an Opry member. That is the ultimate honor for me!
Read more Celebrity Interviews on ClicheMag.com Carly Pearce Appreciates Every Little Thing. Photo Credit (in order): Rachel Deeb, Harper Smith. Album art courtesy ofBig Machine Records.
Watch out, boys—the ladies are making a huge statement in music more than ever. Whether it be pop or country, women are constantly showing they’re a force to not mess around with. April Kry is just one of the many ladies who is using her voice (literally) to wow anyone who hears her. According to Kry, strong role models such as Reba and Martina McBride have left a mark on her in a remarkable way. You might be familiar with her latest single “While We’re Young” spinning on Radio Disney and RD Country, but do you really know her? We chatted with this talented artist to learn more about her upbringing, her recent move to Nashville, and what it’s like being a woman in country.
Cliché: Your voice is so strong. Growing up, did you take any vocal lessons to gain the voice you have today? What do you say to those who are completely caught off guard by how much of a powerhouse you are? April Kry: Thank you so much! I started taking vocal lessons around 12 and found the vocal coach I still use today around 14. He kind of broke me out of my shell and said, “April, I know you have a big voice inside and we’re going to bring it out of you.” I’ve actually been named by some of my co-writers as “the tiny ninja” because I’m 4’11” and can be pretty loud when I sing! That’s one thing I pride myself on and I definitely embrace my tiny ninja label.
You have a strong upbringing being surrounded by so many different genres growing up. Do you think you’ll ever see yourself diving or possibly tapping into other genres to see how it is? I was so fortunate to have a bunch of different influences musically as a child. I’m always evolving and growing as an artist and I continue to incorporate small nuances into my music. I don’t know that I’ll ever stray from country because I feel so at home in this genre, but I do love incorporating different sounds into my songs. In reality, country music was born from blues and folk merging together and I think people forget that sometimes!
You moved permanently to Nashville at age 20. For you, what’s it like living in Nashville, surrounded by so much up-and-coming talent? Why was this such an important move for you? Nashville is my forever home and I wish I moved here sooner than I did! It’s such an amazing community of artists and writers that are supportive and genuine. That’s one thing I could never find in New York or L.A. I remember sitting in my boyfriend’s (now fiancé’s) apartment when I was still living in Connecticut and he looked at me and said, “April, you need to move to Nashville. You’re not happy here and you’re not able to excel in your music like you would there. Go. We’ll make it work.” And we did. It was such an important time in my life to make that move and I’m lucky to have someone so supportive.
[Nashville is] such an amazing community of artists and writers that are supportive and genuine.
How or when did you find your voice and know what kind of message you want to convey to your fans? I always knew I wanted to reach young girls and spread a message of empowerment to them because I was once that young girl, listening to Martina McBride in my room, using my hairbrush as a microphone. I want to be what those amazing women were for me growing up: a solid role model. I always say that what I love about music is that it meets you where you are. Sad, happy, upset…there’s a song for that. I want to be able to reach people on their darkest days and their happiest days.
You talk a lot about lyrics being a huge part as to why you love country music and how it tells a story. Out of all the songs you released so far, what’s your favorite lyric that you’ve put out? Lyrics are the first thing I listen for when I hear a song for the first time. I think my favorite lyric in a song I’ve released so far has to be from my latest single “While We’re Young.” In the chorus, it says, “loving crazy, running free, being who we want to be while we’re young.” It’s a super simple statement, but it means so much. I feel like there are so many unrealistic expectations you try to live up to as an adult in the working world, or just life in general. Sometimes you just need to step back and realize why you’re doing what you’re doing. Stop trying to conform to be liked and be yourself.
When you perform in front of an audience that either knows of you or doesn’t know you at all, what are the thoughts running through your head? I try not to think about the audience and what they’re thinking about me or I’d drive myself crazy! I like to just live in the moment while I’m performing and really think about the lyrics of the songs I’m singing and relay them the best I can.
What is it like to be in this rise of strong women country artists such as Kelsea Ballerini, Cam, and RaeLynn? It’s about time women take over country music! It’s absolutely amazing. I feel so honored to be included in this bunch of ladies. I just saw Lauren Alaina had the number one song in country music last week. It’s the year of the girls in country. I can’t tell you how many insanely talented ladies I’ve met and heard that are in this rise of artists. You’re right. It IS about time!
If you had a chance to create your ideal country tour lineup, who would be on your list? LeAnn Rimes, Keith Urban, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill.
I know your song is currently spinning on Radio Disney, so what was it like for you to officially hear yourself on the airwaves? It’s always such a surreal experience hearing yourself on the radio. Radio Disney and RD Country have been so supportive of me and they are just the sweetest. I’m so happy they are playing my single!
Social media interaction is necessary more than ever to chat with your followers. Do you ever find it overwhelming or maybe helpful to have this as a tool to get your songs out there? I think social media is a blessing for independent artists. You basically have an outlet where you can broadcast your music and life for people to hear and see for free. You cut out the middleman. I think it’s so vital to be on social media as an artist today to connect with your audience.
I’m a huge fan of country music myself, but I often hear a stigma about the genre. What do you say to combat the negative remarks? There’s been a lot of back and forth about what’s considered country and what’s pop recently. To that I say, I am just making music that I like to listen to and hoping that the audience will react to it in a positive way.
Now that you are fulfilling your dreams of becoming a country singer, what else do you hope to accomplish in your career? What more do you want to do? I have a passion for empowering young girls and being a positive role model for them. I want to get involved in anti-bullying campaigns and programs because I think that is such a problem right now. I also love animals so I’m starting to get involved with local shelters and such. I want to save all the puppies!
Country music, pop music, hymns, covers, originals…at Lady Antebellum’s Take Me Downtown Tour, they had it all. It’s rare to hear such a wide variety of music from one group at a concert, but they played to their strengths making it turn out wonderfully.
The concert started off with opening act Kacey Musgraves, fresh off two Grammy wins. Kacey has such a unique singing and songwriting style, and she captivated the audience. In an arena full of twenty thousand people, all you could hear was the sound of Kacey and her guitar. Kip Moore followed, and he definitely knew how to work the crowd. With hits like “Hey Pretty Girl” and “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck”, Kip had all the girls swooning.
Nearly two hours into the show, Lady Antebellum finally took the stage, opening with their new single, “Compass”. Hillary and Charles had flawless vocals throughout the entire show, and their voices together sounded absolutely magical. The two, along with third member Dave, ran through many of their hits, and introduced fans to some of their newer material.
The trio put on stellar performances throughout the night, adding new flares to old songs, mashing up some of their hits, and even ending with a medley of “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and “Cups (When I’m Gone)” from Pitch Perfect. Perhaps the most well-received performance of the night was “Need You Now”, the song that started it all for Lady Antebellum.
Overall, the concert was phenomenal. Kacey Musgraves and Kip Moore both bring something new and unique to country music, and the opening act slots gave them the chance to showcase that. The members of Lady Antebellum are all extremely talented musicians and amazing performers, and the concert was unforgettable. If the tour is coming to a city near you, please, let them take you downtown!!
For tour dates and ticket information, go to http://ladyantebellum.com/events.
(Photo courtesy of Larry Darling [tncountryfan] on Flickr)
Jennifer Nettles proves she’s a force to be reckoned with in her solo debut effort, That Girl. Nettles has been recording, touring, and performing as one half of the country duo Sugarland for nearly a decade. The members of Sugarland recently decided to take some time to work on solo country projects, allowing Jennifer Nettles the chance to soar.
That Girl is full of powerful ballads, including the title track, “That Girl”, and “This Angel”, that show off Jennifer’s powerful vocals. The songs on the album offer many different styles of music and show off the unique and truthful nature of her voice. Songs like “Jealousy” and “Moneyball” are infectious, and definitely a departure from the sound we so often heard from Jennifer Nettles in Sugarland.
My personal favorite on the album is “Me Without You”, a song that deals with moving on from that one person who used to mean so much to you. The song is unlike anything currently on country radio, and the message is inspiring. As a whole, Jennifer’s album is a wonderful and fresh blend of country, blues, and jazz, and she proves that great singing and songwriting is all you really need to produce a solid album.
(Photo courtesy of Best Buy)