I got to chat a few weeks ago with Kirstie Lovelady. During our chat we discussed a little bit of everything from her singing career, to her upcoming opportunity to open up for Blake Shelton at the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, to her take on bro-country, and to the exciting release of her upcoming EP “Cry Wolf”.
Kirstie moved to Nashville the summer before her first grade year. She is no stranger to the music industry, in fact the move to Nashville was because of her Dad’s involvement in the business. It’s because of that involvement that Kirstie grew up around a lot of country music and which led to her desire of wanting to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter. Kirstie explained how she grew up thinking that music was what she was supposed to do- her Dad it- and over time her love of country music grew into passion for performing. Don’t be fooled by this country sweetheart, as much as her influence was country with growing up on Johnny Cash and other country greats, this chick has a rocker side- she commented on also growing up listening to Aerosmith, Led Zepplin, and Van Halen.
Growing up in Nashville has its perks, Kirstie described that she has attended a number of shows and writers rounds over the years. Her knowledge of the talent she was witnessing over time opened her eyes up to the fact that she would need something for herself to stand out on her own in the genre. There is a misconception that if you’re good in your own town, in your own right, that you’ll do great in Nashville, but Kirstie acknowledges that with the amount of talent in the city you have to work so hard to get noticed, “It’s easy to get lost or overlooked here.”
And if it wasn’t hard enough to break out in country music, its even harder for women to make a statement and stand out. When Kirstie told her high school teacher she wanted to be in country music, the teacher told her she’d never make it in country and that she was just a female solo artist.
“Female’s in country are overlooked and not taken seriously. I love Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Kacey Musgraves and what they are doing in country music. I want to make a name for myself where I fit in country music but I can stand on my own.”
We even discussed a little on the topic of “bro-country”… Kirstie loves Blake Shelton and Florida Georgia Line and is definitely not hatin’ on the bro country movement. What she did make mention was that with growing up on Johnny Cash she is used to the simplicity of country music at that time and voiced her bit of a disappointment in the country genre turning out to be more pop.
As much musical influence as Kirstie grew up around, it was actually her lack of interest in sports that convinced her to pick up the guitar and ultimately teach herself how to play. Kirstie actually plays the guitar, mandolin and piano, but explains how the guitar is her favorite.
“It’s a lot more convenient to carry a guitar around than a keyboard.”
Again with the rock influence, Kirstie said she even likes to bust out the electric guitar now and then. It was in high school that Kirstie would go to her music teacher’s classroom in between classes and grab her guitar to learn chords. That where she learned how to write music and found a love in song writing.
You would think that living in the Music City would have been an early advantage to break into the business, Kirstie had showed her parents her desire to want to pursue it as a career, but her parents made her make a deal with them. If she went to college and got a degree then they would fully support her pursuing music. Well Kirstie made that deal, went to school at Belmont University, studied hard, and got her degree in Business. It was just a couple days after graduating that Kirstie was revved up and ready to go. And her parents have clearly been a great support system, Kirstie noting that her mom has been at every one of her shows.
Kirstie’s new EP, “Cry Wolf” has certainly been a long time coming for the singer. She got to work on the project with Jim “Moose” Brown known for hit “5 o’clock Somewhere”. She talked about how excited she was when she took her stuff to him, explained her vision, and in the end he jumped on board. This EP is meant to capture everything Kirstie from her acoustic side, to her raw/organic country side, to even rock. “I want to balance the mix while staying true to what country music is.” The EP is due to release September 2nd with 5 songs that were all either written or co-written by Kirstie.
Kirstie definitely has some exciting things coming up for her on top of the EP release. This coming weekend she is opening up for Blake Shelton at the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, a feeling that she describes as crazy.
“Its crazy that it’s actually happening. I love Blake and Miranda. I’ve always looked up to him and his music, and loved his view-“if you love what you’re doing stick with it”. It still really hasn’t hit me.”
She laughed how its still hard to see her face on the same poster as his. Along with her performance in Panama City, Kirstie has a upcoming college tour in the works. The college tour is being spear headed by J.R. at Big Foot Entertainment. It’s planned to run from January to March 2015 and Kirstie is excited to be performing alongside Preston Summerville and Them Dirty Roses.
“We’ll be going into college towns and playing for as many people as we can. We’re going to be doing radio during the day and at night inviting everyone from the college to wherever we’re performing that night. The tour will be stopping at Oxford, Ole Miss, UT, and onto West Virginia, to the Carolinas, and a little bit of everywhere.”
GCO: Do you ever lose the excitement of performing/opening up for someone new?
KL: “Hope I never loses the excitement of performing in front of anybody”. She genuinely loves performing and song writing, and singing- “I love every aspect of it”. “From the beginning I’ve always said, whether that my music would reach 100 people, or 100,000 people, or a million people, I wanna do this cause this is my heart, my blood, and don’t know what I’d be doing if I wasn’t doing music”
Keeping strong to her roots, Kirstie explained that her ultimate venue goal would be either the Bridgestone arena or the Ryman. Since she was in elementary school she can remember going to concerts at both venues. “I think it’d be awesome to be on the other side looking out at the crowd, It would be a full circle moment.”
GCO: What would her fans be surprised to know about her?
Kirstie’s obsession with the Food Network Channel. She describes how its not even necessarily that she can cook or is a good cook. She just loves to watch it because it fascinates her. So when Kirstie isn’t out performing you can most likely catch her curled up on her couch with her dog watching something on the Food Network. And Kirstie even stated she’d love to be a guest judge on Cupcake Wars.
We ended the conversation on a question I felt led to ask after all her explanation of her love for what she does-
GCO: How important is it to you to be a writer/co-writer on all of your own music, obviously not all artists write/cowrite their own music, but for yourself where do you see that in your career path? Do you feel like you always want a part of music?
KL: “I love songwriting, whether the whole artist thing works out or not, I hope that songwriting is in my future because I have just as much passion for that. I guess when it comes to an artist, I’m never opposed to others people’s songs, because I know people can write like hell of better songs than I can, but when it comes to me as an artist I wanna sing about something I can personally connect with and somethings thats real to me, and I would have a hard time singing someone else’s story, and I think thats why songwriting is so important to me as an artist because every song is literally my life. We called this record Cry Wolf because like the old story about the boy who’s lying and your parents tell you the story to tell you to tell the truth, well this whole album is my truth and who I am as an artist. I wrote every song on it. So its important for me to connect to my songs, and hopefully my fans can connect to the songs and can also connect with me as a person and I think thats what’s most important in life, is connecting with other human beings through music.”
There is no question that this girl is very passionate about what she does. Its very evident in the way she talks about it, even over the phone I could just tell that she is doing exactly what she is meant to do. Kirstie even said, “it’s all in God’s hands.” She wants to pursue her dream and glorify God while doing it. I cannot wait to meet Kirstie at the Gulf Coast Jam and look forward to watching her career evolve.