Courtney Dickinson’s New Single “See You Here” Shares Sweet Memories of Her Grandparents
A rarity having a clear vision of her goals early in life, country artist Courtney Dickinson paved her own, unconventional path from the start. Going as far as dropping the stereotypical high school and college lifestyle. She attended online classes in order to spend more time honing her skills, it’s obvious her tenacity, work ethic and evident talent set Dickinson apart from others.
At five years old you were dancing with the Little General Clogger’s dance group on the Grand Ole Opry stage. You described the calmness that came over you while performing. Which stages are your favorites to perform on and why?
The bigger the audience the more I like it! It’s always so fun to play big festivals because the energy the crowd gives off is amazing. One of my favorite stages I’ve played was at the Braves game getting to sing the national anthem in front of thousands of people. Being able to get a taste of the Grand Ole Opry at 5 yrs old and being in front of 1000’s of People…it’s a feeling that you can’t describe. I knew immediately I wanted more!
Had a few people asking to see the video, so here it is! Throwback to singing with @billyraycyrus !…
Winning the Atlanta Kicks 101.5 contest for a duet performance of “Ready, Set, Don’t Go” with Billy Ray Cyrus twelve years ago. Which song of his is your favorite to cover?
TO HELL & BACK @marenmorris cover. I've had this song stuck in my head for days now! Have you heard…
Songs like Maren Morris’ “To Hell & Back”. When you choose songs to cover, would you say you connect first with the music or the lyrics?
I’ve been a fan of Maren Morris since the fist time I heard her one of her songs. I have to connect to the song to cover it. I do a lot of male songs, I think I connect first to the melody, then the lyrics. The lyrics have to be a good fit! “To Hell & Back” hit me lyrically and melodically.
You also mentioned that you record multiple takes of a cover. How does this differ from hearing a demo of a song and making it your own?
When recording a cover, I am often too hard on myself and go through many takes nitpicking, trying to make it absolutely perfect. Making a song my own does require a couple recordings, because I have to get comfortable with the melody and delivery. I want to make sure I give the song a little of my own style before posting or recording it.
Four years after your debut single “Young Forever”. Can you describe what it felt like as the song climbed the Music Row Chart?
The suspense is undeniably nerve racking! Chart day was always an exciting, but anxious day. It’s like that feeling you get in high school waiting for a boy to call or the anxiety/excitement you feel waiting to hear your name called at a competition. The feeling of seeing your song climb knowing that radio is playing it, is an amazing feeling. When your song makes it on the chart and your name is between artists that you’ve looked up to your entire life, it makes you feel like you’re doing something right.
New music, new pictures, new website, new everything … how has quarantine influenced all these changes?
Quarantine forced me to do things I’ve never done before. I recorded the vocals to “See You Here” in my apartment in a very full bedroom closet with a mic and a program that I had to learn to use with the help of my producer. I literally had clothes pressed against my back and shoes in my face. The new pictures were taken at a secluded park in Cullman, Alabama. There was no one there, I did my own makeup, hair, and changed clothes in my car. The time that I had to work on social media and the web-site [which I manage myself] has been a blessing. I’ve learned to try new things while sitting at home. So I didn’t lose the interest of my fans, I had to think of new ways to increase my followers, build my social media, and do live video shows without leaving my home. It seemed to be the “new normal” now.
If you were to create a virtual vision board of your dream career milestones, what would be the first five pictures you’d put on it?
If I were to create a virtual vision board of my dream career milestones, I would put the five pictures below on it:
Stagecoach Festival (would love to play this festival)
Publishing House representing a publishing deal
CMA Fest Stage at Nissan Stadium (would love to play this festival)
Grand Ole Opry
Billboard Chart (#1 song)
Trying to get better at guitar this quarantine. What are you up to while you're stuck at home?
You’ve been working on getting better at guitar these past months. What would you recommend to others working on their skill sets?
Practice, practice, practice! You also really need to enjoy the skill set you’re working on. My first guitar was a small kid’s guitar and I wish I had been more interested in learning earlier. I realized in order to be able to save money to invest back into my music, I needed to be able to accompany myself when I visited radio and when I played small acoustic shows/lives. I really do enjoy playing for myself now!
“See You Here”. In a post on Instagram you wrote that you’ve never been more excited to share a single before. What stands out about these particular lyrics?
I’m so excited to release this song because it means so much to me. These lyrics stand out to me because they are extremely personal. The first verse gives people a peek into my visits with my Granny & Pop at their farmhouse in Alabama. The second verse gives a glimpse into my Nana’s life. She was definitely the life of the party! The choruses of this song really depict how I’ve felt since they’ve passed. I truly can see/feel them in my everyday life. I can’t wait to share this song, because I hope people can find some comfort in the lyrics and can relate their own personal memories.
Reconnecting at your grandparents’ family farmhouse in Alabama this summer. Can you share a favorite memory visiting the farmhouse as a child?
I was always loved and adored by all three of my grandparents. I can vividly remember feeding the cows, fishing in the lakes, making mud pies at the barn, and climbing trees. My Grandparents spent every minute with me when I was there and made me feel like the center of attention. I helped my Pop in the garden and he let me drive the golf cart all over the farm. My Granny taught me to cook and she and I watched every episode of Golden Girls and Wheel of Fortune. My Nana lived in the city, so my memories with her are different. I loved spending the night at her house because we always got to order pizza and go to the movies the next day!
You earned your marketing degree online while touring, on your own, radio stations and shows. What was the most challenging part of online learning?
The most challenging part of online learning was the time it took, as well as the learning environment. It is extremely difficult to earn an entire degree online. Also having access to decent Internet connection on the road was very difficult and frustrating.. Many of my tests had to be recorded by camera on my laptop so if anyone was traveling with me they always had to hide in the hotel room and be VERY quiet when I did a scan of the room.
How has your degree helped you promote your new music during the pandemic?
In college we were taught that sometimes you have to market by trial and error and then study the results. That’s what I had to do! My degree didn’t specifically prepare me for a pandemic as an artist, so I had to do a lot of trial and error.
Pandemic hobbies. You and your husband have been refinishing furniture. Trial and error. What was the most difficult part of learning a new trade while in quarantine?
With work extremely slow and shows cancelled, I had to find a hobby. I started refinishing furniture for a little extra cash and found I actually really enjoy it! The most difficult part of learning anew trade during quarantine was finding supplies. A lot of people got creative during quarantine so supplies were low. I also had to learn to pace myself so I didn’t get burnt out.
Miniature golf and other childhood game memories. What other games were family favorites growing up?
I’ll never forget my Nana taking me to the store to buy my own game of Bingo. I loved playing that game! As a kid, my family also played a game called Turkey Leg (it’s a bit like Dominos and Scrabble combined). I’m very competitive and hate losing! Today, my family loves playing yard games like Corn-hole and Ladder Golf.
Beach girl. First beach you’d want to travel to post covid?
During COVID, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to visit Panama City Beach a few times because my family has a small place there. Post COVID, I’d love to be able to travel to Puerto Rico. To be completely honest, I’m happy anywhere there is a beach!