Can you share a brief bio for new fans?
For sure! I was born and raised in upstate South Carolina. I started playing music and writing songs with my dad when I was eight years old. Music became my outlet to figure out and process whatever was going on around me in my life. I always knew I wanted to make music for a living, so I moved to Nashville and have been trying to learn how to make that happen ever since.
Favorite musical memories growing up?
If I had to choose my favorite memory, it would probably have to be playing music on the front porch that Dad and I built together. Sometimes it would just be the two of us, and then other times it would turn into a jam session with friends and famil. It is moments like those that will stick with me forever.
What was it like to win the BMI award for songwriter of the year in the Carolina Artist Showdown?
It was unbelievable. This was my first time receiving an award for my music and to win it in my home state, was a big deal for me. I didn’t perform much back home before I moved to Nashville, so it was really cool feeling like my home state was behind me while I chased this dream.
Favorite South Carolina venues?
I am still trying to branch out in South Carolina because I did this whole music thing backwards. Everyone says you should make a name in your hometown first and then move to Nashville, but I just hopped in the truck one day, fingers crossed, and left. I am always on the hunt for some new venues to play back home, but my top three favorite places right now are: McNulty’s Taproom in Blythewood, On The Rail in Easley, and Oasis in Santee. These venues have given me a place to play and always have supported me. They have been incredible to me this past year, and I can’t thank them all enough for it.
What led you to move to Tennessee?
I had always known I wanted to move to Nashville. I wanted to be around great musicians and songwriters to try and get better and learn whatever I could.
The way I did it I don’t recommend anyone do haha. I just hopped in the truck one day and went. Slept on a hotel floor for the first few nights with a couple guys that had just moved up as well. Found a job bouncing and figured it out from there.
Memories from your first Nashville show?
The first time I ever sang in Nashville was when I was out with one of my friends. We were having a few drinks at a bar on Second Avenue in downtown Nashville, and the bar was dead. I tipped the band and asked if I could sing a song with them. They let me up on stage, and I sang a Garth Brooks song (which I am pretty sure I screwed up since I had a buzz). I laughed it off and had a great time.
How difficult is it to perform such a personal song like “First Time”?
Singing, “First Time,” is a like a therapy session for me. I wrote the song during a rough patch in a relationship, and it helped get through how I was feeling. I hope that when someone hears it, they can feel what I felt when I wrote it.
What message do you hope fans take away from the song?
I think the message of the song is that heartbreak never gets easier, no matter how old you are or how many times you have fallen for someone. Every breakup will take you back to the first time someone broke your heart. It is also a reminder to me and hopefully for whoever that is listening, that the hurt is not permanent. If you get through your first time, you can get through this one too.
How do you balance your music with other obligations?
I am pretty focused, and it is hard for me to pull myself away when I get set on something. I spend most of my time traveling, writing, and performing. But I always try to make time for my friends and family.
Favorite things to do in your free time — like getting out on the lake?
I love finding new things to do in my free time. Recently, I have been really excited about going to the gym and pushing myself. I have a friend who has been coaching me through this process, and I can’t wait to make more progress.
New merch — did you design your logo?
I did not design it actually! A buddy of mine introduced me to Melinda at Ellefont Graphics. I explained to her what ideas I had in mind, and she did an awesome job of bringing them to life. I just have koozies right now, but I have a lot of plans for more merch in the works. Y’all stay tuned!
Plans for 2020?
I have a lot of stuff lined up that I can’t wait to show everybody. I want to say a special thank you to all of the people who have stuck with me this far. It has been a crazy ride, but it is only just the beginning. Get ready for some new music in 2020!