Straight Outta Nashville


Interview: Betsy Lane

Archive, Editors Choice, Straight Outta Nashville

August 5, 2015

I’ve been a Betsy Lane fan since my freshman year of college. Through a strange series of events, I found out about her music on Tumblr, saw a video of her “freaking out” about how well her first EP was doing in the UK, and then, after recognizing one of Belmont’s illustrious fountains, realized that *SURPRISE* she goes to my school. She also was friends with my friends and lived in the same building as I did. Our paths were bound to cross eventually. Since then, Betsy and I have edited each other’s poems and short stories in class and attended the same birthday parties.

I can tell you for certain that Betsy is just as lovely as her fans make her out to be. Seeing her fans interact with her and send her presents, letters, and selfies warms my heart. I was a Betsy Lane fan before I even knew her and I think that says a lot about her talent. Her beautiful heart and soul shines through her lyrics. Her presence in the industry is a blessing in and of itself. The way that she treats her fans and the way that they relate to her is an even bigger blessing. And just like the strawberry wine she sings about in her song “What About 18,” Betsy Lane improves with age.

MusicDash: I know that you’re a native, but what do you love most about Nashville?

Betsy Lane: I love the feeling that Nashville gives me. I love to travel, but when I come home there’s nothing like looking over and seeing that skyline. Nashville kind of gives me ‘first date feelings’ — I never know what to expect from this beautiful city, but I know it’s going to be something I’ll remember forever.

MusicDash: What is your favorite or most memorable performance in Nashville?

Betsy Lane: Summer of 2014, I played a benefit concert at the famous Pancake Pantry for Preston Taylor Ministries. It was so cool — they moved most of the tables and had a stage set up. They decided to call it “Pickin’ at the Pantry.” I don’t think I ever even dreamed of playing the pantry, but if anyone knows me (or follows me in Instagram), they know that I practically live on their Swiss Chocolate Chip Pancakes because my love language is breakfast food.

MusicDash: What is your favorite song that you’ve ever written?

Betsy Lane: Oh, I hate this question! It’s so tough because every song that I write is for a specific reason — to heal, to love, to change things, to figure out situations, etc. The most personal one I’ve written is “What About 18.” That song just holds a special place in my heart because when I wrote it, I was in a place in my life where I was just terrified. I didn’t know what came next, and I didn’t want to eventually leave the present behind so I sat down with my guitar and wrote about being eighteen, and holding onto it because I couldn’t anymore.

MusicDash: Your EP did very well in the UK. What do you think helped you reach that success?

Betsy Lane: It’s funny, actually! I met two girls through Taylor Swift in Nashville one summer and they happened to be from the UK. About five months after I met them, my first EP released (2013) and they both tweeted about it and all of the sudden it was blowing up… I was getting tweets from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, etc. and then they all started tweeting me pictures like “Betsy, you’re at #23 on the Country Charts!” and I was just shocked, really. I couldn’t focus in class at all that week (haha!) and I knew I needed to make it to the UK ASAP, so I toured there the following summer with my incredibly talented friend Laura Zocca who is from there. On tour I got to meet a ton of people who have helped make my dreams possible and now I call them all friends because I got to hug them and thank them for changing my life.

MusicDash: It seems like you’ve been doing more cowrites over the past couple of months or so. If you could cowrite a song with anybody who would it be?

Betsy Lane: Gaaahhh, anyone?! This answer changes daily, trust me. Right now I would definitely say Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby, or Hillary Lindsey. Also to sit in a co-write with Taylor Swift just to see how her brain works would be really inspiring.

MusicDash: You recently went to the UK and had a meet-up. How was it reconnecting with your fans from over there that give you so much support?

Betsy Lane: I was studying abroad in London and so while I was there, I decided to have a meet-up with Laura, the girl I toured with last summer. That night in London is one that I will always remember. We basically took over the top floor of Tottenham Court Starbucks and sat in a giant circle and just hung out. I love hanging with fans because it gives me a chance to get to know them and we all become friends, and I know the next time I’m in London, I can count on them giving me a giant hug because that’s what friends do. I wanted to be with them for hours because it is so rewarding to be around positive people who all love the same thing. Ugh, they’re great. I miss them all.

MusicDash: What are your ultimate goals?

Betsy Lane: Ultimately, I just want to make an impact on people’s lives with music. If that means singing my songs to arenas of people, then that’s what it means, but if it means writing songs for other artists, then I would love to do that too. I want to change the face of country music and I’ll so that however I can. (Also, adding Opry Debut to that list never hurts.)

MusicDash: What’s next for you?

Betsy Lane: I’ve been working really hard writing, working on demos, and meeting with people to help push my career forward. I try not to have tunnel vision when it comes to my career because if I do that, I feel like I’ll miss all the opportunities in between. Honestly, I can make a whole list of goals and “what’s next” but ultimately what happens, is going to happen. I’m working hard and whatever comes my way, I’ll be happy. As long as I’m moving forward, I think I’m going in the right direction.






Article by Kaitlyn Midgett

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Interview: Jilian Linklater

Archive, Editors Choice, News, Straight Outta Nashville

July 24, 2015

NashvilleShe might hail from Michigan, but Jilian Linklater’s music will warm your heart. She’s already making waves in Nashville — she’s even impressed John Mays, the VP of A&R at Centricity Music: “I don’t care if you’re rock, pop, indie, folk, country, or jazz fusion, you will love Jilian’s music. You’ll love it because it has a way of cutting through styles and genres and heading straight for your heart. That’s the kind of music we all love — the kind that connects us to the deepest things that matter most about our lives, and that’s what lies at the core of Jilian’s beautiful gift. Buy this music, Go see her play. She’s one of the rare ones.” One of my favorite things about Jilian is that her lyrics are so genuine and really get to the heart of what matters in life — love, family, and important historical events — she’s written about them all. Plus, she’s sugar sweet.

I wanted to feature Jilian Linklater in Straight Outta Nashville first because she is the first on the long list of reasons that I even came to Nashville. I had been a fan of hers since the YouTube days (“The Penguin Song” was one of my faves). I hope that after you read this interview, you sit down with a cup of coffee and listen to what she has to say through her music. Jilian is such a bright light in this industry and in this town and I know that you’ll agree.

MusicDash: What drew you to Nashville?

Jilian: I actually was on a trip to Nashville my junior year of high school because I had won a Taylor Swift Karaoke contest! Haha! It’s still funny to me, but really that’s where my “journey to Nashville” began. I had won tickets to the CMA fest and also studio time at Love Shack on music row. I was able to record a couple original songs. The person that was hosting us then took us on a tour of music row and we drove by Belmont University. I ended up touring the school, learned that songwriting was a career (what?!?!), applied to Belmont and Belmont only, got in, and here we are.

MusicDash: What is your favorite or most memorable performance in Nashville?

Jilian: Hmm…..The first time I ever played a show in Nashville was at the Best of the Best showcase for Belmont University. I was a little baby freshman and I was able to play for 1,000s of people which is the biggest crowd I’ve ever performed in front of. And I just remember getting off stage and turning to the drummer and violinist that played with me and being so pysched! We were all pretty much jumping up and down saying “let’s do it again”.  The second was recently at the Well Coffeehouse in Nashville for my EP release party. I’ve never had so much fun on stage and I was so so humbled by how many people came out to support me.

MusicDash: What is your favorite song that you’ve ever written?

Jilian: Hmm… oh dear. It changes every time I write a song haha. That’s a hard question because I like songs for different reasons. But I’d say my favorite thus far is my most recent song that I wrote with a band called MamaDear called “Run Into You” it’s super fun to play and sing.

MusicDash: Last month, you put a YouTube video up on your channel for your song “Hard Candy.” The live video was shot at RCA Studio A. Many other famous artists have recorded there as well from the Beach Boys to Kesha. How did this opportunity come about?

Jilian: Yeah! It was so fun. One of my best experiences in music to date. I am a part of this YouTube hub channel called Made In Network and they had mentioned to me that YouTube was coming to Nashville to do a workshop for creators and also what they call a YouTube “pop-up” space where they would pick a venue and record videos for artists with professional gear and edit it all for free (HOLY AWESOME!!!). I was blessed to be chosen to do one of the videos and also to be a part of the artist workshop. It was beyond amazing and I learned so much from all the YouTube peeps. They are the bomb!

MusicDash: You’ve been uploading originals and covers on YouTube for years now. How has having your music on YouTube impacted you?

Jilian: I remember it being a really good outlet and starting point for me. When I started playing guitar and writing songs I would hide in my room and my parents would beg me to come play for them. I was dreadfully shy about it (still am at times). But when I started making YouTube videos I was able to play for people without actually playing for people (weird thing that YouTube). When I got a response, I was really encouraged and also happy to see that my songs were impacting people in a way I didn’t realize they could. It gave me confidence to keep sharing my music with others.

MusicDash. You recently released your second EP “Walking Stories.” How was that recording process different from that of your first EP?

Jilian: Ha well extremely different. My first EP was recorded with friends in a dorm room. Our vocal booth was a wardrobe. It was so much fun. I’ll never forget that experience. This time around we were in a studio with session musicians, chord charts, and intense microphones that I was afraid to get near because I’m kinda clumsy (the big leagues if you will hehe). It was a huge learning experience for me being at that level. I was forced to learn how to effectively communicate with all parties, how to get ideas from my brain across to extremely talented musicians, and to be confident in what I was doing.

MusicDash: What are your ultimate goals?

Jilian: Hm… I want to be a part of bettering other’s lives. Whether that’s directly through music or not. I’ve always said I want to write the kind of songs that change people for the better or at least make them think. I know songs have done that for me and it inspires me to continue that on.

MusicDash: What’s next for you?

Jilian: I love to write first and foremost – which I know I will do forever—but I am discovering this artist side of me as I continue to record and perform. I’d love to have a balance of both. I’m starting to do some more mini touring (hopefully in my tiny house J) and I just found out two of my songs are going to be in an indie film! So I hope I can continue to pursue the synch world as well. Non-music wise: I want to build a tiny house!


Article By Kaitlyn Midgett

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