Carly Pearce discusses career beginnings at Dollywood and women in Country music!
When Carly Pearce was first announced for C2C I was very excited! The girl who'd been struggling to make it since dropping out of High School to perform at Dollywood broke onto the seen with hit single Every Little Thing which got to number 1 on the airplay charts a feat that very few females achieve nowadays. I knew she'd be the perfect fit for the C2C crowd and I was keen to chat to her and find out more about her career so far, the people she enjoys working with and the stories behind some of my favourite songs of hers.
First of all can you tell me about the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
Oh gosh, it was honestly before I could talk, I’ve always wanted to do this and I’ve never wanted to do anything different.
You started your career off at Dollywood is that correct?
Can you tell me how you got into that?
Yeah, I saw an audition to sing in the Country show and thought it would be a really good way to get out of high school so I convinced my parents to let me be home schooled and we moved to Pigeon Forge and I started singing in the Country show.
When you was growing up what did your parents kind of make you listen to and what are you choosing to listen to now?
I actually made them listen to Country music, they loved classic rock and Americana but Country music ruled for me and I still listen to it to this day and I listened to it then.
So who are some of your favourite artists?
Dolly’s a huge influence and one of my favourites, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Alison Krauss, I love Vince Gill and Randy Travis.
When it comes to your own songwriting, where do you draw lyrical inspiration from, is it mainly personal experience?
A lot of it is personal experience, I like doing this as well - taking on a character but I try to make it as true to me as I can even if I’m speaking and drawing inspiration from something that I saw, it has to be my perspective on something.
Do you have favourite collaborators, writers you like to work with or artists you enjoy performing with?
I do, I really enjoy writing with my producer Busbee, there’s a lot of girls in Nashville right now that I enjoy working with one of them is over here right now at the CMA Songwriters Series and that is Laura Veltz. Emily Shackelton is another one and I’m a really big fan of what Hilary Lindsey does and I love writing with Natalie Hemby so a lot of Women.
That’s great! There’s a couple of songs I’d like to talk to you about and find out the stories behind them and the first one is Hide the Wine, can you tell me how that came about and how you chose that song to be one of your singles?
Yeah, everybody’s had that moment where you have to make a decision as to whether to call your ex after you’ve had some liquid courage as I call it. So many male artists have drinking songs and I felt like I needed a drinking song, one that I had lived very many times before I was engaged. You think it’s a good idea but it’s not so you’ve got to hide the vice that makes you do the stupid s**t!
The other song I wanted to ask you about is my favourite off the record, If My Name Was Whiskey, can you tell me the story behind that one please?
I wrote that song in 45 minutes, if you’ve ever felt second best in a relationship, I think one of the most painful things you can feel second best to is Alcoholism. I’ve known plenty of people in my family and outside of my family that have dealt with alcoholism and I think it’s just a really interesting, heartbreaking way of interpreting somebody longing to be as good as the vice that the persons in love with.
A few silly questions now, what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written a song about?
The strangest thing, I’m trying to think, I wrote a song called Black Sheep which is kind of weird.
And will it make the next record?
It won’t but for the true die hard fans that research my stuff on youtube, it’s on there!
And when you’re on stage and you’re performing are you completely focused or do you let your mind wander, we call it your mid-gig thoughts?
Sometimes it wanders, sometimes I space out and realise I’m halfway through a song and can’t remember how I got there!
What advice do you have for aspiring songwriters like myself and some of my readers?
Write your truth whatever that is, don’t let anybody tell you that it’s not valuable, don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. If you read my story you’ll know that so many people told me no and what’s funny is that I am making a career off the music and truth that I always have, I just had to continue to do it until people caught up with me.
You’re very successful now, and women have struggled recently in country music, particularly with Country radio, do you think we’re seeing a change now, that it’s becoming fairer because women like yourself are putting out such great music and are fighting for that air time?
I do, I think it’s the most exciting time to be a female especially since the era of Faith and Trisha and Shania. Women are proving, because they’re putting out such good music that women want to hear women and women have something to say. Look at Kelsea Ballerina headlining her own tour with Brett as an opener or Kacey Musgraves sweeping the Grammy’s or Maren Morris having one of the greatest pop songs ever or me breaking onto the scene with a heartbreak ballad. It’s a good time.
So we’re at C2C is this your first time in the UK?
It is my very first time!
What are you most looking forward to?
I think it’s really special that I get to be on the main stage my first trip over and I’ve heard the fans over here are second to none so I’m excited to see it for myself!
And finally what’s next for you?
I head to Australia and then back to Nashville to finish the record before heading out with Jason Aldean, I’m out with him and Kane Brown for the rest of the year on the Ride All Night tour and then I’m getting married!