Posts

NYCS Swag Spotlight: Kree Harrison

Kree Harrison

Kree Harrison may have been born in Woodville, Texas but the singer-songwriter who tells us in our recent interview that she was singing before she could even speak, made the move to Nashville much earlier than many of our Swag Spotlights.  Harrison rose to popularity after her incredible performances on American Idol back in 2013.  The songstress finished in the runner-up spot on the singing competition show but what you may not know is that she started her career in music when she was only ten years old. “I always loved music and entertaining and I think the first time I sang in public I was three years old,” she tells us. Feeling natural on stage in front of an audience, she explains she was bitten by the bug very early on.

Thankful for her parents support, they uprooted their lives and moved to Nashville when Harrison was only nine years old. “It’s crazy, more commonly, most people know me from American Idol but the truth is I’ve been here for 20 years,” she says. Laughing she tells us how she and her little brother couldn’t believe that you could call a pizza place and they would deliver the pizza right to your house, considering back in her small home town of Texas, that wasn’t even a thing.

She loved all types of music growing up but recalls Otis Redding being played around her house and the way the soulful music made her feel.  Besides R&B she listened to old school country music like Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, and Merle Haggard and as she got older, she was influenced by ’90s country like The Judds, Trisha Yearwood and Lee Ann Womack just like many of the modern-day country artists.

As an artist, Harrison loves to mash the two genres, creating her own lane and a signature sound. “I really do try to marry my influences all together and hope that it sounds like me and not just, ‘Well she is just country or just blues,” she explains. She hates that genres try to put creative people in a box, laughing as she tells us that the night prior to our interview she was with friends and she played a Merle Haggard immediately followed by covering a Cardi B song.

Her latest single “I Love The Lie” was a track Harrison heard during pre-production for her upcoming album and she just knew she had to record it. The honest track was written by Chris Stapleton, his wife Morgane Stapleton and Liz Rose (“Girl Crush”). We discussed the decision for her to cut an outside song for her album and to be the first single from her sophomore album. “It just stood out to me, like a ‘duh’ moment, I have to sing this, I believe in it,” she told us. ” It would be ignorant for me to just write my whole record without listening to outside songs, especially in my writing community here, I am so spoiled with songs that are written by singer-songwriters or just writers that write amazing stuff, I can’t imagine crossing it out just because I am not a writer on that song.”

She looks ahead to releasing her second album, excited to get the music out to her fans and get on a radio tour to promote “I Love The Lie”.

To keep up with Harrison, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“I Love The Lie” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Luke Bryan Joins American Idol Judges on Live with Kelly & Ryan

Earlier this week, country music megastar Luke Bryan and his fellow American Idol judges, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie appeared on Live with Kelly and Ryan to get ready for Season 2 of the show. The judges decided to have a little pre-Halloween fun and came out dressed as animals. Bryan was dressed as an eagle, while his fellow judges were dressed as a blow-up sloth and panda. The three also played a game of ‘Who’s Most Likely’ with host Ryan Seacrest. Bryan voted for himself as most likely to sing in the shower. You can watch the interview here.

The three judges looked very cozy together after only working together for one season. Going into the first season of American Idol, the three didn’t know each other very well or had ever really worked together. They now consider each other family.

“I didn’t really know Luke,” Perry said “I had seen him hosting the CMAs and singing ‘Huntin’, Fishin’…’” “She had seen some of my online shaking,” Bryan says with a laugh.  The show has brought the two very close that they even seek advice from one another.  “I call Lionel about my kids,” says Bryan. “I’m like, ‘Lionel, what do I do now? What do I do with this latest thing?’ Lionel has got all the knowledge.”

Bryan’s had a very busy year outside of his American Idol gig. He recently wrapped up his touring year for 2018, where he hit multiple stadiums around the country as well as other big name venues. He also scored two No. 1 hits in 2018 with “Most People Are Good” and “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset,” both from his most recent album, What Makes You Country. He also released the title song as his latest single. Make sure to check out the newest season of American Idol coming in 2019.

 

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS Swag Spotlight: Trent Harmon

Trent Harmon

Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

Trent Harmon was catapulted into the spotlight after auditioning and winning the final season of American Idol on Fox. His charm, incredible skill to connect to songs, and ability to be a true storyteller are what gave him an edge over other finalists.  Now, two years later he has honed his songwriting craft and with the guidance of a major label, Big Machine, has released his debut album, You Got ‘Em All.

Looking back at his childhood, Harmon tells New York Country Swag about growing up in rural Mississippi. “I wanted to be an artist, I wanted to do music, quite honestly, it’s a cliche story, but nobody from my neck of the woods really makes it out of that neck of the woods,” he says.  “I was twelve when I bought my first guitar at a pawn shop.  It took me several years before I could play it.  Then, I started writing songs, too”

Harmon’s parents owned a small steakhouse near their home and growing up working there was a part of everyday life.  When he realized his talents were better served entertaining the customers rather than cleaning up after them, he started singing and taking requests.  “I didn’t realize it then, but I was getting my chops as a performer, those were my first gigs. I quit waiting and cleaning tables, I started playing songs and played for a crowd,” he recalls.  Almost all of the songs that were requested were from the country music genre, but Harmon wasn’t only a fan of country music, he listened to southern rock and was a huge fan of Elvis Presley.

After playing gigs in Memphis, Nashville and Little Rock, he had all but exhausted his options during a six or seven year period.  Running out of money, he decided to take a chance and audition for American Idol. During the toughest week of the contestants journey, Hollywood Week, Harmon suffered through mono to impress the judges and went on to win the entire competition.

He explains that although the industry sometimes regards the winners of national singing competitions as making it easy, he explained that he had to fight through those ceilings to get where he is now.  “Idol showcased one of the main reasons I started doing this, I do consider it a job, it’s how I pay my bills, I take it very seriously,” he tells us. “There might be a weird stigma that you do win Idol and ‘Are they really a musician or are they a reality TV person.’ He took time off after his big win to really focus on writing music, writing a song a day for two years and deciding what he wanted to say with his music.

The title track from his debut album was written in less than an hour, Harmon tells us.  After calling his girlfriend and giving her the great news that his label was ready to release his first single to radio, she gave him the news that she would be moving to Thailand to follow her dream of teaching.  After that devastating phone call, he sat down in a co-write with Justin Ebach and Jordan Minton.  He almost canceled that day but decided to keep the session, and luckily poured out his heart into one of his most personal songs yet. “It was a good day to not cancel,” he laughs, “Let that be the title of your piece.”

Back in February, New York Country Swag caught Harmon when he performed at the Big Machine Luncheon during Country Radio Seminar where he performed “You Got ‘Em All” for radio executives and people who work in the music industry.  “I had one job that day and that was to solidify myself a slot for the next year as a relevant up-and-coming artist in the country format,” he recalls.  He did just that, singing the next single from his forthcoming album and the full room of people, who are not easily impressed, stood up and cheered when he finished.  “When they stood up and I got the standing ovation and everyone clapped, that was one of those moments, that was arguably as big for me as winning the show that night, it was a different kind of win. It’s validation that you are doing something right.  It was the right song, the right time, and the right people to hear it at that moment.” He tells us,  “It was like all of the stars aligned.”

Focusing his energy and songwriting into his debut album, Harmon explains that you never know as an artist if you will get a chance to put out a second album, so he wanted to fill the first full-length with songs and stories dedicated to the people who have helped him get where he is today. “I made a list of the people who were instrumental in getting me to this point and I tried to write a song to each of those people and if it was good enough it made the album,” Harmon tells us. It is a compilation of gratitude to his family, friends, and fans who have lifted him to this point in his career.

Heading out on tour this summer with Rascal Flatts and Dan + Shay, Harmon is looking forward to seeing a bunch of his fans who are nicknamed “The Harmonies” as well as making new fans. For his full tour schedule head to www.trentharmon.com and be sure to continue to follow his journey on social media Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

 

[Watch]#TBT Carrie Underwood’s Idol Audition

In honor of American Idol making its return, here is one of our all-time favorite auditions just in time for Throwback Thursday. Carrie Underwood not only sings an incredible rendition of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” but she charms the judges, even when they make her cluck like a chicken.

Underwood went on to win season 4 of the most popular singing competition back in 2005 and has gone on to win a whopping 174 worldwide awards including 7 Grammys.  Exactly 15 years after its inception, Idol is back on a new channel with all new judges.  ABC will be the new home of the singing competition. Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and country music’s very own Luke Bryan will sit in the judge’s chairs.

The new season will kick off in 2018 on ABC.