Why country music ?
~ I just love everything about it - the sound, the writing, the people. It's funny that I found my voice in country because my parents are from opposite ends of the music spectrum. My German-born mom was raised on traditional German songs and she loves music from the 80's. Dad, on the other hand, was raised in the heartland of Kansas on the sounds of soft rock. But when I was exposed to George Strait, James Taylor, and Loretta Lynn, I immediately fell in love with country. I think there's a little bit of country inside all of us. Country has a wild, trailblazing spirit and I think that's the reason why so many people love it. It brings you back to your roots. To me, country music is what home sounds like.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ I would love if the late Kitty Wells and Reba McEntire sang a duet together. I don't think there would be anything better than having the classic twang of Kitty combined with the fiery power of Reba. They both have had countless hits, like "Fancy" and "It Wasn't God Who Made Honkey Tonk Angels," and I think they would sound amazing together.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
~ Being a Colorado girl, I love anything outdoors. Camping, whitewater rafting, horseback riding - you name it, I love to do it! When you live in a place as gorgeous as Colorado, you never want to spend a minute inside. But I'm also a big theater nerd, so I spend much of my time in the theater. On the weekends, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I also love engaging with my fans on social media.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ Dolly Parton. I mean, she's been writing songs for 60 years and has over 3,000 under her belt! Songs like "Jolene" and "Coat of Many Colors" are country classics, and Dolly is as country as can be. Her ability to tell a story is simply amazing. I would be honored to sing a tune written by Dolly.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ Well, I'm not very athletic when it comes to sports on land, but if you give me a knee board or a pair of water skis, I'm good to go! My family owns a boat and every summer we take it out to the lake. It's so much fun! I've been able to master 180d and 360 degree rotations on the knee board, but it took quite a few wipeouts to get there!
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ If you were given $1,000,000 tomorrow, what would you do with it?
It's not about what you can get for yourself, but what you can give to others. I would definitely donate some of the money to the PPTRC (Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center), an organization that uses horses as therapeutic treatment for those with mental, physical, and emotional disabilities. I have had the privilege of working with the PPTRC and have seen the amazing work that they do for their clients. I would also donate to No Kid Hungry, which fights to end child hunger in America. The fact that 16 million American children are going hungry is a tragedy that breaks my heart. No child should ever go hungry. Period. Finally, I'd use some of the money to better the lives of my parents, other family members and some of my friends. They've all given me so much in my life and have helped shape who I am today - it's the least I can do for them.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ The ultimate studio would have to be built by my dad, since he's been a home builder for over 30 years and knows my style better than anyone. My studio would have a cozy feel with exposed wooden beams on the ceiling, distressed leather couches, and southwestern decor. I plan to spend a lot of time in the studio, so I want it to be comfortable and feel like home.
Johnny or June ?
~ I honestly don't think I could pick a favorite, because you really can't have one without the other! June was Johnny's rock, and he loved her more than anything. They were the ultimate power couple in country music, and their duets are timeless.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves?
~ I get excited, not nervous. I'm at home when I'm on stage and always want to put on the best show I can. Right before I go on stage I close my eyes, take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, and then go for it!
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ It would have to be recording my first professional album at RCA Studio A (Grand Victor Sound) in Nashville, Tennessee. RCA is one of the most historic studios in Music City, and you can feel the history the moment you walk in. I couldn't believe that I was with musicians, sound engineers, and a producer who've worked with artists like Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, James Taylor, and so many other music icons. It was humbling to stand in the same recording booth as legends like Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley had before me. All my hard work and dreams were right there in front and it was nothing short of incredible!