Who’s New: Courtney Cole

Who’s New: Courtney Cole

Born: New Orleans
Lives: Nashville
Single: “Free.99”
Twitter: @TheCourtneyCole
Website: courtneycolemusic.com
Influences: Shania Twain, Mariah Carey, Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Faith Hill

INSIDE SCOOP

Courtney Cole may have grown up in New Orleans, where she was exposed to a plethora of different types of music, but she now calls Nashville home. The newcomer has been making a name for herself on the country music scene with the release of singles like “Ladylike” and “Drunk.” Her current single, “Free.99,” gives us a taste of what we can expect from her upcoming EP, due out later this year. Courtney has honed her chops on the road—where she’d like to be 365 days a year—with artists like Kip Moore and Miranda Lambert and she’ll be doing more of that in 2017, including a spot at Stagecoach Festival in April.

THE NOLA EFFECT

“Growing up in New Orleans was unique. Just growing up around so much music, it was very eclectic. My parents would always take me to the French Quarter and there was so much art and creativity and music and color. I feel like that just made me who I am. I feel like I’m a very colorful person, you know? It’s really because of everything that they exposed me to. I grew up singing in church and listening to—I don’t say that I’m a big zydeco music fan or I don’t listen to it regularly, but it was around—so I heard that. I heard a lot of jazz and my dad was a really big country fan. I just got a whole bunch of different everything. It was beautiful.”

PATH TO NASHVILLE

“I moved to Nashville when I was 18. I came here to go to Belmont [University]. I always wanted to come to Nashville. I never actually thought I would have the guts to do it. Belmont was such a great little transition for me to actually come and make friends and feel comfortable here. I didn’t know a single soul when I moved to Nashville, so it was really good for me. I was a mama’s girl. I couldn’t even sleep over at a friends house before I moved to Nashville, I had to be with my mom. They all had bets going out, saying ‘Courtney’s only going to be in Nashville for six months.’ Here I am, I’ve been here 11 years now, which is crazy. I worked my way up—I got an internship at Black River Publishing, so I saw how songs were made there. I really got into that and started writing a ton. Then, they hired me as a front desk girl, then I went to executive assistant, and then I went to promo coordinator. I was writing everyday after work and they saw that so they signed me to my first publishing deal.”

SHOW ME THE MONEY

“A lot of people think I’m saying three ninety-nine. [My single title], ‘Free.99,’ is just a term like if you don’t pay for something, it’s just a joke being like, ‘Oh, guess how much this cost. I didn’t spend any money for it, it’s free 99.’ I heard that term, and I thought it was hilarious. We got into a writing room—we were actually writing a different song that day. I was writing with Bobby Huff and Ben Burgess, who are two of my favorite people ever. They’re hilarious. We were just talking about being a musician and going out, having to support your friends and paying covers. It gets really expensive, just finding a fun way to go out on a budget. Finding a fun way to not spend money. That’s where that song came from. It’s hilarious and it’s so true.”

Marc Nader/BBGun Press
Marc Nader/BBGun Press

ON THE ROAD

“I love telling my story and showing the world me, from my perspective. I think that’s part of what being artist is. It’s sharing your perspective on how you see life. That’s what I try my best to do and I’m very sarcastic and funny. I just like to be quirky and still be real. That’s what I try and convey in all of my music. Writing is very important to me, but I love being on the road. If I could be on the road 365 days a year, I would. I love it. I don’t get tired of it. I mean I get exhausted, but that’s the point where the writing and the artistry meet and you’re sharing it. I feel like my purpose is to share and to give my story and my perspective. It’s just really rewarding to me.”

MENTORED BY MIRANDA

“She is such a strong woman and that’s what I—I love that. That’s always what I want to be so I was drawn to that. Seeing her in action being that was really cool. Not just on stage, commanding attention or all that, but seeing her run her company. Running the ship. I don’t think people realize, and I didn’t even realize, how important that is. Until you sit in this position, you’re like ‘Wow, they really are what’s controlling this whole ship.'”

SOUNDS OF AN EP

“It’s probably going to sound a little bit more mature, as far as a little bit more organic. I feel like it still has the same sass and still the same bit of sarcasm and playfulness. I feel like I’ve grown up a little bit more in this EP—that’s what’s fun to watch.  That’s what I’m excited to see, and see how it goes. It’s a story.”

Photo by Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images

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