Shantell Ogden has just completed a very successful UK tour, so it was great to catch up with the Nashville based artist and talk all things music and her career!
You’re touring on the back of your new interestingly titled new album “The Road That Drives me”, and the opening song of the album is “Truth About Trains”. Tell us all about the song.
“Truth About Trains” is about how one person in a relationship can be like a train to the another…”some come and go, disappear into a cloud of smoke.” It’s also a celebration of because the singer realizes they don’t have to love the train—and in that way it’s a declaration of freedom. I co-wrote the song with Bill DiLuigi and Sarah Turner in Nashville.
You work as an independent artist. I guess that must have both advantages and disadvantages, but is ultimately very fulfilling?
It’s very fulfilling to be able to write, record and release music on my own terms, without a label dictating what they think fans want to hear. That’s a very rewarding aspect. The disadvantage is that a lot of day to day work of managing a label and publishing company falls on my shoulders. Having said that, I’m lucky to have a great team around me for PR, radio and video promotions and various other business aspects.
Tell us about how you got started in the music industry? Has it always been country music from a young age?
Music was always part of my life—and country music was always on when I was at our family farm or driving around the dirt roads in my dad’s truck. The music industry came later, when I realized that writing and sharing music was part of my journey. Since I moved to Nashville 12 years ago I’ve been immersed in the hub of the music industry; it’s been a great learning experience.
And which artists have influenced you over the years?
I really have always loved a well-written song—and I feel like my loyalty is to the songs, not necessarily the artists. I love storytelling songs, and of course I love classic country artists like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Merl Haggard and many, many others.
I’m always very interested to hear about an artist’s song writing process – I find it fascinating how a three or four minute work of art that a song is, comes to life.
Personally I usually start with a title, then let the song lead from there. Sometimes a melody, sometimes a chorus, sometimes they both come at the same time. I think it’s important to stay flexible and keep the creative channels open during a writing session.
If you could perform your perfect gig, where would it be and which artist would join you on stage for a duet?
I would love to perform at the Opry with Dolly. You did say perfect, right?!?
To finish, tell us about your plans for the rest of the summer and let us know where we can grab a copy of your new album.
I like to stay busy so there is actually a lot!
I just released a new single and video for “Heroes in Your Hometown” (above) which I’m really excited about. I’m guest hosting ‘Country Fix’ which will air on Country TV in a few weeks and I’ll be a guest in September on the Music Row Show in Nashville on the famous WSM 650 (home of the Opry).
In addition, I have a couple of festivals this fall and I’ll be in the studio recording some Christmas music for film/TV.
All of my albums are available at shantellogden.com (under shop) and I’d love to stay in touch on social media with everyone!