Today we are delighted to introduce you to a fabulous new artist to watch out for and host the premiere of her new music video “Girl From Outa Town” on site! As part of the premiere we caught up with Gemma to answer a few questions for us about her new single, her plans to take on the UK country scene and all things country! Check out the interview below!
Hey Gemma! Welcome to Belles and Gals and thanks for asking us to host your debut single music video premiere! So now your ready to take on the UK country scene first things first tell us how you discovered country music and decided you wanted to be part of the country music genre as a singer songwriter?
My mum had a mix tape of her favourite songs that was always in the car on the way to taking us to and from school, Shania, Faith and Leann were all on that tape so I grew up listening to female country singers. I guess that was my first ever taste of country! As a child I always wrote songs, I entered my first poetry competition aged 7 and won. From poems I started writing songs and I never stopped. I used to write songs in the back of my school planner, the kids would steal it from my desk, read the lyrics out to the class and laugh about it, but I never let them stop me. Most kids had a diary, my songs were my diary, I look back and cringe but they all tell a story.
Your new single “Girl from outa town” has just been released tell us the background story to the single? Whats it about? How did the lyrics come together?
I made a life changing decision this year and moved from my home town of Peterborough to Kent where I didn’t know anyone at all. I felt stuck in a rut and wanted a fresh start. The song is about the first guy I met here. He never knew what he wanted and kept breaking things off but always came back around saying he missed me. Funny enough, a week before the song was released he tried to get back in my life AGAIN… making the lyrics feel that bit sweeter on release day. I feel like everyone has a person like this in their life and I hope that my lyrics reflect others stories as well as my own.
A little bird tells me this isn’t your first single?
You’re right! My first single, Blame it on the Whiskey, was released February 2016 and actually reached number 2 in the iTunes country chart for a brief time. My style has evolved so much since this song and it didn’t seem right to have it available next to Girl from outa town, though I’m grateful for its positive response and maybe one day I’ll release a new version of it.
Everybody has their own story of how they fell in love with country music what is urs?
I loved Taylor Swift when it wasn’t cool to love Taylor Swift. Now most of the people teasing me for liking her, were probably all at the same Reputation stadium tour show as me, singing along! I never realised the music I liked was even country music, I just knew people got lost in the stories and when I realised there was this whole world of music with the same passion, my life changed.
As you are just being introduced to the scene can we expect to see you playing any gigs festivals?
I kinda snuck up on the scene like a jack in the box. I used to play a lot of open mics and charity gigs but took a break from performing as I lacked the confidence. I have a distinctively british sounding voice but write country songs and never thought it was a good fit until people told me that’s what they loved about my music. Despite a break from performing I was always writing and I threw this single out with a determination to get back out, so I hope to be playing some gigs really soon. I’ll be at The Long Road as an attendee but bringing my guitar for sing songs at the campsite!
If you had to pick three favourite artists, who would you choose?
That’s SO hard, but I’m going to use this to push 3 artists who I feel deserve more credit and aren’t some of the ‘big ones’
Jillian Jacqueline – God Bless This Mess and Overdue are genius, her writing is incredible.
Sinead Burgess – I bought her CD after watching her open for The Shires and it’s been on repeat in my car ever since.
Ryan Hurd – I was a fan of Ryan’s way before he was even known as Maren’s other half. His voice is gorgeous and he co-wrote 2 of my favourite songs, ‘I’ll be the moon’ and ‘you look good’.
What has been your personal highlight in country music so far?
It was my first c2c festival 2016 and I had just come back from a dream holiday in Nashville. I never knew there were 1000’s of others just like me in the UK who had such a passion for the music I loved. I looked around the O2 with a tear in my eye. I had no idea there was this family I was always a part of but never knew about. It was the same year Chris Stapleton played and you could hear a pin drop, it was also the same year Maren Morris played at the humble Town Square before receiving her well earned Grammy. What an iconic weekend for country music that was for us Brit’s!
If you were making a playlist to blast out while travelling on the road name the first three must have additions to kick off your perfect playlist?
Lindsey Ell – Criminal. I can’t get enough of this song or her new album in general!
Kelleigh Bannen – John who. Driving is good thinking time and this is such an appropriate feel good tune for me right now.
Cam – Diane. Because everyone needs a song they can turn up and sing their heart out to, and this is the perfect tune for that! Well done Cam, you created a timeless classic.
What’s your plans for the rest of 2018 now your single has been released whats next on the agenda?
A situation relating to the filming for the Girl from outa town music video actually inspired me to write my next song which I’m recording in the next few weeks and I hope to release by October, the song is called ‘Almost’ and I’m really excited about it!
Everyone has a song that changed them. What’s yours?
Hands down, Follow your arrow by Kacey Musgraves which has become my all time favourite song. Never has a song given me a kick up the back like that has. Every day it inspires me to just stay true and follow what I love. I’ve been obsessed with arrows ever since and have her signature Golden Arrow cowboy boots which are my pride and joy, I even got a special arrow tattoo this year for much it means to me. I believe that your passion is your purpose. Country music is my passion so I’m following my arrow!
Thanks so much for chatting to us Gemma and we hope we will be seeing and hearing a lot more from you now your single is out! Good luck with the single and can’t wait to hear the next one in the pipeline too!