Tag Archives: interview

Interview With Mallary Hope and Her Journey To Let Go and Let God

When life doesn’t go the way we plan, it becomes hard to stay positive and see the bigger picture. Mallary Hope has experienced a lot of closed doors and phrases like “You’re too this or that” over and over again. She didn’t know where she belonged, or if music was something she should keep pursing.

Hope released her debut single to Country radio 8 years ago, and today her debut Christian single “Now” is going to radio. In that time she has cried, rejoiced and prayed a lot. She’s let go of everything she can’t control and has gained an incredible support system, amazing husband and two incredible daughters. She’s also gotten a record deal with Curb records and is finally able to get her music heard. She’s already charted in the top 40 thanks to early stations adding her single!

Mallary Hope Shares How She Overcame Hardship in Debut Christian Single “Now”

 

 

WATCH THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR MALLARY HOPE’S SINGLE “NOW”

Variety Beat had the chance to ask Hope questions about her journey and how much this new single means to her and how much we hope it will mean to you.

Variety Beat:  Congratulations on the release of your new single “Now,” can you describe your emotions, getting to release a single for the first time in seven years and what that journey has been like?

Mallary Hope: The journey has been heartbreaking at times, but I wouldn’t have it any another way. God had to break my heart so that I would learn how to depend on him. Sometimes He brings us to our knees because He needs us to look up. Faith can be so hard because it is FULLY trusting in His plan.. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect at it, but He does want us to try to just lean on him. I will say that I haven’t been this “giddy” in a long time. I’m just so proud of this music. We wrote “NOW” when I was pregnant with my first baby. So this song is almost 3 years old. It’s amazing to look back and see how God was working on me, and orchestrating this journey from the start. It just took me a minute to open my eyes and let him do the driving.
Variety Beat: You were previously releasing music on country radio, what helped inspire you to move to Christian radio?

Mallary Hope: I think the transition is very natural for me. I’m a child of God first, and I just love making music. My music has always reflected my life. Where I am in some relationship, or where I was in my career.. I honestly thought that (and forgive me for going third person here) but Mallary Hope the singer was all I was.. it was my entire identity. I’ve been making music since I was 9 years old and when I wasn’t being successful at it, I started to question why God made me..  I love country music and I thought that was where God wanted me to be. I used to think that if I wasn’t successful at music, then there would be no reason for me to live. (Let me be clear, I was NEVER suicidal I just remember thinking, God If you’re not gonna make this happen, then why am I here?) ME ME ME..  How crazy immature that sounds now..  I think that is the mindset of someone who believes their entire identity is defined by what they do.. God wants us to see that He made us for so much more and that He has plans for us. Plans to prosper, but we have to give up the control.

I remember crying and praying that God would just take the love of music away from me, because it just kept breaking my heart. I was in this miserable place and then it hit me.. It’s a lot of “Me Me ME” What a selfish place to be in.. It was all about me.. But I needed God to show me that it wasn’t about me at all.. It was ALL about Him.. So he completely took away that desire of music that I’ve had since I was 9 Years old.

Then, when I was pregnant with my first child, while listening to Christian radio, I just had this overwhelming feeling to make/say something important.  What’s the most important thing a Christian can do? It is to be Christ like, love others, and tell people about God’s love. This life is temporary but as a believer we have eternal life and it is imperative that we help win others over for the kingdom.. So I figured, if God gave me this love of music in the first place.. It was about time I used my gifts for His glory.  For the first time in my life, I didn’t need someone to tell me “I love your voice” for me to feel validated.. I found my validation in Christ…  I just want to make music that can help people come to know what an amazing God He is. To experience His unconditional love and peace. For people to know that it is ok to surrender your ideas of what you think you were made for. God will show you exactly what He has in store for you.. You just have to allow Him to do so.

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Variety Beat: Tell us about your single “Now,” the inspiration behind it and what you hope listeners can take away from it.

Mallary Hope: My single Now is my journey all wrapped up in about 3 mins. Pretty much the same answer as #2.. Just a song about coming to a place of surrendering your desires for God’s plan for you. Sometimes what we want for ourselves isn’t what He wants for us, but what He has in mind is so much better. It’s just a reminder that He has been with us every step of the way. Even when we might have ignored Him, He was there.

Variety Beat: What’s been some of the biggest differences since working with Christian radio and so you feel it’s been more welcoming to new talent?

Mallary Hope: Well, there’s not really THAT much of a difference. Just people who love music and artists who love to sing. The topic is really the only difference. Instead of me singing about an ex boyfriend, I get to praise and worship God.

Variety Beat: “Now” that you’ve released a new single, what else is on the horizon? Is an album in the works and will you be getting to perform at some events?

Mallary Hope: We have an album coming out in the fall. (that’s the rumor anyway)  KLOVE fan awards are next month, and those are always fun. Will be doing some more radio tour.. and then some Touring in the fall.  We will be excited to get out and play this album for people.

 

Variety Beat: What’s been the most encouraging part of this next chapter in your life?

Mallary Hope: I think the most encouraging part is knowing that I’m doing exactly what I was put here to do.. And that there’s no pressure because for the first time in my life, I’m letting God be in control. So, if this music just reaches one heart then that’s enough for me. There’s this amazing peace because I know who I am now, and getting to make music is just icing on this already amazing life.

Variety Beat: Who have you written with lately that you’ve always wanted to work with?

Mallary Hope: I love all my cowriters on this album. This entire album was written with new people and I’m just thankful they allowed me to come in and share my story with them.

Variety Beat: What’s one of your favorite quotes or scripture that helps you through difficult times?

Mallary Hope: There are so many Great ones, but i really love this one from Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
(Again it’s just a reminder that no matter what we go through, as a believer God is right there with us. Fighting our battles for us, and helping us get through times of trouble.)
Variety Beat: What do you want listeners to know about you?
Mallary Hope: I just want people to know that I love God, and feel so blessed to be able to use this platform to tell others about how awesome He is.
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Interview: Sarah Darling Talks About Her New Album ‘Dream Country’

It has been a few years since Sarah Darling‘s last album, but she is now set to release her long overdue album, Dream Country, on February 10th. Darling has been in the country music scene for many years with multiple appearances at the famed Grand Ole Opry. Darling has released several albums, garnering over a half million downloads worldwide, with two #1 videos on CMT and GAC. Darling has opened for artists such as Carrie Underwood and Kacey Musgraves, among others.

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Dream Country takes listeners on a journey through aspirations, with songs about the stars, dreams and romance. Each track on the album blissfully describes an emotion or experience with Darling’s soothing voice, backed by a cinematic sound. Songs like Halley’s Comet has a very special undertone with comparisons to the free-spirited and awe-inspiring Halley’s Comet. The song takes you on a journey through the past, where Darling experiences her doubts and wonders where her life will take her. The lyrics describe Darling’s feelings and all the magical parts of life brought upon by gazing at Halley’s Comet.

Listen to Sarah Darling’s “Halley’s Comet”

Continuing with the dreamy theme of the stars, Starry Eyes, is a letter to your younger self with advice on how to deal with the struggles of life. The lyrics describe the sense of hope and light through the darkness of bad experiences. It is a life lesson to never give up on yourself and to keep on pushing through. Darling pleads for this younger self to “keep those Starry Eyes” and to always keep that twinkle in their eye, to become one of the brightest stars of the world.

Dream Country takes a step back from the modern country limelight with simple backing tracks and elegant guitar strums, piano, violin and various other instruments. The entire album plays like a symphony to one’s journey through all of life’s hardships and greatest treasures. Darling’s voice perfectly encompasses this overall tone of the album with each note enchanting the listener, leaving them in a dream-like state to fully take in each and every lyric. Overall, Dream Country, is a solid album that captures the spirit of dreamers everywhere and brings them on an unforgettable journey among the stars.

We had the chance to interview Darling about her latest release, check out the interview below!

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Variety Beat: How did you come up with the title, Dream Country?

 
Sarah Darling: While I was recording the record, I actually came up with the title.  I had a friend pop over to the studio to listen to the first cuts, and I remember him telling me it sounded country, cinematic.  Then the term “Dream Country” came out of my mouth and it stuck ever since.  It’s a world I’ve created.

VB: What are some of your inspirations behind the songs on this album? 
 
SD: I’m very much inspired by traveling to places and beauty.  A lot of the tunes on my album capture the wide open spaces which have always been close to my heart.  I grew up in small town Iowa, where I had lots of room to dream.  I think this subject floats through Dream Country quite a bit.  I almost feel like I’m a travel songwriter! 

VB: Typically, how are these songs written and what was it like working with different songwriters?
 
SD: Working with each songwriter is completely different every time.  I find that I write my best work with my close friends.  I think there’s an openness and honesty that pops out.   For example, I wrote the track “Montmartre” about my love affair with Paris with my best friend Jenn Bostic.   Writing with her is like a girls night out with wine but bonus, we write a song! My other favorite writing process was “Where Cowboys Ride.” I wrote it with Zach Runquist.  We both adore Wyoming, and literally wrote a song looking at images of golden fields and wide open skies.  It’s a mixed bag but that’s what’s amazing about being a songwriter. 

VB: How does this album differ than your past work?
 
SD: It’s a lot different from my past work I would say.  There was a lot more creative freedom and exploring while making this project. I had always dreamed about making a string heavy record and I did it! I wanted the tracks to tell a story to the listener.  I also experimented crossing over into other genres which was fun.  

VB: How has your musical influences or style changed with this new album?
 
SD: Not much has changed as far as influences go, but I almost feel like the pool just got bigger.  There’s a big appreciation for so many types of music.  I love seeing Chris Stapleton add his thing to country music! I love anyone who inspires me. 

VB: What separates this album apart from other albums that are currently out?
 
SD: I haven’t heard anything like it, and that’s great from my stand point. It’s country mixed with dreaminess with a dash of strings. I did me, and it happened to be different.  I think this is good advice for any artist.  Always be yourself in what you do. 

VB: What do you hope listeners take away from this album?
 
SD: I hope listeners dream a littler bigger and shine a little brighter.  It’s really encouraging and I hope everyone gets to experience that.  It was therapeutic for me when writing it! 

VB: What are some of your future plans? (Tour, radio, next single)
 
SD: I will be touring like crazy this year both in the US and UK which is fun.  My next single takes you to the West.  That’s my only hint! I also have some gorgeous videos I’ll be releasing all this year from my travels abroad.  Can’t wait. 
Dream Country is available Febraury 10, 2017. Pre-order here.
Tracklisting:
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Interview With New York Times Best Selling Author Tom Carter on His Latest Release ‘Nashville: Music & Murder’

7dbc603648b9c1365d189777_492x560Tom Carter is a renowned author who has co-written countless autobiographies for legendary artists such as Reba McEntireMerle Haggard and George Jones. Carter has had a success career as an author with his first of seven books to appear on the New York Times best-sellers list. Cater’s autobiography titled, Memories: The Autobiography of Ralph Emery, climbed all the way to the number-two spot. Carter is also currently set to release an autobiography on Jason Aldean in 2017.

Cater has written a total of 18 books over the course of his career with more in the works. Carter’s latest book, Nashville: Music and Murder, is his first Fiction novel that tells the untold story of the music industry. Taking place in the heart of Nashville, the book covers the lifestyle of Maci, who is a major country star and tells the story behind all of the cameras. Maci barely escaped her death after an estranged fan targeted her during a live performance. The book draws you in as you will follow the mysterious murder attempts and dig deeper into the chaos that surrounds the life of Maci. The book will be sure to intrigue anyone who has interest in the Country music world and the glimpse into the life of a music star.

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Nashville: Music & Murder is available for Pre-Order and will be out February 7, 2017!

We got to interview Carter about his experience as an author over his 46 years:

Variety Beat: What does the typical writing process consists of?

Tom Carter: IF THE BOOK IS NON-FICTION, THE WRITER MUST DISCOVER THEN ASSEMBLE THE TRUE FACTS IN COMPREHENSIVE AND APPEALING SENTENCES.IF THE BOOK IS FICTION, THE WRITER MUST CREATE “ARTIFICIAL FACTS,” THEN WEAVE THEM INTO ENTERTAINING SENTENCES WHICH USHER EACH INTO THE NEXT.

Variety Beat: Is this process different from writing a book that is not an autobiography?

Tom Carter: NASHVILLE: MUSIC & MURDER IS A NOVEL. A NOVEL IS FICTION. AS MENTIONED ABOVE, THE FORMAT OF A NOVEL IS MARKEDLY DIFFERENT FROM NON-FICTION. AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY IS NON-FICTION.

Variety Beat: How much research goes into the topic before you start to write the book?

Tom Carter: NASHVILLE: MUSIC & MURDER IS A MYSTERY THRILLER. I IMPLEMENTED THE FORMAT OF CREATING A HEINOUS CRIME IN THE FIRST CHAPTER, THEN SPRINKLED FICTIONAL FACTS THROUGHOUT THE BOOK TO HELP THE READER SURMISE WHO COMMITTED THE CRIME, AND ENSUING EQUALLY HORRIFIC CRIMES. ALL THE WHILE, I HAD TO LET THE STORY’S PROTAGONIST, “MACI WILLIS,” UNDERGO ANCILLARY YET RIVETING ORDEALS. THE READER NEEDED TO WONDER JUST WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NEXT, AND JUST WHAT CHARACTERS WERE BEHIND MS. WILLIS’ CONTINUOUS AND OFTEN FATAL MISFORTUNES.

Variety Beat: What was it like working with some of the most recognizable names in country music?

Tom Carter: I HAVE WRITTEN ELEVEN AUTOBIOGRAPHIES, NON-FICTION BOOKS ABOUT THE CHRONOLOGIES OF RONNIE MILSAP, RALPH EMERY, BUDDY KILLEN, GLEN CAMPBELL, REBA McENTIRE, GEORGE JONES, MERLE HAGGARD, TAMMY WYNETTE, THE REV. LARRY JONES (FOUNDER OF FEED THE CHILDREN), JASON ALDEAN AND, AN ANTHOLOGY OF SEVENTEEN WIVES, EACH OF WHOM ARE MARRIED TO THE BIGGEST STARS IN COUNTRY MUSIC. EACH CELEBRITY WIFE TRUSTED ME TO INTERVIEW THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES WHO’VE DOTTED THEIR LIVES. OBVIOUSLY, I HAD TO INTERVIEW EACH CELEBRITY AUTHOR. IN EACH AUTOBIOGRAPHY, THE CELEBRITY AUTHOR HAD CREATIVE AND CONTENT CONTROL. I WAS THE WRITER. EACH CELEBRITY’S MANUSCRIPT WAS RE-WRITTEN BY ME UNTIL THE PROSE PLEASED THEM. THE MAJORITY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AUTOBIOGRAPHERS WERE COOPERATIVE DURING THE RESEARCH AND WRITING PROCESS. WITH ONE EXCEPTION, EACH BOOK REQUIRED FROM ONE TO TWO YEARS TO WRITE AND PUBLISH.

Variety Beat: Is there anything new that you learned while working with them?

Tom Carter: CELEBRITIES ARE OFTEN INSECURE AND PLAGUED WITH MOOD SWINGS. THEY AREN’T NECESSARILY MALICIOUS PEOPLE. THEY’RE JUST NORMAL FOLKS FACING ABNORMALLY HIGH STRESS LEVELS INHERENT TO TRAVELING, MEETING DEADLINES, DEPENDING ON UNDEPENDABLE PEOPLE, ROAD WEARY, LONELY AND OTHER TRAUMAS THAT DON’T FACE MOST PEOPLE. LITERARY WRITERS, SUCH AS MYSELF, FACE SIMILAR PERSONALITY NEUROSES THAT OFTEN COMBINE WITH THE PERSONALITY DEFICITS AMONG FAMOUS ENTERTAINERS. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, I HAVE MESHED WITH MY CELEBRITY AUTHOR CLIENTS.

Variety Beat: Is there anyone that you are hoping to work with on a new book? Why?

Tom Carter: I HAVE A FEW CELEBRITIES IN MIND. EACH HAS ENJOYED THE TRIUMPHANT OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT. BY THAT, I MEAN CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE OVERCOME HARDSHIPS SUCH AS POVERTY, REJECTION, THEFT FROM PEOPLE THEY TRUSTED, DIVORCES, DEATHS, ADDICTIONS AND PHYSICAL MALADIES THAT HAVE JEOPARDIZED OR OUTRIGHT ENDED THEIR CAREERS, AND SOMETIMES THEIR LIVES. THE COUNTRY MUSIC INDUSTRY IS LACED WITH MANY SUCH CELEBRITIES WHO’VE FACED LIFE ON LIFE’S TERMS, ONLY TO RISE TO THEIR CAREER PINNACLES AGAIN AND AGAIN.

Variety Beat: How do these particular books differ from other autobiographies?

Tom Carter: COUNTRY MUSIC AUTOBIOGRAPHIES ARE REAL BOOKS THAT I’VE CO-WRITTEN WITH REAL PEOPLE. MANY OTHER CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGAPHIES FOCUS ON TELEVISION, MOTION PICTURE OR POLITICAL CELEBRITIES. THE LATTER “STARS” ARE BORN IN WEALTH, ATTEND PRIVATE SCHOOLS, GET EXPENSIVE SPORTS CARS WHEN THEY’RE 16 AND GET A YEAR ROMPING ACROSS EUROPE AS A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION PRESENT. THEY ATTEND PRIVATE COLLEGES WHERE THEY GRADUATE WITH STOCK IN THEIR DADDY’S EMPIRE WHERE THEY’RE GIVEN “TITLES” FOR JOBS THEY DON’T FILL. I DON’T CO-WRITE WITH PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT A BIRD DROPPING POOP ON THEIR MERCEDES’S IS A FATAL TRAGEDY.

Variety Beat: Can you tell us a little about your new project coming out in February and what was it like to work on a murder-mystery book?

Tom Carter: NASHVILLE: MUSIC & MURDER was written entirely by me for me. It was difficult to make the protagonist likable, although she was a mood-swinging, embittered, jaded country star whose childhood was rooted in domestic violence and paternal rape. She disliked her career and hated her life. I drew from personal observations of some country music female celebrities who were self-destructive as young women, and more so in mid-life. I also discovered the struggle of giving readers enough clues to keep them interested in the riveting plot, but not enough to project the story’s ending. Juggling the storyline, the back story, characters’ developments and suspicion of disbelief were challenging, exhaustive and fulfilling. I’m eager to see this book succeed, and proceed with a sequel.

Buddy Brown Talks About His Holiday Traditions and the ‘I Call BS on That’ EP!

It’s no secret that 2016 has been a challenging year for America and one artist is using his music to speak out. Buddy Brown is a country artist originally from Mississippi, whose current single “I Call BS On That” talks about some of the struggles that America faces today!

We had the pleasure of talking to Buddy Brown just a few days after his EP I Call BS on That released! We talked about the inspiration behind the songs on his EP, allowing himself to be vulnerable, Hunting, Halloween plans (and what he does with the extra candy), Holiday Traditions and more!

Listen to the interview below!

Even though Brown is not yet signed to a label, his self-released EP still debuted at #1 on the iTunes Country Music charts. The singer-songwriter wrote every song on the EP and his first single has amassed over 4.1 million views on Facebook!

It’s been quite the journey for Brown who started out by posting videos on YouTube and now tours the country with some of country music’s up-and-coming artists!

 

  • I Call BS on That EP Track Listing:
    1. I Call BS on That (Buddy Brown)
    2. Junior (Buddy Brown)
    3. Down in New Orleans (Buddy Brown) feature his wife and 2 boys
    4. Are You Still Gone (Buddy Brown)
    5. With Only You (Buddy Brown)
    6. Bounty Hunter (Buddy Brown)

Check out the video for “I Call BS on That” 

 

The EP  I Call BS on That can be bought on all major digital retailers and more information can be found at buddybrowncountry.com

Victoria Lane Talks About Her New Single ‘Lights Off’ – Listen

Victoria Lane burst onto the music scene a few months ago with her first single “Don’t Regret It.” Now she’s back with her newest single “Lights Off.” The story is one that’s all too familiar, ‘He’s Just Not That Into You.’

It’s a tale that most girls can relate to, finding a guy that you think is perfect and realizing he’s not.

Listen to “Lights Off” by Victoria Lane


We had the pleasure of talking with Lane earlier this month about her new single and her journey thus far!

Variety Beat: You released a single last month called “Don’t Regret It.” Can you tell us the inspiration for the song?

Victoria Lane: It’s upbeat, sad, hopeful, and sassy all at once! At the time that I wrote it, I was traveling back and forth between my hometown of Miami and my dream hometown of Los Angeles every couple of weeks. I found myself leaving Miami behind in exchange for some time in L.A., where a lot of my good friends live and where I felt there was more opportunity for me. I decided to take that feeling of being in the push and pull of a relationship — in this case, my relationship with Miami — and make it sound like a traditional breakup song. (By the way, there was ultimately a happy ending: I made a clean break with Miami and now live in L.A. — and I don’t regret it!)

VB: And you’re gearing up to release another single later this month “Lights Off.” What do you hope fans take away from it? What’s the meaning behind the song?

VL: I wrote “Lights Off” as I was getting dressed to go out the night after a guy — one who had fooled me into thinking he wasn’t the bad guy I thought he was — told me I was pretty in a pitch black room. Total jerk move, right? I want fans to feel the need to sing along to “Lights Off” at the top of their lungs every time they hear it because they’ve been through a similar situation. It’s fun and angry, and I think it’s relatable because there’s quite a bit of vulnerability woven into it as well.

VB: How has being raised somewhere like Miami influenced your sound/you as an artist?

VL: Miami had an influence not as much on my sound as much as on my development as an independent artist. My high school had an incredible chorus that I was a part of — and became president of my senior year — that helped me fall in love with singing! But I really began to pursue this dream while I was living in Miami thanks to encouragement from my friend Cody who I drove up to visit in Orlando one weekend. And the amazing team at Afflux Studios, who were just up the street in Wellington, produced both the cover videos that introduced me as an artist and the music video for “Don’t Regret It.”

VB: You graduated college and worked in the corporate world for a while, what made you realize music was what you wanted to do?

VL: I went to watch some friends play a show in Downtown Orlando one weekend. I remember standing in the crowd, watching my friends have an absolute blast and realizing that I was missing out on the fun and passion that came with being an artist. I already was in love with music, and I figured that fear was the only thing holding me back! And so, here we are!

VB: Who are some of the biggest music influences to you?
VL: Hayley Williams, hands down. She is flawless. I’ve also found myself listening to Katy Perry, Tove Lo, and Tory Lanez a lot. And the seasoned songwriters I write with have had the greatest influence on me — on not only my sound but also my confidence.

“Lights Off” can be found at all major digital retailers including iTunes. More information can be found www.iamvictorialane.com