Georgia-Country.com Artist of the Month

On a monthly basis, Georgia-Country.com spotlights a Georgia artist that we feel is furthering their career in country music. Below is our current artist of the month. We hope you enjoy reading their interview and getting to know this artist more. Be sure to check out their music, videos and schedule for the month. If you are a Georgia-based artist, 18 and over, and would like to be considered for Artist of the Month, please contact us with your name and a website to review.

Our August Artist of the Month is Caryn Lee Carter. Read her interview below as GC catches up with Caryn and discuss her career. Then check out her music in videos at bottom of page.

GC: Lets get Georgia familar with you. Where were you born, raised and a little about your life now?

CLC: I was born and raised in Cartersville, and I moved to Atlanta about 11 years ago for school at Georgia Tech. I've worked in the city ever since, but I still go home most weekends to visit family. My "real" job is as a Management and Program Analyst at the CDC, but my passion definitely lies with music!

GC: Who were your early influences in music and why?

CLC: My aunt introduced me to the Dixie Chicks and Martina McBride and SheDaisy at a young age, which solidified my love of country music. It's really nostalgic for me, and the Dixie Chicks in particular really shaped my vocal style. I also grew up singing southern gospel and listening to bluegrass with my grandparents, and the simple storytelling that you find in those genres has always driven my writing.

GC: Your bio says you picked up the guitar at 23. Is that when you basically started your career or was it earlier?

CLC: That was it! I'm a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to songwriting. I grew up singing in church and always wrote poetry, but I never tried writing a song until a friend lent me a guitar at and encouraged me to give it a shot. Some days it feels really natural, other days it's tougher. But I've been writing and recording and playing consistently in those past 7 years! I don't plan to ever stop.

GC: Your music is a mix from Shania to Miranda in style. Where do you feel you most fall?

CLC: I think that from a production standpoint, like the instrumentation and general vibe of my songs, I definitely sound more 90's country, like Shania Twain or Dixie Chicks. I grew up on those women and that sound, and I really wanted this most recent record to have a 90's country feel. Miranda is a kindred spirit in that she's sassy and we both have a fair number of tongue-in-cheek songs where we poke fun at ourselves or others. She's also a really emotional lyricist, which is something I always strive to be.

GC: You write your own songs. What has been your favorite song you've wrote and why?

CLC: This is always such a tough question, but a great one! I think my favorite will always be one called "Lark's Song," which was one of the first songs I wrote. It was incredibly autobiographical, and every time I play it now I still feel raw and vulnerable. I still love the melody I came up with, too, It's just timeless for me.

GC: How do you like to spend your time when not involved in your music?

CLC: I visit family a lot, and I also try to go shooting once every week or two. It's good stress relief! I'm starting to get into traveling as well-- I just got back from a trip to Scotland, Amsterdam, and London this past week. Scotland was insanely beautiful and calming.

GC: Your bio also states your music is more "country pop". How would you define "country pop"?

CLC: I think country has so many little branches nowadays in terms of genre. You've got traditional country, country folk, bro country, etc. But I think of pop country as what you'd hear on the radio from the 90s til now. It's not your traditional Waylon or Johnny Cash, but it's still got a twang and a good story to it. Just updated with an electric guitar or two and maybe a more pop-y rhythm.

GC: You recently did a "CMT" type video of "White Trash Without The Trailer". How did the video come about and what was that experience like?

CLC: Oh gosh, that was an insane process! I knew I wanted to make a funny video, and when I sat down to storyboard for "White Trash" it came out so naturally. I knew I had to make it a reality and put out something that strayed from the sexy girl staring at the camera" shoots so many girls do nowadays. The team was so talented, from the videographer to the stylists to the on-set assistants, and it was an incredible collaborative experience. Everyone gave their two cents and had wonderful ideas, and I'm incredibly proud of the end result! It was a very humbling experience, showing up that day and realizing, "All these people are here to help me bring this song to life." I'll never forget it.

GC: If you could do a DUET with any one act, past or present, who would that be and why?

CLC: Probably Vince Gill. I love his voice, I love his style. I've always thought our voices would blend really well together, too.

GC: What are your plans for the rest of the year?

CLC: I'm transitioning more into songwriting than performing for this year, which has been different but good. It's really cathartic to just focus on creating music rather than being on stage for a while. I've been writing and recording demos for a few months, and I'll hopefully begin sending those off for consideration by a few other artists soon. I'm also going to release one or two new singles before the year is out. They'll be very emotional songs, and I hope they touch everyone in a really positive way.

For more information on Caryn Lee Carter go to carynleecarter.com