Everyone’s got that one jam that makes them want to sing into a hairbrush and dance around in front of the mirror without a care in the world. It’s the tune you get ready to, the tune you put on after a “night for the books”, the tune you blast with your rooftop down as you’re cruising around town. Sandra Lynn’s “Afterparty” is my tune, and you may not know it yet, but it’s gonna be yours too.
Like a couple of the artists I’ve already chatted with, Sandra Lynn’s jam floated into my ears via The Highway on SiriusXM and instantly I was hooked. After looking her up and I went out on a limb and emailed her publicist with no expectations of getting any response back to my pitch (something you get used to working in PR). But then a couple of weeks ago, something magical happened. And the next thing I know, I’m on the phone with one of the sweetest persons I’ve ever had the pleasure of chatting with and the rest is history. Get to know this down to earth gal because I promise you, she’s gonna make it big:
Name: Sandra Lynn
From: Brea, CA → Nashville
How did you get your start in music?
I started singing when I was 7 years old. So I’ve been performing my whole life and grew up listening to country music. I really started to take it seriously in 2012 when I went to Nashville and started working with some song writers out there. My first time out to Nashville was actually back in 2010 when I met music producer and song writer David Foster and he sort of connected me to everyone in Nashville. But in 2012, I went into the studio with Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts and he produced my debut EP that we released earlier last spring.
Do you play any instruments?
I play a little bit of piano and I actually just started learning to play the mandolin! One of the guys in my band who plays utility with me a lot of the times out on the road is actually teaching me. It’s one of my favorite instruments so it’s fun to sit in front of the TV or wherever and practice.
How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard your music before?
You know, when I was growing up, a lot of the ladies I listened to were Faith Hill, Sara Evans, Trisha Yearwood, Dixie Chick, Shania Twain and then a couple of singer-songwriters like Jewel and Michelle Branch. And so I feel like because I looked up to those female artists as a child, that a lot of their music has been something that’s really impacted me and influenced the music that I’m making.
Why country music?
It’s funny because I love all types of music and I’ve always listened to all types of music but I think it was, again, those female artists that I grew up with. It was the stories they would tell – they were just so honest. And really the lifestyle, the roots that country music has. Even though country music is always changing, I still feel like the lyrics themselves always bring it back to that honest storytelling aspect. I still remember the first country song I heard on the radio. It was Deana Carter’s “Strawberry Wine”; and I remember exactly what I was doing at that time – where I was at, who I was with – and the fact that it had such an impact on me that it became a defined moment in my life is exactly what I love about country music.
Where do you get inspiration for your songs?
One of the things that music also does for me is that when I’m listening to music myself, it’s an escape and it’s something that I like to listen to that either lifts me up or makes me feel good or at least move something in me emotionally. We all have our challenges and hard times in life for sure, but one of the things I try to look for in life are the hopeful moments and so I try to draw that out when I’m writing music.
I adore your single “Afterparty”. Can you tell me a little bit more about the song + the process that went into it?
Absolutely! When I went into the studio this last round with Ross Copperman, who’s been producing Brett Eldredge and Dierks Bentley and Keith Urban, I wanted to go in with music that I love and sort of touched on the theme of relationship. So “Afterparty” is a song about going home with someone, that person who is your best friend, at the end of the day for the rest of your life – you know, someone that you have that spark with and that you can have fun with no matter what you guys are doing. We wanted to go in with that and come up with something that had a fresh contemporary country sound.
Do you have any big plans for 2015?
I can’t say a whole lot quite yet but I do have music in the works. I also felt like being on the road this last year and getting to open for some amazing artists like Kenny Chesney and Kenny Rogers and playing these big festivals was an amazing experience so I look forward to doing some more of that this year as well. We are working on something that fans can look forward to in the spring, kind of around spring break time., so be on the lookout for that!
The entertainment industry is tough business to be in. What would you say keeps you grounded?
I would have to say just my friends and family. My parents have always been extremely supportive in these dreams I’ve had of being a country music singer. Same thing with my husband and my friends so I really feel like that supportive network has been the backbone that keeps me going and keeps me grounded. And it’s really all of the fans as well, and all of the people believing me that keep me passionate and excited about what I’m doing even in the up’s and down’s that come my way.
There’s been a lot of talk recently on how guys are dominating the country music scene with this new “bro country”, but I feel like this year we’ve seen an emergence of female artists kind of taking it all back. What’s been your experience like as a up and coming female country singer?
I think there’s definitely been a shift. But for me, getting the support from SiriusXM The Highway for “Afterparty” was incredible. The fact that they really champion, not only new artists, but also female artists is awesome. And then CMT has also been really supportive of female country artists, like when they debuted my video up on their homepage, so we’re definitely crawling our way through the scene and making a comeback.
What’s been your favorite venue to play at?
I’d have to say there were definitely two last year that really felt like that “rockstar” moment for me. Matthew McConaughey and Drew Brees were hosting their charity event at House of Blues New Orleans last year and so I got to open for Kenny Chesney and that was pretty cool to open for him and play for such an amazing cause. And then Alton, Illinois we played at the amphitheater there on the river and it was a phenomenal crowd. I got to open for Kenny Rogers and then watch him from the side of stage and take in all of his energy – that was pretty cool for me.
If you could play anywhere, where would it be?
I would definitely love to play the Ryman and the Hollywood Bowl.
If you could work on a song with anyone, who would choose?
Ryan Tedder definitely. He’s just done some amazing things. I’m a huge fan of his music and I just think he’s an amazing singer-songwriter. Also Sara Evans because she’s someone I’ve really looked up as a female artist.
Tell me something that most people don’t know about you.
In addition to singing, I’ve also danced and acted my whole life. Right out of college I was actually a tap dancing teacher for a little while. I still do it for fun but not as much as I used to.
What do you think you would be doing if you couldn’t pursue music?
Whether it be dancing or interior decorating, I think I would definitely be doing something involved around creativity if I couldn’t pursue music.
GRAB SANDRA LYNN’S SINGLE “AFTERPARTY”, NOW ON ITUNES!
CONNECT WITH SANDRA LYNN BELOW
AND CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR “AFTERPARTY”
Shout out to Emily Wetta of CrowdSurf Media for working with me to get this interview set up. And a big thank you to Sandra for taking the time to chat with me!