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Carly Pearce interview

The breakout star talks to us about her incredible 2017, her debut album and her plans to come to the UK.

Carly Pearce
Credit: Big Machine Records

Carly Pearce is one of the breakout newcomers in Country music and her single Every Little Thing topped the charts earlier this year.

The album of the same name has picked up plenty of acclaim, performed well on the charts and made it onto plenty of ‘End of Year’ lists. One of the few female artists to pick up radio play and commercial success, Carly is looking to have even more success in 2018.

I caught up with Carly to discuss the crazy year she’s had, find out the story behind her incredible debut album, and to talk about her plans to visit the UK for some live shows.

You’ve had an incredible year! What have been your highlights?

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Oh my goodness… signing a record deal, going on a radio tour, putting out my album, my first single going to number one… those are probably a few of them (laughs).

The song Every Little Thing has done so fantastic for you. Did you have any idea how special that song was?

I really didn’t. I wrote this song thinking that nobody would ever hear it honestly. It was just about what I was going through and just to see what it’s done and the impact it’s had… I think if you’d told me that this is where I’d be sitting a year ago because of this song, I don’t think I would have ever believed you.

Keeping your expectations realistic and then having the song exceed those significantly must feel like validation for all the hard work you’ve done over the last few years…

Oh yeah for sure. It makes all of the hardships and work worth it. I got to breakout with a song that I feel like is 100% who I am as an artist and I don’t think a lot of people get to say that. I’m just very proud that this is the song that launched my career.

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Let’s talk about the album, Every Little Thing. Was there a concept behind it when you went into the studio or is it a culmination of all of those years that you spent songwriting, touring and performing?

I didn’t make a concept album. You only get to make your debut album once and a debut album to me is your introduction, your hello, to Country music and to the industry. I wanted to make sure that this album had every shade of my personality, every influence that has influenced me, every story that I’ve felt was important, showing all sides of me, the instrumentation that I love and what I feel has influenced me, and hopefully when people listen they have a really good idea of who I am as an artist and who I am as a person, what I’ve been through and also just my genuine love of Country music.

Your new single is Hide the Wine, which is one of my favourites on the album. Tell me a little bit about that song how you came to record that.

I’m a huge fan of red wine. Everybody knows that’s a pretty strong part of my brand. It’s just a super fun, kind of flirty confession almost that I feel like so many people have experienced and I haven’t really heard a song quite like that until I heard that song. I feel like from the very beginning you hear that kind of bluegrassy feel to it and the melody kinda lends itself to that in the chorus. I just immediately fell in love with the song, and it’s one of the five songs that I didn’t write on the album. I felt like it was written for me.

Carly Pearce

Credit: Big Machine Records

The songs you did write are really personal and there’s some very honest stuff on there. Do you find it hard or scary to be so open?

I think that once I started to see the impact that Every Little Thing was having, before we finished the album, it made me understand that people want real. They want raw and transparent and vulnerable. I know that when I’m listening to music and I’m listening to songs, the ones that really hit me are the ones you feel that are absolutely real stories that people lived. I felt like it was almost in my role as an artist to be the vessel for other people, for music listeners, whatever they’re going through in their lives – good, bad or whatever it is – to be the vessel for them and connect in that way.

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Is their a song on the record that’s a particular favourite?

Every Little Thing is probably my favourite. I would say a close second would probably be If My Name Was Whiskey.

I spoke to Brett Young recently when he was in the UK and you’ve just come off the Caliville tour with him. What was that experience like for you?

Oh my gosh. We actually just wrapped it two days ago. That was my first full real tour and it was just extra special because Brett and I have known each other for a really long time. We used to play house concerts together Nashville for tips when neither one of us had a record deal. I feel like we both have been such fans of each other and I also think that we have a lot in common as far as our artistry goes. He very much prides himself as a storyteller and a songwriter and I do the same. I feel like his fans were so kind and gracious to me. It was 100 percent sold out. It was really, really special. I will forever remember that tour.

Can we expect a collaboration between the two of you in the future?

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I would love that. I love his voice and I would be totally all about!

In 2018 you’re on the road with Blake Shelton and you’ve got some dates with Thomas Rhett. How excited are you about those?

Oh my goodness gracious. I don’t even know that it’s really hit me yet that I’m going to do that. Blake Shelton I feel like is just somebody that you immediately think of when you think of the male artist in Country music and obviously Thomas Rhett is on fire. Just the fact that those two artists who have such a huge following and such a huge mark in Country Music thought that I was a good fit and can represent the females on their tours is just so mindblowing to me but also so exciting. I’ll be playing arenas with Blake and I’ve certainly never done that before. It’s just a really exciting time for me and I’m really excited for 2018.

Speaking of 2018, will you be making a trip to the UK for some shows?

I’m trying desperately. I think for sure it’s going to happen. We were supposed to do it last year and I was supposed to come over in February but the Blake Shelton tour happened. I promise I will be over in 2018. I’ve never been!

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Carly Pearce

Credit: Big Machine Records

I’m sure you’ve heard that our Country music fans are very passionate and they’ll know the words to every song you’ve ever recorded…

I’ve heard that from many friends so I’m very much looking forward to that.

Even though you’ve not travelled to the UK yet, what interaction have you had with your UK fans via social media? Have you picked up a feeling about us on there?

I think that’s what’s so special about social media because it gives you a direct connection to anybody all over the world. I definitely see a lot of Country music fans from the UK messaging me and asking me when I’m going to be coming over, can my merch be shipped over there and all of those kind of things. I think that’s something that’s really unique to social media is being able to connect with them.

I’m pretty sure you could sell out a tour over here…

Oh my goodness (laughs) That would be so fun (laughs). I’m coming I promise!

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With Christmas right around the corner, are you going to get some downtime to reflect on your success in 2017 before you head into an already packed 2018?

I am sitting on day one officially of my Christmas break. I’m just really excited to not have to fix my hair and wear yoga pants and sit in my house. It’s going to be nice to relax and rest for a few weeks. It’s been a crazy year and I’ve spent very, very few days in my home since January. I’ll be spending time with friends and family and really soaking in what happened to me this year, and just being super grateful and resting up for what I hope will be an even bigger 2018.

Carly Pearce’s album Every Little Thing is available now. Watch the video for the title track below:

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