Lesley Hastings Interviews Southern Halo

Teenage sisters Natalia, Christina and Hannah from Cleveland, Mississippi, have already been making music together and playing shows in the States for several years, gaining a strong following for their blend of country/rock/pop.
Over in the UK to promote their self-titled album, I caught up with them before their London show ( which was fantastic, by the way!) and can’t remember a more fun interview! I hope you enjoy the read!

LH Welcome to the UK! I got your names right so that’s a great start! Is this your first time here?
SH It is! We’re so excited to be here!
Natalie ( N ) The second we hopped off the plane we were ecstatic and said “ we’ve got to see that and this and that….we’re so star struck, everything is so amazing, people are so nice!

LH Are you surprised at how popular country music is over here?
N Yes I must say I am! We grew up just thinking us country bumpkins, living in the South, were the only ones listening to country music, then as soon as we released out very first, self titled, album we just got so much love and support from so many people here in the UK! We just had to come over here, it turns out UK fans are literally our coolest and awesomist ever!

LH So you already have a lot of support here?
Christina ( C) An incredibly large amount! Everybody has just opened their arms out to us and our music, we love you guys for that!
LH Oh that’s great to hear! We’ve just had a great big country festival here, C2C, maybe next year we’ll see you there?
SH That would be awesome!

LH So, your tour here takes in five cities, is there anywhere or anything you’re particularly excited about seeing?
SH Yes!
N I’m very excited about seeing all of them of course as we’ve heard great things about each and every one of them, but I think i have to say in particular Glasgow, everyone says they REALLY like country music there and i’ve heard lots about the city too.
LH Will you have much time for sightseeing?
Hannah ( H ) Well we do have a lot of interviews and want to meet all of our fans as much as possible…..
N Our tour ends in Newcastle, we head back to London and have a day and a half to do whatever want!

LH What can we expect from your shows?
N Lots of fun, lots of laughs, lots of rocking out …..we love sharing music with our fans and just having a good time!

LH How was yesterday’s showcase at the Gibson Guitar Studio? ( the band are endorsed by Gibson)
C It was the most amazing, honourable time! We were surrounded by all our favourite fans from the UK, we played a few acoustic songs, talked a little bit about our background and who we are now, then we played our new video and everybody loved it!

LH How did it all start out for you? Are you from a musical family?
H Our parents are NOT musically talented at all!! ( all girls laugh!) but we’ve always grown up listening to great music, plus we’re from the Mississippi delta, home of the blues…
LH So you probably just absorbed all that music!
N We like to say it comes from the “ delta dirt”!

LH Does being sisters give you a special musical connection?
C I think so! Growing up together we know each other’s quirks, what works for us and what doesn’t, we kind of just KNOW each other so well, we can all just harmonise…..even when we talk we harmonise!
N We are together even more than most siblings are, we’re business partners and best friends….

LH You’ve already opened for some incredible artists, do you have any favourite memories?
C Our favourite was playing “ Rock the South” in Alabama two years ago, and opening there for acts including Eric Paslay, Tyler Farr and Brantley Gilbert…..we’re playing it again this year, Luke Bryan’s headlining!
LH And favourite venues?
N The coolest ever was getting to play at the Ryman Auditorium! Hannah gained the title of the youngest person ever to play there!
H Yes I was 13 years old! Leann Rimes was the host of the event , she’d performed there when she was 14 and she came up to me and said “ Oh my God, you’ve beaten my record! “
LH But she didn’t scratch your eyes out or anything”
H ( laughing) No!!

LH Let’s move on to your album now…..how hands on were you with the production of the album?
N We were very hands on! We love to think of how the music should go, we compose our music , but this was our first time working with session musicians and learned a lot from them! To see how they would take a song and change it up a bit, so it was really cool getting to work with them.

LH I’ve only listened to it digitally so far and don’t have the writing credits, Natalia as the main songwriter of the group did you write/co write all the tracks?
N Not all. We love collaborating with other artists and being our first album we wanted lots of other artists’ names on the tracks, we had a lot of our friends co write with us, but some songs were just given to us by people who know us…..they’d say “ Oh I’ve just written this song and it sounds a lot like you and your situation” …..for example we have a song called “I Ain’t Crazy But My Daddy Is” which was written for us by a friend who knows our family!

LH Anyone you’d particularly like to write with?
N I dream of writing with Meghan Trainor and Maren Morris! It’d be cool to get the three of us together!
C I’d have to say Alecia Moore, otherwise known as Pink, she has the most amazing thoughts on lyrics!
H For me it’s Ed Sheehan, his lyrics are great, really detailed.
LH British too!
H Another good reason to come back here!

LH Do each of you have a favourite track from the album?
H I’d have to say we all love the one we all wrote together, “ Life Rolls On” …..
LH That’s my favourite too!

LH OK, a fun question, describe each other in three words…..starting with how you’d describe Natalia….
C Princess, Diva, Queen ……H I’d like to say she’s the one that keeps us all together, whatever that word is…. yes, Princess too but also loyal.
LH Ok, describe Christina …
N Definitely wild, loud and crazy! H ……animal ( like from the Muppets!) outgoing and protective!
LH And baby Hannah?
N That’s easy, selfless, a ray of sunshine, sweet. C Loving, compassionate and genuine! And she’s a little helper, always helping everyone!
LH A great insight, thanks!
LH And what does the rest of 2017 hold for you?
N A lot more adventures and experiences for us to tackle! Keep writing, come back here…..and being in Nashville!
LH Is that where you live now?
N We took the money we’ve made from Southern Halo and got just a tiny little apartment in Nashville, we signed for it right before we came here!
LH How sensible!! I’d love an apartment there!
Thanks for your time and enjoy your time here!
More information about the band can be found at https://www.southernhalo.net/
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