Belles and Gals has a fast growing team of enthusiastic and passionate individuals, all wanting to spread the word about the music we all love. Today is the seventh in a series where you get to meet the team – we’ll be interviewing each team member and they’ll be telling us all about the artists they love! Today we interview Shannon Hynes (twitter.com/s_hynesmusic)
Hi Shannon! To start, tell us a little bit about yourself?!
Hi there, well, I was born and raised within the hills of North Wales, then made quite the transition of moving to London in 2013 (i think…gosh i’m getting old) to study music at university. I’m an aspiring songwriter, currently working on my first release, wooo! Finally! You can usually find me at a country music gig, duhh, haha, i’m the one with the biggest smile and a large glass of wine in hand!
What was it that got you interested in country music in the first place?
This is one of the questions you get asked most when you’re a fan of country music, as it’s such a niche market in the UK. I loved Taylor Swift, as every 14 year old girl did. When she released ‘Tim McGraw’, I remember being like ‘who’s this Tim dude?’ so I googled him and that’s where it all started, it was him, then it was Keith Urban and you know the rest. One thing about discovering this genre was it felt so familiar, it turns out a huge portion of my parents’ CD collection was the likes of The Eagles, The Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill and Shania! Yep, my parents are cooler than yours!!! ;p
If you had to pick three favourite artists, who would you choose?
You must be joking, right? (anyone else say that in the ‘that don’t impress me much’ melody? no? alright!) It literally changes every day, some days it’s George Strait, some days it’s the other end of the spectrum and it’s Kelsea Ballerini, but if I have to choose, right now i’d say, William Michael Morgan, Lindsay Ell and someone who is always my favourite Ashley Monroe. God, but Miranda… and Midland… DOLLY! Nope, sorry, not choosing!
And if you could only listen to one album ever again, which one would it be?
Come oooonnn!!!! haha! Can I cheat and say like Dolly Parton’s Greatest Hits 12 CD edition!?!?!?!
What has been your personal highlight in country music?
Oh, gosh. This is hard, we’re so lucky in London because we have access to so many gigs and the artists really appreciate the passion we have over here so it makes for some very special moments. I think one of my highlights has got to be the CMA Songwriters, 2016 at C2C. Lori Mckenna and Ashley Monroe were amongst the line up, these women are two of the most phenomenal songwriters, not only in country music but music in general, in my opinion. At the very end of the night Lori and Ashley did a rendition of Little Big Town’s Girl Crush (as Mckenna wrote it with Hillary Lindsay and Liz Rose), the response from the crowd was unparalleled, most of you were probably there and agree completely. Tying in with this, seeing Little Big Town supported by Lori Mckenna at The Ryman in Nashville was another personal highlight, it was such a last minute thing and ended up being one of the most magical nights of my life… I cried, alot.
If you had to pick an artist to watch, who would it be?
There’s so much fantastic young talent breaking on to the scene at the minute, in the US and the UK it’s hard to chose just one, but someone i’m really backing at the moment, is Jenny Tolman. She doesn’t have much music out yet, but her latest single ‘Something to Complain About’ is really great and has that funny, sarcastic edge to it! She’s very rooted in her traditional songwriting, got a bit of a Loretta Lynn feel to her. Check her out for sure!
What is the most embarrassing record you have ever bought?!
One Direction all the way, and i’m not going to lie, if they came out with a record tomorrow, I would buy it!! :L You’ve got to get some Harry in your life!
To finish, tell us the last gig you went to, the last album you played and the last song you played on your phone!
The last gig I went to was actually Belles and Gals’ first collaboration with Inspire Music at The Green Note, so good to see people supporting UK Country! The last album I listened to was Brent Cobb’s new one ‘Providence Canyon’, what a songwriter. Finally the last song I listened to was Ruthie Collins ‘Get Drunk and Cry’, can’t get enough of this girl at the moment. Definitely go and check her out!