Welcome to a new regular feature on Belles and Gals, where we shine our spotlight on the rising stars of the industry coming out of Nashville – all brought to you by brand new team member Craig Brooks! (twitter.com/swindonforever)
I’m somebody that is a big fan of the UK Country music scene and spend a lot of time travelling around to shows here. I’m also fortunate enough to visit Nashville several times a year and get a good fill of the fantastic live music on offer over there. I would expect most music fans (particularly country fans) are well aware it’s a very crowded scene but only through visiting Nashville do you get a true sense of the sheer volume of spectacularly talented artists trying to carve out a piece of that scene for themselves and make it big. Even In the middle of the day you can walk down Broadway and you will find somebody playing in every honky tonk bar and in most of these on several different floors in each venue. Sadly, a lot of very gifted musicians won’t make it big as there’s just so many other people in town competing and wanting the same spot. On very rare occasions you will stumble across somebody a bit special, somebody who wows you on first listen and just hooks you. I thought I’d start by introducing people to a particularly special artist in Nashville by the name of Ava Suppelsa.
Hailing from Evanston in Illinois, Ava Suppelsa arrived in Nashville with an already impressive musical pedigree behind her, writing songs from the age of 12 and being accepted into the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy at the age of 16 to study in their singer/songwriter major. Ava’s incredible song writing ability was already being recognised both nationally and internationally at the age of 17 where she was studying under the likes of Chris Young and Josh Groban. After continuing to receive heaps more recognition, Ava attended the very prestigious Berklee College of Music and studied as a Song writing and Music Business double major for 2 years before making the move to Nashville.
I remember the first time I heard Ava sing, as I’m sure most people do. I’d been watching a writers round just before she was playing and managed to catch one song of hers before I had to leave but when you have a voice like Ava’s it only takes one and you will be sold on her talents forever more.
Between what I saw that night and meeting Ava properly a good few months later it quickly became apparent how respected her song writing is in town, was almost becoming a challenge to go to a writers round and not hear the words “I wrote this song with Ava Suppelsa”. I don’t think a day passes where she isn’t either playing shows or attending writes (quite frequently both) and it’s no surprise she is so in demand when she has this fantastic knack of just turning everything she touches into absolute gold, I have heard the phrase “Ava Suppelsa only writes bangers” on more than one occasion. A couple of hits Ava has co-written on released this year are ‘Loser’ by Christina Taylor and ‘Slower’ by Austin Burke, both tracks are receiving a lot of acclaim and can be found on a number of extremely popular Spotify playlists. As wonderful as Ava’s song writing is it shouldn’t be overlooked that she is a fantastic performer in her own right, I highly recommend checking out her wonderful self-titled EP and being wowed by how she seamlessly blends country with other genres that have influenced her in the most gorgeous way. Although my favourite track on the EP changes, at the moment it would be ‘Finish Line’, this song is as touching, honest and as beautiful as music gets.
Ava has achieved a lot in her career already and played some legendary venues such as the Bluebird Café and the Listening Room and that is just the start of so many amazing things she is going to achieve in her career. I can say with absolute certainty that over the next few years country music fans, wherever they may be based in the world are going to hear a lot of the name Ava Suppelsa.