It’s not often that you can come across a new artist or band and be immediately drawn into their music. However, Avenue Beat have been able to do just that. A brand new signing for Big Machine Label Group (The Valory Music Co/Tape Room Records), the country-pop trio originally from Quincy, Illinois is comprised of 21-year-old best friends Sam Backoff, Sami Bearden and Savana Santos. Their debut self-titled release is an EP comprised of 4 tracks each with a unique story but the same great country-pop sound.
The leading track ‘Delight’ is as its name suggests a delight to listen to with the a key message of being self-empowering and penned by the trio alongside Summer Overstreet. Alongside ‘Delight’, the EP features ‘Be A Bro’ a female empowerment anthem, ‘Ruin That For Me’ a post-breakup track and ‘Broke’ a look at the harsh reality of being a broke young adult. The EP was produced by Savana alongside David Garcia and Ashley Gorley.
We caught up with Avenue Beat to find out more about them, the new EP and how they got their name.
1. Hey girls, thank you for talking to us. To start with, tell us a little about yourselves and how you came together to form Avenue Beat.
Sam Backoff: We all grew up in this same small town of Quincy, Illinois! Savana and I have been friends since we were babies and we met Sami at a musical theatre camp when we were 14-years-old. It’s funny because at the time, Savana and I had been making YouTube covers and Sami had actually commented on one of them and was like ‘Hey, if you ever need a piano player let me know!’ Afterwards, we found out she actually never knew how to play the piano, she just wanted to be our friend and the rest is kind of history! We started playing shows together in our hometown and eventually opened up for the band The Trailer Choir and after the show, Vinny invited us to Nashville to play a round he puts on at the DawgHouse Saloon. Our moms said we could go, so we all hopped in the minivan and drove to Nashville on a whim. We didn’t go on until like 11:30 at night and our now manager Charly Salvatore, happened to be there. We started working together and have been making music ever since!
2. My understanding is that you chose Avenue beat as your band name after using an online band name generator, which I think is brilliant. Is this true and were there some other ideas for names which you considered?
Sami Bearden: Haha yes, it’s true! We were fourteen and needed a band name for a singing competition in our hometown. We found one, clicked it once, and Avenue Beat was born.
3. You’ve recently released your debut EP which transcends many genres whilst retaining a familiar (and brilliant) country-pop sound. With a sound so unique and eclectic, where do you draw your influences from?
Sam Backoff: I think our background in musical theater has had a big influence on our music! The way we do comedic timing or try making emotional moments really hit with the melody is VERY dramatic and helps us stand out. Plus, we each grew up listening to different types of music – Savana: Top 40, Sami: Classic Rock and I grew up on Country music, so we’ve definitely pulled inspiration from a lot of places.
4. Your track ‘Be a Bro’ is a female empowerment anthem which is a refreshing take on girl power anthems. What is the premise of the track and where did the idea for the track stem from?
Savana Santos: The idea behind ‘Be a Bro’ was to have a girl power song that anyone could sing, not just girls! We think it’s so important for girls to lookout for one another and we wanted to encourage guys to do the same! It’s probably our guy friends’ favorite song from the EP, especially the bridge haha
5. ‘Broke’ is a track which explores the despair of having no money and your personal experiences of being broke. It is an honest take on the reality of being young musicians new to the industry. Have your perceptions of the industry changed and do you find it difficult to reflect your experiences when writing a new track?
Sam Backoff: I think we naturally write better when we pull an idea from the things happening in our lives at the time. We’ll walk into a write, sit down, and be like… ‘who has the strongest emotion in the room today?’ And then we’ll write about it. That’s always when we get our best stuff – when we just write lyrics almost exactly how we would say them in real life and about what’s happening in our lives or one of our lives at that moment.
6. If you could co-write or perform with one artist who would it be and why?
Savana Santos: Kacey Musgraves HANDS DOWN. We all put her album golden hour on repeat for months! We saw her play at Bonnaroo this year and all of our faces were like :O haha she’s a legend.
7. Now for some fun, tell us a strange or weird fact about yourselves!
Sami Bearden: I can do a SPOT ON Kermit the Frog impression.
Savana Santos: I have a sneaker obsession …
Sam Backoff: I can only wink my left eye, not my right eye, it’s super weird haha
8. To finish, where can people find out more about you and your music?
Sami Bearden: You can find us on literally ANY SOCIAL MEDIA (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok) and our debut self-titled EP anywhere you listen to music. Oh, and our music video for ‘Delight’ is on YouTube!