Congratulations to Big Machine artist Carly Pearce who’s new single ” Next Girl” not only debuted at No, 54 on Billboard Country Airplay this week but is also the most added at country radio Stateside, with Carly tweeting her thanks to country radio for ” believing in who I am as an artist & allowing me to continue to speak my truth “. Watch out for the official music video coming soon, too!
It was great to get some time to chat to Carly via Zoom, getting more of an insight into the track and also finding out what we can expect from her in the coming months! What a fun 10 minutes we had, too… I suspect we could have actually discussed our dogs for the entire time, to be honest! Enjoy the read…
1. LH Hey Carly what a great way to connect with one another! Thanks so much for your time today. I promise I have music related questions for you, but firstly as a fellow dog-lover i have to ask about your gorgeous new puppy, June Jolene! How are you enjoying being a ” dog mom” and what has she brought into your life?
CP Oh my gosh, I’m enjoying it so much! Obviously this has been a hard time for everyone but it’s been a really difficult season for me and she’s just brought so much joy to me at a time when I really needed it ( I’m nearly tearing up here!) . We are best friends! I’ve nicknamed her JJP.
LH I have a dog called Jolene, by the way…
2. LH I’d better get down to business, in particular your fantastic new single ” Next Girl” and I’m not lying when I say that before i knew what helped inspire it i was getting serious Martina McBride vibes listening to it.
CP Awww I love that!!!
LH So can you tell me more about what’s firing your creativity right now?
CP Yesterday marked a year of the passing of my producer Busbee, and what he did so well with ” I Hope You’re Happy Now” is really tap into that 90’s country sound that I moved to Nashville to make. When the pandemic hit I had to make a decision about what were we going to come with next, I had to make the hard decision for myself and luckily i had a team that allowed it. But I knew we didn’t have the right follow up on the album to make people know that was the female artist I wanted to be, so they gave me the space to go and try to figure out what was next for me. I just feel like ” I Hope You’re Happy Now” was as country as Busbee was ever gonna go, as a pop producer from California, and I got set up with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne and I was like ” oh my gosh, this is exactly what’s supposed to happen ” …they love female 90’s country as much as me. and it was like this whole new world opened up for me. I’m so grateful for EVERYTHING that Busbee did for me, the doors he opened and for giving me that sound on the last single that I knew I had to walk towards. I had to push myself and make sure the music i came up with next matched it.
3. LH Well it sounds like you, Josh and Shane are a dream collaboration. It must have been a lot of fun writing with them, but what did you learn from the two “hit makers”?
CP Well they are producing me now so we have spent a lot of time together and have written a lot of songs, and it is ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE watching the two of them work! I feel like we have this unspoken little thing between the three of us …but though “Next Girl ” was my title and I had an idea of what I wanted it to be, the way they spun it to be empowering instead of sad, was crazy! And just to watch their lyrical and phrasing sense, while also allowing me to be just as much part of the room… they don’t have egos, they still get excited when you say something that they think is great …and then you laugh!! Both Shane and Josh are two of there funniest people in different ways that I have ever been around. So it has been so fun!!
4 LH. I’m so pleased to hear that! You mentioned the lyrics, and I’m such a fan of words and clever word-play ….my favourite line from the song is ” You overlook a lot when he looks like that”…do you have a favourite?
CP I think my favourite part is the whole song ….but yeah I remember that part because to me that lets the listener know it’s my way of putting a little bit of sass in ….” it’s nothing new, he did that to me too! ” . It’s great, it’s that empowering moment ….kind of like what The Chicks did so well ….
LH Yes, it brings females together rather than pitch them against one another…
CP Exactly!! It’s like ” we’re all in this together” !
5. LH You’ve mentioned Busbee and the incredibly important role he has played in your career, and back in June you debuted an amazing song on the Opry stage, “Show Me Around” , which is such a moving tribute to him. Please can you tell me a bit more about it, I gather it was inspired by a speech at his funeral?
CP It will be a part of my new music, we’ve actually recorded it in the studio . Shane was close to Busbee as well and cried his eyes out when he heard it for the first time. It was written at the beginning of quarantine with two very close and dear friends, Ben West and Emily Shackleton who were also very close to Busbee . I joke about how I was writing song ideas in my phone at his funeral but that he’d be ok with that! Busbee has three daughters all under the age of ten and a beautiful wife named Jess, and Barry Dean, who’s a big writer in Nashville, was speaking at the funeral of how Busbee was viewing heaven like Disneyland …finding all the unique parts of it to show his girls when they get there. And I just had never heard of anyone speak of heaven in that way, in such a beautiful sense, so I pulled my phone out and wrote “Show Me Around” . It’s been so cool, just from that one performance people keep asking me where the song is and I promise it’s coming!! It’s my song to Busbee and for anyone who’s ever lost somebody …I’m excited for people to hear that one!
LH Yes, as you say it’s so very relatable…I can see it getting played at many funerals in the future.
6. LH So it sounds like we have got a lot to look forwards to from you …what’s coming next, more singles, a new album maybe…
CP I think it’s an interesting time for anybody to be releasing new music right now. I’m writing so much and we’ve recorded quite a few things, I don’t know if it’s an EP, an album, or what it is but I can tell you that I’m very inspired right now , I have a lot to say and there will be more music coming from me . Whether it’s towards the end of the year or the beginning of next years, you’re going to be hearing a lot of things.
LH Fantastic! I can’t wait to hear it…and to see you live again when things permit!
In the interim take care, have lots of fun making your new music… and give JJP a big hug from me!
CP Ah I will, I will! Thank you so much!
Interview conducted by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)