An Interview With The Talented AUBRIE SELLERS On Growing Up On The Tour Bus With Her Country Singer Mom, LEE ANN WOMACK, Putting Together Her First Garage Country Album, Playing With WILLIE NELSON and CHRIS STAPLETON And More!
Posted On 01 Apr 2016
Tag: A Man of Constant Sorrow, All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Aubrie Sellers, Brand New Day, Carnival Music, Chris Stapleton, Creedance, David Nail, Eli Young Band, Frank Liddell, garage country, Grammy, I'm A Fire, Jason Sellers, Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Lee Ann Womack, Light of Day, Losing Ground, Luck Reunion, Miranda Lambert, Morgane, Nashville, Nashville Scenes, Neil Young, New City Blues, NPR Music, Platinum, Pot Luck, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, Rolling Stone, Ryman, SXSW, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Thirty Tigers, Willie Nelson
Aubrie Sellers recently released to widespread critical acclaim on Carnival Records via Thirty Tigers her debut album “New City Blues.” This collection was produced by Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert, Eli Young Band, etc.), New City Blues, was recorded in Nashville and features 14 self-penned songs.
NPR Music calls New City Blues, “…plainly the work of an artist who’s determined to construct a riveting identity for herself,” while Rolling Stone declares it a “…gritty and glorious debut LP” and the Nashville Scenes asserts, “…a country coming-out party, complete with foot-stomping declarations of rebellion and a grand entrance from someone who’s already looming as an up-and-coming star.”
Additionally, Sellers recently made her network television debut on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” performing “Light of Day.”
Raised on the road surrounded by award-winning singers, songwriters and musicians, Sellers spent most of her childhood drawing inspiration from her Grammy Award-winning mother Lee Ann Womack and her father hit songwriter and musician Jason Sellers. Her own credits include vocals on critically acclaimed country records including Ralph Stanley’s A Man of Constant Sorrow, David Nail’s I’m a Fire and Miranda Lambert’s Platinum. Of her duet with Nail on his song “Brand New Day, “ Esquire’s Andy Langer asserts that Sellers, “…establishes herself right here and now as one to watch.”
Learn more about Aubrie in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So, now that we are 2 months into 2016, how’s the year been treating you so far? What were a few highlights of 2015 for you?
It was a long process getting this record out there, so obviously releasing it this year has been very exciting for me just because people can listen to it. I just wanted people to hear the music, and the fact that people seem to be receiving it well is extra special. Last year I had the record finished and I had to find the people that believed in it and could help me get it out there, and this year that is all coming to fruition.
It sounds like you have quite a wide-range of musical influences – the Kinks, Creedance, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and others. How do you think having such a mixed-bag of influences like this has made you a better artist?
Having such a wide variety of influences is what has made my music stand out there on its own, and to some people the contrasts between all of the different elements might be strange, but that’s my favorite part about it. My voice is purely country, but my music is raw and electric and driving. I like to write songs that express emotion and I tend to write about real things that inspire me. I think there are plenty of people out there like me who listen to all kinds of music and can appreciate where I’m really coming from.
What has been the best piece of advice your mom has ever shared with you?
My mom taught me to stick to my guns, be myself, and always put my focus on the music.
Can you talk about being raised on the road with your mom, Lee Ann Womack? How did that upbringing affect you as a musician? Do you think this lifestyle encouraged you to become one? Will she be joining you on tour this year at all?
Being surrounded by music 24/7 obviously instilled a love of music in me, and growing up on the road gave me a unique perspective on the world, and especially of people. I was a sponge when I was little, absorbing everything I saw about how people behave in all kinds of unique situations and writing is one of the outlets I have for those observations. I think road life and being home-schooled inevitably led me to having a unique career whether it be music or something else, just because it made me very independent and used to being in charge of my own schedule.
Do you think you’ve always wanted to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? What about the first time you considered being a musician seriously?
I’ve always loved music, and known one day I would want to do something with music on my own, I just wasn’t sure when. My dad played with Ricky Skaggs when I was young so I was around his music, and of course both my parents sang so it was always there. I played guitar from age 12 or 13 and wrote songs for fun, but in 2012 I felt a real itch to give music a serious shot. That’s when I wrote “Light of Day” the first song on the record, and felt like I was headed in a direction I should follow.
You recently released your debut album, “New City Blues” via Carnival Music. Can you talk about the process of putting it together? How long had you been working on these songs?
I started writing the record 4 years ago, and went in to track most of it about 2 or 3 years ago. It was a long process, I started writing, then going in and doing pre-production and guitar vocals. I had to put the right band together, pick the right songs, and make sure everybody understood what we were going for. Everything seemed like a long process because I tried very hard to get it right, and true to what I wanted, down to finding someone to mix it, master it, everything.
I’ve read that you call your sound “garage country”. Was that an intentional description you were aiming for when you wrote these songs?
I didn’t have that descriptor until after the record was out and I was trying to describe it to people. I had always known what it was but I couldn’t figure out how to put it into words without just playing it for somebody. I consider myself a country artist, albeit outside the box for the genre. “Garage Country” to me means, raw, emotional, driving, urgent, loose. It embodies that grungy sound. I like things to be soulful and in your face, not perfect or expected.
What songs on “New City Blues” are you particularly excited about and/or proud of?
I’m proud of the record as a whole, it has 14 songs, and it is all of those elements together that make it me. “Losing Ground” is a personal song I wrote one night by myself, and to see that people have really seemed to embrace that one is cool and unexpected for me. “Light of Day” was the first song I wrote where I knew I was headed in the direction I had imagined, so that one is special too.
You’ve joined your mom on stage, sung on albums like Miranda Lambert’s and others. Do you think those experiences really prepared you to step into your own spotlight. How so exactly did they?
Honestly, I don’t think anything could have prepared me for being out there and doing it on my own. Being the front woman is a completely different experience. I love singing harmony and contributing to other people’s visions, but when you’re all of the sudden the center of attention it is a little jarring. I’m naturally introverted, and not used to that, so I am still learning every day how to not stress myself out and just enjoy it. Being able to share your music and vision with people is a really cool, special thing, and this year especially I get to take a full band out on the road and hopefully connect with people.
This spring, you will head out on tour. Where are you most excited to play at? What can people expect from your shows? You are going to be performing with Willie Nelson? That’s got to be surreal!
This is the first year I will be touring this much, with a full band, so I am really excited. Last year I spent some time opening for people in an acoustic setting, so it will be very different this year. I’m excited to go to SXSW for the first time, and play with Willie Nelson at his Luck Reunion “Pot Luck.” I’m also going to go play my own shows, as well as play a lot of festivals and just be out there sharing the record with everybody.
What was it like performing with Chris Stapleton at the Ryman in Nashville?
I’ve known Chris forever and I’ve had so many firsts with him and Morgane, including now playing my first full show at the Ryman. It was very surreal and kind of hard to absorb your first time, especially as someone who has been to a million shows there, I really couldn’t believe it. When I got up to sing with them during their set I was able to take a breath and really enjoy the moment, and it made it 10 times more special that I got to share it with very talented people I’ve known for so long.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
Don’t apologize for who you are and what you like.