Channeling country icons from her youth, like Deena Carter, The Chicks and others, Regan Stewart is on a mission to bring that feel back to country. Country music is "life through song" says Stewart and she couldn't be more right! The Alabama native has a goal with her music, to take you back. Whether it be a happy time, a sad time or anywhere in between, Stewart's nostalgic vocals do the trick. Between her relatable lyrics and stunning tone, it is really no surprise that Regan Stewart is making a name for herself in Nashville.
Who is on your playlist these days?
I really love Randall King’s has new album “Shot Glass”, I’ve been like streaming nonstop! I’ve honestly been listening to the old Kssey Musgrave’s “Golden Hour” record. Hailey Whitters I am also really loving!
Who were some of the first country music voices you connected with as a little girl?
“There's Your Trouble” by the Dixie chicks was like my go-to. Their “Fly” record was one of the CDs I had on repeat in my room. I was in first or second grade and dance around to it in my room. Plus anything by Deanna Carter. I listened to a lot of Rascal Flats which doesn't really fit my, my vibe these days, but I love their harmony so much. Anything 90’s country is really where I fell in love with the genre. I had every like Shania Twain record. I had some Reba records as well as Martina McBride. I really latched on to the strong females.
Who or what inspired you to really start that love of songwriting?
I used to write poems in my room when I was seven or eight years old. From there, it kind of transferred into high school where I started writing songs. I didn't write super often, it was more of something I would do for fun. I went to college, and continued to write for fun. If I was going through something, it was a way for me to cope with my feelings. I didn’t really go at is as “I want to be a songwriter.”
Then I interned at a radio station in college. A country artist came in and her radio tour. She spoke about the songs while she was singing, and why she wrote them. When she did that, a lightbulb went off. I didn't know there was such thing as songwriters in Nashville. I just assumed like Carrie Underwood wrote all the songs by herself.
After that I started exploring more and decided that I needed to move to Nashville!
What are some the lessons you have learned since moving to Nashville?
Nashville is a roller coaster of a town to say the least. I’ve always dealt with self-esteem issues. I never thought I was the best, but you move here and you think you be you're better than you are. The first two years are kind of this town breaking you down, you will have a lot of learning to do. There's a lot of people that have put in time and you have to put in time as well. You really have to dive into the craft to songwriting. You have to be ready to email a lot of people and get a “no” or nothing back at all. You have to learn to be your own biggest champion.
I've really had to rely on my inner voice telling me to keep going between the “no”. At the end of the day, if you're doing what you love, that's like all that matters.
Why you think the community of women in Nashville is so special?
I feel like a couple of years ago, after I first moved here, is when it started booming. Honestly, I think the internet helped with that. The girls in town are taking advantage of Tik Tok and blowing up! And these are girls that have been around for a while! All the women are so unique in town and continue to really push boundaries! I feel because of that, they're starting to get heard. The girls in town are sticking to their guns and writing what they want to and its beginning to resonate with people!
How would you describe your music to a new fan?
My music could be described as if Dolly Parton Jon Pardi, and Kasey Musgraves all had a baby. I would say my sound matches the honky think vibe of Jon Pardi. Then again, I like the songs that Dolly sings that are like super heartfelt and she likes to tell stories just like me. Kasey is the mix between feminine traditional and modern that I love as well. I would say I am a twist on those three.
How do you think you have grown as an artist?
I feel that with each release, you just learn more about how each song is a stepping stone to get to where you want to be. Each song tells people a little bit more about who I am as an artist and kind of like what I want to, and what I want to say. I want to show range in my music and I think over time with each new song I can. My song “Last One” is a song that is just a fun vibe and makes you feel good. Or maybe I have a song that a brokenhearted girl can relate to. I feel with each new song I can share a little more of myself.
How do you define country music?
Country music to me is a way to express your feelings through stories with melodies. I have loved writing since I was younger and I feel like country music is life through song. It is all the stories we grew up with! Like the times where I was with my grandparents or on a boat with friends. Maybe I was around a campfire or just jamming in the car. It is those stories. I feel like the songs we listen to in those moments stick with you and become apart of you! Country music just hits you in the heart!
What do you have in the works for this year?
I'm releasing an EP in June. The EP will have all the songs I have out, plus an extra one that I am really excited for. It is one of my favorite songs I've ever written. I wrote it with one of my favorite songwriters in town, that’s special to me. I feel like this song wraps the EP in a little bow. My EP is called “R” I feel like it shows just a little piece of who I am as a girl and as an artist! I am really excited for everyone to hear it!