Country Music is filled with so many talented artists, songwriters and musicians that oftentimes it's hard to tell who's going to get a record deal or which artist will blow up a year from now. But I will bet my house (well, my college apartment) that Carter Faith will be HUGE and a staple of Country Music for the next few decades. Even before getting to know Carter, I remember sitting at my table finding songs for New Music Friday. Her debut single "Leaving Tennessee" came on and I just froze. Her voice touched my soul, and I knew Country Music had found its next superstar. Fast forward over a year; Carter is already turning heads in Music City. We sat down and talked about Carter's EP "Let Love Be Love", how a spontaneous decision has kickstarted her career in music and reliving her magical night and performance at Whiskey Jam's 10 Year Anniversary at the Ryman. The UPstar. Music 2021 Artist to Watch and Apple Music's Country Riser of the Week had a lot to unpack.
Get To Know Carter
"I'm from outside of Charlotte, North Carolina from a town called Davidson. I just turned 21 and I attend Belmont University, which is what brought me to Nashville. I kind of spontaneously decided that I wanted to pursue music full time, like the summer before I was applying to colleges. It was very unplanned, but to this point seems like it's working out. I feel as though I started writing songs pretty late. I was 17, but I've always loved Country Music and one of my earliest memories was of my grandpa driving me to preschool. If we got there early, he would let me pick cassettes to play... and then I would be late to school."
Authenticity, Creating Her Own Sound: The Carter Faith Bandwagon Is In Full Effect
I always preach how important authenticity is; being your true self and putting out music that represents you and tells a story that is not only relatable, but comes from the heart. This EP for Carter not only checks off these boxes, but I feel is the wake up call to get Country Music fans on the Carter Faith bandwagon. For up and comers, I feel like consistency is easier said than done when releasing music. Artists need to discover their true sound, find the right crew to write songs with and a bunch of other factors come to mind. Even this early in her career, Carter has shown so much consistency and has already found her niche in the genre. She has an electric voice that from start to finish has something to say and lyrics that are raw and true line for line. Her Kacey Musgraves, but original, type vibes come together for a hell of a recipe for success. When I listen to this EP and all her other jammers, I feel a sense of peace and freedom come over me. She takes me to another planet for a few minutes. I will be very excited to see Carter's career skyrocket over the course of the next few years. There aren't many things you should take my advice on, but I'd highly recommend jumping on this train.
Inspiration Behind "Let Love Be Love" EP
"I think, it's hard to know sometimes how you create a project because at the time I wrote these songs, I wasn't trying to make an EP. I write everyday and love writing. Sometimes I write songs that I really want to pitch, but there are songs that would stick with me. It was like that with the 6 songs on the EP. I love them so much and they never get old. I was a little worried about how they would all fit together, but then realized "I wrote them and of course they are all going to fit together". I was so lucky to be able to work with Ben West and Sean McConnell as my producers. They totally took this project and ran. Everyone that knows me knows I love Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church. I feel like this is in the middle of them. It's really cool seeing your personal influences reflected in your music."
Q & A With Carter Faith
Q: What was that "light bulb" moment that you knew you wanted to pursue Country Music?
A: "I would love to say I had a light bulb moment, but like I said, I made a spontaneous decision to only apply to schools for music. I got here and just started doing it. I think looking back, there are a few moments like when I was driving around with my grandpa or with my dad listening to Country Music and I had shivers all over. Another was when I wrote my first song. I was a 16 year emotional teenager and wanted to hear a song that captured everything I was feeling. There wasn't one, so I had to write one myself. There were a bunch of little moments that came together to create something bigger."
Q: As a young up and comer, what advice do you have for those in the same position as you or for younger kids who eventually want to chase their dream in music?
A: "I think, the best advice you ever hear - which is easier said than done - is don't compare yourself. Especially as a female in Country Music, you are always looking around to see what people want. But really they don't look for anything. I keep telling myself "why would we be put on this Earth unless it was to be exactly who you are". I keep that mindset with me always. Kacey Musgraves was so successful because she was different and herself. The same can be said for so many people. If you compare, then you are being just like everyone else. Again, it's a lot easier said than done, especially because this whole industry is a comparison."
Q: What was it like being able to perform at The Whiskey Jam 10 Year Anniversary at the Ryman?
A: "Ward called me to tell me I was Country Riser of the Week, which was so crazy to me. And I was like "what the fuck?!". I freaked out and was so excited! Then he was like, "hey would you want to perform at the Ryman show?" I was on the floor! Like I had tickets, I was going to go, because everyone knew that this was going to be a show you didn't want to miss. Then I got to rehearsal and he told me I was going to go last. I thought "I'm nobody. I will be either middle of the pack or first". I knew it was going to be a long night of me freaking out and it was. I was literally watching all these people who I would pay to see from the side of the stage. It was so special. I got to perform right after Randy Travis and was able to meet him. His aura is just magic. Overall, it couldn't have been a more special night. My family got to come. I “blacked out” on stage to be completely honest. But it was a night where you just feel in your bones how special it was. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to play at the Ryman and for such an amazing night."
Q: 20+ years from now when you look back on your career, what's the legacy you want to leave both personally and musically?
A: "I think, when I am looking back in 20-30 years, people will see I was always my true self. Not hating on anything or anyone, but I'm not someone who wants to get plastic surgery or change anything about me. I want to be a pillar of being yourself. I guess I hope my music, obviously I wrote it so I feel this way, but I hope people will hear my music and be able to escape into another world and bring themselves joy."