Ladies, if this song doesn't fire you up then I don't know what will. SJ McDonald comes out swinging with her new single "Hot Damn" and she ain't taking no more shit! Like she says "when you treat me like a lady then I'll treat you like a man"...amen sister. Some of these guys out here don't know how to act and deserve a kick to the nuts. Picture a group of ladies storming into bars on Broadway to this song and slapping the shit out of all the drunk assholes who don't show respect for them! I'm here for it.
Get to Know SJ
SJ grew up on a farm in Lexington, Virginia and a lot of her music has come from the inspiration of strong women in her life. That gave SJ the "take no shit" mentality which ties strongly into "Hot Damn". She lived in Virginia her whole life until moving to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 18 to go to school. SJ is currently studying songwriting at Belmont University. Upon her arrival in Nashville, SJ wasted no time and started playing music on Broadway. This started within the first few weeks and has been her job ever since. Growing up, SJ had her own band called "SaraJane & SweetFIRE" that toured around the east coast for 4 or 5 years. She came to Nashville, however, to pursue a solo career and do her own thing.
"Hot Damn"... The 2020 Anthem For The Ladies Across The Country. I Like The Sound Of That...
Inspiration Behind "Hot Damn"
Written By: SJ McDonald & Autumn Buysse, Produced By: Brandon Meagher
"I wrote this in February of I think 2018, it's been a hot minute. So, speaking of Broadway, I was playing one of my shows. I had just gotten off the stage and was sitting at the bar with one of my friends. Some drunk guy came and slapped my arm and said "damn girl" and I was just like "what am I supposed to do with this" and just told him to move on. I was talking about what happened with my co-writer Autumn the next day and she wanted to make it into a song. So that's how it was birthed. I have no memory of how we started writing the song or how it progressed... it was just one of those songs. We just paced through it, had fun with it and “finished when we finished” kind of thing. We wrote this in a Belmont University writing room, which is such a beautiful place. One thing that really made we want to release "Hot Damn" was I would be out at Writer's Rounds and people would tell me to play it. I realized it was a defining song for me, with the hook being "when you treat me like a lady then I'll treat you like a man" and that's about it."
Q & A With SJ McDonald
Q: What was the "light bulb" moment for you when you knew Country Music was your calling?
A: "Oh gosh, I never had a light bulb moment which is the saddest thing ever, because everyone always talks about it. I lived in a blissful bubble until I was 16. I loved all music and liked everybody kinda stuff like that. But something for me always pointed to Country Music and I don't know if it was growing up on a farm and having my dad always playing country radio in his truck and in the tractors. The closest thing I think I can get to a lightbulb moment was listening to Carrie Underwood's first record, because that was the first album that stuck with me and it does to this day."
Q: What's it like growing up on a farm?
A: "Growing up on a farm definitely taught me things like having responsibility and always working hard. Quarantine had sucked for me before I started doing Zoom writes everyday, because I was sitting in Nashville doing nothing all day. For me that's the worst thing because I'm always going 25 mph... I mean 24 hours a day (both work). School, write, go to writers rounds to see people play. A lot of me being busy all the time comes from farming. My dad works all day, everyday, even on Sundays. I love it and it gives me appreciation for the roots of Country Music and keeps my head on straight."
Q: What's it like balancing school and music everyday?
A: "Yeah, I'm not the best at it. I kinda do it backwards and put music first for me, but always get school done. It really just comes down to time management. Like I can map my day or week out in my head and I'll know exactly how much time I need to finish an assignment or other things. It sounds bad. My education is extremely important, but a lot of being a Songwriting major is going out and networking and co-writing everyday and stuff. I am a hater for classes like History and Physics, which are interesting, but just not my jam. I just want to put all my time into music. I have one more year left."
Q: What's some advice for other young artists out there?
A: "Write what feels real to you, don't write for other people. That is what people will appreciate and want to listen to - that true and raw storytelling. It's kind of like writing with your gut... if you don't feel that shit, don't put it out just yet! I go with the feeling more than anything and not always what others are telling me."
If you haven't already go check out SJ's debut single "Give Me Back My Heart" available on all music platforms.