With the chance to meet some our of the artists backstage, we learnt a lot about the talent involved in Country to Country 2017
We take a closer look at some of the artists who performed at Country2Country 2017!
Spending his childhood travelling around the world with his family whilst his father served in the Military, Seth Ennis grew up with many international influences which shine through in his music. Originally born in Georgia, country music always held a place with Ennis and so he decided to move to Nashville to pursue his career. Finding himself as a contestant at a battle of the bands competition, Ennis believes he was in the right place “all at the right time” and soon found himself part of the C2C Festival.
His new track Woke up in Nashville were the first words that his audience would hear and so he wanted the song to reflect him and his passion for music. His label loved the track and wanted to record it as soon as possible. However, due to a lot of the recording band being away on tours etc. Ennis pitched the idea of recording the entire track himself and see how it worked out.
Well you should listen to the track to believe me but it’s safe to say, Ennis’ musical talents are very well showcased throughout the song as he plays and sings every single line himself. His music is a little bit of everything all rolled into one, leading to a fresh new country sound which fans went mad for at the C2C festival.
With a track record of writing up to 260 songs a year, Ennis is full of inspiration and passion for his music. We are excited to see what the next year will bring.
These two artists have an incredible and contagious energy whilst on stage of which the fans cannot get enough. However, it’s only when you meet Dan+Shay in person that you really see their friendship and fun that plays a huge part in who they are.
Having met at a house party in Nashville, they instantly began working together. Dan still has the voice memo on his phone of the moment when he first heard Shay sing. This chance meeting led to some of the most emotional and powerful country songs in the past few years.
They headlined their first show in London and always love coming back to the UK. As huge fans of country music, they were just as excited as the fans to join the crowd and watched their fellow artists perform.
“It’s cool to still be a fan.”
Taking to the stage on Saturday night, they had the audience on their feet sharing in the fun and love that comes from their music and their energy.
Originally from Burbridge, Louisiana, Hayes joined the music world at a young age and is “very grateful” for his success and always treats his fans well. He has always wanted to take part in the C2C festival, reminding him of the CMA festival back in Nashville and was very excited to be a performer in the 2017 arena show.
As an artist who started out young, I asked him if he had one piece of advice for young people in the arts what would it be?
“There will be moments you don’t know where to go. There is no one way to create art or be an artist or work in art… encourage strength and believe in oneself. This is where my art is and this is where I belong.”
And he sure proved that on Saturday night as he took the stage and not only played his hits, but had the bravery to showcase a brand new song to thousands of fans. “Tell Me” is an absolutely beautiful track and I can’t wait to hear his new album, which is currently in the works.
Playing the Glasgow Arena on Friday Night, the London O2 on Saturday and then to Dublin on the Sunday, Hayes proved that it isn’t just the fans who have passion for his music, he shares their feelings and gave back to them 110%.
Picking up a guitar that was lying around his grandfather’s house he would play “upside down and backwards” as a young musician.
“I feel like with a guitar, I can speak.”
Bryant cut many of his songs in a small, homemade studio he created inside a little cupboard and in that little room he learned to make music and taught himself to be a producer. He moved from Texas to Nashville to access more opportunities for his country music and give himself a chance to branch out further in his art.
Following in the footsteps of his musical heritage, Bryant is continuing to develop his craft and loved the audience at C2C.
“People enjoy music here, not just with their eyes.”
We hope to see Bryant return soon on tour.
Originally the lead vocalist of Hey Monday, Cassadee Pope is more commonly known for her appearance in season three of The Voice where she became the first ever female winner, mentored by the one and only Blake Shelton.
“He let me do my own thing.”
At the age of four, Pope attended singing lessons and admits she would sing anywhere and everywhere. Throughout her career she was signed to small record deals that unfortunately lead to nothing until she joined Hey Monday. At the age of 21, Pope felt she was not progressing in her career and so decided to move.
“The Voice came and rescued me at the time.”
She has since released her own album and most recently collaborated with Chris Young for their new song “Think of You”. For her recent EP - Summer, she wanted to choose four songs that describe her best to her fans. With inspiration from artists like Bruno Mars and Shania Twain, Pope has an interesting and open career ahead and we are excited to see where it takes her.
“A lot of people said I couldn’t make it but, it’s worked out pretty good.”
Many know Rucker as the lead vocalist and guitarist of Hootie & the Blowfish but his place in country music is growing stronger every day. Singing about things that mean something to him, like family and his faith, Rucker offers a newer sound of country with influences from its traditional past.
Excited to be taking part in C2C 2017, Rucker explained how the popularity of the festival is not only growing here in the UK but also back in Nashville as everyone wants to be a part of the event.
“Country music was everywhere” when Rucker was growing up and now Rucker is sharing his country music with everyone. Offering a unique and energetic performance at C2C, Rucker said it doesn’t matter what genre a song is classified as “A good song is a good song.”
Rucker brought the entire arena to their feet as every voice joined him in a rendition of Purple Rain and turned the 02 into a sea of lights, in memory of the artists that we lost in 2016.
Famously known for her character on One Tree Hill, Kramer was first noticed as a singer when her character changed on the show leading her to her now successful career in country music.
“I like not to be put in a box.”
With a passion to try everything, Kramer has been on Dancing With The Stars among many of her projects. She also named her previously album 31 after her age but claims she will not be following in Adele’s footsteps and will be naming her new album something completely different.
“In order to really work in the country world, you need to be in Nashville.”
Kramer explained that Nashville is like home to her now and she is loving her new career path. With a love for the “More intimate setting”, Kramer truly enjoys playing clubs and meeting her fans but was incredibly excited to take part in C2C this year from the Yamaha stage during her first ever 02 performance.
Working on her new EP, her inspiration is flowing in Nashville and although she is not taking her time on this new project, she won’t be rushing it either.
“For me songwriting is speaking the truth.”
We can’t wait to hear what you have to say Jana!
Packing out every stage at C2C, White was on the artists that were causing the biggest buzz this year amongst fans. White was no stranger to music growing up as a singer in church and having music as part of his life, but his true passion hit whilst he attended college and caused him to move to Nashville.
His band The Big Fire have just released their new album Spark which not only contains some wonderful and unique tracks but has very interesting cover art. Within the picture of White on the front, you can see all the inspirations from his life hidden inside the image and it’s easy to get lost in the symbolism.
The talk of the festival, White’s way of performing is a spiritual experience for himself and those watching. White can’t wait to do a “proper tour” back to the UK at some point soon.
“The plan is to nurture a family here.”
Hoping his new album will help people disconnect from their hectic lives and reconnect with what’s important White explained there is no formula for him when he writes music, he just follows his feelings.
Following a Grammy nomination and CMA award, it was clear that the Brothers Osborne were one of the most anticipated acts of the festival. Humble and unfamiliar with the attention they explained that they are used to being the underdogs, so their experience at C2C was very new to them.
“Country Music takes a lot of shapes and forms.”
The Brothers explained that to them and many in Nashville, the music starts with just the song. If you can boil it down to a voice and an acoustic guitar, then you’ve got a winner.
They enjoyed their time in the UK and hope to return very soon.
“For such a small country, there is a lot of music here.”
Mentioned by many of their fellow performers as the show they all wanted to see, it’s safe to say The Brothers Osborne are no longer the underdogs and we are excited to see what they bring next with their new album "Pawn Shop."
A man who needs no introduction to Country fans, Stuart has had a shining career with many highlights. In his early career he became involved in The Sullivan Family and some years later became a member of Johnny Cash’s Backing Band. Regarded as part of Country Music Royalty, Stuart is once again causing excitement with his new album Way Out West.
“I started so young… a great way to start a life.”
Surprisingly C2C was the first time that Stuart was playing at the O2 and now hopes to return later this year because of the love he received from the audience.
“These people bring their hearts to the show.”
The very definition of multi-talented, Stuart has had a part to play in many creative industries but music will always be his number one passion.
“Songs are great magic carpets, they can take you to wonderful places.”
The youngest performer of the festival, Bryan is only nineteen and already has achieved her first record deal and moved to Nashville from her hometown in Washington State. Joining Seth Ennis in experiencing her first press conference, she was very chatty and a bundle of energy and was incredibly excited to have grown from playing guitar outside her favourite Taco stand to playing for C2C 2017.
Nominated by Hilary from the well known band Lady Antebellum, Bryan is currently up for the Artist of Tomorrow Grammy award and has just released the first ever music video designed specifically for a mobile phone. Designed to appear like a social media sharing video, snapchat, facetime etc. it’s a very interesting and new take on music videos which you should definitely check out.
As a female artist in a genre predominately filled by male singers, Bryan could not express her gratitude more for all the success she has so far achieved.
“I am just so grateful and in awe that I get to do this.”
Having toured with Dan+Shay recently as their opening act, she joked during her set in the main arena that it was fun going after them for the first time and felt almost like they opened for her.
With wonderful connections and incredible mentors from the country world, Bryan has a lot more to give and her career is only just beginning.
Zac Brown Band
Welcome Home is the brand new album for Zac Brown Band where the band members wanted to go back to their roots. With a lot of personal inspiration, they feel this is the most personal and intimate album they have ever recorded.
Incredibly, all the recording was completed in just six days with the band tracking everything together rather than single lines. It all just worked from the start.
With a love for the UK and the audiences here, the band do everything they can to return as often as possible and believe it is truly worth it when they do.
“We love it here!”
Feeling truly blessed to have the chance to perform as part of C2C, Zac Brown Band closed the festival on Sunday night and really finished the weekend in true country style, with guitars and energy like no other genre can bring.