Saturday, June 25, 2016

Indie Ville TV #104 Triple Threat – Jessica McNear

Written by Alexis Chateau    

A triple-threat who loves to sing, dance, and act, Jessica hails from a small town in
Pennsylvania. While growing up on a dairy farm with her family, Jessica’s experience
with the choir and local shows engendered a desire to pursue her own musical interests.
She would soon learn though, that her small town provided very few opportunities for
her to make a name for herself.

So after playing shows and feeling out the music scene for a while, she came to a
decision. “I decided when I was 20, I didn’t wanna go to college, and I was going to move
to Nashville,” she remembers. But it wasn’t as simple a decision as just that. By going to
Nashville, Jessica also sacrificed the opportunity to study music and theater, and to go to
New York.

Looking back though, the young singer regrets none of it. “I’m not sure I could have
survived by myself in New York,” she jokes. Nashville, on the other hand, became her
home away from home with a wealth of opportunities that has kept her in the city for
the past six years.

During this time, she’s landed roles on TV, while doing shows all over the country. She
has performed in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, New Hampshire,
Pennsylvania, and Georgia; and looks forward to touring on an even wider scale.
In spite of her success so far, Jessica is only scratching the surface of how far she wants
to go. “I don’t really have a group or anything,” she admits, “but I’ve been doing this
since I was 16, and I’m 26.”

Jessica counts not just her ten years of experience as having shaped her sound and her
music, but her roots all the way back in Pennsylvania, as well. “My Dad was always in
bands, so I grew up around music,” she shares. “[He] always played heavy rock… I’m not
into that, but I have a little bit of rock influence in the country [music].”

Jessica’s personal experiences have also shaped the stories she tells through her music -
whether it’s about moving down south for the first time, watching her brother go off to
war, or being inspired by her classmate’s strength throughout his struggle with cancer.

The young musician plans to take this inspiration back into the studio soon to work on a
new album in the next six months to a year, so stay tuned! You can also see Jessica
playing several walk-on rolls in the hit TV show, Nashville.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Indie Ville TV #101 Conor Clemmons: Breaking through Stereotypes

Written by Alexis Chateau       

The ambitious and gregarious middle-child of a single mother, Conor got his first spot in
the limelight as a teen aged model, and then moved on to bigger and better things
throughout his dynamic career.

He has worked in Broadway productions with big orchestras; played his music to
countless tourists on cruise ships, which took him all over the world; landed gigs as a
modeling brand ambassador; and sang karaoke to unsuspecting listeners.

In fact, his first night of karaoke in Nashville was what inspired the young musician to
make the growing city his new home. Conor had decided that, “If I – as a Black man – can
perform country music on a stage in Nashville without being booed… I’m moving

While the listeners at that karaoke session didn’t boo him off stage, Conor remembers
the odd looks he got – the raised eyebrows and the patrons tapping their friends on the
shoulder and pointing in his direction. “It’s like they were saying, ‘This is gonna be
good’,” he remembers.

And it was – so good in fact that the whole room went quiet when he started to sing,
before later erupting in support. After the performance, his new found fans bought him
beer and shots for the night, and reached out on many occasions to ask about his music.

With that initial success under his belt, Conor left his four bedroom house by the beach
and moved to Nashville to live with new roommates he had found on Craigslist. It was a
big risk, and quite the change. So rather than jump right into making music right away,
he took the time to get to know Nashville, its culture, and its people.

“I didn’t want to be one of those musicians who come to Nashville and have an album
out in six months,” Conor says. By the time he did start writing music for his EP a year
later, he better understood the audience he was writing for, and wrote from a place that
had increasingly begun to feel like home.

Back at his old home, his family and friends look to him as a role model and an
inspiration. “They’ve all been following and they’re like, ‘I’m so proud of you.
Congratulations’,” he shares.

However, Conor admits he sometimes has a hard time dealing with the spotlight. “I
almost feel like I don’t deserve to be looked at [as] anything other than just me, but to
them and their kids… I am this role model and I am this person who is following dreams,
and staying the course, and trying to be responsible…”

As the new release draws near, the artist braces himself for even more opportunities to
use his music to influence others for the better. For this reason, all proceeds from his
release party will go to Creativets – an organization which uses the power of music to
help veterans who are struggling to cope with PTSD.

Conor also braces himself for the new opportunities ahead that might arise from
releasing new music to the public. He looks forward to new offers and changes that
could take him one step closer to his goals of playing on big stages, and having his songs
aired on radio stations around the world.

“One of my very close friends, she used to manage Keith Urban and now she manages
Hunter Hayes,” he says. “As I get ready for my release in three weeks, I asked her, ‘As my
friend and as someone who is in the industry on that level, what is your one bit of

“She looked at me and she said, ‘Just know that it will never look the way that you
expect it to look and it will never happen the way you expect it to happen.’ …I took that
to heart, because I think that you are supposed to have an expectation, but you’re not
supposed to paint the picture.’”

Conor hopes that more musicians will take risks, and learn to break not just the
stereotypes of how they should look, or how their music should sound, but how they
think the path to success should unfold.

Conor’s release party for his upcoming EP is scheduled for June 24 at Soundcheck, at

Indie Ville TV #102 Meghann Wright: A Jane of Many Art-Forms

Written by Alexis Chateau          

A woman of many talents, Meghann Wright has dabbled in virtually every area of the
arts. As a young girl, Meghann started out with classical instruments like piano and the
violin. She then fell in love with the saxophone, which became her main instrument for
roughly a decade.

Surprisingly though, music was never Meghann’s true focus in the beginning. She
originally spent most of her energies on visual arts; including theatre, drawing, and
video production. However, at the end of high school and going into college, the
independent music scene grabbed her attention.

“I wanted to start playing in bands with my friends,” Meghann remembers. “Mostly I
was just playing bass and guitar… and then I went through a couple different bands, and
then I found myself actually wanting to write songs myself.”

The unique sound Meghann wanted to craft for her own music didn’t fit in with any of
the other music projects she was working on, so she decided to make music on her own,
and has been doing it ever since.

In spite of her ties to Hawaii and New York, Meghann’s eclectic love for music took on a
lot of inspirations and turned it into her own southern sound. “I really appreciate music
from that area,” she says of the south. “A lot of people don’t know this, but people in
Hawaii listen to a lot of country music… and I grew up listening to all kinds of
songwriters as well.”

Some of the music she remembers being exposed to include David Bowie, Prince, and
Nirvana. However, of all the artists Meghann admires, Dolly Parton tops the list. “I
admire her so much as a person, a performer, and a songwriter,” Meghann gushes. “I
actually have this secret hope that she would cover my song ‘Can’t Carry Water’. I would
definitely love the opportunity to work with her.”

Meghann also greatly admires her band-mates, who take the time out of playing in other
groups, to tour with her around America. Her bassist, Eva Lawitts plays in three other
bands – Caretaker, Sister Helen, and Vagabond. And both her guitarist and drummer,
Sonny Ratcliff and Andrew Nesbitt, play together in a New York based indie band called
Morning Sea.

Meghann’s support of fellow musicians doesn’t stop at shoot-outs to band-mates
though. In 2012, she started the City and the Heart project to help other artists to
navigate their way around the New York music scene. She also helped female musicians
to record demos, so they can reach a wider audience.
Meghann then turned the community of female artists she had built into a unanimous
feminist cause, releasing a record together, which was produced by Will Hensley.
Hensley is well-known for working with musicians like Coldplay, John Mayer, The Fray,
Shakira, and MUTEMATH.

The proceeds from selling the album then went to Safe Horizon, an organization for
helping domestic abuse victims. In fact, Meghann has always been drawn to the
opportunity to create change. This is not just with regards to women’s rights, but with
regards to politics, race relations, and other burning issues.

Meghann, who is half Irish and half Mexican, grew up as a minority in Hawaii. “When
you’re a little kid and you’re growing up very different from all the other little kids,
things tend to be a little challenging.” Nevertheless, this helped shape Meghann’s
outlook on what it means for minorities on the mainland who face that challenge every

An outspoken woman, Meghann shares, “I definitely understand what everyone is going
through and I find any kind of bigotry and prejudice to be reprehensible.”
A musician on a mission to change the world, Meghann definitely does far more than
just pay lip service, and is well on her way to creating a wake of change wherever she

Indie Ville TV #103 One Song at a Time Kamber Cain

Written by Eloisa Guynn

Born and raised in El Dorado Springs, Missouri, country artist Kamber Cain now splits her time
between her hometown and Nashville, Tennessee in pursuit of her singing career. She has
opened for such notable artists as Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Billy Dean, and Lonestar. She was
also the 2014 Missouri State Fair Idol.

Her love for music began at a young age as she recalls singing and performing on stage when she
was just three years old. She’s been singing and writing songs since then and doesn’t regret a
single moment of it. While she absolutely loves performing and connecting with the audience
when on stage, she also loves being able to write her own songs. For Kamber, being able to write
her own songs means she can express herself through her lyrics and still have control over her

She grew up listening to and is heavily influenced by artists like Shania Twain, Carrie
Underwood, and Taylor Swift. Her all-time favorite song is “See You Again” by Carrie
Underwood, which helped her through some difficult times when she lost three grandparents.
She’s always known that she would have a music-based career and thanks her family for being
very supportive of her dreams and aspirations. “Music is my calling and what I’m here to do,”
she says, but above all, “I’m striving to make a positive difference in this world, one song at a

Check out Kamber Cain’s music videos “Ain’t Nothin Like A Night Like This” and “Maybe I
Just Might” on YouTube. You can catch her performing at the Higginsville's Annual 4th of July
Festivities in Higginsville, Missouri. Connect with Kamber on her Facebook, Twitter, and
Instagram accounts, or visit her website to contact her.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Indie Ville TV #100 Sharing Laughs with Kiernan McMullan

Written by Alexis Chateau
A man of serious thought and good humor, Kiernan is a musician with a more interesting
story than most. Born in Hong Kong to an Australian mother and Irish father who met on a
plane, Kiernan had traveled the span of three continents by the time he was eighteen.

This experience as a nomad served him well, when after landing a record deal with an
American label, Kiernan flew to Boston with no laptop, no phone, and no clear-cut plan to
tour on his own. He calls the experience one of the most memorable he’s ever had.

“It was daunting and scary,” he admits, “but it was the most memorable three months of my
life… I could write a book for just that [sic] three months.”

Kiernan spent that time playing shows he had booked on MySpace. After landing in Boston,
he hitchhiked his way down south, and eventually ended in South Carolina to spend some
time with family. Since, then, Kiernan’s career has been far less dangerous, but perhaps no
less eventful.

The musician averages 200 shows per year, and thankfully not by hitchhiking. “I’ve been on
a big old tour bus, and I drive around in my car,” he explains. “I’ve hitchhiked. I’ve taken
Greyhounds, and I’ve done the van and trailer… Pretty much toured in every capacity you
can tour in over the last ten years.”

Kiernan has also played virtually every type of venue – from big stages with sold out shows
to bars and small clubs. “I have been lucky enough to play some pretty big shows,” he
shares. He then adds that in spite of this, “Theaters are the best because they’re always a
listening crowd [and] I like small clubs that are busy. I love a crowd that is there to see a

On stage, Kiernan embodies much of the Nashville sound, mixed with the storytelling skills
he thanks his Irish roots for. “I come from an Irish family, so a lot of storytellers,” he says. “I
like the idea of being able to tell a story [and] being able to tell somebody a story that kind
of compels them, and maybe changes the path of their day or their lives.”

Kiernan’s main aim with his music is to leave a lasting impact on the world and the way it
works – while inserting some good laughter into the mix. He hopes his music provokes
thought, laughter, and even the occasional tears.

The artist is currently working on a new album, and will do the final recording this month.
After that, he plans to go off to Iceland to polish up the album, and add the final touches. He
describes his upcoming masterpiece as a more traditional, Americana sound, and a tribute
to Nashville and its active music scene.

However, he plans to focus a lot more of his efforts on releasing his album in Ireland, and
plans to tour there at the end of the year for about six weeks. “There’s a different
atmosphere when I go,” he says of his home. “I could go play a little, tiny bar in Ireland and
at the end of the show everybody wants to talk about how it was… The show becomes an
experience that only the people there got to have… It’s very supportive.”

After hitchhiking across America, being threatened with a gun by a stingy promoter,
sharing the stage with big acts like Ed Sheeran, and mixing an album in Iceland, there’s not
much else to accomplish. This musician seems to have done it all.

Or has he? Kiernan jokes, “I love standup comedy. That’s my next thing to conquer.”

Friday, June 3, 2016

Indie Ville TV #99 Miss Christine’s World

Written by Eloisa Guynn

A self-admitted cupcake fanatic and sugar addict, Miss Christine is no stranger to performing on
stage. She is a bass player and singer/songwriter influenced by 60’s and 70’s classic rock music
like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and Black Sabbath. She describes her own sound as alternative
rock and plays bass and sings with Georgia English and the Jukebox Kids, Fawn Larson, and
Fabrizio and the Fever.

Miss Christine first picked up an electric bass guitar when she was 12 years old and has been
performing ever since. She put on her first rock show in the 7 th grade and also took voice lessons
and competed in several singing contests in her home town in Iowa.

The best part of performing for her is being able to collaborate with like-minded artists and
having the opportunity to express her creative self. When performing, she says she loves that
“every crowd is different” and draws inspiration from the connections that she makes with her
audience. Her album Dichotomy, released two years ago, was written in and inspired by her time
in Boston. She currently lives in Nashville and spends her time performing, writing songs, and
working on her next project.

You can watch Miss Christine live at the Blue Bar in Nashville on June 13 th and at Soulshine
Pizza Factory in Nashville on June 18 th . You can find more information and connect with Miss
Christine on her website or on Facebook or Twitter

Indie Ville TV #98 Chatting with Keith from Oblivion Myth

Written by Alexis Chateau    
Unlike many newcomers on the Nashville music scene, Oblivion Myth brings roughly
thirteen years of experience to the playing field. The band has played in multiple states
around the country, and boasts a massive following of roughly 8500 on Facebook alone.
Some of the many states the band has played in include Georgia, Ohio, Illinois, and

But band manager, owner, and guitarist – Keith Smith – has seen his fair share of states
even without the band. Keith hails originally from Illinois, but also lived in Florida
before moving to Tennessee. “I got sick of hurricanes,” he jokes. “I went through too

For more than a decade, Keith has managed the band almost singlehandedly, while
holding down a job in video production. “We don’t have a record company,” he explains.
“I’m pretty much the manager… We have a lot of professional contacts who are
interested in us, but no one is officially onboard.”

When asked how the band built up such a large following without professional help,
Keith laughs. “I don’t know,” he answers. He then explains that the band has tried to get
their music onto a lot of internet radio. The band has also done interviews with radio
shows, and magazines – including one magazine in Germany called Rock Hard.

Keith says that this is likely how the band has grown its following over the years. “You
have to be social. Do as much as you can on social media, and then hope it spreads like
wildfire… I’m trying to get to know as many people as possible. You know the saying it’s
who you know - but the people who know you is more important.”

As a result of these efforts, the band’s fans come from not just Nashville, but also France,
Italy, Japan, Germany, and Sweden.

But what draws people to Oblivion Myth from all over the world? Probably the band’s
unique sound. “There’s no one else in town that’s doing what we’re doing, and we’re
doing what we love,” says Keith. “We don’t try to be different. We do what we like and
what comes natural [sic], and hopefully people like it.”

Oblivion Myth embodies old school heavy metal – the sound of Iron Maiden, Dream
Theater, and Black Sabbath. In spite of this metal background, the band is also heavily
influenced by the band members’ Christian faith. “We’re a Christian band. That’s who
we are and what we stand for.”

The band also values the importance of family, as Keith explains the obstacles that come
with being in the music business later in life. “Most of us are in our 40s and early 50s,”
he admits. “We have families and priorities. When you’re young, you can live out of your
car. But at our age you can’t, when you have teenagers, a wife, and a home.”

Still, the band loves to travel and looks forward to a tour-packed 2017. “We’re up for
performing anywhere and anytime in 2017... We will not turn down a venue, but we
would really love to play at a festival. We want to get in front of as many people as

Oblivion Myth’s second album Inside the Mirror will be available on June 18, 2016.