I first met Kristen at a Music Biz Besties meetup (thanks Victoria) several months ago. Since then she's come out for all the meetups and we got to go to the secret Jason Aldean show together too!
It won't take you long to figure out how fun Kristen is to be around - even just reading this interview I promise you'll laugh!
Tell us about yourself! What do you do and what has your journey been like getting to this point?
I am a country artist/singer-songwriter from Carencro, Louisiana. I released my first 11 song album, Feather Tattoo back in November after graduating with a marketing degree from LSU. I went on a small acoustic tour this past winter to promote the album and then I packed up and moved to Nashville in January. A couple weeks after getting into town, I started playing acoustic shifts full time on Broadway at Tootsie's, Rippy's and Honky Tonk Central and so I have been busy with that since. I remember falling in love with Nashville back in high school. My family took a vacation here and I was just in awe with the entire city because every one loved the same thing as me, country music. I didn't know that I wanted music to be my career until I was a sophomore in college. So I was itching to finish school and move to Nashville. Now that I am finally here and pursing different goals of mine that I have had for years, it really is a crazy feeling. Sometimes I just smile for no reason haha Every time that I make a trip home, I can't wait to get back to Nashville. I get butterflies every single time I see the sign driving back in. That's how I know that I'm supposed to be here. So for now I am just hustling until I get where I want to be which is successfully touring with a full band :)
What’s a usual day-in-the-life look like for you?
A usual day for me would be seeing which bar and what time I will be playing downtown (it's never the same schedule). Whether it's Rippy's, Tootsie's, or Honky Tonk Central, I normally play the acoustic shift from 11-2pm. I get there around 10:30 and then leave around 2:30ish. So that's always nice because then the rest of my day is open if I ever need to schedule a coffee meeting/lunch date etc. I either go back home and check my emails and socials and read up on music stuff or I am out and about running random errands. In the evenings, I head to any of the music business events going on in town (Music Biz Besties hollaaaa) or any of the songwriter rounds. I try not to stay home so that I am constantly networking. Other days I don't sing downtown because I'll have a cowrite scheduled. It just depends on the week and what all I have going on.
Does community play a role in your career? How so?
Yes, yes and yes. Without community, I wouldn't get very far. I think it's sad when people are only about themselves and they don't want to collaborate. It's about forming a network because sometimes it gets tough and you need cheerleaders so that you don't give up on your dream. My favorite line in "Humble and Kind" by Lori Mckenna says it all: "When you get where you're going, don't forget turn back around and help the next one in line. Always stay humble and kind."
What’s your favorite part about the music industry?
My favorite part about the music industry is that every day is different. There is always a chance to meet someone new and you never know what that will lead to whether it's a new friendship, fan or opportunity. I would be miserable if I had to have to same exact routine day in and day out at a desk job. I have to have more variety and being in music fulfills that for me.
Knowing what you know now, if you could go back 5 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would that be?
Moving to a big city has really taught me to embrace who I am and put myself out there. Sometimes meeting new people in this business can be random and awkward but keeping an open mind is key. I wish younger me wouldn't have cared so much about what other people thought. In the past, I definitely have altered things about my personality around certain people so that they wouldn't think I was "weird." It is freeing to just be yourself. I've realized that if you can't be yourself around someone, they are not someone that you should keep in your life.
Teach us something! (Related to your expertise or something random just for fun)
Well today I learned that squirrels cannot find 80% of the nuts that they bury so basically those lost nuts end up turning into trees. It blew my mind lol
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Katherine Forbes, Founder of Designing the Row
A Music City girl obsessed with creating confidence in my clients through design, marketing, and community. In today’s world, your visual branding and online presence will either make or break you. I’ve got my Diet Coke in hand and am ready to get started on your next project.