Katie ArmigerKatie Armiger is one of those artists who defy the usual tenets of youth. While the rest of us were bouncing back and forth trying to decide whether we wanted to be a fireman or a doctor in the future, Armiger knew from a very early age that she wanted to sing. And she had the tenacity and maturity to pursue this goal; resulting in a Nashville record deal and a debut album at the age of 15.
However, with early beginnings comes the extra challenge of having to prove that one is indeed a grown-up when the time comes--and the 21-year-old Armiger is well-prepared at this point. After releasing three albums in a handful of years, she's poised to release her latest, Fall Into Me, on January 15--and says that it's where she has finally felt the freedom to explore more adult topics.
Armiger hasn't lost her youthful vibrancy at all, however. The set's lead single, "Better In A Black Dress," proves this nicely, providing a picture of a girl who isn't ready to settle down--not when there are party frocks to wear and glasses of wine to imbibe. We sat down to chat with her about her start in the music biz, her favorite artists, and what fans can expect from her latest collection.
You can also hear a preview from her new album, "Stealing Hearts," exclusively on Yahoo! Music. Enjoy!
Our Country: You already have three albums under your belt--with a fourth on the way--and all by the age of 21. Can you talk about how you got your start in the music industry at such an early age?
Katie Armiger: I grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, and I started singing at the age of 9, and I had my mom drive me around in her minivan to all the different venues I could sing at—which in Texas are mainly fairs and rodeos. When I was 13 I started going to Nashville for the first time and I met with different producers and songwriters and that led to me signing to the label I’m on now when I was 13.
How did your parents initially feel about your decision to pursue performing? Were they hesitant at first?
The thing about my parents that’s really great is, they’re very supportive--but they’re also those parents that take a step back. They told me, “If this is what you want to do, then you can go after it and we will always support you. But we’re going to make you do the work. You need to go do it if this is what you want to do--we’re not going to push you at all. You have to push yourself, and you have to want it."
What artists were you listening to when you were 13 years old?
I listened to everything my parents did—Patsy Cline, Elvis, Reba. Brooks & Dunn was my first concert when I was 8. Linda Ronstadt—really cool old-school acts.
Have your tastes changed as you've gotten older?
I find myself still listening to the same people. I’ve always loved Patsy Cline, and I’ve definitely been on a really big kick lately. In my set, I’ve been singing “Sweet Dreams."
You are part of a group of really talented newer country musicians who are about the same age as you. There's Taylor Swift, of course, but also Hunter Hayes, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, RaeLynn...how do you feel about being part of this "new school"?
I love it. I think it’s really neat because we bring something different--and I think what’s surprising about the younger acts is a lot of times it’s assumed we’re poppy and all we listen to is stuff that was out five years ago, and that’s all we know. But every artist that’s my age that I’ve talked to—they’ve grown up listening to classics, and that’s what influenced them. And so I think that’s one of the really cool things: that they all nod toward those artists that were there before.
You can see a definite shift in awards shows lately towards the newer country generation. Lots of newer names are starting to take home the prizes.
Definitely, but eventually that has to happen in any industry. You have to have new people come in and new people make a presence. Because if you have the same people in the same spot, then nothing ever changes.
Having already had lots of practice in the recording studio, can you talk about your new album? How will it be different from your previous releases?
The new album is definitely going to be a lot different from my my last releases. It’s honestly a bit more traditional than the other albums. It’s also a little bit less produced, more shook out, a lot of acoustic guitars and really cool percussion. Hopefully fans will like the different sound.
Did you have this in mind when you started work on the record?
It wasn’t what I strictly set out to do, but when I went into the studio and started writing with different people, it’s just what naturally happened and what felt really good. To kind of go back to the basics, and start from there.
You've toured with some big names. What would be your dream tour?
I think it would be cool to be on a girl tour . Martina McBride…Dolly Parton would be amazing. Or Reba. Any of those!
How about your dream tour with a non-country artist? Who would you pick?
That’s a good question! Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.