We’re lucky here at Countrytown to be invited to artist showcases with emerging country artists – but we’re usually unsure what to do with those opportunities we receive. But, for those who don’t know, at an artist showcase, media and other industry officials learn some things about the artist usually through a Q&A or a brief interview and then hear a song or two performed live.
We’re going to try and recreate that experience as best we can for you today with emerging country singer-songwriter, Laci Kaye Booth.
Growing up in a small town of Livingston, Booth made a name for herself and grown a dedicated fanbase as a season favourite competing on Season 17 of American Idol. After placing in the Top 5, Booth took the leap and moved to Nashville to fully immerse herself in writing and country music. The Texas native released her eight-track self-titled debut collection on August 6, 2021, which features her current Australian radio single Shuffle.
Anyway, here’s introducing … Laci Kaye Booth. This is what she had to say.
Laci Kaye Booth on growing up in a small town impacted her music, influences and direction:
Livingston is a town where everybody knows everybody, everybody talks [with a strong accent] and wears cowboy boots. Just very small but they’re also very supportive. I was born and raised there, lived there with my parents until I was 23. My dad is a Texas country artist. He tours around Texas and sings with his honkytonk band. I think that a lot of influence on me came from a really, really young age. I tell people all the time, I don’t ever remember a time where music wasn’t the centre of my focus in my life, and it was very second nature. I was raised on Merle Haggard and Hank Williams at three years old. My mum was obsessed with Shania Twain, The Chicks and Jo Dee Messina, so they had a lot of influence on me. But at 11-years-old, I heard Stevie Nicks‘ voice on the radio for the first time and became absolutely obsessed with her and Norah Jones. But yeah, Livingston was really, really good to me. I got on stage for the first time at eight-years-old in Livingston. My family put on this Jubilee every year because they’re all musicians on my dad’s side. I got on stage and sung Crazy by Patsy Cline.
Laci Kaye Booth on her track Used To You:
This is the first track on my collection and it’s probably one of my favourite songs. I wrote it during the pandemic when quarantine first hit. I was, I’m still, in a four-year relationship. It was me, my boyfriend and our two dogs in a one-bedroom apartment on lockdown, and I was feeling pretty used to him at the time, but this is actually a pretty sweet song.
Laci Kaye Booth on going from a small town to taking her shot on season 17 of American Idol:
It was a whirlwind. It was a complete change of scenery for me. I was just a college student going to school and playing gigs on the weekend in the corner of a restaurant with barely anybody paying attention to me. I had already tried out for The Voice twice and got rejected. I was about 30 hours away and decided to try out for American Idol. My mum basically had to push me out of the car because I didn’t want to be rejected again.
I’ve always been afraid of those TV show talent shows, because I just have such a soft voice and I didn’t ever think I could compete with the big voices. And, in those first open call additions, it’s just a room full of people, three different tables and three people are singing at the same time. It’s really distracting. I was like, “I hate this. I don’t want to do it.” But I sang and I don’t know how but I made it all the way to top five. It was pretty much a boot camp for what I’m doing now. I’m very grateful for the whole experience. I met so many incredible people. And, moving out of my hometown, sometimes people there can be small minded in small town Texas. Just moving out of that town and getting to meet a whole bunch of amazing people was a really, really good thing for me.
Laci Kaye Booth on her track If You Would Have Stayed:
I like to write a lot of sad songs. I like to listen to sad songs, but this is probably the saddest song I’ve ever written. I’m gonna throw my manager Rachel here under the bus [laughs]. I wrote this song; it was all done and demoed. I sent it to her and I said, “lock this up, put it in a vault, because it’s just really vulnerable and personal.” Jimmy [Harnen of Big Machine Label Group] called me after he listened to it and said, “Would you be comfortable recording and releasing this because I think it’s powerful?” I thought about how therapeutic it was for me when I wrote it. I thought about somebody out there in the world that can relate and went through the same thing that I have. Maybe it’ll touch them and be therapeutic for them. So, this is a song I wrote about my dad and it’s called If You Would Have Stayed. The ultimate daddy issue song.
Laci Kaye Booth on if it’s overwhelming walking into a room to write with top tier Nashville songwriters like Laura Veltz, Liz Rose and Charles Kelley from Lady A?
It’s so overwhelming and so intimidating sometimes. I remember the first week I moved here, I wrote with Nathan Chapman. I walked in and he had his Grammys on his piano, and I was just like, “oh my god, I cannot believe I’m doing this.” I’ve only ever written by myself before I moved to Nashville – that was a part of music that was just really sacred. I was so scared of sharing my deepest thoughts with the world or with other people in general. My first co-write was in Nashville and I quickly realised how welcoming and how supportive everybody in Nashville was just from those first few weeks of writing. Laura Veltz is incredible. She’s written a lot of great songs of me and walking into a room with somebody like her, it’s kind of like a pinch me thing, like I dreamed about this my entire life. I can’t believe I’m doing it.
Laci Kaye Booth on her track Shuffle:
I was trying to think about what I wanted to write about that day and for some reason, my grandma popped into my head. We always had these little karaoke shows on our back porch growing up, and she would always sing, Stand By Your Man by Tammy Wynette, and dedicate it to my grandpa. My grandpa was a wild cat back in the day, so she really stood by him through a lot and that was truly her song to him. And I was thinking, “what is my song to my boyfriend?” and I just said out loud, “dang, I’m somewhere between Stand By Your Man and Goodbye Earl. Totally kidding … but I thought that that was a good song idea. So, I took it to my write and my co-writers were like, “let’s make it one of those song title songs.” I heard those a lot recently and I thought it’d be cool to make it all female song titles that I grew up on, so this is my little women of country song.
Keep up to date with Laci Kaye Booth on her Facebook page here.
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Image: via Facebook