It is not always easy writing a song, let along your debut single and Country singer Allie Marie Hunter did just that in five minutes after she fell in love with the instrumental for the track! The debut single called Never Beat Again was inspired by friends and families stories of their life in the UK Military and the USAF. I spoke to Allie to find out all about the track and to discuss music that has been created in lockdown.
Hello Allie, tell us three unknown facts about yourself?
Hello! Well I have two dogs – Marley & Forest. I’ve moved around quite a bit, but I’m originally from London, UK. And I’ve been singing and performing since I was 5 years old – I actually started gigging when I was just 14!
How did you get into music?
I don’t think it was ever really something I ‘got into’. My entire family are musicians, pianists, dancers, performers – so I was around the performing world from a very young age. My mum was a singer too, so I was always very familiar with the industry. She said she used to play Country Hits on MTV whilst she was pregnant – so we think that’s where my love for Country music started!
Who do you find your inspirations?
I’m heavily influenced by the sounds coming out of Nashville today in terms of the production and style of my writing. There are a lot of names that I adore and listen to over and over again to immerse myself in the music that inspires me.
Tell us all about your latest single Never Beat Again?
Never Beat Again was one of those stories that came flooding over me and the lyrics just fell on to the page. I wanted to reflect the message that true love remains even after someone has gone, and tell a story of how the heartbreak of loss changes you forever. The song itself tells the story of a young woman left behind after her military fiancé is killed at war.
How long did it take to write the song?
I wrote NBA in just 5 minutes! My producer sent me the musical instrumental, which I sat with and played on repeat for a short while before all of these visions and emotions came over me. The story just poured out and it’s one of the quickest songs I’ve ever written.
Where does the inspiration for the song come from?
I’ve got a lot of family and friends in the military here in the UK, as well as in the USAF over in the States, and I felt inspired by their stories. I also wanted to pay tribute to all of our fallen heroes and hopefully create something that resonated with people – which is exactly what I hope all of my music will do.
Tell us about how you have been making music in lockdown?
I was lucky in the sense that the EP was already in production, so there was only a slight delay in getting into the studio to record at the start of lockdown for the final couple of tracks. I’m constantly on my guitar, playing around with chords and new melodies. There have been a few new songs that have come out of those moments at home, so maybe they’ll be on my next record – we’ll see what happens!
Did it surprise you the reactions that you have been receiving for your music?
Absolutely. To hit almost 30,000 streams on Spotify and 56,000 streams on my music video on YouTube for my debut single Never Beat Again in just over a month was insane! I’m just so grateful to everyone who’s listening. I honestly can’t believe those numbers.
What is the most challenging thing when it comes to producing a record?
I think personally I’m quite hard on myself when it comes to laying down the vocals. I always want to be note perfect, and sometimes the song requires me to focus more about the feeling or the pain behind the lyrics, and not worry about sounding perfect all the time but to give an authentic, emotive delivery instead.
How do you go about writing lyrics? What inspires you?
Every song is different. Some lyrics hit me like a freight train out of the blue and others take a while for me to perfect on paper. There really is no set way and I think that makes the whole writing process exciting and unique. In regards to my actual storytelling, I guess they come through my past experiences, or things I’ve seen in the world. I always try to play on my personal experiences, the moments that have shaped who I am so far, what got me to this point. A lot of my recent writing, and most of my debut tracks, are songs straight from my heart. There’s a lot of raw emotion behind them.
How do you warm up for a show?
A lot of scales, breath and tongue exercises. I always like to play whichever tracks I’m performing before the show and run through them a couple of times. And if the nerves take over, a little shot of whiskey seems to do the trick!
What is one of your favourite songs to perform live?
Bonnie & Clyde is one of my favourites to sing live. It’s such a fun track and I get so excited when I hear the opening music for it. It’s just such a feel-good song about leaving it all behind, being carefree and throwing caution to the wind – with a little bit of love and romance tangled in there too!
What are the toughest songs to perform live and why?
Back in my gigging days, before I started performing my original music, I used to love singing Need You Now by Lady A. That song takes a lot of power, and I always loved to throw in some extra belts & power notes at the end, so I’d have to be on my game to knock that one out the park!
How have you been keeping creative during lockdown?
Lots of guitar playing, writing and reading! I love cooking too so it’s been nice to spend more time in the kitchen! I’m also part of NSAI so our monthly meetings help to keep us creative and share our thoughts on songwriting and how the music world is adapting to life in lockdown!
Has it led to lots more songs?
It sure has! Lockdown has brought so many new feelings – to everyone in the world, not just me! It’s such a strange time and in a way it’s made me really focus in on my inner perceptions of things, you start to see things differently and that creates so many writing ideas.
Our site also is about improv – in a music sense, what have been some of your favourite improvised melodies that you have created and been able to use in songs and why?
When I was recording my second single, Bonnie & Clyde, we’d got the lead vocal down and as we were listening through it, my producer turned to me and said we needed something extra before the chorus. It was at that point I played around with some melodies and lyrics for a minute or two, and wrote in the pre-chorus, which hadn’t existed in my original writing. Once that was in, the track still felt like it needed something more, so after another few listens, an overlapping melody hit me for lyrics to sit over the existing bridge. That’s just one example, but studio sessions are great for new inspirations and hearing additional elements that I can add into a track.
What are your plans for 2020 / 2021?
Introduce my music to the country music world! It’s been a long-time coming and I’m so excited to finally be able to share some of my writing. Hopefully I’ll be able to tour soon and give some live or live-broadcasted performances! I’m just so eager to play for everyone and, hopefully, be a part of the country music scene.
And finally why should people check out your music?
If you’re enjoying the sounds out of Nashville today, and you want to listen to tracks with raw vulnerability, or something to encourage you out of a dark place, I hope my lyrics can inspire you. Being able to speak my truth through my songwriting is an indescribable feeling, country music just feels like home to me. A safe place brings people together – and I want my music to be a safe place that hopefully so many people can relate to and seek comfort and joy in too. Music has always been the thing that makes the dark times light again for me. I hope my songs can do that for other people too.