From Dollywood to a Record Deal: Why Carly Pearce Is One to Watch

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Every Little Thing” about Carly Pearce’s music career has caught our eyes — and our ears. From being a full-time performer at Dollywood at 16 to singing alongside Lucy Hale, Kelsea Ballerini and Hunter Hayes, you could say Pearce has racked up quite the musical resume.

And people have noticed. Pearce was chosen as a CMT Listen Up “17 for 2017” artist as well as an “Artist to Watch” by The Huffington Post, Country Living, Sounds Like Nashville, The Boot, Whiskey Riff and One Country.

With the knowledge that people are indeed watching, the time has come for Pearce to break out her debut album with Big Machine Label Group, home to country legends like Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts. With her evocative writing style and emotionally raw voice, all we can say is that the news is music to our ears.

We sat down with Pearce to gain insight into her incredible touring experiences and what she’s looking forward to in this new stage of her career.

Darling Magazine: How old were you when you first started writing music and how has your writing evolved from then to now?

Pearce: I started writing songs as a teenager. I think the older you get, the more life you’ve lived, the better your writing gets. The more life experience I have, the more I feel I’m able to write things that are relatable.

DM: What was it like to start your career at such a young age? How did starting early impact the rest of your life?

Pearce: I always knew I wanted to be a country singer. I really have never known a day where this wasn’t what I felt I was meant to do. Being able to start early gave me the opportunity to gain experience and get a head start on paving my way in the music industry, 100 percent.

DM: What advice do you have for female musical artists who are young and green in their careers?

Pearce: Write, write, write and take time to develop your “lane.” Be 100 percent authentic to you and narrow in on that in all areas of your brand. Oh, and work as hard or harder than the boys!

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DM: You’ve had a rich history touring with notable country singers like Lucy Hale and Hunter Hayes. What was it like to work with so many professionals in your industry and who was your favorite artist to work with? 

Pearce: I have been so lucky to have other artists believe in me and champion my music. Getting to be Lucy’s backup singer, sing a duet with the Josh Abbott Band or tour with people like Hunter Hayes or Kelsea Ballerini have taught me so many things about this lifestyle and what it takes that are priceless. Each artist and experience has a special place in my heart — I can’t pick a favorite!

DM: What is the craziest or funniest thing that has happened on tour with any of the artists you’ve worked with? 

Pearce: Traveling with a bunch of boys in the Josh Abbott Band was always a good time. Me plus ten guys and a male dog. Just think about that for a second!

DM: As someone noted for your depth of songwriting, what triggers/inspires your composition?

Pearce: All different things. I think what makes true artists and true songwriters is that they pull from life experiences. You never know how that’s going to come out or when. I think that’s the beauty of it.

DM: You have such present emotion in your voice when singing. Does singing act as an escape of events from life occurrences or a way to deal with them head on? 

Pearce: I think singing is always my escape. It’s also where I feel the most myself and the most understood. It’s kind of my escape and my safe place all wrapped into one. There’s nothing that I love more than being on stage.

DM: What song are you most excited about on your upcoming album?

Pearce: Oh gosh, I love so many. I’d say that “Ride Home” is a really important to my story. I love my hometown and I think everyone can relate to wishing they could go back home.

DM: Top outlets including “Rolling Stone Country,” “The Huffington Post” and “Country Living” have all named you an “Artist to Watch.” How do you intend to turn heads and keep people watching? 

Pearce: I have gotten this far by working as hard as I can, making music that I believe in and are 100% who I am. I think if I can keep staying true to that, then I’ll keep showing people the love I have for country music and they will hopefully continue to like that.

Keep up with Carly’s on her website, Facebook and Instagram @carlypearce. Find her latest music on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Amazon Music.

Images by John Shearer

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Kristin is a fashion/entertainment journalist with a passion for storytelling through visual and written narratives. Currently Darling’s Online Editorial Intern, she enjoys profiling industry creatives and uncovering how individual experiences can inspire and bring knowledge to the masses. In addition, she has a love affair with the literary powers of style. A forward thinker with a vintage soul, you can find her reading fairytales and British literature in quaint coffee shops or perusing museums in the pursuit of outfit inspiration for her fashion blog. Previous work includes covering London Fashion Week, profiling New York Time’s bestselling author Pierce Brown and former Executive Assistant to Ronald Reagan, Peggy Grande.

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