I'm thrilled to welcome my guest today, the very talented Courtney Conway!
Hi Courtney, let's get to it...
What inspired you to be a country music artist?
When I was growing up my parents listened to a lot of country
music! Dad was one of those guys that would buy the box set off the TV
and get one free! He listened to a lot of the older more traditional
country music from America like Billie Jo Spears,
Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. Mum listened to more modern Australian
country like Lee Kernaghan and Gina Jeffreys. So together they had all
kinds of different country covered! Every year on boxing day our family
would drive from Bendigo to Adelaide for a holiday,
with Dad testing out his new 10 disc country box set on the 8 hour
My mum used to sing and play guitar on stage with her best friend
Jenny up in the Mallee. When she had us four kids she learnt the banjo
to play for us and encouraged us to sing along to nursery rimes. My
Nanna (Mum's Mum) was a music teacher and has always
had a really old pianola piano in her lounge room. Whenever Nan's
brother Bill would visit he'd sit down at the piano and play honky tonk
style. I just loved it! Ever since I was tall enough to reach the keys
on the piano I wanted to play.
Although I was classically trained I just loved the way a country
song would tell and story. I loved the sound, the twang guitar and the
fiddle. Country music artists are real people who will stop for a chat
and say G'day, always friendly and fun! I loved
every aspect of the industry the more I became a part of it. Shania
Twain was a big influence when I was growing up, I wanted to be just
like her. My first 3 albums I was ever given were Shania Twain, Dixie
Chicks and Keith Urban.
I guess my parents were my biggest influence with Mum being a
country singer earlier on and both parents loving country music. It's
funny because my next sister down grew up on the same music and she
plays the harp and sings classical!
Can you tell us a bit about your most recently released album or song?
I released my first EP two years ago now, I recorded it in Sydney
at Love Hz studios with Matt Fell and Sam Hawksley. I had the best time
recording that little EP! It was the first time I had ever made a song I
had co-written come to life. It's a really
really exciting thing to do! My first single released from the EP was
'Girly Girl' which I co-wrote with Mike Carr and Adam Brand. The song
was more successful than any of us had expected! I made a film clip with
the very talented Glenn Wilson who also played
drums on the EP. 'Girly Girl' reached the Top 30 on the Country Music
Channel chart which was amazing! Especially for my very first release! I
then released my second single called 'A Few Little Things' that was
written in Nashville by two artists I haven't
yet met. A Few Little Things reached the top 10 on the Country Music
Channel chart, the top 30 on the Country Music Radio chart and gave me
my first nomination for Best New Oz Artist of the Year in the Country
Music Channel Awards this year. In 2011 I won Best
New Talent at the National and Victorian Country Music Awards in
Whittlesea. I've been so amazed at how well this little EP has gone! It
won't be long before my new album will be complete which is exciting, it
will be released early in the new year some time.
are you working on now?
now I am currently
recording my debut album with Sam Hawksley in Nashville! I recorded for
the first time in 2010 and released a 5 track EP so I'm well and truly
ready to get this album out there! As soon as I get home at the end of
March I'll be working on ways to promote the
album once it's released later on in the year, releasing singles, film
clips and hopefully playing lots of shows!
Have you got a favourite song that you sing? If yes, what is it?
I have a long list of favourite songs and I'm constantly adding to
it because I'm constantly finding amazing new songs! I think at the
moment my favourite song to perform is called 'The House That Built Me'
by Miranda Lambert. I love the original recording
of it but I also like to break it down to just myself and the piano at
my own shows. I love the lyrics because it reminds me of the house I
grew up in at Bendigo with my parents, two younger sisters and younger
brother. I also love it because when I was in
Nashville in 2010 I went to visit the team at Warner Music Nashville
where Blake Shelton is signed. Scott Hendricks was telling me that he
found this incredible song and wanted Blake to record it. Blake took a
copy of the song for a listen and on a long drive
home he played the song to Miranda to see what she thought. Miranda
cried as she listened to the lyrics and Blake had to pull over! She was
so in love with the song she asked both Blake and Scott Hendricks if she
could record it. The song was a HUGE success
and I love that Blake Shelton and Scott Hendricks were happy for her to
have the song and all the success that followed.
Swag or room service for a romantic date?
I like to mix it up with a bit of both! I've slept out under the
stars in a swag many times - It's the most beautiful thing! Sitting by
the nice warm, crackling fire with someone special, cooking marsh
mellows and damper, enjoying the piece and quiet knowing
that there's no one else around but yourself and your loved one. The
stars are absolutely incredible when there's no street lights in the
way! I reckon that is something everyone should do every now and then.
But it's also nice to be spoilt once in a while
with a beautiful meal cooked for you in a fancy room, 20 odd stories
high overlooking the bright lights of the busy city. Then curling up in
bed to watch a movie eating your favourite dessert!
Holden Ford... or something else?
My very first car was a 1981 WB white Holden ute. I loved that
beast to pieces! Literally! When I get older I want to buy another one
and restore it. Because of my music I have a lot of travelling to do and
my ute was so old things were starting to wear
out and cause trouble. My Dad got so sick of fixing things on it every
time I came home that he sold it to a friend of his! I still really miss
that ute. I then got a 2004 model BA Falcon ute in bright red. She's
such a great reliable ute, she's been really
wonderful to me. I've always had utes to fit my full length keyboard in
the back until just recently... I still have the Ford and drive it
regularly but I also have a little Mini Cooper Chilli out in the
driveway. Boy can that thing GO!
So it's hard for me to pick! At the end of the day, Holden was my first love :)
knows that when we go out to the pub for lunch I'll be ordering the
chicken parma with veggies! I'm a bit of a plain Jane when it comes to
food but I'm getting better and more adventurous as I get older! I'm a
really big fan of veggies, but my favourite
fast food is McDonald's and if I was allowed to I reckon I could live on
chocolate alone! In the last 18 months I've become a huge fan of these soup
dumplings! They're just like a regular dumpling only they have soup
inside them as well. There's a place right in the heart of Sydney that
makes them and my husband took me there when we first
met. He had to teach me how to use chopsticks but I'm pretty good at
them now! Every time we're in Sydney we make sure we go there as often
as we can!
movie I've loved for the longest amount of time is Pretty Woman. Julia
Roberts is just stunning and who doesn't love Richard Gere! Total chick
flick! My favourite TV show would have to be the Big Bang Theory!
Doesn't matter how many times I've seen
the same episode it still makes me laugh out loud!
Favourite Aussie saying?
Crikeys! My friends tell me I say that a lot!
If you could have a kangaroo, koala, wombat, crocodile, galah or python as a pet which one would you choose and why?
reckon the ones with fur are all pretty cute! I'm scared of crocodiles
and I don't like snakes. The horse show I toured with used to have a pet
Galah but he was pretty moody. One day he'd want to kiss you on the
cheek and the next he'd be trying to bite
your nose off! They can all be pretty vicious in the wild but I think it
would be fun to have a pet Kangaroo! I've known people that have looked
after little joey's and they're so gorgeous. I love how they hop around
behind you, following you just like a dog
would. I love the pet kangaroo Jayne Denham has in her latest film clip
Who would you like to trade places with for a day, alive or dead and why?
I'd like to swap places with Taylor Swift for a day! I'd be able to
experience what it'd be like to perform in front of those enormous
crowds she attracts at her shows! Her life would be flat out busy but I
like being busy. I could cruise around in her
fancy bus, suss out her songwriting techniques, say g'day to Keith Urban
and Ellen DeGeneres, plus I could hang out with her gorgeous little cat
for the day! I'd like to see how those major shows she puts on
operates. The list is endless!
If I looked in your fridge right now what would I find?
funny you should ask that - Not much! I've been flying between Western
Australia and Victoria almost every two weeks for the last 3 months! I
find it better to buy food as I go along when I'm traveling a lot so
nothing goes to waste. I landed in
Perth from Melbourne last night and this time my husband stayed in
Perth. When I got home I looked in the fridge and there's a half full
bottle of mayonnaise and 5 eggs. We don't even have any butter! I don't
know what he's been living on since I've been gone
but all the chocolate has disappeared!
Craziest thing you've ever done?
Growing up I had always wanted to go to Nashville. I promised
myself that when I turned 21 I would go over to Nashville, because you
have to be 21 to go into all the honky tonk bars over there and I wanted
to see the music. When my 21st birthday finally
rolled around I really wanted to go to Nashville but wasn't sure I could
afford it. My parents said that when I was ready to go over to let them
know so they could book the flights as that was their 21st birthday
gift to me. I had always planned to go very
soon after my birthday but when it came time I wasn't sure it was going
to work. Four days after my birthday I decided that I was going to go
anyway! Mum booked my flights and 3 days later I was on a plane to
Nashville all by myself! I'd never been overseas
before and had no idea what I was doing. I stayed in Nashville for 3
weeks and had the absolute time of my life!
If you were going on holiday tomorrow, where would it be?
Nashville. Ask me any day of the year and that's where I'd want to be every single time.
Four words that describe you?
Friendly, fun, bling, country!
Thanks for popping by for a chat, Courtney. It's been fun!
If you'd like to find out more about this amazing woman you can visit her here...
Next week I will have Shea Fisher calling in, make sure you swing on by for that one.
Until then, keep smiling and dreaming,