Riffs, Roots And Riding

She's an Arizona girl with a bit of a Nashville twang, a healthy dose of power chords and lyrics that will knock your boots off. Fresh from her tour with the wild ride that is NASCAR, Chelsea Bain sat down with SheKnows to discuss her roots, quirks and how she's looking to take the country music scene by storm.

SheKnows: How does Arizona do country and how does your home come to life in your sound?

Chelsea Bain: A lot of people don't seem to think of Arizona as "country," but I do! From the grit of the Southwest to all my times riding rodeos across the state, I couldn't have asked for a better place to grow up. I try to bring those roots into all my music but ultimately, I let the words come out however they choose.

SK: Rodeos?! Tell us a little about the parallels of the riding industry and your current undertaking.

CB: I compare the two all the time. The horse industry and its fierce competition have prepared me for the wild nature of the music world, and I really believe my experiences in that arena have helped me remain true to who I am throughout this journey.

SK: So would you say there are any consistent themes you try to weave into your music?

CB: I feel like everything I'm doing is different. It's a good thing and a difficult thing. I'm a combination of country, pop and Southern rock and I definitely try to put as much fun, feeling and heart into my work as I can. I just want my music to have the strength to motivate for years to come, and inspire confidence and a willingness in others to enjoy their lives.

SK: Are there any particular artists you think may have taught you the importance of all that "fun, feeling and heart?"

CB: I've always wanted to share the stage with Pink or Shania Twain. They are two women I've looked up to since I was a little girl and as I've grown older I think I've realized why. They're both extremely strong, influential women who know how to be a little crazy and have some fun. They're exactly what I strive to be. Bob Dylan has also influenced me in a great way — not that I try to emulate him through my sound, he just intrigues me. If I listen to some Dylan, I instantly want to play my guitar, get to writing, or jump back on stage. I also get my guilty pleasure fix with Def Leppard. My band and I have been known to really get into them before shows. There's nothing like a little '80s rock to get pumped up.Chelsea Bain

SK: Three things that will always be country?

CB: Boots, hats and horses. Country won't ever give those up and neither will I!

SK: Five things that aren't Chelsea Bain?

CB: Well I'm certainly not shy. I'm not a fan of flying but I suck it up and deal with it. I'm not really a cat person — my family and I have eight dogs: Louie, Archie, Bernie, Darbie, Austin, Harley, Jenni and Hootie. I wouldn't consider myself a mean person and I'm not always the most healthy eater. I could live on Barro's pizza — or pizza in general — especially if you tossed in a brownie for dessert.

SK: What's it feel like when people refer to you as an "up-and-coming artist?"

CB: It's exciting. I know that there's a lot of work to be done and I have a lot to prove, but I'm well on my way.

SK: Bit of a big question, here: Why music?

CB: I feel that music tends to the heart and the soul. It's one thing that can pull you through the happy and the rough times. This industry is difficult — heartbreaking at times — but the beauty is that music means something unique to each individual. There's a connection, you know. And that's why music is so amazing. It takes shape in so many ways.

SK: So, what's next?

CB: We're still touring with NASCAR and the fans have made for an incredible experience for a newcomer like me. We've got a bunch of new shows booked across a ton of exciting venues, and I'm just happy to be blessed with an opportunity to get my music out there.

Images courtesy of Layne Pavoggi

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