CMT Artist Discovery’s latest additions — Alana Springsteen, Kaylee Bell, Radio Romance and Savannah Keyes — are the kinds of artists we love to spotlight. Just one listen to their debut songs and you’ll know exactly why we’re obsessed with them.
“Always Gonna Love You”
This Virginia Beach native sure got the hang of Nashville quickly. Especially when she put a baby grand piano into Percy Priest Lake — and then played it that way — during the video shoot for her “Always Gonna Love You.” Springsteen wrote the song with Melissa Fuller and Andy Skib, and tells CMT what her intention was the day of the session. “I remember coming into the write knowing I wanted to write about young love and the uncertainty of it, but not really having any specific title. We started working on the melodies first and after that the lyrics just kind of fell out of our heads onto paper. It was all very in the moment,” she told us about the vibe of that session. Springsteen will be on the road all summer, and after that? Well, she has some ideas. “I definitely have a few dream venues, but my top two would have to be the Grand Ole Opry and Madison Square Garden. I knew from a really early age that music was my passion. After I wrote my first song when I was nine,” she said, “I knew it was something I was going to do for the rest of my life.”
Growing up in New Zealand, Bell was surrounded by country songs from Keith Urban. So one night, in the middle of the night, she had the idea to use his song titles in a song of her own. “To tell the story of falling in love for the first time and how music and songs take you back. The song felt right from the get go,” she told us of her inspiration before taking it into a songwriting session with Lindsay Rimes and Phil Barton. Music, she told us, isn’t just what she does. It’s who she is. And it sounds like it’s been that way for years. “I started pub gigging at 16 to pay my way for university, and let’s just say I have seen it all. Keith (Urban) was the first artist that got me out on his worldwide tour and made me believe that this was all possible,” she said of her song’s muse. Bell first met Urban in 2013, right around the time when she was named the Toyota Star Maker during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. It’s the very same award Urban won in 1990.
“Like The Moon”
The men who make up Radio Romance — Sam Hayes, Josh Gramling, Adam Smithwick and Moises Padilla — come from all over: Illinois, Texas and Virginia. But by connecting in Music City, they really have the quintessential Nashville story to tell. Frontman Hayes was a valet attendant and parked Tracy Lawrence’s car. “Long story short, Sam ended up doing some demo singing for Tracy and we ended up going on tour with him,” the band told CMT. The band also played the night shift, from 10pm-2am, at Legends Corner on Broadway. And before that, they’d done just about everything else, from working construction and rideshare driving to dog walking and car detailing. Now that their new video is done (it was shot by an old abandoned warehouse in Nashville’s Wedgewood neighborhood and at a farm north of the city) the band hopes it will make that hurt feel a little better and make the good times even better. “The best writing seems to come from real life situations. Often the best songs come out of difficult times,” they said. “We believe love is the most important thing in the universe and naturally it’s a focal point for most art. Whatever version of love people are going through, we think it’s important to be aware that love is like the moon. It’s always there. Whether you see it or not, it’s up there hanging over us. Sometimes shining its light over us and sometimes showing us its dark side.”
When Keyes was in her first adult relationship, in her 20s, she tells us she caught feels SO HARD. “It was scary. I tend to protect myself from my own vulnerabilities, so, as you can imagine, the thought of letting my emotions go and letting someone in completely sounded like the worst idea,” Keyes told CMT.com. “I had always heard songs from the guys’ perspective of being nervous to commit to a relationship or wanting to ’take things slow,’ and I thought, ’Ya know what? Girls feel this too! I am feeling it RIGHT NOW!'” She wrote the song the next day. And the video was shot at the home of Nashville-based designer Megan Holt after Keyes reached out to her about the project. “I was on cloud nine the entire time we were shooting. She even left freshly baked cinnamon rolls for us,” Keyes shared. “So dreamy, right?” Keyes says she’s been honing her singing and songwriting crafts since she was about five years old. “I think this path in music, in a way, chooses you. I always had tunnel vision when it came to being an artist. I never stopped singing and writing songs in my bedroom,” she said.