Brittney Spencer is a Chicks-Loving Baltimore Girl Who Wants To "Make Country Music For Everybody"

Spencer's debut album "My Stupid Life" is out now. She said: "It's my greatest attempt to actually introduce myself as a person, as an artist, and I think it's probably the best thing that I've made so far in my life."

As six inches of snow fell on her adopted hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, Brittney Spencer bundled up against the cold went for a midnight walk some 900 miles away through Times Square in New York City. It was the early hours of Tuesday, January 16, and Spencer had about two hours until she had to start getting ready for her Good Morning America appearance. Because of the winter storm, her band had barely made it out of Nashville, and they'd just finished rehearsal when she set out on her own to find an open drugstore.

"It was snowing," she said, explaining that she grew up less than 200 miles away in Baltimore, Maryland. Spencer frequently came to The Big Apple for auditions when she was younger, so it felt like coming home. "I was just trying to find Walgreens, and I had a moment. I was like, 'This is crazy. I used to come here all the time hoping that someone would listen to me sing. Now I'm here just trying to find tape, and I have somewhere to sing today.’ It was a whole thing."

Spencer has more than somewhere to sing – she has a new album. The Elektra artist released her debut album, "My Stupid Life," on Friday. Daniel Tashian produced the project, and Spencer had a hand in writing each of the 13 songs in the collection.

"It's my greatest attempt to actually introduce myself as a person, as an artist, and I think it's probably the best thing that I've made so far in my life," Spencer said. "That makes me happy because it means I made something I'm actually really proud of and something that I've felt showed a lot of different sides of myself."

Each song sounds different by design. Spencer wanted to take listeners on a sonic and story-telling journey. She's excited and nervous for people to hear "My Stupid Life," and she hopes listeners can find themselves in her stories.

In the hours following her appearance on "Good Morning America," Spencer returned to her hotel room and called her dad to make sure she sounded alright during the broadcast. She delivered an energetic version of her bop, "I Got Time," and her dad reassured her it "was really cool." Then she took a nap after only sleeping 45 minutes the night before. Regardless of her television appearance schedule, the 35-year-old doesn't typically have much time to rest. She describes herself as an introvert who has found herself on stage with artists ranging from Willie Nelson and Reba McEntire to Bruce Springsteen and Megan Thee Stallion. Next month, she'll play Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium with Grace Potter.

Her vast performance experience means Spencer was able to test her songs on a wide variety of stages and audiences. She took what she learned and applied it to stacking her album's tracklist with the most universal titles from her catalog. Spencer writes something every day, so she had plenty of songs from which to choose.

She wanted lyrics that shined a spotlight on where she's from because it deepens her connection to the music – and fans' connection to her. "First Car Feeling," which she wrote with Kat Higgins and Jessica Cayne, is one of her favorites.

"It's a little bit of a story about a car I used to drive when I was 16," she explains. But the album's title track, she says, feels "like a musical rice bowl."

"'My Stupid Life' is just a bunch of random facts about me and life," she says. "I put it all together, and it feels real to me, and that's the kind of a metric that I used while taking songs for this album. Even if I get hung up on wondering if these songs are actually good, I can still look in the mirror and say, 'No, these songs are real to me.' And that's been really cool."

Spencer describes herself as a girl from Baltimore City who fell in love with The Chicks as a teenager. Another transformative moment came when Shania Twain recorded two versions of her "Up!" album – country and pop. Baltimore, she explained, is the home of Hairspray, Tony Braxton and Billie Holiday. But, country radio is consistently the most listened to format in Maryland.

"What if my country heroes thought their experience or their story wasn't important enough to put on wax?" she asked. "Where would I be?"

She's not faking her country kinship. Spencer is striving to find a way to translate her eclectic influences into her music and communicate her stories through her songs. She said her producer, Daniel Tashian, has been a huge help as have many of her co-writers. People have given her the freedom to be herself. And while she's thankful, she's also introspective about her purpose. Because, she said, she isn’t driven by success and just loving to sing isn't enough.

"It's so hard for me to take up space, honestly," she said. "If I want to sing, I can do that in the shower. Singing, just for the sake of singing, because it makes me feel good, that's not really enough of a reason for me to devote my life to something. There's so much music out here. It's a very oversaturated market. I wanted to see some of the stories and experiences that I've had in my life represented in country music."

Sometimes, Spencer worries that her songs are too different, but she said that makes being creative more rewarding.

"I'm an artist that loves to go on the road," she explained. "I like performing. I like getting better as a performer. I like watching the road part of my career grow. It feels like it grows a part of me inside as well. And I feel like being able to be on all those different stages has definitely groomed me as an artist. It reaffirms what I really want to do in music and in country music. I want to make country music for everybody."

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