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Born and raised in Mount Airy North Carolina, Ericca Latza is a country singer-songwriter pursuing her music career in Nashville, Tennessee. Music and writing played a huge role in her young life. Most days you could find her after school behind a piano at lessons or in her room filling up notebooks with stories. She quickly developed a passion for singing when her parents enrolled her in classical voice lessons. It wasn't until the age of 12 that she realized she could combine her love of all three. One night her dad showed her how to play four chords on his acoustic Applause, and she hasn't looked back since. Though Mount Airy (better known as "Mayberry") was her home, Ericca moved to Wilmington NC in 2016. There, she spent two years developing herself as a performer. She played on many stages that are local favorites such as The Soundhouse, Goodfellas, and Hurricane Alley's. While growing as a solo artist, she also launched a band that played on stages across North Carolina. In January 2019, Ericca made the move to Nashville with the hopes of learning to become a well rounded songwriter and a professional in the industry. It was't long before both her songs and voice began to draw attention. Ericca became a signed artist with MC1 Nashville/Sony Orchard in July 2019. She works daily to develop her craft by writing for both herself and other artists. She plays writers rounds at many local venues such as The Commodore Grille, Belcourt Taps, and Red Line. Over the next year she will have three singles hitting radio waves and being released to all listening platforms. "I just want to tell stories that people hear and go, "oh yeah, I get that". To me that means being as genuine and honest as possible. I mean, Im pretty in love with the fact that I get to wake up every day, create something that didn't exist the day before, and put it into the universe to see where it ends up. There's some kind of real magic found in that."
WHERE DO I START?
The beginning I guess… As a kid in grade school I was told that I couldn’t sing. I believed it. It was no big deal in my mind, back then there wasn’t much I thought I could do... but I loved to sing, and I did so in private. My voice would crack reassuring me that I wasn’t good, but I loved it, so I sang on. In the meantime I dedicated my life to my passion for music. Music is all I have ever wanted to be a part of, and it has been my honor to help artists bring their story to the masses.
Several years ago in Notodden, Norway I was at my musician friends house and Johnny Cash came on the radio. I sang along loud and proud, it was 4am, and I was feeling good. My friend turned down the radio, motioned to me, and I kept singing… why not, Johnny sang so low even I could hit the notes. For some reason the crowd in the living room seemed to like it. It was 4am, what did they know?
The next night I walked into my friend Bjorn’s venue where my friends band was playing. I nodded to them and walked to the bar, on my way across the room somebody in the crowd yelled a request, “Johnny Cash.” The lead singer replied, “We don’t do any Johnny Cash, but that guy does, please welcome Scott to the stage.” Hell no was my reply, but they and the crowd were persistent. Terrified I took a mic in one hand, and the lyrics on an Ipad in the other. Hiding behind the Ipad I sang Hurt. Shaken, I somehow made it through the whole song, I hopped off the stage and bolted to the bar to what I guessed were polite applause. I looked at the gorgeous barmaid and pleaded, “I would like ALL of the beer please.” I looked down at the floor, my mind racing. Why did I do that? No one needed to hear that, I embarrassed the band, myself, why did I do that??? A more timely question, why isn’t the barmaid moving? After that public shaming I was desperate for a beer. I looked at her pleadingly, our eyes met and she said softly, “I have goosebumps”... what? Over my singing? This beautiful girl?
I joined the band… in Norway
That band was of course Spinning Wheels, and Stian, Tom, John, and Ole-Roy have become some of the best friends that I have ever had. I started flying to Norway and doing shows with them, a little at first, and then more as I had more fun. All of this was a secret, I was sure that if my clients and friends in Nashville knew that they would judge me for trying to be an artist. Please know that that could not have been further from my mind, I was just a guy who loves music more than anything, and I couldn’t believe how good it felt to stand up and sing. It was amazing, why wouldn’t I keep doing it!
Years passed with my Norwegian secret safe until a little over a year ago John the drummer calls and asks if I can make it to a gig in July. If I can they will book us on the main stage, there will be thousands of people in attendance, a great gig! I say yes, and Spinning Wheels featuring Scott Scovill are announced on the roster.
Two weeks later I get terrifying news... The festival announces the headliner that we will be opening up for, ...and its Brad Paisley. One of my very best friends, an artist whom I have worked with for close to two decades. My secret is about to be blown! Everywhere Brad goes he brings at least 20 people I know, several are my employees. Oh crap!
A few days later the conversation between Brad and I was pretty amazing. He thought I must be kidding… why is this funny he asked, confused. “Its funny because it’s true Brad, I have been secretly singing in a band in Norway for seven years. It terrifies me that my secret is coming out, and most of all that you will see me perform. Please be kind”!
Like a truly great friend Brad has been awesomely supportive. For that matter it is amazing to me how behind me all of my artists have been, as have so many other friends in the industry. Country music is a family unlike any other, full of support and love. They all seem to get it. Everyone has something other than work they are passionate about. My free time passion just happens to be my artists day jobs :)
I was honestly as scared as I could be about the upcoming show, what if I wasn’t good enough? I reached out to a vocal coach to at least try to put my best foot forward. Buzzy Orange was that coach, but Buzzy has become so much more to me. He has been a coach, a mentor a cheerleader and a great friend. I owe him so much. In our first lesson he tells me that I have a special voice. I wasn’t buying it, my thought was he says that to everyone. Buzzy asks if I will truly listen to his teaching. Yes, that’s why I’m here, “good" he replies, "this can really be something if you are willing to work hard at it. You have an amazing instrument, but no idea how to use it”. I was beyond skeptical. Buzzy continued “We are going to send you to Norway with an album”. Now I know he’s crazy, there is no way that I will ever make an album… but I very much want his help so I let that crazy thought slide.
Three months later I went to Norway a completely changed vocalist. I had a suitcase full of my albums to give away as promos, and a head full of new knowledge, and a heart full of confidence. I listened, I worked hard, and we changed the way I sing in many great ways. I continue to work hard with him whenever I can. It turns out that the reason that I and that teacher all those years ago thought that I couldn't sing is that I am a baritone. When I tried to sing with everyone else my voice would break on the higher notes. Crazy that I never understood that, if I just take songs down a step or two I can sing almost anything. Awesome that Buzzy helped me work through that, and he taught me to really sing. Thank you Buzzy!
To my unparalleled relief the show where we opened for Brad was an incredible success, and Brad was super supportive, he even let us borrow his fiddle and steel players. They hopped right in with Spinning Wheels and were amazing. Placed on the outside of the stage we dubbed them the training wheels :). The show was a big step up for the band and I thank you Brad!
Brad’s producer, the incredible Luke Wooten was also at the show. Luke is a great guy and a great friend. Months later back in Nashville, I asked him to a hockey game to pick his brain. I ran past him the thought that maybe I could do a real album for release. All I wanted was advice, but somehow I undeservedly ended up with one of the best producers in Nashville. He said he was going to produce the album for me! I told Luke there was no way I was going to let him do that, I didn’t deserve him. His reply? “Life is short, and this will be fun! Besides, I am one of the few people that have ever heard you sing. You walked up to that mic in Norway and started belting out Johnny, I was stunned”. I pinch myself when I look at all of the great people that have helped with this dream project.
Luke has been the greatest, thank you Luke!
I started writing with Madeline Stone who was amazing at showing me the ropes, then Victoria Shaw and Amber Rubarth graced me with their writing talents. I love writing and I feel like I have a knack for it. Co-writing with those amazing ladies is a dream, but I comfortably write alone now as well. I would have never dreamed, thank you ladies!
Thanks to Luke and his amazing team at Station West, my music is coming to life. We have 23 songs cut for this album! 9 originals! I would guess that a dozen or so will make the album, and I will add to it a few at a time over the summer. I can’t begin to explain what all goes into making an album. It’s a herculean task, one that only works with a village of tremendously talented people. Luckily Nashville is THE place for this kind of dream to come true. Even a freshman like myself had well over 100 people help with the album. I wish I could name them all, I appreciate their talents so much!
So here we are, on my “artist” website, casting away all fears of inevitable judgement. I’m facing fear and doing something I love, my only expectation is creative fulfillment, certainly not fame, that doesn’t appeal. But if a few people like and listen, that will be more than enough for me.
It’s hard to believe, little old me, the kid who couldn’t sing, the kid who then spent his whole life helping others be seen and heard is making albums and performing in Norway. How terrifying, exciting, dangerous… and glorious. It feels incredible to have a voice.
Delnora grew up immersed in a rich musical environment. Her mother, Linda, was a classically trained vocalist, her father, Tim, introduced her to the best of folk, country, bluegrass and rock & roll music. “Mom plays piano,” she said. “Dad plays the guitar and mandolin. And every Reed family event was basically a celebration of the old-time tunes handed down by my Great Grandfather, Henry Reed. His tunes became the backbone of the American Folklife Collection at the Library of Congress. We all played those tunes; whether in tents by New River, or on porches in keeping with tradition. My PaPa Reed (Gene) was probably the most patient in teaching me chord progressions on the guitar. Both sides of my family gave me the musical roots to draw from and the encouragement to grow in my own artistry. They planted me in a varied and wonderful musical garden and I learned early that good music is good music, regardless of genre.”
Delnora says she can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a professional singer. “As a matter of fact, my parents, although encouraging, were reserved about throwing me into it as early as I wanted,” she recalled. “I was 11 years old before they allowed me to perform anywhere other than church, family or school events.”
Once she started singing locally, her parents saw that she was seriously focused and began to realize she needed her own songs. “I remember dad telling me, ‘There’s already a Reba McEntire and a Dolly Parton; You need to be you; we need to write you your own songs.”
So her dad began writing songs with Norman Godsey from Ballard, WV. And Delnora sat in on every one of those writing sessions. “I thought I was just the singer back then,” she recalled, “but I never really realized how much I absorbed and how much I learned as they wrote songs for my album. I had creative input and was learning how to craft a song intuitively because of how young I was.”
While they were recording those songs, a local DJ, Big Al Harman, from WAEY 96, started doing interviews with Delnora and her dad, documenting the whole process. “Looking back, Big Al also helped me in more ways than I ever realized: giving encouragement and drumming up local interest in what I was doing, and providing me with invaluable experience which helped me prepare to do what I love doing for a living,” Delnora said.
Music is now a full time profession for Delnora, who is also now a mom. “I was blessed to have my first child a little over two years ago, so as you can imagine, I took a little time off after having him. I say time off, but when you love what you do and it is your outlet for expressing swelled up feelings and emotions, do you ever really take time off?”
Delnora feels her style tends to be diverse. Although influenced by many types of music, her music doesn’t necessarily follow any one particular genre. There is an obvious underlying current of country/bluegrass/roots in most of her songs, but you can also pick up hints of blues and jazz influences as well. “It really depends on the song,” she said, “especially in regard to my CD, My Song. There is something for everyone. If Track one isn’t your style, just skip to the next one. I promise it will be completely different.” Her CD was co-produced by herself and Harry Smith.
"In the House" at the Grinder House is broadcast live on WFMC Jams every Friday from 6-8pm central.
Katlyn Lowe is a force to be reckoned with. A talented singer, performer, and songwriter who exudes a measure of honesty and confidence that makes her a unique and undeniable fixture on Nashville’s emerging country landscape. Lowe’s self-penned, spirited debut radio single, “Rise Up” charted at an impressive #69 on country radio’s Music Row charts in 2018 and her sophomore single, “Wild,” rose to #44 on the charts just prior to the release of her debut album, Chasing Tomorrow. The release of her current single, “Last Time,” is being supported with Lowe visiting radio throughout the country into 2020.
The HK & J Recording artist’s debut album was recorded in Nashville, at Historic RCA Studio C on Music Row, and produced by Jim Della Croce and Eddie Gore along with a host of top session musicians including: George Marinelli, Billy Thomas, Glen Worf, Joe Spivey, Bill Lloyd, Eric Montgomery, Nathan Dugger (all who have played and/or recorded with Bonnie Raitt, Vince Gill, the Time Jumpers and Maren Morris or recorded as solo artists).
Lowe was born in Rochester, New York but came of age in Jacksonville, Florida where she began writing songs at age 12 and quickly became known as a strong contender in local singing competitions. While working as a waitress and pre-school teacher, she landed the opportunity to open for Sunny Sweeny–an experience that would instill in her the confidence and drive to pursue her goal of country music stardom.
The budding songwriter moved to Nashville and cut her teeth in the dive bars and honky-tonks of Music City legend. While honing her writing skills, Lowe released a self-titled EP in December of 2017 alongside the single “My Heart Ain’t Free.” “Songwriting for me is like a diary,” Lowe explains, “and everyone lives their own unique story.” For Lowe that story ends up sounding like a distinct blend of homegrown authenticity and what she calls “country sass.” It’s a combination that draws the listener in from the opening lines of a recording and makes her live performance a dynamic, must-see experience..
Lowe admits that she can become stir crazy when she’s been away from the stage for too long. “You can’t control what happens in a live show,” she says with a smile that makes it abundantly clear that Lowe thrives on the spontaneity of crowd interaction and a live mic. Lowe is also aware that she will likely be seen as a role model and carries herself with an air of confidence that she describes as “not taking any guff...in a classy way.”
When she’s not on Lower Broadway jumping on stage for an impromptu set, at one of Nashville’s famed honky-tonks, Lowe lends her talents to Musicians on Call, an organization that connects musicians and performers with people undergoing treatment in area hospitals. Lowe finds her visits to the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital “gratifying” and modestly characterizes her contribution, “Music can do so much good for people.”
What’s undeniably clear about Katlyn Lowe is her profound appreciation for music and the absolute joy she brings to the pursuit. “I have something inside me that I can’t even explain, an inner drive,” she says, “I never envisioned myself doing anything else,” and if her driving talent is any indication, she’ll never have to.
Lowe is surrounded by a team of Nashville music industry pros with full management, label services, publicity, radio and video promotion, social media and tour support. She maintains a steady writing and performing schedule and has written and/or co-written four of the songs on her upcoming debut album, Chasing Tomorrow.