May 25, 2024

New Fury Media

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Allie Colleen talks touring, branding, the future, and more in exclusive interview in Nashville

By Dave Parsons

 

One of the advantages of being in Nashville, Tennessee is that on any given evening of the week, there is likely a concert somewhere showcasing some of the best singers, songwriters and entertainers that country music has to offer. It is no secret that music city folks also have big hearts for those in need.  I had not been in Nashville but a few hours when I went to a show to benefit an organization called Girls On The Run.  10 of the most up and coming female songwriters took their turn telling stories, and singing songs about their lives at the City Winery.

When you are in a town full of people doing the same thing you are trying to do, it gets tough to stand out.  Many of these ladies shined this night just by their stories and songs.  One of them who stood out a little more than the others was Allie Colleen. After her performance with 4 of the other 9 ladies on the show, I got a chance to sit down with her and find out a little more about this singer/songwriter.

You went with Lee Brice on the tour recently. How cool was it?

It was just incredible.  You know, it was really cool. Again, I’ve been a fan of Lee Brice since I was, you know, just a baby. And I remember when I got my car when I was 16, my sister gave me a huge CD pack to go and sing to because that was kind of my place where I could sing and not bother everybody in the house was in my car. And I remember I got that hard to love CD and I played it and played it. And so all that to say, you know, I got to get a little older and I got to find out what Lee Bryce was like as a writer, which was incredible. 

And then I got to find out what Lee Bryce was like as a producer, which was also incredible, like learning on how his mind works with music. And that way was also wild. I didn’t think anything was going to beat that. 

But Lee Bryce is a performer, like getting to sing with him. That was wild. Like, that’s my favorite. It’s my favorite lead so far. Every night we played our song that we just put out together during his set. 

I opened and I played all my songs and then towards, you know, in the middle of kind of the end of his second set, because he had an intermission, he would pull me out and we would do ours together and he would play piano. 

You have a tremendous song out called “While We’re Still Friends.”

Yeah as far as the songs I’ve written, we’ve had the song actually mastered and ready to go since probably middle of 2022. We wrote in 21 and we’ve had it, you know kind of ready to go and I can’t even tell you what we were holding on to it for. I think we just it was one of those things we’re like we can’t blindly put this out and then we weren’t sure what we’re doing with it. And then we got the opportunity to open for Lee I said, okay it has to be in one of these cities. So all that to say the tracks that we’ve been using on the road when we play in full band, that has been you know, the mastered version the whole time. 

So that’s not to say it hasn’t grown as a song, and I do love playing it acoustic though. Actually, I really do which I feel like I’ve done a hundred times this week, but I just love that song and I love performing it in all kinds of ways and that’s not the case for all my songs. 

What kind of process do you do to find songs?  Do you go with what is popular or a formula or a combination of those things? 

As far as what we decided to put out opposed to like all the songs that we write kind of thing, I think it’s a lot of it comes in to write that dream of every artist that I am a fan of. They have that one song that they’ve had to sing for 20 years. So, I think a lot of it comes down to, if we’re gonna put it out, it has to be something I’m willing to sing for 20 years. So that’s a huge qualification for us. There’s a lot of narratives that we write that I love that I think are amazing narratives that need a place out there, but if it isn’t something I would say, I don’t get to cut it.

It’s like what would Allie say and then finally, you know, it really just goes into branding. What we’re trying to represent in the sound that we’re trying to represent, because as much as I want every song to be different and cater to the song, I do think you need to really have a solid branding and the audience can not always expect what’s gonna happen. 

And then the timeline’s always different. Sometimes you can get one finished in a couple weeks, sometimes it takes you months, While We’re Still Friends, took us years to have ready between licensing and stuff, but that’s what happens when you bring in a signed artist to your stuff. 

You just spoke about branding. Did you have a whole master plan of the branding part when you started?

The brand has definitely changed over time. I think when we started. I wanted to have this introduction to Allie, pulling as a songwriter and a storyteller. And I still feel very passionately about being seen that way, but I think, you know, commercial music needed something different. 

And then also, I feel like my generation of artists that I’ve watched as a kid have always kind of gotten a lot of flack for any time they change or transition or do something different. But if you’re going to listen to an artist from 18 to hopefully very old, I can’t imagine that being linear and being the same all the time.

I don’t write about the same stuff at 27 that I wrote about at 20, and I don’t sound the same at 27 that I sounded at 20. And so the branding’s definitely changed in the sense of I’m just in love with this outlaw movement of females that’s coming through. 

And it’s something that I’ve always been. I do feel like for the first time where I’m writing the songs that showcase that, and I’ve met the producers that showcase that, and I’ve met the bands that showcase that, opposed to just little Allie with an acoustic guitar, trying to tell stories that matter to me.

Just like the show tonight, we are up there talking to an audience about these problems we’ve had and those kind of things, and then each one of us doing a song that brought that home. 

Do you ever see a show like tonight being able to be feasible to go on the road to do? 

I think it depends on if you’re talking about number one songwriters, right, or if you’re talking about independently signed whatever. It was so stupid to be honest but we received negative feedback on the tour on Lee’s part not because of his performance, but they said why is he talking so much? I said you are getting to watch a 2,000 seated theater of Lee Brice acoustic like what are you for thinking, that he is going to be like his band party tailgates show? 

He’s gonna tell stories. So I’ll let it say I think if it’s marketed right and it’s clearly understood, that this is going to be minimal songs a lot of stories, and you market it that way, I think you’ve got a really big shot of it being something that’s very cool.  We do writers retreats, which is just for anyone who doesn’t know, you put a lot of writers in a cabin for a week and you turn your phones off, and you write. That’s all you do when you find a little cafe in that town or a dinner in that town that wants to host you guys and you get to play what we wrote that week, and people realize that songwriters came into their town and wrote these things, they eat it up.  So I think there’s a huge market for it. I think it just depends on what kind of scale you’re expecting it to be. 

I think it’s a huge thing. I think the multiple is really cool. And especially if you took, so on the writers retreats, we all wrote that song together, right? So imagine tonight, having all four of us having wrote a song together and get to harmonize with each other and someone gets to play lead guitar with each other and someone’s bopping on their guitar like a drum. 

Like that’s magic. And you get to see all of the writers who did the song come together and sing harmonies together and put on their own little twists. And I think that is something that is like really undervalued in Nashville.  Because most of the time, people don’t host their own rounds, right? They’re all scheduled differently. And when I can bring my friends who I write songs with and we do rounds together, it’s the coolest thing on the planet. 

So, what does Allie Colleen have coming up?

We played a song tonight called Grass on the Grave and we sent it off for mastering yesterday. So as soon as that song comes back, music distributors in Nashville, they prefer eight weeks, so I think just a blind guess, I feel like that would be the beginning of May. But Grass on the Grave will be next. And then hopefully a song called Nothing New that we’re teasing right now on socials, but it’s gonna take some time. 

I would really like to start looking at four to six weeks apart from each other, but we’re gonna have to start getting them all mastered faster to be able to do that  But I can’t wait for Grass on the Grave to come out.  And my dream, if we can financially achieve it this year, would be to get all of these songs mastered that we have right now. We’re looking at print vinyls, and we’ll be selling those vinyls on the road and through the website, but they’re still gonna come out on streaming individually every nine weeks.

And the main thing is, I don’t care what brings you to my show, but just please come with a desire to learn who Allie is.

 

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