Meghan Linsey On Life After Steel Magnolia – Interview
Meghan Linsey began her country career alongside her then-fiancé Joshua Scott Jones as the duo Steel Magnolia, who won the CMT Series Can You Duet in 2009 and then went on to have a hugely successful self-titled album under Big Machine Records, releasing both a top 5 album and single (in ‘Keep On Lovin’ You’) on the Billboard country charts. After being nominated for 14 industry awards, tragedy struck in 2011 when Josh entered rehab for drug addiction. Shortly after he was rehabilitated, the pair decided to break their engagement, but continuing as a duo just didn’t work in this capacity, so they split and pursued solo careers. While Josh has released the single ‘Honk (If You’re Tonky)’ to country radio, Meghan opted for a country cover of OneRepublic’s huge pop hit ‘Counting Stars’, while she finished writing her debut solo album. I got the chance to ask Meghan a few questions about the split, why she chose that song and what she does to unwind after the craziness of the Nashville music industry.
1. Hi Meghan! So you’ve launched your solo career with your new single ‘Counting Stars’ – how has this experience differed so far to doing it as a duo with Joshua Scott Jones?
Everything is different when you’re working as a solo artist verses a duo. There are pros and cons to both. I’ve really enjoyed the creative process of working without a partner and a label. Honestly, it’s been nice to not have to worry about what anyone else thinks and just make music. I think this record is a reflection of my new found freedom.
2. I have to say, I can’t get the song out of my head. Was this why you decided to record it?
I just thought it was a really cool tune. It’s such an anthem for my life right now. Going from being on the biggest label in town to being an independent artist. “No more counting dollars, we’ll be counting stars”, yeah, I’m ready for that.
3. I really like the country sound on it. Whose choice was that and how did you guys put it together?
Tyler Cain just killed the production. He has an ear like no one else I know. He called Matt Menaffee to come in and play the banjo and that pretty much made the track. I’m just blessed to work with amazing talent.
4. Do you know if OneRepublic have heard it yet?
Yeah, I know they have. We have the same attorney. So, my attorney sent it to Ryan Tedder and he wrote back and told me to go to country radio with it!
5. I know you’re getting ready to release an EP off the back of this. Do you have a release date for us, and what can we expect from your solo material?
The date changes every day. Ha! I know it will be very soon. I’m thinking April at the latest. I just wanted to make a record that I was proud of. The songs are honest and soulful.
6. Can you clear some things up for us? Are Steel Magnolia officially over, or would you do something with Josh again?
Steel Magnolia has definitely run its course. It was a beautiful thing and definitely not something I take for granted. It just became really hard and not fun anymore. Josh and I dated for such a long time and when we broke up, it just didn’t make sense anymore. We are, however, still great friends. I’m sure we might write a song together or something in the future. I will say that we are fully supportive of each others solo ventures. I want Josh to be very successful as a solo artist.
7. Have you got any further plans beyond the new EP? Any tours, a full-length album?
I’m still writing for my full-length project. I have tour dates coming up starting in April. You can check out my website www.meghanlinsey.com we are adding dates to the calendar regularly.
8. You’ve written with many big songwriters in Nashville. Who was your favorite to write with?
Oh man, there are so many great writers in town. I tend to write with friends a lot. One of my favorite co-writers and best friend is Julie Moriva. I also, really enjoy writing with Cary Barlowe. We always get great stuff.
9. What is the most fun part of the music industry for you? Writing, recording in the studio, touring, going to red carpet events…! Etc?
I really love and like to be involved in all aspects of it. I think, to be an artist, you have to embrace it all.
10. Would you ever consider moving back to New Orleans or is Nashville your home for life now?
I wouldn’t be opposed to having a place there at some point or maybe just visiting a lot. Nashville is definitely home. I love this city. I also love the west coast! I see a central coast beach town in my future!
11. These last few years must have been crazy for you. What do you do to unwind? What’s your favorite comfort food/activity?
I love yoga! It melts my stress and it’s such an awesome workout. I really believe it’s changed my life for the better. I also, love to eat! Lol! I am from New Orleans, after all. I find cooking to be very therapeutic. It’s like another creative outlet in addition to music.
12. If you were to take anything away from your experiences in the music industry so far, what would it be?
I’ve learned so much in the last few years. The main thing I’ve learned is to be bold. I’ve wasted so much time letting others make decisions for me, and feeling like I didn’t have a voice. I know who I am now. I don’t regret anything and I wouldn’t trade one minute. I’ve become a strong woman because of all of it.