EXCLUSIVE: Interview With UK Country Singer Lisa Wright

The UK’s ever growing country music scene has an amazing pool of talent that includes not only major crossover stars such as Ward Thomas, The Shires,and Andy Brown, but also rising acts such as Kevin McGuire, Carolynne, and Two Ways Home to name a few.

And now Lisa Wright is another homegrown name on everyone’s lips. Earlier this year she released her breakout single ‘Tennessee’ and on May 25th she will drop her eagerly anticipated EP ‘Mind Of Mine‘.

Lisa is well on her way to becoming a household country music artist and has so far supported the likes of Ward Thomas and Cam on tour and has garnered praise from The Shires’ Ben Earle.

Here we speak exclusively to Lisa Wright to discuss her journey to country singer, musical influences, new music, and much, much more;

Growing up who inspired your love of country music?

I was 15 when I heard my first Alison Krauss song and she’s pretty much been my main inspiration ever since. I love her. I never thought I could be a singer. Growing up, radio was dominated by the amazing powerhouse vocals of Whitney, Mariah and Christina and I just couldn’t belt out those kind of songs like they could – although, I gave it a good ole go! So, when I heard Alison Krauss for the first time, that voice with those lyrics, it was huge! I hadn’t heard anything like it before. So, of course, her music opened the door to country and I’ve been in love with it ever since. 

Which other Country acts have influenced your own music?

Ooh. I’m a big fan of Patty Griffin, Jason Isbell, Cam, Lori McKenna, Charlie Worsham and although not necessarily country, John Mayer. I think you can definitely hear their influences in my new record, for sure.

How would you describe your own sound to new listeners?

Modern country/folk with old soul stories. That “driving in your car, not sure where you’re going but feeling wistful and optimistic at the same time” vibe. Ha. 

As a British country act, how excited are you by the current growth of UK country?

Incredibly! I can’t describe how good it feels to see so many people actively seeking out country music. Before, country music was treated as this comical stereotype but now it finally seems that that stereotype is starting to dissolve and people are hearing it for what is truly is. When it’s good, country music can be so powerful. Now, UK audiences are hearing something fresh, something exciting, something honest… there’s room for all kinds of music and it’s amazing that country is rightfully being welcomed now.  

Being a British country singer are you also feeling a mainstream shift in regards to coverage?

There’s definitely been a shift in the last couple of years. The BBC/Bob Harris have been great supporters in that, as well as the C2C Festival. Whilst the popularity is still quite Stateside-artist heavy, I can feel a shift in support of our British songwriters now. There are three new major country/Americana festivals happening this summer and with the likes of Ward Thomas, The Shires, The Wandering Hearts, Catherine McGrath all gaining new fans very quickly, it’s certainly piquing mainstream interest and it’s great they’re paying attention. It’s meant that fellow British artists are upping their game and the level of artistry and quality is getting better and better. There’s still a long way to go but I’m optimistic.   

Are there any acts you are looking to work with soon?

I’d love to work with Charlie Worsham one day, he’s so talented – and it think it’d be quite cool to collaborate with a few of the female UK acts here too. It’d be like a country-esque Spice Girls!

How excited are you about the upcoming release of you debut EP ‘Mind Of Mine’?

On a scale of 1-10? A thousand! It feels like it’s been a long time coming. I’m more excited about this one though in particular because I took my time with it. I worked with some incredible people on it and it’s without a doubt, my most solid and decent record yet. It’s exactly what I want to say and the people I worked with have elevated it to a level that makes me so happy and I can’t wait for you to hear it.  

Which song are you most excited for fans to hear?

I really love ‘Giving up the Ghost’, the song Jake Etheridge and I wrote together but I’d probably say ‘Mind of Mine’. I think what Matt Greaves (producer) did with it is bloomin’ brilliant.

How would you describe the record’s overall vibe?

Easy-listening, honest and smooth.

Do you have any touring plans lined up for this year?

Yeah! I’m going on tour with Eric Paslay in July. He’s brilliant and I’m so pleased to be opening the show for him. We’re heading to Glasgow and Liverpool. I’ve never played in Glasgow before and Liverpool is my second home so you could say I’m a little revved up for it. 

So, what are your long term career goals?

Well, the plan is to keep releasing music, always developing, getting better and then one day will come when I’m headlining my own show at the Royal Albert Hall. Let’s see, shall we?

Make sure you follow Lisa on Twitter @lisawrightuk to keep up to date with all her latest music and tour news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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