If you listen to The Highway on Sirius XM there’s a good chance you’ve heard this next artist. Macy Maloy is featured on Chase Rice’s massive hit Ride (a cover of R&B/Soul Singer SoMo’s platinum single) which is currently being played on blast at the Highway. Her vocals grab you from the first second the song starts. Once I heard this spin on an R&B track with a country male on lead vocals and her, a singer/songwriter female joining in, I knew I needed to find out more about this artist. Macy grew up in Texas where she was attending The University of North Texas when she posted a video on YouTube covering fellow Texans Josh Abbott Band’s single Oh Tonight for a contest. She must have done something right because the band saw the video and from there Macy’s career has taken off. I caught up with her as she was just getting back to Nashville after a visit back home with her family to ask her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell me about how Texas has helped shape the style of music you gravitate towards and write?
Macy: Texas plays a huge role in my music because I was found off of YouTube by a Texas country band. Growing up in the South I was always listening to artists who were amazing story tellers. That’s something that country music, especially Texas country music, is really good at doing. Even though I don’t consider myself to be a country artist, Texas is a huge reason why I want to always write songs that are honest to my life.
How did everything start to change for you with your career after winning the contest with the Josh Abbott Band?
Macy: Before posting that video on YouTube for the contest my YouTube channel was really just a hobby and a place where I posted my original songs. Even though I had a pretty good following, I never thought in a million years music would be a career for me. Those things just don’t happen to people where I’m from if you don’t have connections or a mentor. After posting that video I got to start playing shows with him (Josh) in front of thousands of people. Remind you I was used to singing in my bathroom! Everything started moving really fast from there. I quit college. I got signed to my current manager, who is Josh’s manager as well. We ended up making an EP that went on the charts, which was amazing. That got me my publishing deal and record deal and now I’m currently making an album. So basically my whole life has changed after posting that video on YouTube!
What was it like meeting them for the first time? Are you still in touch with them?
Macy: Josh is literally like my best friend. He has been such a mentor to me. I love everybody in that band, they’re just so sweet to me. They have such a special place in my heart because they’re the ones who found me. They’re just a good time and good people.
How did your collaboration with Chase Rice on Ride come to be?
Macy: Chase and I are both with Triple 8 Management so we kind of knew each other and were familiar with each others music if anything just from our manager. One day I was up at the office with my manager in Nashville and he was talking about how Chase was going to cover a song by SoMo. I was probably fangirling because SoMo went to my college so I was like “Stop, this is not real life.” I don’t know what happened next. I guess Bruce called Chase and later that day they just called me asking to sing background vocals on the song. I had no idea I was going to be featured on it or anything like that. I was such a fan of the original song that I was so excited to do it.
We were friends with the same producer that did that song, he’s been working on my album. So when they called me they even had talked about “Would you just put down a background vocal? We might pitch it to somebody else or something like that.” And I was fine with that. The night before the album came out Chase wrote me saying he was so honored I was on the album and I was like “Wait, what!?” I didn’t even know it was for sure happening. It was crazy! It was cool to kind of break the mold of normal country. It just ended up being a great story because I knew SoMo, we were from the same place, and I don’t know if I’m even supposed to be saying this but we just did the music video! It was just cool getting to meet him and we had a really good time which is what it’s all about.
What can we expect from you in the next year? Will you be putting out more music?
Macy: I don’t want to jinx it but 300 songs later, literally 300 songs, the team and I have agreed on 5. That’s what I’m here in Nashville doing right now. We’re recording this week. That’s all I know, I wish I had dates. All I know is we’re moving forward and that’s good with me! I’m recording three songs this week and then we’ll really just go from there and hopefully pick a single from that bunch. It’s a weird time because my EP came out and I am doing something so different from that. I just want to focus on marrying what I was and what I’m trying to be so that I’m still very much myself. It’s definitely a different mindset.
What kind of sound can we expect from the 5 songs you’re recording right now?
Macy: I really try to not put a label on it. I’d say it’s singer/songwriter meets pop. I think just from my background and my songs that people have heard lyrically that they think it’s country music. Which I’m totally okay with because that’s a compliment. My music still has that acoustic element but it’s over beats. It’s still storytelling but it’s over pop beats.
Each artist is greatly influenced by other artists (sometimes from all genres), if you were to choose your “musical parents” who would they be?
Macy: This is the hardest question that you asked me! Tracy Chapman is literally my musical idol. She’s the person that made me fall in love with music so I feel like she would have to be my mom. And for my dad, I cannot believe I’m about to say this but I have a stupid obsession with Chris Brown. So maybe if they had a baby it would be me hahah!
Jam Catchers is all about creating playlists for every mood, situation or time in your life. You can always tell a great deal about someone from the music they are listening to. What have you been listening to?
Macy: As scary as this is, I thought it would be fun to share my last purchased songs on my iTunes. Enjoy! All of these songs just make me really, really happy. I’m just trying to dance you know!?
I also put Macy’s song with Chase, Ride on the list for y’alls earbud pleasure. And be sure to check out a sneak peak of some of Macy’s new work Dime Store Hipster which will be getting reworked for her upcoming album! In many ways Macy is your typical 22 year old, except she hangs out with the likes of Josh Abbott and Chase Rice, is recording an album, and is well on her way to being a superstar. Other than that this sorority girl from Texas enjoys her guilty pleasure artists and getting down to some good upbeat music for the summer just like the rest of us. I, for one, cannot wait to buy her album when it is released. Be sure to keep your eye out for this one!
Images: Macy Maloy and Haley Rynn Ringo