Hi, thank you so much for having me! My name is Courtney Hart and I currently live in Los Angeles, CA. The music scene is eclectic and amazing in Los Angeles. It’s such a great city to hear different styles of music and collaborate with other artists. There’s a show every night to go to, which I think is definitely a plus of residing in LA.
What genre(s) and/or styles do you identify with?
I love rock, I love roll, I love pop, I love rap, hip hop, R&B, mixed a little bit of country crass. I listen to everything from Lady Gaga to Lana del Rey to Big Sean to Skrillex. It’s hard to stick to one genre identification, my playlists are all over the place.
Who or what most inspires your song-writing?
Men- haha. I’m not your average Taylor Swift songwriter, but I do write about men who hurt me. I could release three albums just with songs about heartache. However, I also write about life experiences I’ve been through- getting sober, being a big sister, being a daughter, coming to Los Angeles with nothing. It’s important to me to document all the feelings, not just love and heartbreak, although those are the most relatable and frequent.
At what age did you realize you wanted to be a musician? Which bands and artists were you, or are you currently influenced by? Have those influences changed much as you've gotten older?
My dad is a musician and ever since I was old enough to talk, I was writing jingles and songs in my head. I believe music and wanting to be a musician has always lived inside of me. My musical influence never shifts, but it expands. Growing up, my mom would have The Carpenters in the car and my dad would have James Taylor. I didn’t grow up on Spice Girls or Britney Spears, I discovered them later. I grew up listening to Eddie Money and Tom Petty. I felt so uncool when I was little because everyone at school was singing Christina Aguilera, but now I’m really grateful because those early influences helped shaped the type of music I want to play today.
What do you enjoy most about your artistry? I.E. Creating music, the process, the fame, the recognition, co-writing? Etc.
I’m an actress and a musician. I’ve always believed art brings people together. Whether it’s making music or a movie, the art of telling a story and sharing a chunk of your soul is the part I enjoy most. I love music and movies because they’re relatable and make me feel apart of and it feels less complicated to be a human when you can share life experiences. I like writing and performing and creating music, hoping that just one part of my story can help, inspire, or make someone in this world feel something. I think in this lifetime, we all just want to find our place in this world and feel worthy of belonging and in the darkest or happiest of times, music is and always will be there. I think that’s a powerful thing art conveys.
Tell us a little about your new release. Is there a story behind the title?
My ‘EP’ is titled ‘GOLD.’ When I started with the EP, I had no idea what I’d call it. I wanted it to be four tracks, short and simple, but I didn’t it want to be named after any of the tracks. I wanted to put a cover song on the EP, something I could record with my dad. We decided on Fleetwood Mac’s (well, Stevie Nicks’) ‘Gold Dust Woman.’ I talked with my friend Josh Del, who does all my music promo and album artwork and concepts and I told him I wanted to be dunked in gold paint. He said he had a vision and he shot it and he sent the pictures to me and they were titled ‘GOLD.’ I was like, ‘Can I use this as my album title?’ So, technically there’s no story, it’s derived from being inspired by ‘Gold Dust Woman’ and getting to work with someone like Josh Del who just oozes creativity and he dropped the four letter word ‘GOLD’ and it stuck!
Who produced this track? Can you or the producer provide some insight to what that process was like? What was the inspiration and/or creative process?
Aaron Andersen produced the whole EP. We started with ‘White Cadillac’ which was really just an idea I sang him in the studio. I knew after we did that song, that he could hear what I was thinking. He layered the sh*t out of my songs with so much country twang and pedal steel and slide guitar and Tom Petty-esque licks that I asked him to do the EP with me. We would sit in the studio for hours doing pre-production, writing, rewriting until things felt right. When we were done, we laid down guitar and vocals and called in the rest of the boys and I’m super blessed to have worked with such an array of artists. Two songs took a year because we wanted it to be just right. My dad produced the cover of ‘Gold Dust Woman.’ He made me stand in a huge glass shower he had mic’d for the natural reverb. I thought he was NUTS, but he’s old school and it sounded amazing. Thanks dad!
What are your upcoming tour/performance plans?
I just played the Hotel Cafe, so maybe I will return there soon, I love that venue. I’m getting back in the studio with new music, so it may be a hot second before any tours or performances, but I will keep you posted and so will www.courtneyhart.com
Which band or artists (living or dead) would you most like to perform with and why?
Stevie Nicks. Heck, I would take all of Fleetwood Mac if they’d let me. The energy and history of that band captivates me and I’d love to be apart of it. They worked their butts off and had a vision and never gave up despite all the inner turmoil within the band. It was all about the music. I love that.
How much do you let critics affect your music? Do you find it hard to focus on the positive side of things, and if so – how do you keep yourself motivated to keep going?
I don’t let critics affect my music. Sure, I’d love if everyone loved it, but that’s just never going to be the case. Art is perspective. People will always like certain things and hate others, it’s just the way it is! I stay motivated by surrounding myself with other artists who are working from the bottom up and who stay true to their art and craft regardless. I know that if my sister, Holly likes my music, that’s the only opinion that really matters to me. She bumps ‘South’s Most Wanted’ and I love her for that.
How important do you feel social media is in your career? Do you enjoy it? Please expand upon your opinions, and what you’ve learned while making music in 2017.
It’s SO important. It’s a great way to cultivate an audience and stay in touch with people and get people all over the world interested. I really do enjoy social media, I know, I know. It really gives me insight to what life is like in other parts of our country and the world and I think that’s a cool way to bond. Through the art of photography and glimpses into people’s lives, you can connect and relate to people. I know there’s downsides, but for career purposes, I think it’s super beneficial and fun.
What else does the year have in store for you?
I am recording a new single. That’s my next indicated action. I’m sitting on a song I want people to hear. It’s darker and it’s slower than the others and it’s just different and I can’t wait to get in the studio.
Finally, where would you like to see yourself five years from now and what's your ultimate ambition as an artist?
I’d love to see myself touring. I want to see the world. I want to share my music, I want to make movies. I want to share my experiences and give the world and youth hope. I want to partner with more companies like ‘Music Heals’ and help make a difference with music. I am a huge advocate for mental illness and I want to bring healing and shared experiences through music and through telling my story through film and music. If I can help just one other person not feel alone, I think my ultimate ambition as an artist is conquered, anything I master above that, is nothing but a bonus.
Please provide us with any/all social links where people can connect with you and your music: