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You may recognize #WMZQFest pres. by Mattress Warehouse performer Caylee Hammack from our iHeartCountry Festival and we are so excited to have her perform on the Croppmetcalfe New Country Side Stage this Saturday, May 17 alongside Lauren Alaina and Ryan Hurd! Besides being part of our first ever Women of Country Guitar Pull at our iHeartCountry Festival, Caylee was also named to Bobby Bones' class of 2019 and answered some questions with All Access so fans can get to know her a bit more!
How do you feel about the very warm reception that "Family Tree" is getting at radio already?
I'll be honest, it's unbelievable to me. When I was making the song we did it on a $500 demo budget, and we did it because we just wanted to make something different, something that didn't sound like anything else. We were trying to push ourselves a little bit outside of our comfort zone for Country music. Just to know that Country radio has shown us so much love and is already spinning it and helping us get to our listeners, it's unbelievable.
You mentioned it being different, and your voice is also so distinctive. Were you encouraged to be different in the early part of your performing life, or did you get and bad advice about conforming to the norms?
Well, from 13 to 16 I tried to impersonate great artists. I didn't really get to have vocal lessons at a young age. I didn't have much of a music education, so my way of learning was singing along to the radio. If there was someone that I couldn't do all of their riffs, I would become obsessed with them. A Lee Ann Womack record would take me a few more months than the others [to master] most of the time. Her records were the ones normally that I would just obsess about. Her, Patsy Cline, all the different singers -- I just wanted to be like they were. I wanted to be a strong woman with a voice of her own.
Then, by starting to write my own music, I found myself. I'm very grateful for it. All the things that I used to hate about myself when I was younger because it was not easy to fit in are all the reasons why I'm here. So I'm very happy that my voice is a little bit different. [But] I do have to thank the women that came before me, because they helped me learn how to sing.
Read her full Q&A here!