Brown draws inspiration from artists in many different genres, but in country music right now, her No. 1 inspiration is Chris Stapleton, a killer singer and songwriter who spent years in the shadows writing songs for other artists, and as lead vocalist of a bluegrass group, The SteelDrivers, but had his big break with his debut record Traveller last year. "As someone who has been fine-tuning their voice into an instrument their entire life, I deeply respect artists with original tone and masterful technique," Brown said. "Chris has also been working the daily grind in Nashville for over 15 years...I idolize his success!"
The greats of many different genres, including Carole King and James Taylor, are career inspirations for Brown. "You don’t spend over 40 years as a fixture in the music industry by being a mediocre musician and an ‘okay’ person," she said. "I aspire to have that kind of longevity with my career."
Brown attended Berklee College of Music, and it was there where she began to be drawn to country music. "I took many song and lyric writing courses that had us analyze and evaluate classic songs from every genre," Brown said. "After a semester or two, I started noticing that the songs written by country artists were the ones that lingered in my head for the rest of the day. The quality of writing was so strong. It was inspiring. Country music slowly took over my iTunes after that."
A track off of her EP, "Montana" actually started off as a songwriting assignment, but was later reworked into the version on the EP. "Originally, the song was written on piano and had more of a ‘ballad’ feel," Brown said when describing the original version of the now soaring, joyful closer to the EP.
"The lyrics weren’t bad, but they weren’t my best. When I was choosing songs for [the] EP, I stumbled across a voice memo recording of it on my phone and had a whole new vision for it. It sounds completely different now than it did the day I wrote it. I revisited its structure, its lyrics and its intent in hopes that I would give it some life." She now calls it her favorite song on the EP, and loves the "warmth" behind the track. "If any song on the record could reach out and give you a hug, it would be 'Montana'."
The High Road EP is the result of Kickstarter funds, years of songwriting, and hard work. The EP was named The High Road because the title track is a representation of Brown's musical career. "Though the song is a personal story about betrayal and change, it also emphasizes the beauty of the scene that’s waiting just beyond those negative situations," Brown said. "It represents the journey I've been on so far, it's end and the beginning of something new."
On the EP, the song "He Ain't Gonna Call" is particularly special to Brown. "I think the best way to get to know any artist is to witness them at their most vulnerable," she said. "'He Ain’t Gonna Call' is that song for me. The lyrics came from an honest place of desperation and fear after a small fight with a loved one escalated into something worse." The song is one that most listeners can relate to, but Brown hopes that this song and her music can hit people in a different way than other music has affected them. "Maybe, because they haven’t heard it being said that way before, it hits them differently." Brown said. "A realization occurs. They can gain some insight into my world by contrasting it with their own and, by doing so a small connection is made. That’s all a songwriter can hope for."