ep_009 / live on music row
This week’s episode of Live on Music Row features A.G. Sully, an icon of Nashville’s contemporary R&B soundscape. Although from small town Alabama, musically, A.G. Sully was born and raised in Tennessee. While a desire to study songwriting originally prompted her move, she quickly discovered that she had a talent beyond just writing prose, and this set is the only evidence you’ll ever need.
Introduced by heavenly runs and a haunting acoustic backing, A.G. Sully opens with “Myself, this time,” a reflection on a life ruled by constant comparison and subsequent ownership of a new life that puts herself first. With a transition so seamless it’s nearly indiscernible, she moves into “Lock My Door.” On a completely literal note, this track was written about toxic roommates who poorly characterized her first few months in Nashville. However terrible that living situation may have been, we have them to thank for inspiring a catchy single that sounds just as good live as it does in studio.
While most people would immediately go into defense mode if ever called flakey, in her new single “Raincheck,” A.G. Sully wears being the friend to never text back like a badge of honor. It’s a shameless admission and acceptance of the fact that sometimes, being alone is the best form of self-care. Finally, we’re graced with a duet between A.G. Sully and Nashville rapper, $avvy, as they close the set with a performance of their joint song “Take Our Time,” a track featured on his latest album Boys Wear Pearls. A song full of well-constructed harmonies and complementary vocal styles, their performance is the perfect example of the possible genius that exists when two brilliant, yet stylistically different, creatives collaborate.
A.G. Sully has put her marching band days behind her and continues to redefine cool and realness under her own terms. Instead of revisiting common lyrical tropes about romance and heartbreak, she uses experience, as well as her flaws and insecurities, as creative material that connects with listeners more authentically than most popular music. Make sure to show her some love, stream her music, and keep checking our channel for future episodes that showcase other dope independent artists.
ep_008 / live on music row
Talia Stewart is this week’s guest on Episode 8 of Live on Music Row, where she performs a dismal, sultry rendition of her latest EP, Murder, She Wrote. Musically, Talia’s style would be defined as “pop, but make it dark.” Her tracks have the addictive nature of pop music, but are unique in their attitudes, incorporating vocal and instrumental elements of the jazz tradition and covering subject matter that isn’t PG enough for radio. These distinctions make her a force to be reckoned with in the pop music world, and she’s well on her way to carving out a new sub-genre dedicated to her eccentric choices.
Although considered accompaniments, the instrumentals -- specifically guitar, violin, and drums -- help establish and maintain the dark tone and thematic elements of Talia’s two-song set, as well as her concept album as a whole. She opens with the first track of the EP, “This Killing Floor,” a song that was written over three years ago but was unearthed again after a recent heartbreak that begged its resurgence. Talia performs the bilingual version of this angry, unforgiving tune, highlighting the Latina identity integral to her comprehensive musical persona.
As if conceptually following the seven stages of grief, Talia transitions out of the anger phase of heartbreak and into that of sadness, articulated in her second track, “You Load the Gun.” She sings earnestly from her position in romantic recovery, as she looks for answers and questions the blindsidedness of her current heartbreak.
As her first release of 2021, Murder, She Wrote sets Talia up for a successful year in music. We’re excited to see and hear what she has in store for us, and as we wait, we’ll keep streaming her work and replaying her episode to hold ourselves over.
Pisces Energy: Houston’s Take on Romance, Realization, and Self-Reflection
Joining us in the studio for Episode 7 of Live on Music Row is Houston Kendrick, a new wave artist whose tendency to constantly introspect and ability to craft compelling prose make him one of music’s most sacred types of songster. Being a Birmingham native makes Houston a country boy at heart, but as you’ll hear in this set, his interpretation of contemporary R&B and hip hop makes him a powerful black sheep in Music City.
Accompanied by Connor Ehman, Houston’s set includes performances of three tracks from his upcoming project Small Infinity. Donning a blue and white, cloud-like number, he opens the set with “Bad Decision.” Seductive in its instrumentals, lyrics, and vocals, this track is all about temptation. He croons about the universal confusion with commitment in the modern era, even using it as an excuse to fall victim to desire, considering the undefined nature of the relationship.
After discussing his artistic journey, Houston flows into “R U D Y,” one of his most acclaimed tracks. Although the song discourses the history of Rudy Ruettiger, an undersized walk-on from Notre Dame, it has an allegorical meaning that speaks to the familiar instance of feeling like an underdog in life as a whole, turning one person’s personal story into a shared experience through song.
Even though acoustic sets don’t lend themselves to the vocal layering heard in the original, in its absence are ingenious runs and complementary instrumentals that elevate the song exponentially. Houston ends his set with “Look At Us,” a song that represents a celebration of self and ownership over his contestation with society’s expectations. He gives the track robust dynamism, executing key changes and flair that differ from the studio version, yet further substantiate his penchant for performance.
Since moving to Nashville, Houston has experienced tremendous growth, honing in on his style and striving for musical and artistic synchronization. His upcoming album explores the topic of growth in isolation and the necessity for forgiveness and compassion towards ourselves during times of challenge. For music that helps us clean the wounds of pandemic living, be sure to listen to Small Infinity when it reaches streaming platforms on April 23rd, and keep the love alive by supporting Nashville’s independent artists.
ep_006 / Live on Music Row
Episode 6 of Live on Music Row presents Chuck Indigo, a hip hop/r&b artist who is not only full of eloquent words, but also expresses them with a psychic ability. Following in line with hip hop’s standard, his music is socially conscious. In his craft, he owns and embraces his blackness as power, a cornerstone to his identity which inspires and provides a profound perspective of modern America. Chuck performs four tracks from his latest release, “No Moor Bad Days,” as well as a track only available on Soundcloud.
Chuck opens the set with “Untitled,” a bluesy, soul-infused song about making a habit of gratitude and adopting it as an attitude. He throws on his hood before transitioning into “Burn It Down,” a song that highlights the pressing hardships that define the current black experience. He’s not only rapping here; he’s delivering his message as a statement through prose, gesticulation, and body language, making it impossible not to feel the sentiments he puts forth.
The third song of Chuck’s set is “Outta My Way,” a track that he wrote as a way to escape writer’s block in which he highlights the necessity to write about what he feels and confronts what’s holding him back. Just like the meaning of this song, Chuck sees fear as something to embrace and accept. While running from fear is okay, accepting and using it as a vehicle for growth is his chosen path.
The following track, “C.A.N.T. Chronicles,” which features a keys intro and a slower tempo, is about tapping into your belief system to restore fallen hope and utter defeat. While the instrumentals remain relatively consistent, Chuck builds his vocal intensity, inspiring listeners to keep going despite whatever doubt or obstacles stand in their way. Lastly, “One Moor Day” showcases both Chuck’s rapping talent and his vocal ability and range, demonstrating his aptitude to toggle between fast-paced rhythms and melodious reprises.
It’s clear that Chuck has come a long way since entering the underground spoken word and music scene back in 2014. There’s a level of maturity in his lyrics that only experience and the truest sense of self can accomplish, and there’s no doubt that with time and more life under his belt, his music will grow alongside him. Take Chuck’s advice: live out real love (not that fake shit) and find common ground through differences, for love always wins.
Maddie in good company
EP_005 / Live on music Row
For Episode 5 of Live on Music Row, Maddie in Good Company brings the energy we all needed coming into 2021. A set that is just as much about having fun as it is about making great music, the “soul and roll” trio shows instant personality, converting strangers to fans and enlivening Jay’s Place for a very special set.
Within the first few minutes of this episode, it’s mutually agreed upon that, independently, Maddie has pipes and Chris (guitar), Griffin (drums), and Steven (bass) are talented musicians. However, the real magic unfolds at the intersection of Maddie’s range with funky basslines, boisterous drums, and guitar solos, manifesting the most exciting aspects of 1920s blues and 1950s rock and roll into our contemporary musical arena.
Beginning with “Overflow,” Maddie sings about an exhaustive love, one that excites her psyche so much so that she can’t help but tell her hairdresser about it. It’s the kind of love that people write songs about, and the verve of the song itself proves why people do. They slow it down for “I’d Be Gone,” a track about a love that is exhausting rather than exhaustive.
Backed by bluesy, downtempo instrumentals, Maddie croons about a romantic catch-22, where choosing comfort means staying in a toxic relationship and choosing change means accepting the consequential loneliness of separation.
Rounding out the set with “Troubled Mind,” Maddie craves a love that eases her troubles, and whether that is a person or the glass of wine she was drinking when inspired to write this song is left up to interpretation.
The performative energy of this set will make you wish you were clapping on the sidelines and have you itching to see them live when concerts return. Until that happens, keep re-watching this video, listening to Maddie and Good Company, and spreading love <3
EP_004 / Live on music Row
Making an appearance in Episode 4 of Live on Music Row as the first female artist of the series is Molly Martin, a singer-songwriter whose unfiltered and candid lyricism has been long overdue for the indie-rock genre.
Integral to Molly’s songwriting is humor and wit, something that also appears consistent in the way she carries herself, as suggested by the onslaught of frisky sarcasm and quick one-liners. She never shies away from telling it like it is, capturing brutally honest reflections of everyday realities, hardships, and romantic past times in such a way that’s both refreshing and relatable.
Backed by guitarist and friend Ryan Sobb, Molly kicks off her set with the title track of her newest EP “What You Need,” a true rock song about prioritizing the needs of a partner over her own, to the point of personal and emotional sacrifice. “Don’t Come Calling Me” narrates a familiar experience of unrequited love, but it’s dripping with imagery, twangy vocals, and finally realization that the other person doesn’t deserve her love anyway. Molly’s third track, “Take My Pills,” is arguably her most forthright, as she details the daily hurtles of depression and unapologetically recognizes – and embraces – her need for medication. She closes the set with the EP’s finisher, titled “Like I Do,” which chronicles the butterflies phase of a budding romance and the concurrent apprehension of jumping into something that might not work out.
While most can agree that quarantine has been a period of much-needed mental rest, not everyone can say that they’ve been able to simultaneously cultivate such high-grade creativity that prompts an achievement like “What You Need.” Watch her play the album on this week’s episode, and stream her new EP if you’re a real one.
EP_003 / LIVE ON MUSIC ROW
Episode 3 of Live on Music Row features Nathan Fouts, aka “Littlefoot,” a musically versatile singer-songwriter and rapper whose unorthodox, yet authentic, synthesis of jazz and hip hop redefines the genre through a modern lens.
A Nashville native with no intention of fitting the historical mold of Music City, Fouts is a natural nonconformist who has spent most of his career formulating his identity on his own terms. He has come a long way since his initial experimentation with songwriting at the age of fourteen, now with two recorded albums to his name and a multitude of unreleased projects in the vault. Although he’s an artist who you would expect to play a club in Miami, for this episode, Nathan reveals new artistic colors, proving he could just as easily draw a crowd in a café lounge.
Thematically, Nathan’s set interrogates the possibility of ever winning in love, a topic he’s felt especially compelled to write about lately, from a range of kaleidoscopic angles. Opening with a cover of Bon Iver’s “Re: Stacks,” he infuses the track with cool hammer chords and melancholic vocals, fitting the song’s lyrical parallelization of love and games, specifically the shared risk/reward of romance and gambling. Nathan then transitions into an untitled, unreleased, jazz-inspired song that traverses post-romance limbo and his subsequent realization of a need to move on. For his final song, Nathan covers Amy Winehouse’s “Love is a Losing Game,” favoring the simple acoustics of the track’s original demo version and effectively isolating his raw vocals to demonstrate his talent needs no veiling.
Those whose familiarity with Nathan barely extends beyond his hip hop tracks may feel deceived seeing a guitar nestled under his right arm, but from the first strum, it’s clear that it’s only natural. Check out Episode 3 of Live on Music Row yourself.
Ep_002 / Live on music row
Episode 2 of Live on Music Row features 22 year old JP Burr, a Tennessee native looking to make a name for himself in Music City. Ever since picking up guitar at age 9, JP has spent a good portion of his life gigging in groups as lead guitarist but has spent the last year exploring his own craft as a singer-songwriter, and gaining momentum while doing so.
Although he’s young, he’s far from inexperienced, having opened for country greats of the past and present and played some of the nation’s most iconic venues. However, for this set, JP trades in the music festival crowds and bright lights for intimacy, featuring none other than his Gibson and a little bit of heartbreak.
This episode features a stripped down version of JP’s single “Suffer,” a song that channels the anger from a partner’s infidelity into a blues-rock anthem that severs ties rather than entertains the prospect of reconciliation. His intimate set also includes performances of three unreleased tracks from his upcoming EP. Despite being sonically cohesive in their degree of rasp and vulnerability, the tracks demonstrate his impressive versatility, lyrically crafting different narratives inspired by his personal life.
The second track of the set & first unreleased song, “California,” couples full-bodied chords with the experience of being all-consumed by romantic wanderlust. Next up is “Lonely Like You,” a quarantine-inspired track that offers a powerful take on the normalization of solitude, a sentiment that has become familiar to all of America. JP ends with “Tuscaloosa,” a warm, yet forlorn song reflecting on the difficulty of watching a former lover move on with someone new.
JP may seem like your quintessential boy-next-door on the outside, but the vehemence in which he tells his stories proves that looks can be deceiving. See it for yourself.
Ep_001 / live on music row
For years people have come to Nashville to create, listen, and be a part of the superb music scene. Built in Nashville was created to give artists a platform to be heard and for music lovers to discover hidden talents. We have made it our mission to find local artists and show them off to the Nashville community, for, community, just like music, brings us all together.
With so much music in the world, incredible musicians down the block can be hard to find through all the noise. To cut through the noise, we created the Youtube series “Live on Music Row.” Throughout the series you will hear amazing new artists from all sorts of genres, backgrounds, & parts of Nashville. Join us to get to know some of the dopest and most talented independent artists the Nashville music scene has to offer.
We are so excited to have Jah Frida on our first episode. Jah is originally from Dallas, Texas and moved here over five years ago. With an eclectic mix of r&b, groovy beats, & unique vocal, Jah is a hidden gem. Jah plays three tracks accompanied by several other solo artists, further showing why the local scene is so special. He is unique, jovial, and a bright light shining through all the darkness.
Thank you for supporting local musicians and your local community. We hope you enjoy Live on Music Row and are able find some new musicians you love
Keep spreading love,
Your Built in Nashville Family.