You are such an inspiration and role model to all girls of all ages. How does that feel and do you have any advice that you were maybe given that you would like to pass on?
I feel so honored to be at a level to actually get the chance to pour into the younger generation. I think it is so important for them to know that they can do whatever they put their heart, soul, and minds too. Growing up in a faith based family my parents always told me that if I just have strength and the courage, that I can do whatever I put my mind to. Having my parents pass that on to me was important. Knowing that I went through living hell and walked through such a trialing experience in my life, my advice would be that you can use that as fuel to your fire and just keep on going.
I hope that when people look at me they can see, “if she can do it, I can do it.” I think Lainey Wilson said it so beautifully at the ACM’s, “If you are going to be a dreamer, you better be a doer.” You can dream as big as you possibly can imagine, and if you work hard enough and have dedication, then you accomplish it.
What would eight-year old Harper Grace say to you now about your life and career?
She would probably be like, “Look at you now!” It is so cool because I wrote my second single, “Oh Say Can You See,” to the eleven year old me. But I think she would say, “Look at you, you get to do what you love to do and get to have fun with it!”
Do you feel like, no matter what happens, American Idol has positively impacted your career?
Oh my gosh yes. I love that season of my life and being a part of Idol. Having the time to even get one on one moments with the judges was amazing. Going on the journey of Idol really helped me step into the artist that I am today. I did all original music the entire time I was on the show and I just really wanted to make sure I stayed true to myself. Getting the chance to do the show was really important to me.
What excites you most about the Nashville music scene right now?
It is just evolving so beautifully. We have a younger generation of country artists starting to come in, and with social media people are getting their opportunity to sing and put their music out there. I think my favorite thing about Nashville is just the fact that it is very family oriented. My management company just opened up their building and publishing house right on Music Row surrounded with so much history. You really get a chance to know everyone around you. Nashville is just continuing to grow and open more doors and opportunities for younger and female artists.It has just been a great experience for me to be able to be a part of the growth.
Say you had a completely free day in Nashville—no work allowed. What would you be doing?
You would probably find me in the Title Boxing Club. I love boxing! I love working out. My mom was a personal trainer and fitness instructor my entire life. So, I am either walking my dog George Strait, or doing a workout for probably three to four hours solid.
If you could perform with any past or current artist who would it be?
Tell us about one memorable meal you’ve had during your travels. What did it involve?
We just went to New York City and the people with me said pizza was their favorite food there. I grew up in Texas so pizza is very different in Texas. In New York City we had an artichoke pizza and a slice of pepperoni. My mind was blown. I now understand why they said pizza is their favorite food. We also had great meatballs and Italian food.
What is a typical day like for you food-wise and how is it different when you are on tour?
It is harder on the road because it gets a little hectic. Usually at home I like berry bowls in the morning and egg whites. I like to eat high protein meals. I love chicken, steak, and vegetables. On the road it is harder to keep on track, but usually most places I eat steamed vegetables and some sort of meat.
What are your top three US cities for food?
We have traveled so much! New York has literally everything, Chicago, and my Texas home. I grew up on Hard Eight BBQ in Texas and it is my favorite.
What was your favorite cereal to eat as a kid?
I loved Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
What are three things you can always find in your refrigerator?
You can always find eggs, some sort of nut milk, and ginger shots. Ginger is very good for your voice.
Is there anything that you do not enjoy eating?
No, I am the type of person that I will try something at least once. I tried oysters for the first time, I do not think I will indulge again. I never say no to trying food though.
Best Places In Nashville:
Coffee: Barista Parlor
Dessert/ice cream: Baked on 8th, and Jeni’s (Brown Butter Almond Brittle)
Breakfast: Biscuit Love
Date Night: Culture & Co
Not to Miss for out of Towners: Music Row and Hawkers
Best Place on Broadway: Tootsies
Of course we love your style, any favorite Nashville shops?
I love the Showroom. Kristen at the showroom is best!
Do you plan on catching any shows while here at CMA fest?
I tried to catch Tasha Cobbs, but she was playing at the same time I was. But I am a huge Tasha Cobb fan and of Matt Stell.
Any last words for our readers and your fans? How do they connect with you?
We have a new single coming out at the end of July. It will be a fun summer Jam to turn up.