« The Voice » winner Chevel Shepherd released her debut EP earlier this month. The girl we met that night on stage grew up as a great performer and developed her own sound inspired by traditional Country. Everybody’s Got A Story is a seven-track project fullof nostalgia, love and hope . You can bet your boots that you’ll be addicted to the sweet and heartbreaking The Letter and to the cute storylines of Good Boy and Mama Got The Chair. We were lucky enough to speak with her about her roots, her new songs and dreams.
Everybody’s got a story. So tell us, what’s yours ? Where do you come from and how did you fall in love with music?
I am from Farmington, New Mexico, a small town near Colorado! I grew up on the music that my parents listened to, classic rock and classic country, the best of both worlds! My mom plays piano and sings, my sister sings too and my dad plays the guitar. Coming from a musical family established a love for music in me at a young age.
Concerning your influences: who are those singers and musicians who make you who you are today as a singer?
I look up to Loretta Lynn. She’s always stayed true to who she is and what she believes. That inspires me! I also love Tanya Tucker, Gretchen Wilson, Carrie Underwood and The Chicks.
In 2018, you participated in the show The Voice. You teamed up with Kelly Clarkson and won. What are the main things she taught you that you applied on this EP?
I was fortunate to work with Kelly Clarkson on The Voice. She always encouraged me to be myself and have fun. I hold that close and try to let that guide me and the music that I make.
It’s time to talk about this first EP: Everybody’s Got a Story. How did you work on it? Did you write any of the songs? Play instruments?
I spent the latter half of 2019 traveling between my home in New Mexico and Nashville (Tennessee) to record these songs. I went through hundreds of songs and narrowed down to these seven. Each song on Everybody’s Got A Story shows a different side of my voice and represents who I am as a country artist. While I didn’t write any of the songs on the EP, I am proud to release songs written by excellent songwriters like Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and more.
Your EP sounds like good classic country bringing back so many memories and feelings, creating sweet nostalgia. Like Dolly Parton, your songs tell us a story. Are those songs telling your own stories or do you see yourself more like a storyteller?
I do see myself as a storyteller. Rich storytelling is one of the beautiful things about country music that draws me in. The songs on my EP are written by several writers who have a knack for storytelling. While I look forward to writing about my own experiences in the future, I love to tell stories written by others as well.
Can you speak about your last music video Good Boy? How did you come up with this idea?
The director, David Dibble, who I’ve worked with on previous music videos, conceptualized Good Boy. He came up with the dating-through-the-ages idea and it grew from there! We filmed it in my local area. A wonderful experience!
What was the most challenging song on this EP and why?
The Letter was the most challenging song on the EP. It’s very emotional and tells a story of deep pain and also hope.
Speaking of challenges: do you have a new one for your first album?
I would like to collaborate with other artists, explore my songwriting and possibly play some guitar on a track. Looking forward to all three!
What are your favorite new Country songs in Country at the moment?
I love the songs on Loretta Lynn’s new album Still Woman Enough!
Would you wanna tour in Europe and maybe come to France?
Absolutely! It would be a dream come true to tour in Europe, come to France, see new places and meet new people!
You seem to be really concerned about others. Do you work with associations or is there any projects you wanna share with us?
I recently had an opportunity to perform virtually for several pediatric hospitals via Musicians On Call. It was a blessing to be a part. Musicians On Call brings live and recorded music to patients in healthcare facilities.
What’s next? What’s your projects and dreams?
I want to continue releasing original music and pursing my acting career! One day I would love to sing at the Grand Ole Opry (editor’s note: a famous weekly American country music stage concert in Nashville) and tour around the world.
[Photo credits: Shutterfreek ]