Feed the Band
Feed the Band
I have been doing interviews for a little over two years now. You would think by this time I would have a better understanding of how music artists tick. The truth is everyone is different and by the time I feel that I have everything figured out, someone throws me a curveball. My most recent one took months to get to this point. It was not by her doing. It was because I continuously recalibrated the lens that I looked at her through.
Mary Kutter to many, as well as myself, is a first-class songwriter. Her latest single “Panama” stands as a testament to that fact. She didn’t get to where she is solely on her good looks. Mary has an amazing work ethic. She often does multiple co-writes a day. Some of you may not look at co-writes as work, but I can tell you for a fact they are. I have participated in several. The goal is to put multiple ideas from several people into a song. Doesn’t sound too hard, does it? If you agree with this statement you either one, never had a job with people or ever had to plan a family holiday. The goals you look to achieve in these may be different, but the process, for the most part, is the same. It’s a pure miracle that Mary can walk in and out of these with a smile. It was definitely a struggle for me.
On the subject of Mary Kutter’s cheerful nature. This has been the single thing that has caused me to raise an eyebrow. She presents herself as someone who is always in a good mood. I’m not a pessimist. I believe people can be content with their life. Mary just seemed to overdo it for me. So I poked at her armor a few times to see what would happen and the truth is absolutely nothing. What do I mean by this? She never pushed back or caved. Mary Kutter has a way of absorbing the good in the people around her then uses it to make connections with those very same people. There are a plethora of talented people in Nashville, but it’s this one thing that really makes Mary Kutter stick out to me as an artist.
Her openness has created an amazing friendship between the two of us and has brought her here to the Southern Fellow family. I also had a fun time creating Mary’s inspired recipe She is the taco queen and I hope this recipe represents the crowned queen well. Before we get to the interview keep a lookout for our Ultimate Breakfast Taco recipe Mary inspired and enter the giveaway at the bottom. Here is our interview with country music artist Mary Kutter.
Tell us about your road to Nashville.
how easy is it at your My journey to Nashville looks a little different than most artists and writers in town. I was working at a radio station right outside of Louisville, Kentucky (close to where I grew up) where I hosted a weekly TV/Radio music variety show. At that time, I was performing shows on the side and writing solo and I had a couple of big writers come on the radio show who really loved what I was doing as a writer and artist and they introduced me to a handful of folks in Music City. I started traveling back and forth to town to write and take meetings, and every person I met and showed my music to said the exact same thing: You HAVE to move here. And so I did, and it’s been the craziest, most exciting ride for the past 2 1/2 years.
What do you feel are some important things you have learned in the music industry?
As soon as I moved to town, I started and began hosting different writers nights in Nashville. My weekly show, “OMG! I’m a Songwriter” at Tin Roof had just under 500 different guests within 10 months and I saw super quickly how talented so many people are…and how that’s just one piece of the puzzle in being successful in the music industry. As a writer, I’ve had a handful of cuts by different country and pop artists in town and I’m really excited about some holds I currently have. I think you can either choose to be overwhelmed or inspired by the amount of talent in town, and I’ve chosen from the beginning to let it push me to work as hard as I possibly can, and work smart. I’ve pivoted quite a bit since I’ve been doing music, from doing cover gigs to hosting a TV/Radio Show, to running successful writers night, to day in and day out writing with different personalities and working with people to create a something that’s unique and fresh but also commercial, to now releasing music as an artist and finding new ways to connect with fans even when we are facing a pandemic. It’s a good thing that thinking outside the box is one of my favorite things to do, because this business definitely calls for a lot of it!
Who are your top 3 influences and how did they shape you as an artist?
When I was 9 years old, my parents gave me a boombox for my birthday and I remember sitting on my bedroom floor every day after school, listening to Faith Hill records over and over again. She really feels her songs and that voice, that poise, that grace…just wow. Elvis is my all-time favorite artist and when I began doing shows, I always included “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” (which happens to be my favorite song!) and I think he was just the perfect artist in so many ways, from how he selected amazing songs to how he performed, to his iconic look. Dolly Parton has inspired me so much — growing up, my parents would take my big brother and me to Dollywood on vacations and even as a little girl, it inspired me so much that this beautiful, big-smile, dazzling gal had created her own world and it all started with her songs. I love her grace and think outside the box attitude, and everything I’ve ever heard about her, she’s an extremely kind woman and is still SUCH a boss. She started out in town as a great songwriter and continued to bring smiles to people’s faces with her music as an artist and she’s a timeless person who I look to for a blueprint with my own journey.
What is the best way to start the day?
I usually start my day with a short prayer just thanking God for another day. Gratitude really helps me more than anything, and so does a cup of hot tea while I read some business articles before I get ready for my day’s music sessions. I always like to pick up a cup of coffee for my cowriters and me, and you can see me driving and jamming to some Lil Wayne holding a coffee on Music Row most weekday mornings on my way to my writes.
What fad or trend do you hope comes back?
Being kind to others, even if you don’t agree with their opinions. I always like to stay away from politics and that kinda thing because I want my music and platform to be an escape for folks where they can feel good. And I’ve gotten so many messages from people in the last several months thanking me for keeping my music world a neutral place. But gosh, it seriously breaks my heart when I see folks bashing and belittling others to get their point across, no matter the situation is. My Mom always told me you get a lot more with honey than vinegar and anyone who knows me knows I’m ALL about sugar.
Connect with Mary
We are always developing recipes here at Southern Fellow. When writing music what recipe do you use?
I love this question because writing music is so similar to cooking. One of my most common expressions, when I’m in a cowrite, is “we need to add some paprika to that”, meaning add something fresh and unique to pep up a line or section of the song. When I’m co-writing, I typically get a feel for my cowriter’s writing process and follow suit because I’ve found if I can make someone feel comfy, they’re gonna shine and be able to give their best, whether that’s them leading with the melody or us starting with a concept and talking through that. When writing by myself, I always have a list of different lines and ideas that I usually start with. I love simmering on different ideas for a while and it’s just like when waiting for the water to boil…I can see that the idea is ready to be written and my head in wrapped around the concept. When solo writing, once it’s at that “boiling” point, I usually sit down at my keyboard and the song gets written pretty quickly. I don’t wanna overthink anything and I just roll with it, like a chef who doesn’t necessarily measure the salt and cilantro but knows with their intuition the recipe is calling for a pinch of salt and a handful of cilantro.
What is special about the place you grew up?
I love that my hometown is filled with “extraordinary ordinary” people. The people who work on the factory line, on farms, at the hospital, at public schools. My hometown is filled with people who are so dedicated to their families and churches and the local community. You might not ever see their names on billboards or on the front of Time Magazine, but they’re the ones who work hard, love hard, and live full lives. I think about those people a lot and I want to create music they’ll love.
What is your first fond memory of food?
My parents both worked super hard and would work long hours, but we would have supper at the table together. My Dad would always talk so passionately about his work at the table, telling funny stories from his day or about what projects he was working on while we ate our pork chops or spaghetti and I remember growing up thinking he was just the coolest and how it only made sense that no matter what I ended up doing in life, I wanted to love it as much as he loved his career.
In your own words define success.
No matter how long you live, even if it’s 100 years, that’s a relatively short amount of time in the long run if you think about it. So a lot of things in life we run towards maybe don’t matter as much as sometimes we think they do. At the end of the day, loving others and leaving them better than they were before is my goal. And I achieve that, I think that’s success.
Try this inspired recipe!
What are some lyrics if you were to write a jingle on tacos?
Sour cream, thick on that crunchy
tortilla, I need ya
to pass me some salsa, all ya know
I’ll always take one, two, three, chicken or beef
What do you have a strong opinion on?
INTERNAL RHYMES ARE LIFE (read that taco lyric and picture Lil Wayne slaaaaying it!)
I know we live in a crazy time, but what would you like to accomplish by the end of 2021?
I like to think in three month periods so I can look back and see what’s working and what I wanna change and what I need to do next. But at the end of the day, Goal #1 will be giving fans music and entertainment that makes them smile 🙂
What are some small things that make your day better?
I like to treat myself to the little things, like coffee, ice cream, or dessert every day. I try to work out, and walks and long drives listening to music helps me clear my head like nothing else. And I am ALL ABOUT puzzles and TV. Both make me think about things in a fresh way and also lets me turn my brain off for 30 minutes.
Tell us about your brand new single “Panama”.
Panama is a song about how all the reasons you love someone are like grains of sand…there are so many reasons and you could never count them all, just like you could never count every grain of sand. It’s a chill summer jam and it zeros in on swaggy rhythms and the falsetto range to give a vibey feel.
Is there anything else you want your family at Southern Fellow to know?
So much fun is going down in July! I’m doing at least one live a week on either IG or FB and I’d love to hang. More music is coming and this is gonna be a great second half of the year. We got this 🙂
Straight up, Mary Kutter is an amazing songwriter, artist, and person. It’s an honor to have her as the newest member of the Southern Fellow family. She is also a must-have addition to your playlist. You can get your digital hands on all of her music on your favorite service including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and YouTube. After you hit play, give that recipe for the Ultimate Breakfast Tacos a try and enter our giveaway below. Thank you for your part in this Southern Fellow family. We have more music, recipes, and interviews on the way!