After rubbing shoulders with some country music A-listers and gaining some ground in the thriving music industry of Nashville, Tennessee, local aspiring country singer Beth Marie Anderson is back in Qualicum Beach, working on a plan that will see her make Nashville her permanent home.
The 24-year-old singer songwriter released her debut album Open Road in 2010 with 10 original tracks and since then hasn’t looked back.
Her first trip to the country music capital happened five years ago. The Kwalikum Secondary School grad ended up loving the city and has worked hard every year, saving up enough money to hang out in the city and learn the ropes.
Anderson has made industry connections and just recently got back from a four-month-stint, writing songs and performing gigs throughout the city. Once again the trip exceeded Anderson’s expectations as she came back with some new songs under her belt, one that is currently available on Itunes.
The country pop song is titled Choose Me and Anderson said she recorded three other tracks that she hopes she can eventually release on an EP.
“I have been getting publishing and label interest in my songs,” she said but admitted she has some competition.
“I was told from Canadian country radio that I was competing against Carrie Underwood so my songs have to be just as good.”
She said she lucked out when she arrived in Nashville in August 2011 because her intention was just to work hard and write some songs but other opportunities came up.
“I got free studio time and recorded four songs,” she said.
She added she wrote enough songs for a complete CD but she needs to raise some money before that project can go forward.
“I want to do my new CD justice. I want to do it the right way,” she said.
The emerging country artist also performed at high profile locations playing up to three shows a week. She said some of the venues around the city hold writers nights and they provide a great opportunity to be seen and heard.
“The are called writers rounds and I played a lot of them.”
She admitted she doesn’t get paid to perform in the rounds, but said the experience is worth it.
Like most struggling artists, Anderson said after a few months in Nashville she has to return home and work non-stop because she doesn’t have a visa to work in the U.S.
“I work doing a lot of jobs at home and teach beginner voice and beginner piano. I save my money so when I am down there I have enough to live on. I come back broke then work three jobs for another six to eight months here.”
One of her highlights from Nashville included recording at former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald’s studio and then meeting him. She said he gave her the opportunity to sing for him right there, on the spot.
“I played a song for him and he said I had a beautiful voice.
The enthusiastic singer also appeared at an event where they were celebrating Canadian artists in Nashville and she got to perform on the same stage as Victoria Banks, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Patricia Conroy and Michelle Wright.
Anderson is hoping to get a work visa this year so she can get paid doing her music in Nashville where she would like to reside full time.
“You go down there and it is such a creative environment writing with other people. When you come home life gets in the way. I have to keep reminding myself I have goals and want to achieve so much. I know I will figure it out.”
She is hoping her fans will check out her Facebook page.
You can also follow her journey through her website www.bethanderson.ca, Myspace and Twitter.