Ashley McBryde's still pinching herself
THERE can't be too many artists who score a Grammy nomination with their first album, but it's one that Ashley McBryde is more than happy to take.
While preparing for her first performance at CMC Rocks, Ashley took time out to chat with The Queensland Times about her rise to fame, against all the odds.
Her debut album Girl Going Nowhere was nominated for a Grammy, which makes her a member of a very elite club.
"When I found out I called my mum and told her I'd been nominated for a Grammy award, and I Id that every day, it just didn't feel real," Ms McBryde said. "It still didn't until I walked to my seat at the Grammys, took my seat and Quincy Jones is sitting in front of me.
"He turns around and introduces himself. It's Quincy. Jones. How do you deal with that?"
Ashley has been on the road since mid-February, and after a show in Melbourne shot up to Ipswich to perform at CMC Rocks, the biggest country music festival in Queensland.
Ashley says that she gets a real buzz out of playing big events like CMC.
"I don't want to call it 'angry', but I feel like when I'm at a big festival I feel like how an athlete feels before a race. I want to get on there and just do it. There's something different, something special about playing festivals, it's the energy from the fans. You have all the other artists there supporting you, and as soon as you hit the stage, that energy hits your nostrils and I'm like 'let's do this!'
"Plus, I love to hang backstage to watch as I don't like to cause a ruckus in the crowd, but I am tempted to put on a hoodie tonight and blend in to the crowd."
Here debut album Girl Going Nowhere features in the title track mention of all the years of playing live before she got her big break, and it is something that she clings on to.
"I still get a buzz from people singing along to my songs, if that was in a bottle or a pill I'd be a junkie, it's something you only get from a live crowd," Ashley said. "I'm from Arkansas and here I am sitting in Australia!
"My feeling never changed, that this is who I wanted to be, and this is what I wanted to do. If someone told me how many bad gigs I'd have to play, for crap money, in a crap slot, standing in front of a sports game on a big screen. It might have scared me off at 17, or 18 but I wasn't doing it because I had to mark off a certain amount of shows before good things started to happen.... I did it cos I love it.
"Plus, I always remember that at any second this could go away."