Beyond the Record
Music news, album reviews & interviews
BBeyond the Record: Welcome! Tell us a little bit about you who are, where you're
from and where you're living now.
Big City Cowgirl: Hi! I’m Big City Cowgirl, a singer, songwriter and performer from New York. I make country music and I’m darn proud of it. I grew up in Brooklyn, listening to all sorts of music, but my mamma turned me into a country music fan. I’ve been writing music since I was a little girl and was fortunate to meet a guitarist named Trevor Bowen with whom I recorded some songs. After being in the studio, I was hooked on music, especially since I could tell stories through song. I’m not ashamed to say that I have written and recorded all sorts of music. I even recorded music out of the country with European Producer, “Big Don” Taylor. Right now, I’m writing what I feel I was always meant to write, country. I live on Long Island and recently began working in Queens.
BtR: Your music is outstanding and you have a rapidly growing fan base. Tell us
a little bit about the growth process as a songwriter and what it's like to “climb the ladder,” so to speak.
BCCG: Thanks for the compliment. My growth process as a songwriter has really centered
around my experiences, and just growing up. The more I write, the better I get. The more I experience, the more I am able to take back to the music. The older I get, the more I see life through different and more expansive eyes. Climbing the ladder for me has been a slow, steady process. I hope I’m climbing it, anyway. It has been a challenge to find musicians on Long Island who want to play original country music, so I rely upon internet radio airplay at this point. There are some wonderful internet radio stations that have been routinely playing my music, and even some terrestrial radio stations that have started to pick up the newest single, Love On The Open Road, which was officially released on June 1, 2017. And heck, if someone wanted to give me a little shove up the ladder, I’m wouldn’t say no.
BtR: Would you say music is an outlet for you to express your emotions, and if
so, is it beneficial to you and your life in various ways?
BCCG: Music is definitely an outlet for me. When I briefly put music on hold to pursue a law
degree and get settled in my personal life, I missed music more than I can even explain. For me, music gets rid of lots of mental debris in
much the same way that people’s brains recharge and purge when they dream.
Sometimes I even hear music and lyrics in my dreams. Writing music keeps me sane so it’s
beneficial not only to me, but those I live with, work with and spend time with.
BtR: Elaborate on the recording process. Take us through all the small details if you could.
BCCG: I don’t want to bore anyone so I’ll try to give you the 2 minutes or less version. I write a song on guitar, and sing and play it into my phone or iPad. Then I take it into Dare Studios on Long Island with a outline of how I want it to sound - tempo, instruments, style, arrangement, and so forth. Mike Epstein, with whom I have been working for about a year and a half, and I discuss the song at length. He gathers a whole bunch of talented people together and we all work together to get the song perfect - and when I say perfect, I mean perfect to me - in the way I envisioned the song. Sometimes I come up with a new idea while we’re recording and
sometimes Mike or one of the musicians will come up with a great idea. We play it and play it until the backbone is there, and it gets recorded. Then Mike and I sit down and we exchange ideas about what will enrich the song, or what I feel the song is missing. After all of the tracks are down, it is mixed until Mike and I are both satisfied with the final product. He has been invaluable to me.
BtR: Being a voice in the world of country, how do you stand out from others within your genre?
BCCG: I think I stand out because I don’t follow a formula or a format. That might be a
detriment to me, but I personally see it as an asset. I think that having your own sound is more important than adhering to a formula, and I hope that my desire to stay true to myself ends up putting me in the spotlight as though I had followed a formula. I just try to put out the best music I can and hope that people love it as much as I do. Reviewers have said that I write old school country, but I don’t agree. If my music were a cocktail, the recipe would be one part old school country, one part fresh, new vibe, and top it off with one part of big city spin.
BtR: Since we're on the topic of country music, you live in the city. Do your
fans find this strange?
BCCG: I’m not sure what my fans think. They are global fans and I am blessed to have all of
them. I would also mention that not all of my fans are your typical country music fans. If I had to guess, I think that being from the city actually helps me - it sets me apart - it makes me an enigma. I didn’t want to hide from my city upbringing which is why I picked a stage name that incorporated the city into the country. I hope that people don’t view that as a negative, because I don’t. It obviously isn’t the norm though, but since country music is going viral, I think that eventually being in the city and writing country won’t be strange at all.
BtR: At what point in your life did you pursue music to the fullest as to make a
career out of it? Some artists start at a very young age while others take years to discover their passion for the arts. Where do you fall on this spectrum?
BCCG: I gave it go a while back, but then I took a hiatus. I think that right at this time is the time that I am pursuing music to the fullest. I started at a young age, but I didn’t dig in quite as much as I am digging in right now. I feel like the music I’m writing is the right music now so I decided to pursue music as a career about 2 years ago. It’s always been fun. It’s always been a passion. But right now, I feel, is my time.
BtR: Take us through the lowest moments in your career.
BCCG: I don’t want to get somber so I won’t get too much into any low moments. I try to stay positive at all times and consider myself a pretty upbeat, positive person. When I have low moments, it is moments when I doubt myself. I think that no matter how positive you are and how confident you are, there will always be moments when someone in the industry says something to you that is upsetting and you start to wonder why you are pursuing music. In this business, you have to be strong, let things roll off your back, and keep pushing forward. No one can tell you not to pursue your dream, and no one really knows what the next big thing in music will really be.
BtR: And on the flipside, what successes are you most proud of in your career?
BCCG: Success is personal and subjective. Success, to me, is when a fan says that they love a song of mine, or that it helped them through a difficult situation. I’m proud of that.
BtR: Aside from music, you've stated that you have a law degree and are
passionate about helping others. What was your interest in law?
BCCG: My parents really pushed me to pursue a degree in law. It wasn’t my idea. But I went and regardless of all of the lawyer jokes, I think that my interest in law has always been that you can try to make the world a better place. I know a lot of great lawyers, besides myself, who got into the business to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I remember being surveyed after I got into law school, and I remember being asked why I wanted to become a lawyer. I answered that I want to make a difference in the world. It has always been that. Regardless of whether it was law or something else, I wanted to do something special. When I got into law school, my main thrust was to be a prosecutor because I wanted to right wrongs and speak for the weak - stand up for victims. I have never faltered in my desire to help people.