Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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On the Rise in Nashville

In his song Crazy Town, country superstar Jason Aldean describes the difficulty of making it big in Nashville in this way:

It’s a crazy town,
full of neon dreams,
Everybody plays
and everybody sings…
We love it, we hate it, we’re all just trying to make it in this crazy town.

And while Aldean has accomplished his goal, there are no guarantees for those newcomers who aspire to achieve the same thing.

Still despite the odds, one former Colusa resident is giving it her all, and with the release of her first single is hoping that more is yet to come.

Tiffany Fernandez is the Colusa girl that has set her sights on the Nashville spotlight, and after cutting her first track, So I Run, has made her hometown proud.

Fernandez, who along with her mom Anna, moved from Yuba City to Colusa when she was three years old, developed a passion for music as a young child spending time with her grandfather, Carl Stout.

“My grandfather was a Vietnam vet who suffered from PTSD and he started a band because music brought him some relief,” said Fernandez, in an interview from her home in Nashville. “My papa had me singing along with his guitar pretty early on.  He played what was called country-rock and that’s really how country music grew roots in my heart.”

Yet in spite of her love for music, as a teenager, she says she went through a phase where she just wanted to be “normal” and abandoned activities like show choir and pageant competition, which she did solely because she enjoyed the talent portion.

So after graduating from Colusa High School in 2005, she went the college route, starting at Chico State then moving on to Sacramento State, before completing her degree in accounting after relocating to Tennessee in 2011.

What prompted her at age 25 to pack up and move 2,000 miles away did not boil down to one single issue, but rather was a combination of factors including several taxing experiences that caused her to rethink her path.

“It wasn’t one thing that brought me here [to Nashville].  I had met my emotional stress capacity and had to get out of Colusa County.  All I ever wanted to do when I was younger was sing, dance and entertain.  For a long time I had abandoned that idea because it felt like a far-fetched dream, but I knew that if I didn’t attempt music in some capacity I would regret it forever.  It really is my first love, “ Fernandez said.

Thus upon arrival in Tennessee, she took on what she described as “a colorful assortment of jobs” before spending the last six plus years working in accounting for an HOA management company.

Over the years she dabbled in music writing a handful songs and performing demos in studios where she provided vocals for songwriters who were pitching their songs to artists, but never truly felt she could call herself a singer/songwriter until So I Run was released.

She co-wrote the deeply personal song with her friend Jonny Houlihan, a songwriter, producer and Grass Valley native who has been involved in the Nashville music scene for years.

“The song is about my birth father.  I can probably count on both hands how many times I saw him in my life, said Fernandez. “He has a heart of gold, but addiction got the best of him.  That song is really about me being honest about how he broke my heart and how it affects my behavior as an adult.

She then went on to explain that she hopes it will speak to others on a deeper level as well.

“That song is special because I had to be very brave, very honest and very vulnerable.  If you’re honest about your story it can be part of another person’s journey of healing and that’s what this game is about for me.  That’s the sweet spot.  You get to use your courage to speak for others who aren’t ready to.”

Now with one song under her belt she isn’t sure what the future holds, but hopes to devote more time to her music and eventually record an album although she knows it’s not going to be easy working around a full-time job and the costs associated with recording.

While Fernandez realizes it takes time to get to the top, she will continue to pursue her goal turning to a message she took from the novel The Alchemist, to remind herself that when searching for one’s destiny, “there isn’t just one way to get somewhere.”

Those wishing to hear So I Run can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Pandora, Amazon, iHeartRadio, TikTok/Resso, and Google Play/YouTube among others.

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