Casey Ahern - 10 Question Music Interview
Casey Ahern is a contemporary Country music artist who has a boundless zest for life that has taken her to Boston, California, and Nashville on a creative and productive music journey. At 17, the fast-emerging SoCal based indie singer-songwriter moved on a whim to study for a semester at Berklee College of Music in Boston. After Boston, she headed back to California for a few months, then hightailed it for a four month stay in Nashville where she played open mics at the Bluebird Café and Douglas Corner Café as well as co-wrote songs with various Music City musicians.
The 20-year-old singer-songwriter chose ‘Where I Run’ as the title of her latest EP not simply because the theme of quick, energizing movement inhabits most of the five tracks, but to reflect the exciting reality that, in her own words, “I’m a runner.” In addition to running, and to the delight of a multitude of Instagram followers, Casey is also a licensed pilot who shares her adventures in the skies and the sense of freedom and escape she finds with her wings!
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
I’m my dad’s daughter and growing up, he always taught me to view the world in a different way. “For example,” he’d say, “most people just see a blade of grass, but think about its journey. How it grows from a seed, gets chopped down every few weeks, but just keeps growing.” Those anecdotes from him and the different point of view sparked my imagination and allowed me to begin writing poems and short stories, eventually turning into songs.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
The craziest thing in my music career I’d say was when I decided to move across the country on a whim at 17. I got accepted into Berklee College of Music and without ever being to Boston, let alone the East Coast, I packed up and attended a semester there. At the time, it was so exciting and didn’t seem that insane, but looking back on it and telling others, I can see how it can be considered crazy.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Spending time recording in Nashville has been the high point of my music path thus far. I spent a few months living there back in 2017 and coming back to record at Sound Emporium Studios with A-list players and producers was something out of a dream! Just being around them and listening to their stories, watching how they work and hearing them play is a learning and inspiring experience like no other.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
A lot of the time when writing, the lyrics and music hit me at the same time. Sometimes it’s a couple lyrics of a verse, other times, it just flows into a whole chorus. And it’s funny because it’s usually when I’m driving or in the shower rather than sitting down with my guitar intending to write.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I think the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today is the expense of everything. It takes money to make money and it gets very difficult when trying to build a business, because that’s really what this is. I never realized how much it takes to get up and running, from promotion to recording, so I think for Indie Artists, it can hinder them from doing what they love because they don’t have the major financial backing.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
If I could, I would love to share the stage with the Zac Brown Band. I’ve been to several of their concerts and every time I see them live, they amaze me. I love their instrumentation, harmonies and songs in general, so it would be such an honor to share the stage with such an experienced and talented group of individuals.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
When preparing for a live show with the full band, I have them all come over to my house where we have the garage set up with a drum kit, sound system and a couch. We set up in a semi-circle when rehearsing so we can all see and talk to one another and I think, at least to me, it creates a more comfortable atmosphere. I have dogs too, so one of them usually ends up breaking in and saying hi haha! Then the two most important things I have to remember to do for myself to prepare for a show is get good sleep the night before and don’t drink coffee too close to the performance, since I’m an addict, but it dehydrates the voice.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
I’m not sure if I can say one song stands out as being the most challenging to write since, for me, it kind of just flows once a melody or lyric comes to mind. However, I have a song off my first EP called “Like I Do” and I’d say that one was tough in the sense that it’s really personal. When writing, I try to keep the lyrics somewhat abstract so if it is about a specific person, those who know me don’t catch on, but it can be a hindrance sometimes if I’m trying to be too closed off. So overcoming that fear of vulnerability can be the toughest aspect of transitioning from writing the song to sharing it out loud.
What's coming up in the future?
I’m going to be releasing a five-song EP called “Where I Run” in early 2020 that I’m incredibly excited about! As an artist and songwriter, I feel like it really captures who I am and my sound, thanks to the incredible producers and musicians that made the tracks come to life! So the next steps are really seeing where this journey leads and connecting with individuals who are touched by these songs along the way.
What are your music links?