Kirstie Lovelady knows how to command a stage. As the daughter of artist manager Rendy Lovelady, the singer-songwriter grew up among musical greats -- iconic artists such as Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. Their sounds, along with those of her native Nashville and her love of classic country music, are identifiable within Lovelady's own music, which weaves together all of her influences into a signature style of her own.

"I remember my dad playing so many U2 live DVD videos growing up. Before I really even understood who U2 was and what a song is, or songwriting, I remember watching this concert, and the energy that you could feel," Lovelady tells The Boot. "Or watching Steven Tyler videos. To me, you can’t touch Steven Tyler onstage. There’s just this presence that he has when he walks on stage and grabs a mic from the mic stand."

Lovelady has been able to use what she saw growing up to mold and inspire her own live shows.

"I love that part of a concert that I go to, where you’re just soaking it in," she explains. "I love that about rock music. But there’s just something about country music, and the story that a song tells. You can’t find it in any other genre.

"I love country music," Lovelady adds, "but when we go play a live show, we definitely like to rock it out."

The artist has incorporated her own eclectic sound into her latest EP, Weeds. The five-song project shows Lovelady's growth as a singer and performer since the release of her debut EP, Cry Wolf.

"We started going on the road, and, show by show, we started doing less and less of what’s on [Cry Wolf]. Finally, one day, I was like, ‘We just need to go in the studio, and I’m going to bring the guys who play onstage with me every night, go in with a friend who can just go in his room and press record, and just record music,'" Lovelady recalls. "Whether radio ever plays it or not, whether anybody buys it or not, it’s something that I know I’m going to be proud of, because it’s really me."

Lovelady co-wrote all five tunes on Weeds, so each song is truly a reflection of her.

"They each tell a story of part of my life," she notes. "I grew up thinking that rock music was exactly what I was going to get into. And then I discovered Johnny Cash and fell in love with country music. Those two really came together and have been huge influences for me. I finally came to the conclusion that this is the kind of music that I want to make. It’s okay if it’s not something out there already."

As Lovelady continues to forge her own musical path, she is determined to work hard and hone her craft, with or without a record deal.

"I wouldn’t turn down a label deal or anything," Lovelady says. "We’re definitely going to keep doing what we’re doing now. I’m all about just the organic way of building a career, and I love going out and playing shows and seeing people come back the next time we’re in the city and bring people. I love that really raw, organic way of growing a career."

Weeds is available for purchase on iTunes.

Listen to Kirstie Lovelady, "Head On":

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