Miss Willie Brown Begin Fateful Journey to Country Stardom
Miss Willie Brown can attest to the truth of the old saying "Sometimes the best plan is to have a little good luck." How else to explain the fate that brought Amanda Watkins of West Virginia and Kasey Buckley of Texas together? Kasey wasn't even a singer when the two first met, both working at a Los Angeles diner to earn some cash while they sought their big breaks.
A friendship formed, then a writing partnership that fused their eclectic musical tastes into a signature sound. Now the pair are signed to A&M/Octone Records, are on the 2011 Jägermeister Country tour with Dierks Bentley and Josh Thompson and are looking ahead to the release of a full-length album next year.
Just before they boarded the bus to head out on tour, the two took a short break to talk to The Boot about how the stars aligned for them.
The two of you met in Los Angeles yet opted to write country music. Why not indie rock or pop, which seem to fuel the L.A. music scene?
Kasey: It literally wasn't a decision. It is just what happened, what we gravitated naturally toward. It wasn't like we said, 'We should be a rock band.' We started writing songs and they were what they were. It just came naturally to us, country, and how our voices meld.
It's also interesting how the two of you met by happenstance.
Kasey: That's the thing, we owe that all to not a coincidence. It is owed to something that is beyond us. Our relationship is proof there is a God. There is no planning or anything that went behind it. We were brought together for a reason.
Amanda: I don't even know how we started writing songs. How did we get here? I think I just said, 'Let's write songs.' How did we get here? Hard work.
One of the songs on your new EP is 'Sick of Me.' It's such a pure love song. How did you begin to write it?
Kasey: We wrote it with Nathan Chapman at his house in Nashville. We were in a writing session with him at his house and his wife, Stephanie, was there and he was kissing on her and stuff and she said, 'Get off me!' He said, 'Don't try to stop me 'cause I'm gonna love you 'til you're sick of me.' We started writing it and had it in less than an hour. We did the demo that day. We knew right from the start, in our hearts, that it was a hit.
Amanda, you started singing in church as a young girl. What music did you listen to growing up?
Amanda: Neither of my parents were musical but there was always good music in the house. We were listening to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson and Lynyrd Skynyrd and Alabama. There was a lot of great music and there weren't any nursery rhymes. It was more about 'We're going to listen to Bob Seger tonight.' My parents knew I wanted to sing and they kept pushing it. I started singing in clubs by myself when I was 15.
Kasey: Her parents are here right now! They drove in for the first bus call tonight. It's a long journey but they wanted to watch us get on.
Amanda: My parents are so very supportive. We had always talked about them being there when I went on tour on a bus and they're here to see us off.
Kasey, you initially went to L.A. to get into acting. Were you a singer, too?
Kasey: I grew up acting and dancing and not singing at all and then I kept acting. I went to L.A. for acting and started singing when I met Amanda three-and-a-half years ago. It was bumpy for me, playing catch-up with everybody who had done this for 10 or 15 years. I am really grateful I'm able to do this. I have a funny group of influences. I'm pretty strong into hip-hop and soul but I really like Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire and Warren G and MC Hammer.
It's amazing to me how far you've come in such a short time. How do you hold on during such a fast ride?
Kasey: We're just out there doing everything we can to make it a great show, make great music. It's a really interesting journey and it keeps changing. This is the first time we've really trusted that everything will come together the way we want.
Miss Willie Brown are on tour. For a complete list of dates and locations, check here.