Artist: Kristy Cox
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee, by way of Mount Barker, South Australia
Latest album: Shades of Blue
Personal nicknames: Nil
Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
This would have to be one of the hardest questions to answer. I grew up listening to a HUGE range of music styles. My parents are big ’70s rock fans, and my pop listened to old time Australian country music and bluegrass. I feel I have been influenced in a different way from all of the artists that shaped my childhood, from Meatloaf and Queen to Slim Dusty and Merle Haggard; they each have given me something. I would say my idol is Emmylou Harris. I love her rawness, her songs and her voice. She is fantastic!
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I was around 4 years old when I first told my mum and dad that I was going to be a singer when I grew up. From an even younger age there are photos of me playing the guitar. I think I always knew that it was what I wanted to do. I first performed on stage at the age of 11, and was completely hooked from that moment on. I have a law degree and studied to ensure I had a “backup plan” but I have never wanted to do anything else.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
I am currently halfway through writing a song for my children, Adelaide and Ryman. I have been halfway through for two years now and just cannot think of enough words to describe what they mean to me, or how their little fingerprints will forever be on my heart. I think as a songwriter it is hard sometimes to find the words you want to say, no matter how hard you look. One day I know it will come to me and I will be able to finish it as a gift to them.
What has been the best advice you’ve received in your career so far?
I was extremely lucky to meet my idol Emmylou Harris at the IBMA convention in 2013. It was my first trip to the United States, and I was able to go backstage and meet her. At the time I thought I had to perform country pop music, as that was what all the girls my age were doing, even though I was not the biggest fan of it. Emmylou told me that if she could give me one piece of advice, it would be to play music that I enjoy, and if I ever stop enjoying it … that is the moment to stop. I left that day and decided to start recording bluegrass music, because bluegrass made me happy! I am so glad I listened to her. I am not sure I would still be going if it was not for that advice.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
I need sunshine and the beach in my life. Being an Australian and living landlocked in Tennessee has made me realize this. There is something about the sound of the ocean, I do not even have to get in, that settles me. I have begun to notice that if I do not get enough sunshine and don’t do at least four trips to an ocean each year, I become almost depressed and distracted. These elements ground me and help me concentrate on my goals and inspire me to do more.
Photo Credit: Katrina Burgoyne