Aileeah Colgan Talks Recreating Classic Country Album Covers From Johnny Cash & More for Inventive Video
Even if you're not acquainted with country singer Aileeah Colgan, her "Country Scene" music video will definitely feel familiar. During the clip, she recreates the cover artwork of 21 iconic country albums as a way of honoring the legends she's looked up to for so many years.
“When we sat down to write the song, we had talked about how people from the outside looking in think that the only thing that country music is about is dirt roads, belt buckles, and Johnny Cash,” she admits to Billboard. “You know what? That’s ok. I am a country girl. I love dirt roads, and I have a collection of belt buckles. I am country and that’s ok. So we wanted to pay homage to all the artists that have paved the way for all of us. We wanted it to be a fun and creative way of saying thank you for shining the light on country music, and making it possible for me to do what I’m doing today. That’s how the video came about.”
The singer filmed the video around her 24th birthday, so she chose the same number of album covers to tip her hat to in the video. Three were omitted from the final cut. When asked about some of her favorites during the clip, she doesn’t hesitate. “I watch it, and I laugh, because there were so many moments where filming it was so funny. The Conway Twitty album cover was so fun. There’s a part in the video where I do this awkward wink, and I am known for how bad of a wink I do. I got a chance to really just be myself.” Colgan stays true to the Twitty image of his later years, complete with his perm from 1979. She says her tributes to artists such as Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, and Johnny Cash have been well-received.
“Everything has been so positive. People have commented about this or that album being their favorites. I think that people have been refreshed that it was a creative tribute to the artists they love. Obviously, they don’t know who I am yet, but they connect to these albums. It’s been a great experience for me in re-creating the albums, and becoming familiar with all the songs all over again.”
Colgan is proud of her country roots, which she hopes is apparent from “Country Scene.” “Being able to pretend to be in their footprints was an honor, because these people have done so much for me and for country music. I'm just grateful for the chance to pretend to fill those shoes. It’s been a great experience all the way around.
When asked about her formative years, the songstress says that she was born in Missouri, and with her father being a traveling pastor, the family was on the move a lot. But their support for her dreams is something she feels very strongly. “I’m the youngest of seven kids, and my father was a pastor. We didn’t have much money growing up. My parents have always been so great in supporting me. I want to work incredibly hard so they don’t have to. Being able to see some success with the video has been amazing. I can see my path. I can feel it in my soul that this is the right thing for me to do as a career.”
Music is something that runs in her blood, as her mother had a stint as a recording artist years ago. “In her early years, my mom was a touring Gospel singer. I love going into used record stores and Goodwills and trying to find her records. They were Katie and The Sunshine Girls and the Blessed Hope Singers. You can still find their records around. I’m very fortunate to have parents and siblings that support me.”
Colgan, who now calls Illinois her home, will soon be releasing a new EP titled Life’s A Beach, which she plans to promote on the fair and festival circuits. Her method of travel? A red Ford conversion van named Reba.