17 Memphis Use Their Crossover Pop/Country Sound to Win Over Fans at the Billboard Lounge

17 memphis
 Ashlee Espinal

17 Memphis perform in the Billboard Lounge after the game between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets on March 13, 2018 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Brooklyn might be struggling in the basketball department, but the Barclays Center and its surrounding culture is still one of the best in the game. Coming off a streak-ending win over the Rockets last week, the Raptors edged past the Brooklyn Nets in the final minutes on Tuesday night. Luckily, country-pop crossover duo 17 Memphis hit the Billboard Lounge post-game to quell some of the pain.

While Brooklyn is certainly not the home of country music, 17 Memphis is admittedly not much of a traditional country band. The group is composed of pop producer Felix Snow and songstress Chelsea Todd, who make country music that’s more reminiscent of 2018 Taylor Swift than mid-2000s Taylor Swift. Perhaps an even more accurate comparison is that they sound something like Tim McGraw and Nelly's collab on "Over & Over" -- something a fan pointed out to them this year, which they refer to now as "the best compliment ever." 

“I definitely think our sound helped tonight. When we did ‘Lonely Off These Lips’ I saw this couple sort of bouncing around to it in more of a hip-hop kind of way,” Snow said. “A lot of our songs have kind of a hip-hop backbeat to it with a country feel over top of that.”

The duo and real-life couple dropped their first EP, Three Coors & The Truth, last week. The performance touched on some of the pair’s older singlets like “Honey Jack” off last year’s 17M1* but was compromised mainly of cuts from the latest project, opening with the titular track and continuing on with renditions of "Won't Be Us" and "Stay" -- soaring songs that lent plenty of room for Todd to showcase her bubbly vocal chords, as Snow backed up on guitar. The post-game performance was the first time they’d taken the new material to the stage.

“That’s technically our first live performance. It felt amazing. We’ve been working really hard and preparing. We did all the dirty work, so we were ready,” Todd said.

As for what’s to come, they’re only one day away from their tour with country musicians Luke Pell and Logan Mize. The Hometowns and Highways Tour starts Thursday (March 15) and will span through April, ending in Dallas on the 28th. And while there's an impending tour and a very new EP sinking in, Snow and Todd aren't letting up. 

“We’ve been brewing. The EP that we just released we’d been sitting on the songs for a year and a half or something,” Todd said as Snow added, “It’s like a culmination of an era, and then on top we have three or four singles we’re gonna release that are really leveled up -- a new chapter, a better chapter."


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