One of the most-talked-about artists in Music City these days is Aubrie Sellers. Though she might be labeled a “newcomer,” there’s no doubting her pedigree as a musician.
With her parents (Jason Sellers and Lee Ann Womack) both being recording artists and her stepfather, Frank Liddell, reigning as one of the top producers in town, music has been in her bloodstream since she can remember. Billboard.com is excited to premiere the video for her first single, “Loveless Rolling Stone,” in anticipation of the Jan. 29 release of her debut disc New City Blues on Carnival Music (via Thirty Tigers).
In discussing her debut single, Sellers says the lyrics — about loving and appreciating someone but still leaving him or her behind — are a little different. But she feels that listeners can relate. “To me, the song is about being a little bit different, and not making the same choices as everyone else. The choice might seem obvious because you love this person, but you have other things more important in life — whether that be freedom or the goals you have that you want to accomplish. That song comes from a place of wanting to make your life a little bit different or where a guy isn’t the most important thing in life.”
Here are a few things you need to know about this talented artist:
For Sellers, everything begins with the song — including New City Blues.
“I just started writing, and once I felt I had something, I started doing guitar and vocals and trying to figure out what I wanted to do production-wise, which is something that excites me. I wrote a lot with Adam Wright, who played guitar on the record. I think that was really how the sound of the record developed.”
Sellers worked with Liddell on the album — which she says was a natural fit.
“He was actually reluctant to do it — but as a family member, he didn’t know how it would work out. I think that everyone having a musical background in my family, Frank and I are on the same page. I played him a bunch of stuff, and the thing about him as a producer that is so great — if you listen to the records that he’s done, they sound like the artist and not him. A lot of producers in town are great, but you can tell that it’s their record. That’s something I loved about working with him. We took it slow and played with some production things that I liked. He’s good at figuring out the best way to make you sound like you.”
Musically, Aubrie Sellers is all over the map.
“To me, music is about an energy. I’ve always been more of a melody person, though lyrics are important. I’ve had a lot of influences all over the map — from Buddy Miller to Led Zeppelin to George Jones, and bluegrass. All of those have energy and soul in common to me. So those are the things that are important to me, musically.”
Her favorite artist? Ralph Stanley.
“I think that soul, to me, is the theme of music that I connect with. I don’t think there is a more soulful singer than Ralph Stanley. I think he has such simple bluegrass songs that everyone can connect with, but he sings them with such conviction. I haven’t heard anything that I like better than that. Those songs have the same energy as a Led Zeppelin song — just in a different way. They all have the same realness.”
‘Polarizing’ is not a dirty word for Sellers. Love her, hate her — just feel something.
“I think that if your music is too down the middle, a lot of people might like it, but it’s not going to have a real impact. So much of the music I love is polarizing. People might either hate it or love it, but they remember it because it was different. That means it was pushing buttons and not just following trends.”
Growing up in Nashville, she admits there have been a lot of changes since she was a child.
“People are moving here from all different genres, and it’s becoming a trendy city — which makes it completely different from what it was. That can be a good thing and a bad thing — it loses some of its pure quality, but I think that overall, it’s a good thing. I think that’s the reason why if country music is going to move in a new direction, that’s going to be a huge part of it.”
Sellers is a huge movie fan — but she definitely has her own taste.
“I just saw a movie called ‘Goodnight, Mommy’ that actually was kind of disturbing, but I liked it. My favorite movies are from directors that have a vision, like Wes Anderson or Tim Burton.”
Sellers credits her mother with teaching her about the integrity of the music.
“Obviously, I grew up around great music and being in this world helped me to learn about those artists. One great thing about my mom about the business is that she has a really great head on her shoulders about everything and always has been 100 percent about the music and not about the other junk. I think that’s the best lesson I’ve gained from her, and I hope to carry that legacy on.”
November 6 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle†
November 7 Ashland, VA Ashland Tea & Coffee†
November 8 Easton, MD Stolz Listening Room†
November 10 Philadelphia, PA World Café†
November 11 Boston, MD Great Scott†
November 12 New York, NY Rockwood†
November 13 Seattle, WA Triple Door*
November 14 Bainbridge Island, WA Treehouse Café*
November 15 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge*
November 17 Berkeley, CA Freight & Salvage*
November 19 San Juan Capistrano The Coach*
November 20 Los Angeles, CA Largo*
November 21 Phoenix, AZ Musical Instrument Museum*
*appearing with Hayes Carll
†appearing with John Moreland