Jason Haney, one of our Fall SB7, is a singer/songwriter based in Nashville who focuses on country-pop music. He describes his sound as “heartfelt” and “not-quite-country,” and the kind of music that makes you think of growing up. Aside from being a talented musician, Jason is also a self-confessed “social media addict.” He told us:
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the two years I’ve been in Nashville, the quickest way to make this happen without major label support is to grow a digital fan base using cutting edge, game-changing social media tactics.”
Naturally, we at Songbird were excited to work with him, and you can follow him on Songbird here: www.songbird.me/artists/jason-haney. Take pictures at Jason’s shows and share them with all of his fans using our new [Add+] feature located at the top right of his page.
This Saturday, Jason is playing at a breast cancer awareness music festival called Breast Fest, in his hometown of Erie, PA. He was originally contacted by the founder of the event because of his song, “Kyle’s Song” which is about a childhood friend he lost to cancer, and he has since worked with the program to further their cause.
Catching up with Jason before his much-anticipated hometown gig, we asked him a few questions about his experience in the music industry.
What are some ways you are different from other country artists?
“There are a SELECT few artists who do this in country music, but I take pride in writing all of my own music from start to finish. I know this is likely to change through the years, but I’d like my first charting single to be one that I’ve penned. Also, I take pride in being able to blur the lines that exist to create genres of music. I see genres as fences, I think it blocks writers abilities to grow & I’m not afraid to blend genres. Third, I pride myself on being extremely present on social networks. I know what it’s like to be a fan, I’m still a fan to many artists. I want to be as present for my fans as possible because I know what it’s like to reach out to an artist or wait around an hour for an autograph & leave with nothing.”
2) What are a few different types of venues where you would feel really good and excited about playing?
I’m always excited to play singer/songwriter rounds in Nashville listening rooms. It’s amazing to me that I’m getting to play these rounds with the massive amount of talent in that town. The crowds come out to hear pure, new, most likely unheard original music, and that’s just magical to me.
Second, the music business is completely different that it was 10, even 5, years ago. I’ve done a couple online shows through Stage It, an online “Skype-like” video chat program that allows an artist to broadcast a show from their living room to people around the world. My last show, I had a fan watching from Australia, and I thought that was the coolest thing.
I’ve asked myself a million times what is the venue that I can play (& sell out of course), and I will leave thinking “wow I finally made it?” There’s a venue in my hometown called the Erie Civic Center. It’s a smaller auditorium, maybe 6k or 7k. But right now, that’s my dream gig, to play to a sold out crowd in my hometown.
What is a source of inspiration when you are feeling stuck on something?
I try to do two things when I have severe writers block. I sit down with my friends and have them tell me all their problems. It washes my own [slate] clean of whatever is causing the block in the first place, and often times I find inspiration in whatever it is they are going through. Second, I like to travel home. I live in Nashville, but anytime I fly home to Erie, PA, I look at my life from a completely different perspective. I often get very sentimental at home as I’ve seen all that I’ve left behind to make this dream a reality. Trips home have resulted in some of my best songs.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
I think the biggest risk I’ve ever taken was moving to Nashville right out of college. I didn’t know a soul in Tennessee and everyone in PA, literally everyone, thought I was crazy. But things are working out so far. I can’t wait to prove myself as a singer and a songwriter. Got a long way to go to get to where I want to be, but I’m in it for the long haul!
For more on Jason Haney, including his videos, photos and other fun things, check out his page here www.songbird.me/artists/jason-haney. Thanks, Jason!