with Avenue Beat and Jenna Paulette
Mason Ramsey is a 12 year old country artist signed to Big Loud and Atlantic Records. He was discovered in April of 2018 when a video of him singing Hank William’s “Love Sick Blues” went viral. Raised by his Grandparents, Mason is from Golconda, IL, which is a small town with a population of 700 people. Growing up without Internet, a cellphone or computers meant that a majority of his time was
spent with his Grandpa Ernie learning about the history of Country music. With his guidance he learned to play guitar and start singing at the age of 4.
Over the years Mason would travel and play wherever he could catch a crowd. Being from a town of 700, the best places to find them were nearby truck stops, church and the Walmart 45 minutes from their home. He eventually developed the nickname “The Singing Walmart Boy” around town. After a video of Mason yodeling went viral in April 2018, he has since then become one of the most viral and influential Country stars on social media today. He’s amassed 2.1 million followers on Instagram in a matter of 6 months which is more than some of the biggest Country stars today. His lead single 'Famous' has over 60 million total plays and is approaching to become a gold record. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut and has performed there 3 times. He has played at major festivals including Coachella, and
Stagecoach. He has been invited and performed on numerous televisions shows such as Ellen, Good Morning America, and Today’s Show. Mason was apart of the legendary CMA Awards with hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. He is currently touring with country star Chris Lane and has a Las Vegas residency with Florida Georgia Line at the Planet Hollywood in December 2018. Mason finishes off the year as the biggest stars of 2018. Making friends with the the likes of Shawn
Mendes, Millie Bobby Brown, and other massive pop stars; Mason is definitely on his way to bringing the Country to the mainstream. Masons videos continue to go viral and sometimes approach 10-100 million views per video. The Internet has fallen in love with him as he has had one of the most breakout years of any entertainer in 2018. Mason recently moved just outside of Nashville. He spends most of his time playing shows, playing basketball, and writing with other Nashville writers. He is surrounded by an incredible family that supports him as he continues to develop as an artist and chase his dream of becoming ... as he would put it... “the Steph Curry of Country Music”
I’m a freakin delight I got more pop than a shook up Mountain Dew If that’s not what you like there must be something wrong with you Cuz I’m a freakin delight Brash. Smart. Fresh. Musical. Avenue Beat – as the genzennial collective of Sami Bearden, Savana Santos and Sam Backoff are known – brings a postmodern take to Country’s candor, as well as strong melodic sense. Maybe it’s the voracious way the three besties swing from Kacey Musgraves to Ariana Grande to Miranda Lambert to Billie Eilish without missing a step, or, well, a beat. Genre fluidity is a byproduct of the 21-year-olds’ immersion in musical theater as much as a rejection of tags in their voracious quest for songs that turn them on. Three girls, a few instruments, an occasional co-writer, silky harmonies and a sense of self both true to the girls, and real for anybody coming into their own in an Instagrammed world of faux perfection. “We are literally our generation,” muses lead singer/co-producer Savana. “We just have this way of dumping it all into songs. Whatever is happening, that’s what we’re writing.” Sam laughs, but agrees. “Our whole generation is crippled with anxiety and expectations. Look around. What do you do? It’s all about your perspective, because it’s better seeing it this way than the garbage fire (life) is.” “We tackle things with humor,” Sami picks up without missing a beat. “For good or bad, maybe it’s an unhealthy coping mechanism, but it works.” “It works in an optimistically nihilistic way!” Savana concludes. Exuberant mic drop. Not since Taylor Swift pulled back the curtain on the way young women coming of age really feel has Country music had voices this true, this sharp or this engaging. With the stretched staccato vowels of the hilarious self-empowering “Delight,” which offers Nashville its first self-referenced meta moment, the sisters-sticking-together euphoria of “Be A Bro” or the angst-rejecting post-break-up “Ruin That For Me,” Avenue Beat beckons listeners with pillows of narcotic harmony and glistening melody – only to sucker punch them with lyrical truths that cut right to the gut. “There’s an anxiety that keeps us from making bad choices,” Sami explains. “And it gets pent up. It’s conflicting things. ‘Delight’ is this idea, ‘You can think I’m shit, but I’m thinking, ‘I’m the shit,’ because if you can’t love yourself, who’s going to?” Savana nods in agreement. “Look, it’s becoming more this way – being open and honest – because it’s easier (for young people) to cope with their depression or anxiety when you joke about it. Just put it right out there.” “You know,” Sam continues, “I’m in on the joke, and I’m the joke all at the same time. It takes the pressure off in so many ways. It really does. And it’s fun.” When Sam says fun, she means making music with her homegirls from Quincy, Illinois. Having known Savana since they were babies, the pair met Sami at a summer theater camp when they were 14-years-old and ultimately formed Avenue Beat – going from teaching one another to harmonize by matching pitch to playing local talent shows and festivals. Though they have just turned legal, the squad’s been making trips to Nashville writing since the self-described “theater nerds” were in high school. Having opened for the Trailer Choir in Illinois, the group invited them to play a charity event at the Dawghouse Saloon in Nashville, “and, though, it was fully past our bedtimes,” Savana remembers, they went – and went for it. “The first two years were often just random co-writes,” Sam adds. “People would tell us when we’d throw out a quirky line, ‘That won’t work...’ Except that’s exactly what we say.” “And then we found Summer Overstreet. She got us immediately,” Savana continues. “A match made in heaven. We wrote ‘Delight,’ the first session – and we started to realize, our voices can work, and that’s what we need to be singing.” There isn’t much that escapes them. While they juggle jobs at juice bars, driving for PostMates and dog walking as they’re waiting on the dream, they take the struggle and turn it into song. With a ukulele, a stop/start rhythmic scan and their selfinduced euphoria, they embrace “Broke” with the rampant joy you’d expect on a Kardashian plunge through Louis Vuitton. Sam nods. “Being an artist woo’ed by a label, you’re the most important person in the world.” “And when you deliver a PostMates, they don’t even look at you,” Savana continues. “Which is the reality of reality,” Sami explains. “Think what you want, but it’s all the same. We do both, so we see how people treat each other and those experiences have given us perspective.” “Yeah, when we were signing our publishing deal,” Sam notes, “we were homeless. We couldn’t find anywhere to live because everything is so expensive.” More laughter, more head-nodding. Savana finishes, “We wrote ‘Broke’ by ourselves, because it was us in musical form! It kinda sucks, but it’s hilarious. So ‘Broke’ is what we ended up, but it’s also not who we are.” For all the high spirits and irony, there’s no denying the quality of the songs, or the way they deliver them. “Theater gives us a leg up on telling a story,” Sam says matter-of-factly. “You know how to express how things evolve...” “And the timing on jokes,” cracks Sami. “And the way to land the melody,” Savana picks up. “How it will impact what we’re singing, because those notes mean as much as the words. There are basic things: show don’t tell...” “We love some furniture in the room,” Sami cracks. “But it also makes the chorus slightly higher too so it pops,” Savana continues. “And don’t fear quirky melodies, because they’ll catch people’s ears.” They also aren’t afraid to turn a jargon on its ear! “Be A Bro” takes on the dudes above guy code and turns it into a girl empowerment anthem that somehow – humor? harmony? – manages to be all-inclusive. “We never wanna write a preachy girl song,” Savana says. “But having a girl support system is so important,” Sam continues. “This is part of who we are, it’s not just something we’re trying to throw out there...” Sami concurs, “Seeing girls love and thrive together is the best. You need someone to talk about the shitty stuff that happens to women who get it, and just the idea of women being kind to other women. It’s so important.” “But,” Savana interrupts, “even our dude friends love to sing ‘Be A Bro’ to us, especially that line, ‘Bitches got to stick together!’ They love that line. Feminism doesn’t alienate them, it draws them in.” “People are trying to make it through any way they can,” Sam adds. “Seeing girls love and thrive together is the best, being supportive... But this song goes just for people, period. It’s loose guidelines, but it works.” Navigating life can be treacherous. They joke about going from “high school to grown up,” facing bills, insurance, stuff college kids don’t deal with at the same level. It’s enough just adulting that the trio doesn’t even want to think about dating. Consequently, their debut self-titled EP via The Valory Music Co. / Tape Room Records, which was co-produced by David Garcia, Ashley Gorley and Savana, is – by design -- devoid of songs about love. “There aren’t a lot of songs about dating, because we’re all doing whatever we’ve doing, but that’s not it,” says Sami. “We haven’t even tried. Heck, for the first two years, we didn’t even think about it; all we thought about was this band.” “It’s kind of crazy,” Sam adds. “Social media and all these other dynamics make it seem important, but what could be more important? Or better than the bond the three of us have?” “Yeah,” Savana agrees. “To have a deeper bond with someone than this? Can I feel as much myself as I do with them? I doubt it.” “With us being such close friends,” Sami finishes, “cattiness doesn’t exist. And it didn’t occur to us that not everybody gets to experience that until we were living on our own. We’re like siblings; we fight about things, but it’s also BOOM! that’s so good – and we’re always super happy for each other.” “You know, if the world could be like that.” For Avenue Beat, who crafted their name using an online band name generator, this is their first step at making the world a little more they way they’d like to see it. They’re not afraid of the work, the messy, the fails, they think that’s all part of the glorious fun in the midst of the chaos. If the trio, who deem Savana “the voice,” Sami “the brain” and Sam “the heart,” have their way, all the messed up moments, tangles and bust-ups will become stepping stones to better places, self-compassion and maybe, just maybe a whole lot of laughter. “We’re all fucked up in totally different ways,” Sami admits. “You can’t avoid it, maybe outgrow it. But while you’re living with it, make friends with whatever it is, and it won’t be so bad.” “Oh,” Sam breaks in, “and make some friends who’ve got your back. Then even when you’re struggling, they’ll pull you along until you’re good to go on Your own.”
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