Singer/Songwriter Spotlight Sunday: Paige Johnson
Hi! Paige thanks so much for chatting with us! Tell us about what you have going on musically right now.
I released my first music video back in January, which was so exciting! Going through the recording and filming process was a blast because I was working with my close friends, and I was able to release the video at a hometown show back in North Carolina. As for now, I have been working on writing new music and playing shows around in Nashville. This summer I’m going on my first tour with two friends, and I’m looking forward to it. We will be traveling through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and back through East Tennessee to Nashville. We’re in the final stages of booking, planning, and practicing. This is the first tour for all of us, so we’re all super excited to experience it together!
What made you want to become a musician?
Since I was young, I have been performing for others. Whether it was on stage at church, playing with the house bluegrass band at a local restaurant, or singing for my mom in the backseat of her car, I never stopped singing. Music was engrained in me from the very beginning, with classic country artists such as Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Patsy Cline coming out of the speakers. That music was full of true stories and real-life stuff that couldn’t be mistaken for anything else than what it was; it was relatable, real, and honest. That’s the music that made me want to become a musician. I wanted to be just as sassy as Loretta, classy as Patsy, original as Dolly, and outlawish as the Highway Men all at the same time, sharing my own stories with others. My family noticed that desire and passion for performing when I was nine years old. My grandpa bought me my first guitar and got me lessons to learn how to play. From then on, there was no stopping me.
What has been your biggest struggle so far?
As a country artist living in Nashville, the biggest struggle I’ve had has been finding a way to stand out among the crowd of other insanely talented musicians chasing the same dream as me. It’s definitely a challenge to catch the attention of venues, booking agents, and other people in the industry when they’re being pulled in so many different directions constantly by people who want the same things. But in the same sense, living in this town full of amazing songwriters, musicians and other performers is so inspiring.
What has been your biggest success?
My biggest success as an artist has definitely been recording and releasing my first single and debut music video. Both of those projects felt like the first big steps I took as an artist toward reaching my goals. Each of the processes taught me so much about myself, and I put so much work and emotion into them to make sure they conveyed exactly what I wanted to share with my listeners and viewers. Both projects also gave me a small taste of what this long road ahead of me will be like as I pursue a career as an artist. They gave me such an appreciation for others doing the same things, and they sparked so much fire and desire to keep moving forward and growing each day to be able to release more in the future!
You’ve met a lot of people and musicians during your career. Who has made the biggest impact on you and why?
Out of all the musicians, songwriters, and industry people I have met since I started performing over ten years ago, I would have to say the most influential people have always been my parents. Without their support and the values they instilled in me growing up, I wouldn’t be where I am today. From their musical influences, to putting me in music lessons as child, traveling with me to all my shows, telling any and everyone they knew about me, providing places in which I could perform, encouraging me to chase my dreams, and ultimately supporting my decision to move to Nashville to pursue this career, they have been there the entire way. If it weren’t for them I would not have had the opportunities I did that led up to where I am now.
If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?
I really love the sound of classic country music, and it makes me so happy to hear current artists and groups still making that kind of music. If I could join any group today it would be the Pistol Annies. Their records have the perfect mix of classic country sound and modern day topics all spun into one great trio of amazingly talented artists. I fell in love with the Pistol Annies from the first time they performed as a group on the Girls Night Out Awards in 2011. Miranda Lambert has been one of my favorite artists since I started playing music, so I was automatically drawn to the group. Once they released their debut album, I was hooked. I loved all of their stories, the way they incorporated the older country sound into their music, and their tight three-part harmonies. Although they have been off the map for a little while, I’m excited to hear that they are working on new music and planning on releasing another album soon. I seriously can’t wait to hear what they’ve been working on over the past couple of years as each of them have grown so much.
What three foods would you take with you on a deserted island?
Mac and cheese, ice cream, and pizza
Where are some of your favorite places to eat/drink in Nashville?
That’s a trick question because Nashville is full of amazing restaurants and bars; it’s impossible to choose just one or two. A staple that my friends and I always end up visiting is McDougal’s Chicken. It’s not the healthiest food, but it’s the best place to go when you just need some good comfort food. After all, what’s better than chicken tenders and fries?? Other than that, I’ve recently gotten into Thai food and have grown to love the Pad Thai from Thai Esane. It’s amazing! Some other places I really like are Milk & Honey, Pfunky Griddle, Monnell’s, Burger Republic, & Coco’s Italian Market. You can’t go wrong with any of those!
Now Let’s get food serious for a minute:
How do you like your eggs? scrambled or as an omelette
How do you drink your coffee? I’m not a huge coffee person; I’d rather have tea
What is your favorite sandwich? a classic PB&J is hard to compete with
Name your favorite cookbook. My home church put together a cookbook with family recipes from members and it’s my favorite. Every time I pull it out to make something or just to look through it, it reminds me of home and all the great people.
Home cooking or going out for dinner? That’s a tough one. I’m such a foodie and enjoy being out in public places and trying new restaurants to see what their “thing” is. But sometimes you just need that comfort of home cooking as well. I’d just rather have home cooking form my momma than myself!
Where do you buy your groceries? Kroger
What’s on your pizza? I will eat almost any kind of pizza as long as it doesn’t have olives or onions on it.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why?
Definitely Pizza Inn! People from back home make fun of me all the time because they know I’m so passionate about Pizza Inn’s buffet, but I have no shame. They have the absolute best dessert pizzas in the world, but they also have an amazing salad bar to make you feel like you’re being a little healthy too. They even have stuff for people who don’t like pizza, like wings, chicken nuggets, pasta, soups, and more. Not only that, but it’s very reasonably priced and just amazing all around. If Pizza Inn were to offer to sponsor me, I would be the happiest person in the world!
Paige Johnson is a female country singer and songwriter who values the roots of country music, and she hopes to preserve those roots with her own music. She grew up in Angier, NC where she began music lessons when she was five years old and began playing guitar a couple years later. In 2017, Paige was nominated as Best Country Female in the 10th Annual Carolina Music Awards. She has performed for many local organizations, churches, NC congressional representatives, the Carolina Mudcats and Buies Creek Astros baseball teams, North Carolina Fall Festival, Harnett Regional Agricultural Fair, Angier High School Mega Reunion, Relay for Life, the Johnston Community College Country Music Showcase, the popular Opry Mills Unplugged Showcase Series, Belmont University's Country Music Showcase and the legendary Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville, TN. Some of Paige's most memorable performances have allowed her to share the stage with country artists Scotty McCreery, James Otto, and Luke Pell in her home state. She also began the “Country on the Outskirts of Town” Country Music Dinner Theater in Angier, NC in 2012 and continues to produce and perform in those sold-out shows throughout the year. Paige’s debut single “That Cowgirl” gained major popularity after being featured on one of North Carolina’s most popular major radio stations, 94.7 WQDR, as part of the Homegrown Carolina Country Show. That song, along with her latest single "Heartbreak Catalog", is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, and many other music retailers.
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