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Spotlight Interview with Tanner Carlson

A new EP release from tanner Carlson touches on a fresh R&B pop vibe that feels just right for summer and the timing couldn't be better.

The Over You EP is honest and upfront, youthful and alive with crisp production and passionately performed vocals with songs that re incredibly relatable.

The EP takes you through inner struggles, inspirations, and more with each song almost being like a chapter in the life of the artist and it comes through with a sort of cinematic tonality that helps take you on these journeys.

These tracks are personal, and some were likely a little hard to do but at the same time, this is where great music comes from. Real life experience. Emotional drive and heart.

The best thing about hit release is the absolute diversity ion songwriting as you get a variety of different styles on it. Each one has something different to bring and each has a beautiful approach and a graceful performance on all parts. Not just vocals.

This record makes you think, it makes you feel, it can make the hairs on your arms stand up straight.

The hooks are unreal, and you get them stuck in your head for day after songs have ended.

With the release of such a wonderful EP, we wanted to touch base with Carlson and talk about where this came from and what may be next for the artist.

Here's what happened.

RAG: Okay so let's start with the Over You EP. This record spanned a few different styles and was incredibly honest and up front. Where did this all come from?

For the Over You EP I wanted to make every track sound different. The title track features just a classical guitar and a vocal, while "22" features a synth pluck and 808s. I feel like I was able to delve into these different styles because I produce all of my own music! There's never anyone telling me that I can't make tracks a certain way or influencing my sound. I appreciate you saying the record was honest! I feel like as a writer and an artist you have to be as open as possible in your music if you want it to connect. I've had many people tell me that my writing is vulnerable, and I don't think I could write any other way!

RAG: I'm hearing some great styles on this record. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

I would say that my three biggest influences are The Lumineers, Ed Sheeran, and Twenty One Pilots. When I first got into music I wanted my voice to sound like Wesley Shultz from The Lumineers. I spent countless hours practicing the yelling that he does in his songs and trying to get that similar folky tone. I don't do that really on this record, but I do it a lot live! I play the loop pedal live too and that definitely comes from Ed Sheeran. I love the way he writes and "Don't" is still my favorite song to date. Twenty One Pilots has inspired me through how open Tyler is with his writing as well as the energy and heart that they bring to their live shows.

RAG: So how did this all begin for you really? When did you fall in love with making music?

Two of my favorite things growing up were singing along with the radio and writing down lyrics to my favorite songs. I started playing music when I got a drum set at 10 years old. I also played the trumpet in a middle school jazz band. But I think my ambitions with music came when I started playing the guitar and singing. I learned "Wagon Wheel" one weekend at a church retreat, and I was hooked! I went and bought a guitar the day I got back. From there I started writing my own songs and learning how to produce them. The rest is history!

RAG: What's next for you as an artist?

You know that is a really interesting question. I got some really good advice from one of my friends who said you only need to be able to see your next step. Right now I'm singing four times a week in Nashville on the Tootsie's circuit and twice a week busking. I also run recording sessions (I went to school for audio engineering). I think the next steps for me are to try and play more shows out of town as well as more ticketed events in Nashville. I have my first ticketed event called MiniFest in Nashville on August 20, and I would love to get more involved in these types of events! I also post three times a day on Tik Tok and Instagram so I will be continuing with that. I also have started reaching out to big playlists, radio stations, youtube channels, and blogs in an attempt to get some more exposure. I think if I am able to continue doing all those things and start doing more shows then it might really propel me as an artist!

RAG: What inspires you to write a song?

Honestly, it doesn't usually take much inspiration for me to write songs. It's what I love to do! I'll usually start out with just my acoustic guitar or I'll make a track on my laptop. However, I think some of the best songs that I've written have come from very intense emotions. For example, I started dating the love of my life around two years ago when the pandemic started. We ended up separated from each other at the beginning of our relationship. During that time apart from her, I wrote "big decisions" and "stuck" which I believe are two of my best tracks. The best songs come from the heart.

RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

I'm proud to say that making and playing music is my full time job, and since I'm just getting started, I don't have much time for anything else. I love hanging out and getting food with my girlfriend. I could talk to her for hours and never get bored. I also love playing video games with my friends and my brothers. We play a lot of Fortnite and Rocket League!

RAG: Who are you listening to right now?

I absolutely adore the new Charlie Puth record with Jung Kook from BTS. I am always listening to Ed Sheeran. I think my favorite track from him at the moment is "Overpass Graffiti." Other than that, I listen to a lot of hits to try to learn covers of them for the bars that I sing at. We get a lot of requests and it's best to know them!

RAG: Are you doing live performances?

Yes! I just played an artist showcase called What The Folk at this venue in Nashville called The Underdog. I also have a writer's round at the Virgin Hotels on Monday. I already mentioned that I sing on the Tootsie's circuit which consists of Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Rippy's Honky Tonk, Honky Tonk Central, and Kid Rock's. I usually sing at Tootsie's and Rippy's. The busking is always a fun time too and some weeks I really need those tips to help pay my rent. Other than my normal shows, I try to play one show a week somewhere that I haven't played before.

RAG: This single seems like a big undertaking. What kind of advice might you have for other up and coming artists out there?

My advice to other up and coming artists would be to start today! Whatever your next step is, do it today! It's been a long journey to get to where I am, and I know it'll be an even longer journey getting to where I'm going. The only way to make progress is to do something.

RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

To anyone who read through this I just want to say you're absolutely amazing! I pour all my heart and soul into everything I make, and I really appreciate you being a part of this journey with me!

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