On the rise and continuing to shine: Q & A with Lindsay Broughton
By: Stephanie Brooks
It was not that long ago that Brooklin, Ontario native Lindsay Broughton was playing in her high school jazz band and singing in choirs. Since being discovered at age 19 from a song she posted on MySpace, the down-to-earth, charming country talent has sung at notable venues like Boots & Hearts, the Canadian Country Music Awards “New Artist” showcase and the Billy Block Show in Nashville. She has performed alongside acts like Chad Brownlee, Gord Bamford and Emerson Drive and continues to work tirelessly to hone her talent. The CMAO’s Stephanie Brooks chatted with the star about recognition, writing and realizing no dream is too big to follow.
Stephanie Brooks (SB): Congratulations on your CMAO Rising Star award! What went through your mind when you were nominated?
Lindsay Broughton (LB): I was ecstatic. I’ve never been up for any award as of yet in my music career, so I was very excited. Then, of course, I looked at the other nominees and thought, ‘Oh my gosh. There’s no way I’m going win this. I’m just happy to be nominated and I will go and have a good time and network with people.’ But sure enough, I ended up winning. It was great and such a wonderful experience for me.
SB: What does it mean to you to have won the award?
LB: I’ve been at this for a number of years now – writing music, plugging away, trying to get people to notice me and stand out – so, for me, this award is really recognition of that. It lets me know I’m on the right path, that I’m doing the right things and it helps to keep me moving forward. I put the award on the shelf beside my bed, so every night when I go to sleep and every morning when I wake up, it’s a reminder to help me continue doing what I’m doing.
SB: Having been the inaugural CMAO Awards, how important is it to you that country music talent is recognized in Ontario?
LB: It’s so important – there are so many great artists in Ontario. Almost every province has their own set of awards, so it’s really great to have these artists come together, have something for the fan base to check out and support, and to connect with other artists in the same area. Every time I get out to awards shows, and specifically, the CMAO’s, it’s like a family reunion. You get an opportunity to see people you haven’t in awhile and reconnect.
SB: Coming up with your own material is something you’ve always done. Where do you get inspiration from for your songwriting?
LB: I like to pull from a lot of real-life situations. When I first started writing for the record, I was quite young and a bit naïve. Without a ton of life experience, I tried to pull ideas from books and movies for inspiration, but as I’ve gotten older and experienced some more in-depth emotions and feelings, I’ve been able to pull from real-life situations. I find people really connect best with those, so I’ve tried to put myself in a situation a friend or family member is going through and pull from that, or, of course, be a little bit more personal if possible.
SB: What’s the writing process like for you – how do you go about it?
LB: It differs depending on the song. Normally, I like to just sit down with a guitar, come up with a progression and write lyrics from there. But if I am going through a crazy emotional feeling, a lot of times I’ll just have a hook or something in mind and roll with that. Sometimes you’re writing with different people who have different styles, so you have to take that into consideration. Almost every song is different in the way it’s written and it’s often a different experience every time. It’s a really fun process and keeps things interesting.
SB: What advice do you have for other up-and-coming country artists ‘on the rise’ and looking to make a name for themselves in the business?
LB: The only thing I can really say is that perseverance is absolutely key. Find yourself a great team of people that really believe in you; that will motivate you and give you positive criticism, because it takes a lot of time and effort. There are a lot of people that will stand up and tell you ‘no’ and that you can’t do it. You really need a great base of people around you to keep you at it and get you up every day and tell you you’re great. I think that’s really what has kept me going.
SB: It must also help to have people to look up to in the business. Who would be your dream artist to work or perform with?
LB: Wynona Judd. I love the duo The Judds and Wynona, specifically, has been someone I’ve looked up to since I was a little girl. I would love to perform with her.
SB: Well as you continue to prove, nothing is too big of a dream!
LB: (laughs) That’s what I’ve come to see, anyway. It’s strange meeting people you grew up listening to on the radio and finding they’re so humble and so nice in person. It’s surreal, really.
SB: You must meet a lot of people when you’re in Nashville. Do you spend a lot of time there?
LB: I spent a lot of time there when I was writing. Hopefully for the next record I’ll be able to go back – it’s gorgeous there!
Broughton’s eight-track EP is available on iTunes in stores. Stay tuned for the release of her first full-length record towards the end of this year…