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The message came from producer P.T. Houston of Off The Row Studio. Davis learned they were running a special titled “Breakout Artist of the Year,” with the goal of giving talented singers and musicians time in a studio and publicity to build a brand and create an image.
To Davis, it all sounded too good to be true, so she did her research and learned that they were honest and genuine about helping her grow as an artist.
“You get messages from people all the time,” Davis said. “It’s usually the same: ‘Give me your money and I’ll help you get ahead.’ I was very careful and I saw that they had artists that they had worked with before. I messaged them and got nothing but positive feedback. I jumped in and went with my gut.”
Davis contacted Houston and discovered that Off The Row Studio had worked with such acts as Randy Meisner from the Eagles and Montgomery Gentry. They’ve even done photography for Dolly Parton and Faith Hill.
It was an almost out-of-body experience for Davis to know that a studio of that caliber wanted to work with an artist from tiny Abbotsford.
“That was part of my skepticism,” Davis remarked. “I was like, ‘Why me? I only have 340 followers on Instagram.’” Houston told her she fit the criteria Off The Row Studio was looking for and wanted to help her. To do that, Davis had to go on a 12-hour, 800-mile journey.
It would be the first time Lindsey had ever been outside the Midwest, but she jumped at the chance to showcase her talents to those that had seen and worked with country music royalty. It all seemed like a dream, but in the same sense, it was all too real for Davis.
It was an exhilarating experience, but was another moment where Lindsey had to face down her fears.
“When I walked into the studio it was uncomfortable because I had never done anything like that before,” she remembers. “They didn’t realize that I had never done anything like that before and never had any vocal coaching.”
They gave her coaching and tips on posture. Davis also had to learn to recreate the experience of performing for people and how to sing with feeling and emotion when it was just her in a sound booth.
Davis also received an education in music production. She discovered that recording a song and her vocals was a complicated process.
“It was very cool to see how you record it because it’s not how you think. They don’t record it start to finish and then there it is,” Davis explains. “I had to sing certain verses over and over again and then they mix it all together to make one song.”
She was also impressed by the band and how quickly they grasped her style of music. “It was just amazing to see them at work. They had never heard my songs before. They didn’t know the lyrics and didn’t know the melody. They played the song and it was like they had played it a million times before.”
Davis co-wrote four songs during her time in Tennessee and particpated in a photo session. One song is complete, one is in the works and two more still need to be mixed and perfected. She not only hopes to reach a larger audience, but plans on returning to Tennessee to perform in the near future.
Of course, there’s still plenty of hurdles in the way, with Davis balancing her time as a cosmetologist while caring for the six children she and her fiancé have. But before she plans too far ahead, she’s taking time to enjoy everything that has happened so far.
“I’m just kind of going where it takes me,” Lindsey said. “I don’t have any set plans . . . right now I’m just enjoying everything and it’s great to see how many people are viewing the video and reaching out.”
“For me, music is a way for me to relate on an emotional level. Music gave me something to connect to when I was depressed. To know that somebody else’s music did that to me, I want to be able to do that for someone else.”
BEHIND THE SCENES - Lindsey Davis, center, takes a break from recording her first singles. Surrounded by Off The Row’s Studio in-house musicians, Davis is hoping to return to Tennessee to lay down more tracks for a future album.