A NEW STAR IS SHINING
Noelle debuts new single as she sets sights on Nashville
A playful voice rises up over the sounds of plucked guitar strings and a catchy drumbeat to sing “Dad bods have six packs too, they’re just a six pack of cans!”
The tongue-in-cheek lyrics are part of “Beer Drinking Man,” the latest single to come from Abbotsford resident Lindsey Davis. Davis, who goes by the stage name Noelle, has released several singles on her YouTube channel of the same name, and they’re only the beginning for Noelle, who has set her eyes on the country music scene.
Over the course of three days, what Davis describes as “a fulfilling and eyeopening experience,” she worked with well-known names in the country music scene to record her first studio singles.
Davis was born in Milwaukee, but her roots are country strong. Davis, 28, left the city when she was very young, and while she still visits family there, she doesn’t consider the big city on Lake Michigan home.
“I feel like Adams-Friendship is my hometown since it’s where I grew up,” Davis explains. “I’m definitely used to the small town environment.”
Lindsey lives in Abbotsford for now, but that might not be for very long. Blessed with a beautiful singing voice, she says music has always been a part of her life.
“My dad loved playing the guitar,” she said. “I grew up always listening to him playing the guitar.”
As a child, she would often sing in tune to the radio, or pop in a CD, crank up the music and belt out lyrics when she was home alone.
Davis worked for years to develop her range and voice, watching videos online and learning vocal lessons from a CD her parents bought for her when she was 13. All the while she dreamed of singing on the stage for friends and family.
That dream became a reality when she sang in public for the first time when she was 17. Davis delivered a stirring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a demolition derby in Adams-Friendship, and when she was done, the crowed cheered and applauded.
Lindsey barely noticed — she was waiting for her heart to stop beating so fast. Davis seems a natural for center stage, but even after years of performing, she admits she still gets stage fright. Her love and passion for music gets her through every time. That love has always been stronger than her fear.
“It’s scary to put yourself out there because you just don’t know how someone is going to receive that. There’s always going to be people out there who are going to make fun of you for doing what you love what to do, but then there’s also people who are going to love it and it’s going to inspire them to do the same thing.”
Having faced down her fear of the stage, Davis decided to turn her attention to social media several years ago. She realized not everyone would be a fan of her voice or genre, but she knew Instagram and Facebook would allow her to reach a larger audience.
“I just thought if I can already get up and sing in front of complete strangers then why not just put myself out there?”
That decision to join social media proved fateful. Davis’ music found an audience outside of the Midwest, and as she grew more savvy with her hashtags, her music found one discerning fan who has a definite ear for talent.
It wasn’t long before Davis received a message via Instagram from Franklin, Tenn., a town roughly 20 miles outside of Nashville.
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.”