From the moment they arrived in Music City, Steel Blossoms made their mark on the Nashville music scene. Now the duo of Hayley Prosser and Sara Zebley are celebrating their first year making country music together with a brand new PledgeMusic campaign. For evidence of their popularity, they’re already well past their goal and it’s clear the future is bright for these young, talented ladies.
Your new record is called ‘Year Number One’ in a tribute to your first year as full-time musicians in Nashville. What was that transition like – not only the switch to full-time music, but also the switch to Nashville?
We moved to Nashville in August of 2014 and we have gone through a lot of changes in the transition. We knew what our options were as far as auditioning to play on Broadway -- a street with music from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. -- or play writer’s nights and getting a part time job, etc. We lived here for a week before we auditioned to play at Tootsies, Rippy’s, and Honky Tonk Central. We auditioned on a Saturday and had our first Steel Blossoms gig on Sunday, and that’s really where our journey here began.
Who did you listen to growing up? And how often do you go back to listen to childhood influences?
We both grew up listening to country music on the radio in the ’90s. We grew up listening to Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Faith and Tim Mcgraw, etc. Right now, we play for four hours a day straight through, and we do a mix of cover songs and original songs and that’s where our childhood influences come into play. We play a lot of JoDee Messina, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, etc. It’s nice to have that kind of a mix.
When it comes to the songs on the new album, did you share songwriting duties? Were there others involved?
The songs that are on our new album have been written by only the two of us. Although we do co-write, we chose the songs that really captured the whole year and they just happened to be written by the two of us. Some of the songs have been written by just one of us. For example, Sara solely wrote the song “It’s Just a Dress” and Hayley solely wrote the song “Anson’s Song,” but many of them we wrote together such as “Small Talk” and “Love, Love, Love.”
What is your relationship with your fans like? How much does social media contribute to that relationship?
We may be a little biased, but we are pretty sure we have the coolest fans ever. We have a wonderful relationship with them and it’s because of social media that we are able to do that. Because we play in Nashville 75 percent of the time, we meet people here and then connect with them over and over again through social media. When we tour, we tour playing all private shows called House Concerts. The people who host our House Concerts 80 percent of the time are people we’ve met in Nashville and have kept a relationship with through social media.
Why did you choose the PledgeMusic platform for this release? What about it suits your style and your fans?
We chose PledgeMusic because it fit us perfectly in how we connect with our fans. We have the option to reply to their comments, post updates, and constantly keep them informed on what’s going on with the album. Our fans are the only way we can do what we love to do for a living, which is exactly why we wanted them 100 percent involved in the album. That’s why we chose Pledge.
With the campaign now over 100 percent, do you have any plans for what else is possible for this album or other ideas?
With the campaign over 100 percent, this gives us the option to really get creative and give those who pledged amazing products. We were able to get cooler posters, nicer t-shirts, and the exact jacket of the CD that we wanted. Also, with it over 100 percent, we are finally able to invest in career-defining products that we were not able to before. We are so humbled and feel so blessed to have such a great support system.