Although country music has its roots in the U.S. from the early days of Southern Appalachian fiddlers to the heart of country music in Nashville, the genre has begun to branch out to other parts of the world.
Recently, the United Kingdom has seen its own rise in its country music scene, with new artists and new fans on the rise.
“It’s definitely growing, it’s still not as big as here, obviously,” Abi Phillips, one third of the band The Adelaides, said. “It’s definitely on the up. A lot more people are listening to it now then they have been before.”
Hailing from the UK, The Adelaides have put their mark on the map of country music at CMA Fest, playing at the Maui Jim Broadway Stage Friday. Which meant that for Phillips, Paris Georgia and Alicia Alba, their dream of playing at CMA Fest was finally fulfilled.
“It doesn’t just feel real at the moment,” Alba said. “Because it’s something we’ve always wanted to do and now that we’re finally here it’s like, ‘What’s going on?’”
Before their dreams of performing in Nashville came true, the band first started as separate performers singing at solo gigs and online. Phillips and Georgia, who both play guitar and sing, met through pub gigs and the duo then discovered their third bandmate and lead vocalist Alba on YouTube.
Reaching out, Phillips and Georgia met with a complete stranger.
“Which is what they tell you not to do and then (we) met a complete stranger on the internet,” Phillips said. “It worked out well.”
In October 2017, the trio played their first gig as a band and since then it’s been a whirlwind. Now, almost two years down the line, the group are working on their first album, having recently released two singles, “Leave” and their brand new song, “Good Love.”
“We’re all in really good relationships. We all took like little bit from our relationships that we love about our partners and stuff and put it into a song,” Phillips said. “That one’s quite special, isn’t it?”
The three find inspiration and love for country in the genuineness of the genre. All three singers grew up in families that had huge musical influences. From country to pop to blues, the many influences can be heard in their heartfelt songs.
Both Alba and Phillips highlighted that country singers put authenticity into their music -- both lyrically and in performing--which is what they love about it so much.
“What I love about country, not just only the lyrics and the meaning of the songs, most times, artists sound exactly how they sound recorded as they do live,” Phillips said. “It’s so nice be able to go to a concert and actually feel what you felt on the record.”
Alba added that that they all feel the same way as how Phillips described it, and that you “never get an empty lyric.”
Describing themselves as unique, different and passionate, The Adelaides bring something new with them to the U.S. country music scene.
“Everyone from Nashville is so talented. There’s so many good musicians,” Georgia said. “You’ve kind of got to try and stand out in the crowd a little bit. The fact that we are British, I think we do kind of bring something different.”
Pushing the limits in England with how far they could take their music to stand out, the trio have grown close through the experience, becoming best friends.
“Getting to work with these two,” Phillips said to the ‘awwing’ of Alba and Georgia. “Honestly, we all did our thing solo before this and it’s really tough industry--really is-- there’s so many knock backs. But then, it’s kind of good to have two people who completely understand it and you’re in it together and you’re in it for the good of the group.”
Alba and Georgia shared the same feeling, adding how the group compliments each other.
“We just compliment each other so much,” Alba followed up on Phillips statement. “We play to each other’s strengths and like you said, we’re just in it together.”
“It’s fun as well, because we’re such good friends, so to be on stage with your best friends is just like dream come true basically,” Georgia added, smiling and sharing a laugh with Alba and Phillips. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Their journey is far from over, as their diverse country-pop album is on the way. From some girl power songs to heartbreak ones, the album will truly be unexpected, as even the group isn’t quite sure what will go on the record.
“We don’t even know what to expect at this point,” Phillips said. “We got too much material, so we’re just going to need to decide which ones to have and which ones not to have. So, we’re not sure which ones are going to be on it.”