PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) - Philadelphia native Callie Prince finished her creative media education in Nashville last month and the next day recorded her first music video that’s being released this week.
Prince, a 20-year old Philadelphia native, began to see success on the Nashville music scene earlier this year with an independently-produced single “Right Back Home” released on May 29 with over 53,000 listens so far on the digital music platform Spotify.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, her love for music has been ingrained since childhood, but she did not begin writing songs until she was 16 after being told songwriting is a necessary component of breaking into the music industry.
Her mother, Jennifer Prince, sings frequently at church, which her father Marshall Prince considers a big part of Callie’s musical fascination. Her late great-grandfather was the greatest influence on her musical development and she uses his guitar given to her before he passed away.
“I grew up with him playing music all the time,” Prince said. “He had a band, and I would sing with his band. It was kinda just normal life for me, I guess, but he would be my biggest musical influence because all the instruments that I play are his.”
When she was younger, Prince, her brother and her cousins would go to her great-grandfather’s house to listen to him play guitar and sing songs with him for hours. “It was so fun,” Prince said. “I miss it.”
Beyond her familial influences, Prince draws from Morgan Wallen, Lainey Wilson and Neshoba County native Michael Hardy for further musical inspiration. (See the current issue of Neshoba Magazine inside this week’s Democrat for a feature on Hardy, one of Nashville’s newest sensations.)
Before Prince started writing songs, Hardy’s mother allowed her to listen to one of his pieces, and Callie was so blown away she felt she needed to start writing as well. She continues to be motivated by Hardy’s success and songwriting ability.
Prince’s songwriting process is typically very organic. Whether she’s writing about fishing or heartbreak, she picks up on a catalyst for an idea and brings it to the writers’ room with some co-writers to workshop the idea. As she has grown older, Prince feels her writing has become a lot less focused on purely relationships, like love or heartbreak, and moved to descriptions of her life as a self-proclaimed “country girl.”
In her own words, she writes “country with a little bit of edge,” capturing the country-rock elements that have steeped into her music over time.
Prince starting studying business, specifically marketing and management, at Mississippi State University two years ago, but she left MSU after she decided to move to Nashville to chase her musical dreams. She studied music business at SAE Institute Nashville on Music Row and graduated this past August.
She’s releasing the new music video this week called “Into It.”
“It’s about bad boys and being into those bad boys even if your parents disapprove,” she said. “The music video itself is me in front of a white wall just singing and having a good time.”
Marshall Prince, her father, was somewhat concerned at Prince’s departure to Nashville, but he remains the ever-supportive father.
“I knew that was something that she wanted to do,” he said. “She’s been wanting to do it for a long time. We encouraged her to stay at Mississippi State, and she went to MSU for one year. She finally just said, ‘Hey, I’m going to Nashville,’ and that’s what she did. You gotta cut the strings. I’m still her dad and still have that protective mode, by all means, but I’m glad she did this because she really looked forward to it.”
Marshall Prince remembers when he realized his daughter was truly capable of breaking into the notably difficult job market of the Nashville music scene. She entered into a local songwriters’ contest and won. This contest then gave her admission into a statewide competition. To help prepare, she began seeing a voice trainer, and he recalls his amazement at how much passion and effort his daughter put into becoming better.
Callie Prince did not end up placing, but out of curiosity, her dad approached the judges to see what her score was. After nearing the judges’ table, one of them turned to him to sing her praises.
“They told me my daughter won voice over anybody,” he said. “He said she won it outright. But she couldn’t play an instrument at the time and she wasn’t writing her own songs.”
Earlier this year, Callie Prince was playing at the Listening Room Café in Nashville. He father was there to support her and record the event.
The performance blew hm away and made the thought of his daughter becoming a professional musician a real possibility in his mind. Several people approached him after the show to comment on how impressed they were, and he even remembers a table of women across from him who cried while listening to her perform her single “Right Back Home.”
“I knew right then,” he said. “I thought, ‘Well, that’s something for her to be able to do something like that.’ That kinda set it for me that she was really gonna do something.”
Prince hopes to tour at some point in the future, but she is also considering the possibility of releasing an extended play record with all of her songs.
Mother Jennifer Prince said, “She’s been there a little over a year, and has done amazing things.”
The video will be released on YouTube.
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