Being one of those people that enjoys seeing new, up-and-coming artists, I always get drawn to the smaller shows at festivals like the CMA Music Fesitval coming up June 7-10th. While looking at the schedule for the acoustic stage at the Hard Rock, a name caught my eye. That name was Julienne Irwin. The first thing that came to mind was this fourteen year old girl that was on America’s Got Talent in 2007. She came in fourth on the show, sang “Teardrops on my Guitar” with Taylor Swift and watched as via a video, Martina McBride had some amazing things to say about her. So when I saw that Julienne would be performing at CMA Fest on June 9th at 4:45pm at the Hard Rock, I got interested. Her website is www.julienneirwin.com and you can listen to some of her music and find out what she’s been up to. She’s played with Linda Davis, who she counts as one of her best friends and she just finished up her first year at Belmont University there in Nashville. I had the wonderful oppertunity of talking with Julienne and asking her about her experience on America’s Got Talent, singing with Taylor Swift as well as what her future plans on for her music.
What did you learn from your experience on America’s Got Talent?
America’s Got Talent taught me so much about performing and professionalism in such a short amount of time. Prior to competing on the show, I had virtually no performance experience. I would not trade my experience on America’s Got Talent for anything, especially because I learned so much about the music industry so quickly.
You got to perform with Taylor Swift on America’s Got Talent, did she give you any advice or words of encouragement?
Taylor Swift could not have embraced me more. She treated me as though we had been friends our entire lives. She contributed greatly to my fond memories of America’s Got Talent.
Do you write songs? Where does the inspiration for them come from?
Since I spend nearly all of my time in Nashville, I have more and more opportunities to immerse myself in the tight-knit songwriting circle. While I am relatively new to it, I’m excited to learn more and become better at it.
What are your future plans music-wise now? Is there an album in the works?
This summer I am planning on playing as many opening gigs as possible, as well as shows on my own. I have a small album in the works that will be sold at those shows. Look out for all of these things :)
I know you’ve had the chance to work with and get to know Linda Davis. What have you learned from her/has she given you any advice?
I am so blessed to have Linda Davis in my life. I have learned more from her than anyone else. I cannot think of a more lady-like, genuinely sweet person. If there is anyone I want to be like, it’s her.
What was your first year at Belmont like? Is it hard combining school life with pursuing music?
Belmont has been a pleasant surprise. As much as I knew I would like it there, it has far surpassed my expectations. Balancing a rigorous academic load with a busy music schedule has been incredibly stressful at times, but my education is very important to me and I do not take it lightly.
What current song on the radio right now would you love to record?
Oh gosh, if only I was from Georgia. I really love Lauren Alaina’s song “Georgia Peaches” It’s so catchy!
Other than your performance at the Hard Rock during CMA Fest, will you be making any other CMA Fest appearances?
At this point, that will be my only appearance — and I’m extremely excited about that! This will be the first CMA Fest I have ever been to, so to be a participant is incredibly exciting!
What’s your favorite thing about Nashville?
I love Nashville’s culture. Nashville has such a distinct flair. I love the little shops and local restaurants. I also love that it does not feel like a big city. It’s just a big town where everyone knows everyone else’s name.
If you could record a duet with any artist or group, who would it be and why?
I would love to sing a duet with Dierks Bentley. He is one of my favorite male country singers and I have this feeling that our voices would blend really nicely together — hint hint! ;)
Be sure to check out Julienne’s website and if you’ll be in Nashville for the CMA Music Festival, don’t forget to stop by the Hard Rock on Saturday, June 9th at 4:45 to catch Julienne perform. You won’t regret it. You can also keep up with Julienne on her Twitter and her blog.