I recently had the opportunity to sit down with country up and comer, Tiffany Houghton, while she was visiting New York. Upon meeting the Texan talent, she apologized profusely for her “messy” hotel room and excitedly told me about her adventures in the big apple.
Although she may be only nineteen, and technically, a Nashville newbie, Tiffany Houghton has always been driven by her love for music. When I asked Tiffany how she got into performing, without skipping a beat, she responded “Oh, I was born. I’ve always loved music. They say that I could sing before I could talk. I’ve always loved to perform,” She tells us. “I’d get on our kitchen counter and sing to the family. But I really got professionally into music when I was 10 and moved to NY, and did some Broadway and musicals and some acting.”
Growing up, one of her first gigs was a “dream come true” and involved performing for both the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers. “I must’ve been 11 and one of the first times I performed, this sweet old man chased me down to get my autograph, and I thought I made it. It was so fun, I LOVED that.”
Only weeks after her eighteenth birthday, the pint-sized powerhouse packed up her life and headed for Nashville. While such a decision would be hard for anyone, Tiffany knew it was what she needed to do. “I have a deep rudder. I knew no matter what happened that I always wanted to do this. I don’t think I knew that it was going to be as hard as it was those first few weeks, but I knew that it was the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life.“
Today, Tiffany has called Nashville home for about 14 months, and has placed her focus squarely on country music. Since moving to Nashville, she’s been introduced to the world of co-writing, and she tells us, “I write because I can’t not write.” For such a young artist, her lyrics have an uncanny depth and power, which she says she’s drawn from real life experiences. “I’ve written in a journal since I was 7 years old, I’ve always just pulled lyrics from my stories. And I tend to be a little dramatic so it works perfectly for song writing.”
Although each song on her EP is unique and a favorite in its own right, Tiffany named “Different” as the one song people should listen to if they’re only going to pick one. “Out of all my songs, I think that’s the one people need to hear. They need to know that our differences make us beautiful and I think it’s hard to remember that all the time.”
Also on her EP, her first single “Only One.” She recalls that the song was inspired by a devastating “little high school breakup.” However, that boy (who is surely kicking himself now) proved to be a great muse and led to quite the epiphany. “I looked at the clock and it was 4:38…I came to this realization where I was like ‘he was the only one,’ and then I was like what if I said that differently like ‘wait, he’s only one.’ And I like freaked out and sped home…that song kinda wrote itself to be honest; it all spilled out.”
One highlight of the EP is the touching ballad, “Like He Treats her,” inspired by none other than Tiffany’s own parents. Now, prepare to “Awww” outloud. “My parents have always been such an inspiration to me and…my mom was 18 years old when they got married.” Tiffany says about the track. “Today, they’re so in love and they’ve been such a great example to me of what true love is. And so I wrote that song when they were leaving to go on their little Sunday walk and they were holding hands and I was just like ‘Awwww!’ I wrote it for them for their 25th anniversary.”
Tiffany lists artists like Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Faith Hill and the Dixie Chicks as her inspiration, and we can completely hear the influences. If she could tour with anyone, she doesn’t hesitate in naming Hunter Hayes. She’s also a big fan of Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, and Luke Bryan. (Ed. Note: Who isn’t?!) “I looooooooove me some Luke Bryan.” She smiles. “He is so cute”
Tiffany has one simple message for her fans. “I love them. This year has been so wonderful to see my fans and watch my fan base grow, and see how engaged they are.” She continues, “They legitimately care about the things I have to say and my music. It’s so uplifting and they help me every day to continue pursuing this.”
As she kicks off 2013, Tiffany plans to continue to write and record music. She’ll also be releasing music and videos online while performing around Nashville. Right now she’s focusing on recording and releasing individual singles that she can’t help but share, and we can’t wait.
“When I was a kid, on weekends, my Dad and I would go pick up a new CD at Barnes & Nobles and listen to it for the next few weeks on the way to school.” Tiffany tells us. “I decided I want to be that for some little girl.” And, we think she’s well on her way.
All-time favorite country song: “Black Eyes, Blue Tears” by Shania Twain
Guilty Pleasure: Nutella
Celebrity Crush: Channing Tatum
Last Song Listened To: The new Fall Out Boy (her manager is a HUGE fan) song – “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”
Favorite American Idol Judge: Paula Abdul…Oh, and Keith Urban!
Favorite Broadway Show: Wicked
We’d like to thank Tiffany for taking the time to talk with us! For more information on Tiffany Houghton, check out her official website, ‘like’ her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and check out her Youtube page.
Here’s Tiffany’s first single “Only One”: