Nashville Music Guide’s Lucky 13 with Tia McGraff
1. What was the first song you ever performed?
When I was 7 years old my uncle George taped me singing “Delta Dawn” on his little home recorded. He told me he thought I had a beautiful voice and needed to be a professional singer when I grew up. George was my godfather, and sadly passed away before I became a professional singer, but he is in every one of my songs!
2. How do you balance your music career with your other obligations in life?
My husband and I share the journey of our music career together, and life on the road, so that part of my personal life isn’t hard to juggle. However, I make sure when we’re home that I visit my parents every week. I make sure to keep the phone calls up too with family and friends. I still prefer the old fashioned, pick up the phone and chat with my aunt for 2 hours, then texting.
3. What is a typical day/week like for you?
I spend most of my weekdays on the computer booking and promoting shows, admin, etc. Evenings are spent writing and rehearsing..weekends performing.
4. What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
The music industry is changing every day. Remember not to mark your success based on the top 1% awards etc. The real music industry these days, is with indie artists. Find your audience, find your own way of reaching them and live and breathe it!
5. If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose this career? Would you do anything differently?
I would do it all over again. This time, I probably would have moved to Nashville sooner than I did. I also, would not put as much stock in what others think of me…be bolder, more confident.
6. What would be your advice to artists that are new to the touring circuit?
Pace yourself. Take something from home that you can set up in your hotel room every night that helps remind you of home.
7. What are 3 things that you have to have with you at all times/never leave home without?
Bible, Tommy, and Guitar
8. If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?
9. What do you feel distinguishes “an artist” from just a musician?
Great question! A musician plays or sings, can be in a band or solo etc., but expresses or recreates the song through performance. An artist, takes that same song and makes it their own…rearranges, expresses through their own life experience…not merely perform.
10. If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry what would it be?
Get paid! Have the awards shows represent real touring indie artists.
11. Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?
My children’s book, Jake The Road Dawg is a huge passion of mine and I’m enjoying going into schools and libraries sharing the stories and songs events with children.
12. Have you been involved in any benefit performances? What was it and how did you become involved?
I am currently working on a series of benefit concerts in our area to promote the Dolly Parton Imgination Library.
13. Who does most of the songwriting?
I write our lyrics and my husband, Tommy Parham writes the melody…most of the time. Sometimes we switch musical roles.
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