26 year old Fiona Culley is getting closer to stardom with her first single, ‘Anywhere With You’, which has been chosen to be the title track to a new film called ‘Life on the Line’, starring John Travolta, Sharon Stone, Devon Sawa and Kate Bosworth.
Fiona wrote the song with Chris Gelbuda, a singer-songwriter/producer who has worked with chart-topping artist Meghan Trainor.
Described as the UK’s answer to Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift, Fiona left Lichfield for Nashville a couple of years ago, after signing with New York based independent label Marro Entertainment.
She secured a music visa and has been busy writing and performing, developing a reputation for being ‘the English girl who can sing country’, and was delighted to be asked recently to sing backing vocals on Chris Isaak’s latest album called ‘First Comes The Night’.
The film soundtrack also features another of Fiona’s songs, which shares the same title as the film itself. ‘Life on the Line’ is a duet Fiona sings with American country artist, Darius Rucker, lead singer of Grammy Award-winning band Hootie & The Blowfish.
A chance meeting with Darius Rucker in a London restaurant helped kick-start Fiona’s career when, seeing a chance for her big break, Fiona decided to get noticed by singing to him in front of the rest of the diners. The gamble paid off, and he invited her out to Nashville to record a duet with him the following week.
Since then, the pair have continued to work together, and there’s a chance that Fiona might support Hootie & The Blowfish on one of their future tours.
Fiona says: “When I was in England, people in the music business kept telling me that if I wanted to make it as a country music artist, I needed to relocate to Nashville. Having taken their advice on board and moved here, I now fully understand what they meant. There’s something about being in Nashville, about living every day in the home of country music that is most definitely beneficial. Even though I’m British, it’s right that my country music should be created in Nashville.”
Fiona continues: “Although I miss England, I’m really enjoying American life and have made some good friends here. Things here are quite laid back, although, as most of the people who live in Nashville are fellow musicians trying to make it big with their own music careers, it can be quite a competitive environment - but fortunately, being British is helping me stand out a little.”
There are quite a few things Fiona misses now she’s living abroad – her family and friends obviously, but also British food!
She explains: “I really missed food like Marmite, orange squash and gravy granules when I first moved here, but fortunately I’ve found a store about a 40 minute drive away that stocks some English food. Since then, I’ve been educating my Nashville friends about the delights of UK cuisine, including things like Bisto gravy!”
Inspired by her dad’s country collection, Fiona has enjoyed country music from a very young age. She’s worked hard to get her big break, starting out working as a beauty therapist during the day, then singing in pubs, clubs and music venues at night.
She even worked for a while making tea at a small independent record label, just to get access to some free recording time.
Fiona says: “I feel like I’m making headway with my dream to become a recognised country singer now, and look forward to what the next few years will bring. It’s really exciting releasing my first single, but I’ve got big ambitions. I’d love to get a country single in the UK charts, and become a British ambassador for country music.”
‘Anywhere with You’ is now available to purchase as a download from iTunes.
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