When Karley Scott Collins first picked up a six-string guitar at age 14, the adolescent artist knew she had found her calling – country music.
Similar to the music phenomenon Taylor Swift, Collins kept a notebook chockful of phrases, stories, and lyrics. When she fled Lake City, Florida, and established a life in Nashville to pursue her craft, the cherished paperback became her secret weapon.
“I’ve just always loved it, literally the second I figured out that you could put chords together and put your thoughts to the chords,” recalled Collins to Celeb Secrets Country. “I knew that would be what I would do forever.”
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Collin’s undeniable storytelling soul instantly scored a publishing deal in 2019, which opened career-altering doors on music row. The twenty-something-year-old may be a newcomer, but esteemed songsmiths Brock Berryhill, Nathan Chapman, and Brett James would attest that she’s wise beyond her years.
Releases “Heavenly,” “Tattoos,” and “Better Strangers” propelled Collins into the spotlight, proving that fierce female singer-songwriters are making waves in the male-dominated genre. Since stepping into the cut-throat industry, she said that her colleagues have been accepting and open to her overall vision.
“It was a dream come true. I had been working on all of the songs my whole life. So, when the time finally came that I actually got to put them out into the world, I was so excited,” explained the promising vocalist. “Everyone here has been really open, accepting, and welcoming. I also think you have to earn your spot a little bit. I always try my hardest when I get into a write. I make sure I am prepared.”
Women in country music have been fighting for equality on the radio and in the writer’s room for decades. While female voices remain underrepresented, Collin’s pointed out that the genre is slowly evolving regarding the gender gap.
“I’ve always felt accepted and welcomed as a female,” the newcomer stressed. “I’ve never felt like anybody looked down on me for being a girl – ever.”
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Collins has made it her mission to maintain this safe, creative space for women. To push the industry along, the budding artist joined forces with Girls of Nashville, an organization that celebrates female songwriters and artists. Most recently (Feb. 22), Collins performed alongside hitmaker Laura Veltz, Heather Morgan, Mags Duval, Ashley Cooke, Callista Clark, Peytan Porter, and more at City Winery.
“I think it’s really cool to have some girls come together and support each other,” she said with a beaming smile. “Even in regular life, sometimes girls can be competitive. I think it’s nice for girls to come together and say, ‘we love each other. We’re proud of each other, and we’re going to cheer each other on.’ So, I think it’s cool to be part of that – I’ve always admired it.”
With a reliable support system rallied behind her, Collins’ declared that she has more confidence than ever to push her artistic boundaries. Her musical excellence and wide vocal range are fully displayed in her latest single, “Petty In The 80s.” The guitar-soaked banger was inspired by her deep passion for classic rock and love for the icon, Tom Petty. Collins penned the tribute tack alongside Brock Berryhill and Josh Miller – two songwriters who became advocates for Collins’ music early on.
“You got me | Free fallin’ like Petty in the ’80s | First time not afraid of levitatin’ | Don’t need nobody to save me | Yeah, you got me, baby,” sings Collins in the ear-grabbing chorus. “Lately, lovin’ the way you love me old-school crazy | I’d go wherever you take me | Free fallin’ like Petty in the ’80s.”
The singer told Celeb Secrets reporter Tiffany Goldstein that “Petty In The 80s” is one of her “favorite” songs to perform live.
“I love to reference him [Tom Petty] because I have loved him since I was a kid. So, that’s kind of where it came to fun, and we have so much fun writing it,” shared Collins. “I tend to gravitate towards the slower tempo songs that are like very emotional and that kind of thing. Having an upbeat, fun, easy-going song was a bit out of my comfort zone. But it became one of my favorite songs to play live, and I have a lot of fun with it. It was a challenge for sure, but I’m glad I did it for sure.”
The fast-rising star confessed that she’s already back in the studio making more music with critically acclaimed producer, Dan Huff.
“I’m definitely working on more music,” she exclusively admitted. “He’s awesome, and I’ve really enjoyed working with him. It’s really important to him that the artist he works with has a voice and a vision for their music, which I really do. So working with him has been really cool because he wants to hear my voice and my opinions. I love all his ideas – he’s really talented.”
She hopes listeners “see themselves” in her forthcoming music, as each track will be different and showcase her vulnerability. Collins has not confirmed an official release date, but would like fans to stay connected.
“The relationship with the fans is really important to me,” declared Collins. “I love talking to people over my DM’s and love meeting people at shows. I want to hear what they think about the songs. I try to make myself super accessible to people through the internet and everything else – that’s important to me.”
Collins’ advised Celeb Secrets Country to keep an eye on her touring calendar, as she is slated to add more dates sooner than later.
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“I’m definitely hoping to be out there a lot more this year. That’s one of my favorite things to do in the world.”
For more on Karley’s music, watch our full interview below and don’t forget to let us know if you’re loving “Petty In The 80s” by either leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sliding into our DMs at @celebsecretscountry.
To support women in country music – give Karley Scott Collins a follow on social media, here.