Christie Huff is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter that Undiscovered Nashville learned about during the spring quarantine of 2020. However, Christie is no stranger to Nashville. Discovering the unique hooks and beautiful melodies of her music have been a silver lining to 2020. The Mesa, Arizona native also embraced the challenges of this year by becoming more active on social media, which is how we learned of her. Upon hearing her single “Canvas,” Undiscovered Nashville was a fan of Christie Huff. The releases that followed “Canvas” continued to impress us, so we wanted to learn more about her story.
Christie Huff and Her Path in the Music Business
It seems Christie Huff was born to be a performer, and she always knew she wanted to be a singer. Huff said, “I was one of those kids who grew up loving musical theatre, and I would sing all the time. I grew up in an era when Taylor Swift began her career, and when Carrie Underwood had just won American Idol. I grew up listening to them. It sounds cliché, but Taylor was a huge influence on me because she wrote all her music. Taylor showed me a young girl could tell her story, and people would care. I grew up singing, but during my senior year of high school, I began writing songs. My vocal teacher told me if I wanted to get anywhere in music, I need to write my own.”
The inspiration behind songwriting can differ, but for most, the music reflects their life experiences. The singer-songwriter said, “When I began writing songs, I was inspired by everything I was feeling. I wanted to release my emotions somehow. Even before I started writing my music, I released my feelings by singing other people’s songs. I would go to a school where I would have a crush, a good or bad day, and that inspired the songs I was writing every day. That was what songwriting was about for me; it was a way to get my poetry out.”
Los Angeles or Nashville?
Upon graduation from high school, Huff had to decide what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go. The singer-songwriter said, “I decided to take a gap year after high school, but it ended up being longer than a year. I kept learning about and writing music, but I think it has been the best decision I could have made.”
However, the question of where she would move to chase her dreams remained. Huff said, “Seven years ago, I went to Nashville to record an album, but I knew I needed to move to Nashville or Los Angeles. Nashville has changed a lot in the last five years, but at the time, I felt I was just another blonde Taylor Swift wannabe. I thought I would stand out more in Los Angeles, and it was closer to home. Now, people are making pop music in Nashville. I feel there is a bridge between the two cities, with so many traveling back and forth. For the past three years, I have been traveling to and from Nashville. I even rented a room from my drummer, who lives in Nashville.
A Career in Music was an Easy Choice
Everyone usually has a moment when they decided to pursue a music career, but Christie Huff can’t pinpoint a single moment. Huff said, “You know when you are a kid, and people ask you what you want to be? At a certain age, kids will say they want to be an astronaut or something. When people asked me, I always said I wanted to be a singer. Learning wasn’t easy for me growing up due to my Dyslexia. When I was thinking about going to college, I thought about how difficult high school was for me. It made my decision much easier.”
The singer-songwriter persevered through her struggle in school, and she is filled with gratitude. Christie said, “I am grateful for Dyslexia because I think in many ways, that is the reason why my brain works the way it does for music. If learning in school had been easy for me, I think I would have gone to college and figured it out. However, why was I going to college to study when I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew it would be painful going to school.”
The Nashville/Los Angeles Experience
Songwriters who have spent time in both cities can attest to the collaborative atmosphere in Nashville. The level of collaboration usually comes as a surprise to many who move to Music City to pursue a music career. Huff said, “The level of collaboration is different between LA and Nashville. Nashville is a very collaborative town, and LA is not as warm. However, I have found a group of writers in LA who I love working with. We share the same mentality, and they go back and forth to Nashville as I do. In LA, it seems you must prove yourself before someone will collaborate with you. However, in Nashville, you can talk to someone after a show and set up a write.”
When songwriters come to Nashville, most are open to writing with anyone to see how it works out. The best piece of advice I have heard about songwriting is never to turn down a write, because that song could change your life. Huff talked about her philosophy on co-writing. The singer-songwriter said, “Writing with someone the first time is like a first date, and I say yes to all first dates. Let’s try it and see how we vibe. However, it’s hard to judge writing with someone from one song. Sometimes you need to write with them two or three times. My favorite collaborations are when everyone can have a say and not be afraid to put out an idea.
Christie Huff: Behind the Music
Christie Huff had released some good music in 2020. Our personal favorites are “Canvas” and “Halfway Fell.” The unique hook in “Canvas” compelled me to ask Huff what inspired the song. The singer-songwriter said, “The song was inspired by my ex-boyfriend, who was an artist. It helped me think more abstractly about that situation. When I started to write the song, I was looking at RhymeZone for what rhymes with madness. I saw the word canvas, and I thought there is my song. It fit perfectly with the vibe I wanted, and with the person, it was about.”
“Halfway Fell” is a song about ending a relationship that isn’t good or bad. How many can relate to that idea? When their relationship ends, you are not mad or upset because you only halfway fell. I love the melody in this song too. One line in the song is, “I don’t wish you bad; I don’t wish you well.” That describes plenty of relationships for this writer. In the end, you move on.
Christie Huff Releases “Palm Reader”
Huff’s latest single, “Palm Reader” was released on September 25th. It’s certainly a unique title and concept. What inspired “Palm Reader?” Huff said, “I was on a road trip from Utah to California. When I was driving through Bakersfield, I saw a sign for a palm reader. I thought that was a cool title, so I wrote it in my notes. This title stayed in my thoughts. I am a hopeless romantic, and I kept thinking how cool going to someone to find out who your true love is. It has a spooky, Halloween vibe. That’s why I decided to release it at the end of September. Halloween is my favorite holiday because I love scary things, dressing up, and candy.”
Fun Facts with Christie Huff
In addition to her love of Halloween, Christie Huff shared more fun facts with us. The singer-songwriter said, “I can belch the alphabet.” When I told her that is not very ladylike, Huff said, “I never claimed to be a lady.” Christie continued, “I am on the keto diet, but when I come to Nashville, I will have a cheat day for Five Daughters bakery. A new passion of mine is biking. I ride about 10 miles a day. Also, I am obsessed with Chris Pratt. I love Parks & Rec and Guardians of the Galaxy. A cardboard cutout of Chris Pratt is in my bedroom. He has inspired some of my recent quarantine writes.”
Christie Huff’s music is relatable and clever, and we look forward to new releases coming soon. Also, Be on the lookout for an 8 episode podcast Huff is releasing this month. October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and the podcast is to bring awareness to Dyslexia and learning disabilities in general. Follow her on social media, drop in on her live streams, and check out her music on Apple Music and Spotify.