Halle Kearns celebrated the end of 2020 with the release of her first EP on December 11th. It is an impressive debut for the Columbia, Missouri native. The EP, entitled “Finally,” is comprised of three preceding singles and two new songs. From the moment she picked up a guitar for the first time, Kearns has been on a path that brought her to this moment. After listening to Halle’s EP, Undiscovered Nashville believes Halle Kearns has a bright future ahead of her. Please keep reading to learn more about Halle’s journey thus far.
Halle Kearns Fell in Love with Music
Everyone who seeks to make a career out of music can remember the exact moment they fell in love with music. For some, their journey starts with songwriting; for others, it begins with performing. Halle Kearns recalled, “When I was thirteen, I started learning guitar by learning chords on YouTube. I fell in love with it, and it became my favorite thing to do. I kept a secret for a while by playing in my room in the basement. My family knew I loved playing, but nobody else. It’s funny; I thought I was secretive. However, my dad could hear me through the vents.”
As high school graduation came closer, Halle would choose her path. Kearns said, “When I was sixteen or seventeen, we began having conversations about my plans after high school. I realized music was what I was most passionate about and something I could see myself doing forever. When I told my dad I wanted to make music my career, he asked me what that looked like. I said I have absolutely no idea, but we are going to figure it out. My dad has been on board ever since.”
Building Confidence through Performing
Halle Kearns had written songs before moving to Nashville, but her main focus was on performing. The singer-songwriter said, “My family moved to Kansas City after I graduated, and I followed them. I played gigs around Kansas City for over three years. My dad told me to do at least 100 shows before I moved to Nashville. That was our agreement. With each performance, you will learn something. For example, one time, I had a Camelback water bottle with me, and it was so loud in the microphone. One venue cut a gig short because I popped a guitar string, and I didn’t have any backup. It’s cliche, but you don’t know what you don’t know. I needed to learn. All I knew is I felt drawn to a music career. Even when played to small crowds, it felt right. From my first gig at Black Dog Coffee House to opening for national acts, my confidence built as shows got bigger.”
When is the right time to move to Nashville?
The decision of when you should move to Nashville is different for everyone. Each singer-songwriter has their path to follow. Halle Kearns recalled her first trip to Nashville. She said, “I made my first trip to Nashville when I was sixteen. Keep in mind, no one in my family had any musical ability or ties to the music industry. My dad planned a stop in Nashville on our way to Florida. While in Nashville, we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame. We went to the Taylor Swift exhibit. I loved her, and I have no shame in it. I grew up on her music. Her sparkling, bedazzled guitar was on display, and it was a Taylor guitar. I can’t believe I am saying this, but when I saw it, I thought how cool she has a guitar brand named after her. It’s little lessons like that you learn every day in this town.”
Halle Kearns was not a stranger to Music City before moving to town. It seems it was only a matter of time before the singer-songwriter pulled the trigger on the permanent move to Nashville. Kearns explained, “While I was living in Kansas City, I began making trips to Nashville. I finally moved here in March 2019. In the year before, I was coming to town every month for a week at a time. I was able to stay with a family friend from Columbia. She was an empty nester, and she told me I should move in with her until I found a roommate. So, I attribute the decision to move here when I did to her.”
Halle Kearns Focused on Songwriting
Each singer-songwriter’s first-year experience in Nashville is different. Again, everyone has a personal path to follow. Some get out there and play writer’s rounds, and others immerse themselves into songwriting. Kearns said, “I wrote my first song when I was fifteen, and I sang the song in front of my creative writing class. The boy I wrote the song about was in that class.” That must have been awkward. Halle added, “It was brutal!” So, be careful not to make a songwriter mad because they will write a song about you. Just ask Taylor Swift.
At Undiscovered Nashville, it is important to see someone play in person before writing an article. However, somehow we did not see Halle perform in Nashville during her first two years outside social media. The singer-songwriter explained, “I spent my first year in town figuring out who I was as an artist and what I wanted to say. I wanted to find my sound before playing a lot of shows or releasing music. My focus was on co-writing during that first year. When I began co-writing, the learning curve was exponential. Everyone told me I needed to move year, and they were right. Since moving to Nashville, I have learned so much about recording and studio life. I have picked up tips and tricks on guitar in the writer’s room as well.” Halle Kearns did not make the mistake of releasing rushing to release music as many artists have. Halle said, “You have to love your music and believe in it. If you don’t believe in it, why are you releasing it?”
Finally: Behind the Music
Halle Kearns celebrated her birthday on December 11th along with the release of her EP. Halle’s success this year validated her decision to wait to release music. The singer-songwriter said, “I wanted to demonstrate all my styles with these songs but still have a cohesive project. I want people to see what they can expect from a Halle Kearns project. You get as far left as I can go and as far-right, I can go. There is a little of everything. I tried hard to go into the releases of these singles without any expectations. Any expectation I had in mind, this completely blew it away. I had never released music before, and I didn’t know how people would respond. It has been awesome, especially with “Shoes to Feel.”
The release of “Finally” follows three singles: “Pick Me Up,” “Shoes to Fill,” and “I Drink Whiskey.” Each song on the EP evokes different emotions from the listener. “Shoes to Fill,” written by Kearns, Morgan Johnston, Kaylin Roberson, and Gary Garris, has been streamed over 150,000 times. It seems this song has resonated the most with Halle’s fans. Kearns said, “Shoes to Fill” is the song that means the most to me. My dad is my favorite person on the planet, and he inspired this song. He showed me how I deserved to be loved, so not anyone will be able to step into that role someday. I have received so many messages from people who could relate to this song, and I get goosebumps talking about it. I live for that!”
“Finally” We Get Two New Songs
The EP’s two new songs are “Whatever You Do” and “Before He Could.” Stephan Sharp produce the entire project. We asked Halle about the latest tunes. The singer-songwriter said, “Whatever You Do” was written with Palmer Runberg, and it has a beachy vibe. My dad calls it my parrot-head song; it is relaxed and fun. “Before He Could” is the only sad song on the EP. I felt 2020 had enough heartbreak. I wrote this one with Kaylin Roberson and Landon Magee. The idea is about the hesitancy of getting involved with someone new, so you walk away and break your heart before he gets the chance. It’s special to me because I have been on both sides of that situation.” If you have not yet listened to “Finally,” click to listen on Apple Music or Spotify.
Fun Facts with Halle Kearns
Outside of music, who is Halle Kearns? Halle shared some fun facts with us. Kearns said, “I have three sisters, two younger and one older. One of my little sisters just had the first grandbaby, and it’s the best thing that happened this year outside the music. I also love to travel, which makes me excited to tour one day. I have been fortunate to go to Thailand, Vietnam, and Turks and Caicos. One of my hidden talents is the ability to guess the breed of dogs when I see them, even if it is a mutt. In October of 2019, I began writing in a journal every day, and I filled five journals since. Although I don’t think anyone would want to read them.”
Plans for 2021?
So what does Halle Kearns have in store for 2021? Halle said, “Hopefully, I will be able to tour in 2021. I look forward to going from place to place and be able to hug people again. More music will be coming in 2021 too.” Thankfully, we don’t have to wait to hear Halle’s music. We can listen to “Finally” while we wait for new music. Follow Halle Kearns’ rise on social media because she is an artist to watch in 2021 and beyond.