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  • Writer's pictureRachel Sellick

Artist Spotlight - Kelley Swindall

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

At Scarlet River PR, we love to showcase and introduce you to the fantastic artists that we get discover and get to work with! This month, we are working closely with Georgia girl, Kelley Swindall in the lead up to a new single release AND her one-month tour or the UK!

The New York-based artist and singer-songwriter grew up in Stone Mountain, listening to the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Patsy Cline, and Johnny Cash on the way to church every Sunday morning, 'cuz that’s what her Daddy listened to.' Her love of Acting led her to New York City after Highschool, however she got sidetracked from Theatre after having her heart broken by a musician. It didn't all end badly however, as the events that followed inspired her to pick up a guitar and start writing her own songs. She figured she was gonna need something besides her sparkling personality and southern charm, to compete for the affections of whatever man would strike her fancy next. Turns out she actually had a knack for songwriting (Also turns out, the more she wrote, the less she cared about the men ;).

Kelley has toured her music across the UK and the States on many an occasion, and since she will be touring the UK this Month, we thought it would be great to get her perspective on the similarities and differences when it comes to touring in these two places.


Touring in the US vs UK is like night and day to me. I absolutely ADORE the UK. Y'all know how to appreciate an artist and a song. In the US, people tend to be so focused on bands. Not to knock on the US, but I feel that, with the exception of maybe Nashville folk, the average person just does not appreciate solo singer-songwriters, like I have found the average person here does. The average person in the US needs bells and whistles to keep their attention at the average pub gig.

A person standing on a stage alone with nothing but their voice, their instrument, and their songs, is both beautiful and VERY COMPELLING, and I find y'all share this sentiment (whether consciously or not). In the UK I can play a pub or venue solo acoustically on a Friday or Saturday night and no one in the audience bats an eye... they almost always shut up and listen. Not so in the US. Generally, promoters, bookers, pub/club owners are all about the "band", and very reticent to book me solo without a band on such nights, and that's because they know their audience... and the audience is more concerned with drinking and talking to the person next to them than ACTIVELY listening to the artist on the stage. People in the US love the idea of live music, but they'll talk right through it at a pub gig, because they like to passively listen to the music in the background, rather than stop what they're doing and engage. Y'all ACTIVELY listen here through a whole set, and allow yourselves to invest in the performance/songs. That's the difference.

I also love how much more accessible touring is in this country, compared to the US. It's brilliant! I can cover more ground, in terms of cities, while physically covering less distance. The people and the countryside are just brilliant, to me. I really love it here (if you haven't figured that out yet).

We think you're going to love watching Kelley Live! Interested in your nearest gig?

And finally. we love hearing artists' top tips for the industry so that we can share them with YOU! Hopefully you can implement them, support each other, and find a new way to make your career bigger and better!

"Your songwriting must come first. you could have the best voice or stage presence in the world, but if your songs aren't up to par, you will only go so far! If often have to constantly take this advice myself because the journey to being a great songwriter never ends. Hone in on your favorite songs, dissect them, STEAL if you have to (Bob Dylan does it beautifully all the time! :) Learn what goes into the best songs, and do your best to recreate them in your own voice. If you don't find your original voice or style right away, that's fine. It will come if you put the work in. The important thing is to write write write, and continue to study what makes great songs tick. That is your foundation."

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