Striking the balance between school and music is one the biggest challenges that rising artist, Tiffany Johnson, faces. Pursuing a musical dream while still in high school is not easy, but is an issue that Johnson will no longer have to face when she graduates in a few months and moves to Nashville to take her dream to the next level. Influenced by artists from across the genre spectrum, Johnson has been able to carve out her own outside on the box niche amidst an industry filled with cookie cutters.
Recently, we had the chance to chat with Johnson about her musical journey, finding balance, and her new single Deadly Affair.
Worlds Of Country: When did you know that music was something you wanted to do?
Tiffany: Oh, man, I feel like for me, there honestly isn’t an exact moment that I sat down and was like, I want to be a songwriter, it was just kind of something I always did to sort through my feelings and express my feelings. And it’s just ever since I was a baby it has been my passion like I was singing as soon as I could talk. And it just has always been, like ingrained in me, I guess. So I don’t really know that there’s a specific moment.
Worlds Of Country: Once you sort knew it was something you can do, what was your first step towards chasing it down?
Tiffany: Well, I started playing at local cafes and open mics and venues, and basically anywhere that would let me sing I would go and perform. And I went to Nashville for the first time when I was, I think 12, ’cause I’ve always been a big fan of like Taylor Swift and Dolly Parton and all these people who kind of grew through the Nashville scene and became famous there. So it was like this magical place in my mind. I was like, OK, I need to go to the heart of country music and stuff. So, yeah, that was kind of one of the first steps I took was starting to visit Nashville.
Worlds Of Country: So is your goal to eventually end up in Nashville?
Tiffany: Yeah, I’m actually moving there in January, so I’m in my last year of high school, but I’m graduating this semester and moving down to Nashville with some friends.
Worlds Of Country: So what’s it been like to balance school with music for you?
I always had to get my assignments done super early because I would have to be gone a lot. And so really not procrastinating was the biggest thing that helped me. And I think just kind of keeping my lives separate, especially when I was younger, was good for me because not a lot of other people were doing music as seriously as I was at the time. And so I kind of just tried to keep the two separate.
Worlds Of Country: So how would you describe your musical style?
Tiffany: I would say it’s kind of a mix of, well, it kind of combines the songwriting aspects and storytelling aspects that we see in country music with influences that are more alternative and pop with, especially with the production. I like to experiment with different sounds and genres a lot, and I try not to confine myself to one genre too much. But yeah,
Worlds Of Country: So across the genres spectrum, would you say, has most influenced the style that you settled on for now?
Tiffany: I mean, definitely Taylor Swift. She’s a big one. I also really love Lennon Stella, Maggie Rogers. Kacey Musgraves. One of my new favorite artists, his name is Burston Maroney. He’s out of Nashville as well. So just kind of people. I love singer songwriters and especially female singer songwriters because I kind of can see myself in them.
Worlds Of Country: So what would you say about your first musical love with performing music, or was it the writing aspect for you?
Tiffany: I would say performing. I grew up doing ballet and dance and stuff too, so I loved being on stage. I did acting a little bit when I was younger, too. And so anything where there is an audience of people that I could show off to.
Worlds Of Country: So you put out a song a couple of weeks ago, Deadly affair. Could you tell us the story behind that song and how that song came together?
Tiffany: It is kind of funny because I usually write based on my personal experience, but Deadly Affair was not something I had personally experienced. I kind of took some of my own feelings, but I read this book for my English class. Well, it’s actually a play. It’s called the Crucible by Arthur Miller, and it’s about like the Salem Witch Trials and all these crazy things that go on with the characters. And in the book, there’s this girl who gets cheated on and she’s kind of psycho. And so I wrote it from the perspective of that whole affair situation. And the dude in the book does end up dying because of this situation. So that’s kind of what inspired this song. And then I wrote this song so fast. Like some songs, it takes me a while, but I literally have a video of me. it’s probably a five minute long video and like the whole verse and chorus and second chorus, just kind of like fall out, which is rare, but it’s great when that happens. And then I called my producer, and I’m like, You need to come over right now and we need to finish this song. And so, yeah, we finished the song. He helped me write the pre-chorus and the bridge. That’s kind of how the song came together.
Worlds Of Country: So what’s next for you now?
Tiffany: Definitely moving to Nashville. I’ll be there in January. I’ll kind of be back and forth from my hometown a little bit because I have to come back to graduate and stuff, but I’m releasing more music. I have a ton of music that I have been sitting on for probably too long that I need to release. I think my next single is hopefully going to be a song called Indigo because it has a couple of lines in it about like Christmas and Christmas cards. So I figured maybe I’d really sit around Christmas time.