Canadian singer-songwriter Callandra feels quite at home in the country music format. Her latest album, "I'm a Country Girl" features a strong line up of catchy, twangy country tunes that includes "Never Gonna See You Again," which is #50 on this week's current chart; and a beautiful rendition of the Christian hymn, "How Great Thou Art."
Congrats on your release of “I’m a Country Girl.” What did you take away from the recording experience and how has it changed you as an artist?
Thank you! The recording experience allowed me to really explore my own sound and what I bring to an original piece of music. Having written three tunes on the album, it was empowering to be able to share my own work. I also had the opportunity to take original songs that weren’t written by me and explore how to make them mine. I was given the writer’s, (James Oatway), blessing to really do my thing and it was so much fun to workshop them to a place that they felt like my stories too.
Tell us about the single, “Never Gonna See You Again”
"Never Gonna See You Again" honors the sacrifice servicemen and women make for their country and the impact it leaves on their loved ones. In the greater sense it embodies loss that we all inevitably experience and how, in processing that loss, we learn about ourselves as well.
Who are your musical influences?
I have always adored the women of country who paved the way – Patsy, Loretta and Dolly. Modern day influences are Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks and Martina McBride.
What do you love most about the country music format?
The universal stories they tell – heartbreak, faith and love and the unabashed honestly of a country tune.
Top 5 songs that you’re currently crazy about (other than your own ;)):
5. The Champion – Carrie Underwood featuring Ludacris – it pumps me up every time I hear it.
4. Sin Wagon – Dixie Chicks – an all time favorite! I saw them live for the first time in a room with less than 100 people – I’ve seen eight live performances now and they’re just as authentic as they were that first time I was in the audience.
3. Hurt – Johnny Cash – I can listen to it a thousand times and still get chills.
2. Coat of Many Colors – Dolly Parton – I am doing a cover of this song in an upcoming show and the story is beautifully vulnerable.
1. How Great Thou Art – my favorite song to sing – I even have a tattoo that reads "Then Sings My Soul." I feel grounded and peaceful every time I sing or hear it.
Favorite southern dish: I’m Canadian and Southern dishes are something I don’t get to enjoy nearly enough. I do love chicken and dumplings and one of my dearest friends lives in the southern USA and makes me homemade biscuits and gravy when I visit– they’re incredible.
Finally, a shameless plug: What would you like our readers to know about you?
I taught myself to yodel when I saw LeAnn Rimes win her Best New Artist Grammy and heard "Blue." Since then, I have had the opportunity to yodel on stages across North America, but the highlight was when visiting the Grand Ole Opry, I was able to stand on that famous circle on the stage and yodel into the Opry house.