On March 4 at the Park Theatre on 848 Park Avenue in Cranston, the Cranston Country Fest is going to be taking place. It’s the first-ever edition of the festival with the doors opening at 6 p.m.. Trenton, Florida native Easton Corbin, who folks might know from his hit singles “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It”, is going to be headlining with a few other musicians taking part. Patrick Kearns from Weymouth, Massachusetts and hometown hero Kevin Herchen are going to be performing as part of the pre-show festivities with Kearns performing during the after party as well. Another musician that’ll be making their presence felt is Boston’s Louie Bello, who will be directly opening for Corbin at 8pm.
We had a talk ahead of the event about his recent musical approach, a new single he has out, a music video he made for that new single, his thoughts on performing at the Cranston Country Fest and his plans for the coming months.
Rob Duguay: You've had this interesting approach to music lately where you've been putting your soul and R&B background into a country format while in turn putting a creative spin on pop music. What would you say has inspired this artistic route you've been exploring these days?
Louie Bello: It’s love of the songwriting in country music, the love of the soul & pop music that I grew up on as a kid and just trying to meld those. I think when you’re an artist and you try to change totally it’s never authentic. Some people try to reinvent themselves and their style and I think that changing your style and evolving is a better way to do it. As I’m evolving I’m still bringing that soul background I have with me and so far it’s been pretty cool, I’ve been getting a good response.
RD: From listening to your latest releases, it seems like it’s very exciting. When you usually hear pop music and country coming together it can most of the time be formulaic and bland, but what you’re doing is very engaging to the senses and I like it a lot. A little over a month ago, you released the new single "Yippy Ki Yay". Where was the track recorded and what would you say is the messaging behind it?
LB: We recorded it down in Nashville with a good friend of mine named Joey Diehl who is a producer down there and he’s actually Brett Young’s production manager. He’s on tour most of the time with him during the year but when he gets back we always pop in, mess around and create. I had this idea for “Yippy Ki Yay”, we got into the studio, wrote the track and then recorded it. The idea behind the song is kind of saying “whatever” and having some fun. Your girl always wants to go on vacation and you always got excuses so this time there’s no excuses.
It’s about envisioning what’s going to happen when you get to where you want to go and that’s what “Yippy Ki Yay” is. It’s about letting loose.
RD: The music video for the single has you and your crew riding bicycles and doing some line dancing in a suburban setting. Who did you work with on the music video and what was the experience like making it? Did you film it locally in Massachusetts or did you film it somewhere else?
LB: We filmed it in Massachusetts with another good friend of mine, Sonny Patel. He did a lot of the set direction for that and Cisco Santiago, who is one of my partners when it comes to making videos, he directed it and I produced it. I just wanted it to be fun, nostalgic and just kind of representing the lyrics of the song. When I’m saying “I’m gonna hit it big in crypto, I’m gonna finally tint my windows”, I’m talking about how while growing up in a blue-collar family I wanted all this stuff. I could afford some of it but I couldn’t afford other things, I rocked what I had so that’s why the bicycles are in the video.
We had the big trucks come in because that’s where I always wanted to get to when I was growing up, just getting to have those big, fun machines. The music video was kind of like a big boy playground, that’s what I wanted to create.
RD: It seems like you did a good job of that from watching the video. What are your thoughts on the Cranston Country Fest happening at The Park Theatre? It looks like it's going to be a fun event.
LB: I was honored when the organizers reached out. Easton Corbin is an amazing artist who’s had some number one hits, it’s going to be awesome to share the stage with him. There’s so many other amazing artists who are going to be part of it as well. For me right now, it’s all about getting in front of audiences that I can share my music with and I feel like during an event like this it’s a great opportunity to perform not just to Easton and his fans but for other guys like myself and people who are just trying to push through the industry. It’s all based on fans and this Country Fest is the best place to do it.
RD: I couldn’t agree more. After the festival, what are your plans for the spring & summer?
LB: The week after the festival, I’m going to be opening up for Shane Profitt. He’s an up and comer out of Nashville, he’s got some big numbers right now and some songs on the radio. That show will be at Six String in Foxboro and after that I’m going to be doing smaller shows around the country to build a fan base before I jump on a bigger tour. I’m literally taking that old school approach I used to do when I was first starting in music, just making one fan at a time. Playing small shows, grabbing some fans and trying to connect.
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