Last fall, I was introduced to a wonderful and talented artist by the name of, Lacey Canfield. Over the following months, I’ve had the pleasure of attending many of her live shows in and around the Nashville area, becoming more familiar with her music, and getting to know her personally. I recently asked Lacey if she would be willing to let me interview her for The CMBeat, and I was beyond thrilled when she said yes.
Lacey spoke with me about her childhood in Minnesota, her favorite music and musical influences while she was growing up, her passion for horses, and what fans can expect to see from her in the near future.
Emily Ann Wells: Was there a particular moment in your life when you knew you wanted to perform and write songs?
Lacey Canfield: I’ve been singing ever since I was little. I would even make stuff up, or say a sentence and then sing it. My parents and my brother would get annoyed with me after a while because I was singing all the time. I knew I wanted to start writing more after I came to Nashville and was just surrounded by all this creative energy down here and by so many great writers. Songwriting is a beautiful way to express what’s in your heart, so that’s a cool thing. I’m kind of an introvert sometimes, so being able to play and sing about what you want, and what you want to say, is another way to talk to people. So, I like that.
EAW: You’re originally from Minnesota, but you moved to Nashville when you were 18. What are some of the biggest differences between Tennessee and Minnesota? What are the pros and cons of living here, so far from home?
LC: Nashville is warmer than home, so that’s kind of nice. But I miss my family. There’s just something about Nashville; about all the artists, and all the music that’s here, and people accept you for who you are a little bit more. It’s tough breaking out of the mold back home – I didn’t go to college, I just came right to Nashville out of high school, and did artist development with Lynn Nichols, and started writing for my album. But, in Minnesota, a lot of my friends and people who are close to me couldn’t understand how I could not go to college or do all the other normal things people do after they graduate high school. I’ve always believed if you have a talent, it’s a God-given gift, and it needs to be shared. And here in Nashville, I felt like people get that.
EAW: One of your latest songs is called Shade. Where did you get the idea or the inspiration for that song?
LC: So, I had a thing with this guy last summer and it just… it was kind of crazy. I really liked him, and… I don’t know, it just ended weirdly, and he wasn’t really who I thought he was. Shade was inspired by him and that whole situation. The chorus is: “I don’t need your Shade, I want to stand in the sun”… just another way of saying I don’t want to stand in your shadow, or be left in the dark; it’s about moving on and embracing the good that comes out of that.
EAW: Besides your music career, you also work with and are very passionate about animals, especially horses. What got you interested in them?
LC: When my Mom was little, her dad, Dr. Donald Darrell Dahlstrom, bought a piece of land up in Minnesota about two and a half hours from where I grew up, and they called it the DDD Ranch. He bought six horses, one for my mom and her sisters, and one for my grandma. He also raised black angus cows. So that ranch has been in our family for a long time. When I was old enough to ride, I really wanted my own horse, and my grandfather said, “Well if you want a horse, then let’s go find one.” So I was searching, searching, searching… every single night I’d look online for hours for the right horse. Finally, I found this 8 year old American Quarter Horse that I fell in love with and I named him Forever Independence (I call him Indy for short).
He was a handful, but the lady who was his trainer before I got him used a training technique called Parelli Natural Horsemanship. Because of Indy, I learned so much about that technique and studied it for years, learning the horse’s language, learning how to read the horses, how to understand them and communicate with them, and how to build the relationship with them. When I came to Tennessee, I was able to use what I learned and started teaching lessons and training horses… It’s my “day job” and my other passion. Singing and horses are my two favorite things.
EAW: You are on a few social media platforms, but it seems Instagram is your favorite. What in particular do you like about Instagram?
LC: I am a very visual person. I love colors, and being able to see the stories people are sharing. Every post is like a mini work of art. I like that you can scroll through your own timeline or through other people’s timelines and see all the photos like a mosaic, or a visual storyline. I definitely post to Instagram more than anywhere else, and it’s definitely the place where fans can best keep up with me and all the latest happenings.
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EAW: Who were your musical influences growing up?
LC: I grew up listening to a lot of Christian music. I was a huge fan of Brooke Fraser, I love her voice, and Bethany Dillon. But I also listened to a lot of older music as well, and I was always drawn to soul singers or groups, like Stevie Wonder, The Commodores, or The Temptations. Even further back, I love crooners like Bing Crosby, and music from the big band era. I tend to gravitate towards soothing, chill types of voices and music… Colbie Caillat, Ingrid Michaelson, Corinne Bailey Rae, and John Mayer. So, kind of a mix of all those things; soul and pop, and a little bit of Americana, are my favorites.
EAW: Do you have or can you think of one song that’s your favorite of all time?
LC: Well, recently we’ve been playing Superstition by Stevie Wonder at my live shows, and I just forgot how much I love that song. But I think that happens to all of us – we forget about certain songs and don’t hear them for a long time, but then they come on the radio, and you’re like “Oh my gosh! That’s my favorite song!”. I’m just the same with movies and food. I don’t know… your favorite song at the moment is always changing, but I’d have to say for me, at this moment, it’s Superstition.
EAW: What would you like to see happen with your career over the course of 2017?
LC: I would really like to build more of a following and keep working to define my style and my sound. Since I work with horses and I live in Nashville, most fans assume I’m a country artist. So, it’s important to me to put my music and my image out there in a way that people can easily tell I’m more soul or pop. My biggest dream is to get on the radio someday, and I just love my new song Shade… maybe that will be my breakout single. I’m going to start recording that song and a few others for a new EP this year. But, other than that, I want to continue to play out and meet more people, write more songs, and continue to learn and develop myself as an artist.
Lacey’s commitment to growing as an artist, establishing her sound and style, building her audience, and developing her creative voice and talent will most certainly guarantee a long, healthy career in the music industry. Lacey is as honest and real in her music as she is in everyday life; she knows art and music are life-long pursuits and she has no desire to be a “flash-in-the-pan” or a “one-hit-wonder”. And I, for one, am looking forward to watching her journey as an artist and hope she’s around for a very long time.
What did you think of our interview with Lacey Canfield? We would love to know your thoughts so leave us a comment below or on social media!