Introspective and unapologetically herself, Aubrie Sellers does not shy away from telling the honest truth. We sat down to chat in her dressing room before her performance at The Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut Sunday night. It was captivating to hear her perspective on country music today and the creative path she traveled to record her album.
Blessed with refined wisdom, the 25 year-old rising star has been around the music business all her life. “I grew up on the road [with] kind of a different lifestyle than most people, so I think traveling a lot and being around music and the business all of the time gave me a different perspective.” she explains. Sellers was home-schooled and spent much of her time around adults, which she says had an effect on her personality and outlook – she remembers “watching people behave and meeting lots of different people from a very young age.”
When she started writing for her debut album, New City Blues, she was not signed to a label and therefore had no deadline, allowing the songs to develop organically. “I just learned how to stick to my guns and how the whole process worked,” she says, “and how to best get my message across to the band and to everyone else, and all of that was a learning process for me.”
Sellers has had to face another important challenge of coming into her own as an artist: facing her fears and being comfortable on stage.“I am also very introverted and not used to being the center of attention,” she explains. “I have forced myself to do it and get out there.” Despite all of this, she showed zero signs of nerves prior to performing in front of a packed casino for her fans.
All dressed in black, Sellers and her band were a stark contrast to the glittering lights of the slot machines surrounding the stage. She performed all 14 songs off of New City Blues, including “Loveless Rolling Stone,” which she revealed almost didn’t make the album. She originally recorded the song more than three years ago, but wasn’t pleased with the outcome. When she revisited the track more recently, she explains, she had a different vision for the final product and ended up revamping the entire thing. “Let’s just totally redo it,” she remembers saying. “Then I loved it.”
Clutching her golden microphone, Sellers captivated the audience with a haunting cover of The Beach Boys’ “In My Room,” which can be found on the vinyl version of New City Blues. Proving her versatility, she also showcased her country roots with a Buck Owens original, “My Heart Skips a Beat.”
Sellers recognizes that her music calls upon many different influences, and she explained the origin of “garage country,” her self-coined descriptor: “Before I had my record out, people would ask me to describe my music and I would say country, but I didn’t feel like that really described it fully. It is very grungy and raw, so I think that kind of reminds me of garage country.”
When asked about today’s definition of the country music genre, Sellers argues that it’s completely subjective – and she’s okay with that. “The best thing we can have is diversity,” she added. “Because it would suck if we didn’t have a choice.” With a ton of shows lined up for the spring, make sure to catch this vibrant singer live and read our review of New City Blues here.