By Sabrina Hornung
Fargo artist signs Nashville recording contract
To say the 2020s got off to a rough start might be the understatement of the century, but Fargo musician Gina Powers managed to find her own Cinderella story after a visit to Nashville that resulted in her signing a record deal with Hughmont International, LLC, with the legendary Jerry Foster.
According to IMDB, “Jerry Foster is perhaps best known as one-half of the infamous songwriting team of Foster & Rice, the most awarded songwriting team in the history of ASCAP.”
Let’s back up a bit here, shall we?
As the COVID lockdown hit, Gina had to rethink and realign her plans for the year. Like many creatives she was out of income, and after recently closing on a house, she had a lot to take into consideration.
“And I wish that I could say that during the COVID period. I was prolific in writing and made some great meaning and took the time to organize my closets like very often people did. I did not, I had no money.
I was terrified that I was going to lose everything because I closed and moved into my house the day COVID kind of hit and shut everything down. So it was a really scary time because I'd taken on this big responsibility financially and I literally lost my income. Within a week, all of the income for the year that I had planned was gone.” said Powers.
Nevertheless she kept her head down and kept working and stayed busy playing duos with her guitarist at the time, and kept plugging away until January when she herself contracted COVID.
“My breath capacity has absolutely been affected by it because it's not the same now; like after I was done with COVID I had to re- train my body – how much force I needed to use to intake air and stuff to sing.”
Which in itself is terrifying, when your voice is your livelihood.
COVID woes aside, she joined forces with her vocal student by the name of Andrew Knutson, who sat in for the summer playing guitar, though he had no intention of staying in Fargo. He was Nashville bound and told Gina if she ever wanted to visit she was more than welcome. Serendipitously enough, her band was playing at Dempsey’s one night and someone gave her a name, insisting she should be playing in Nashville. Unfortunately the contact didn’t pan out but she took it as a sign. It gave her the confidence to think she had a shot.
So Gina called her best friend and they booked a flight in February, they met up with friends at the Commodore, she signed up for a open mic, and her song was so well received she was invited to participate in a songwriter round and found herself making another trip to Nashville, but this time she went solo.
“I was aware that Jerry Foster was going to be there because they tell you who the featured songwriter is of the night and I was just beside myself because Jerry Foster you know he's the history of country music he's written for Charlie Pride, Randy Travis, Mickey Gilley, Johnny Paycheck– many artists have cut his songs and 550 ASCAP awards over his lifetime of writing…it's pretty amazing.” she said.
Once she finished the round she introduced herself to Foster, gave him a card, and enjoyed his set. She thought that alone would be her “bucket list” moment,
“That night, when I got home, he sent a message and said, 'I really liked yor stuff.’ And I said, ‘Thank you. I'm so flattered’. And I thought to myself, Oh my gosh, that's cool. Maybe I'll get some good advice from this guy someday.”
“Next day, I'm sitting in the airport. And all of a sudden I'm getting messages from Mr. Foster and he's asking me, do you have a PR role and, you know, performing rights organization that you register with? Do you have other things released? You know, can you direct me to any of your other releases and he started to ask me questions. As he's asking me these questions, I know it sounds goofy, but tears are streaming down my face.”
She went on to say, “I actually knew what was happening. And I turned to the guy next to me and said holy shit. And he's like clearly a businessman, very focused on what he's doing. He looked at me and I said, I'm so sorry, I don't know you, but I think I'm being offered a record deal right now. And he goes, Really? That's really cool. What's your name?”
She’ll still keep Fargo as her home base. Two out of the three songs she recorded have been released thus far. She’ll spend the second half of September recording in Nashville and she’s bringing her band.
“This shit doesn't happen to me. Like dude, I've had a plane crash at my house. My mom died when I was a kid. I was on the street at 14 trying to survive like I raised every kid in the family, like I just can't even tell you how many crazy twists and turns my life has taken, and to have this happen, it feels like the ultimate lightning strike in my heart…my deepest dream and desire.”
IF YOU GO
Boogie Knights with Gina Powers
August 18, 6:30- 9:45 pm
Gina Powers and Friends
Friday August 19th 7pm
August 17th 2022
August 17th 2022
July 20th 2022
July 20th 2022
July 20th 2022
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