By Jeff Arnold, Contributing Writer
Westborough – For country music fans, a trip to Nashville is a pilgrimage of sorts. From the Grand Ole Opry to the lesser-known Bluebird Café, the city holds a special place in music lore. This past April 19-year-old Westborough resident and 2016 Westborough High School graduate Lyssa Coulter made the trek to visit country music’s Mecca. Her trip though was far more than just a vacation; for Coulter the trip represented a stepping stone in her blossoming career as a pop-country singer-songwriter as she recorded her debut single, “By My Side,” while there. The song, written by Coulter, is available now on iTunes and Spotify.
Far before she traveled south to Nashville, however, Lyssa was an ordinary girl growing up in nearby Medway. Although an overall difficult experience, her time growing up there taught her valuable lessons that she today uses in her music career.
“[My time in Medway] taught me the importance of staying positive when negative things are happening around you,” Coulter said.
That positivity is part of the reason for her success in her short time as an artist. Three months after moving to Westborough her junior year of high school, Coulter began taking voice lessons; soon after she was playing small gigs at local venues. It was not until a year after she began to take singing seriously, her senior year in high school, that she began to write songs as well.
On songwriting, Coulter reflected, “For me the key to songwriting is to find the emotion in the song. Writing my own stuff helps fans connect to me and my journey as an artist because I can write something and they can hopefully relate to a similar experience.”
This philosophy was part of the reason she chose to record “By My Side” as her debut single. The track, which details the desire to escape everyday life with a loved one, provides a fresh spin on a common topic within country music. This unique sound is no accident as Coulter recognizes the difficulty of being a country artist in Massachusetts.
“Being from New England is definitely a challenge in the country music world,” stated Coulter. “It’s hard for artists from up here to be taken seriously so I think it is really important to stay true to yourself as an artist and create a sound that is very much your own.”
Today, Coulter continues to develop that sound by playing shows throughout the state in hopes of growing her dedicated fan base. She views her fans as the driving force behind these goals as they continue to support her and share her music. Thanks to her fans, many of whom packed her single release party at Loretta’s Last Call in Boston this past June, Coulter views the future positively and has lofty goals.
In the coming year Coulter is looking to release an EP of original music, tour from Massachusetts to Nashville, and play the 2018 CMA Fest in Nashville. For now, she is also entered in Worcester Nash Icon 98.9’s NEXT competition which uses fan votes to determine 10 artists to send to Nashville to perform. Although ambitious, she views these goals as attainable thanks to the support of her friends, family and fans.