I’m happy to announce that Pro Country and the Bayou Country Music Association have partnered up!
Our first order of business with the partnership is to introduce our respective outlets; the inspiration behind them, where we hope to take them, and more!
First up, hear from BCMA founder Jacob Soileau about creating the BCMA, his mission with the Association, what is coming next, and more!
Also, be on the lookout soon, as I will be featured on BCMA’s podcast to talk all about Pro Country! Stay tuned for much more coming from our partnership!
Pro Country: Who were some of your favorite artists growing up that shaped your love for country music?
Jacob Soileau: My father always listened to the country greats, George Jones and Haggard. I’m a 90s baby, so growing up, I’m a huge Tracy Lawrence fan. I also love Mark Chesnutt; all those 90s country songs, and that kind of made me love country music.
PC: What was your inspiration behind starting the Bayou Country Music Association?
JS: I was previously doing a hunting guide service. I had a friend, Ashton Dupré with Red Barn Music, who started wearing our apparel, and kind of got dragged into that. I was going to shows with him and helping him out. I got in touch with Seth Storer and Red Barn Music, and I was involved with them for a while, helping out all I could. When the guide service didn’t pan out like I thought, I was brainstorming with Seth, and we said, “We need some sort of platform to help out all of these great, up-and-coming independent artists.” We thought of the name, and he kind of handed it to me, and I took it and ran with it. It began as pretty much just a website, so he kind of gave me that as my baby, and I did whatever I could to make it bigger, including the podcast and the chart, then it kind of just blossomed.
PC: What is your mission with the Bayou Country Music Association?
JS: Our mission is very simple; to get independent country musicians known by people who may not know them. To have a person reach out and say, “Thank you, Bayou Country, I had never heard of this artist until I heard them on here, now I’m a huge fan,” that’s what it’s all about for me. It’s not about supporting one artist or a group of artists, it’s about these independent artists. Country music, in the mainstream, is taking a lot of turns and curves, but there are so many great artists that are keeping it to its roots, and just getting them noticed, that’s the real mission of the Bayou Country Music Association.
PC: What has it been like watching the fan base for the Association grow as rapidly as it has?
JS: First and foremost, it’s really been nothing that I’ve done, all the grace goes to God. It definitely has taken off with gaining relationships with people in the industry, and it’s not just me, it’s a lot of people such as yourself that just love great country music and they’re thriving to have it come back. It’s amazing to see. We’re going on almost a year, it’s great to see the things that it’s accomplished with the artists, and I take no credit for that, it’s simply God’s grace and good people out there.
PC: You’ve mentioned your love for the music. What has it been like to go from a casual listener to getting deeper into the industry with the BCMA?
JS: It really has changed my music listening drastically. I can’t tell you the last time I listened to mainstream radio, I’m constantly listening to up-and-coming music. It really has made me evolve, I’ve become such fans of these artists; getting to know their story and getting their music out there, it’s awesome. It’s changed my whole view of what the industry really has to offer.
Jacob interviewing Pro Country alum Dustin Sonnier
PC: What has been your favorite or most rewarding part of your time with the BCMA so far?
JS: I’d have to say the relationships. Building the relationships with these musicians; it’s not just me doing this as a business and promoting them, I really get in touch with them and become friends. That’s been my favorite thing about it. At the end of the day, it’s a business, but these are people; these are individuals, they have families and friends. That’s been the best part for me.
PC: Do you have a favorite interview you’ve done so far?
JS: I’ve definitely grown as an interviewer and become better with each one. When I first broke out, I was pretty horrible. I listen to them now and cringe (laughs). One of my favorite interviews was Mike Ryan, who’s a great country singer out of Texas. I was a big fan, and I got his number, got in touch and did an interview. We ended up having mutual friends. He was one of the ones where I said, “Wow!” I did one with Randall King, which was pretty short-lived because I was new to the whole “interview thing,” but my favorite would probably be one of those guys. And that is not to diminish the importance of interviewing the artists who are less-known, but those were definitely two that I cross off my list.
PC: What plans do you have for the future with the BCMA?
JS: Man, we’ve been doing really well with the Spotify chart. When it first started out, I didn’t really have a way to rank the artists, I just had a list. Now, I’ve been working really hard to get that going where it runs off of Spotify streams. Also, with the podcast, I’m just trying to get content and more artists out there, and make it the best that I can, so I can make it to the ultimate, which is to get people to know these artists. So we’re just grinding. We have a lot of great relationships building, such as with yourself, and all of these organizations I’ve reached out to, so it’s growing as a whole, which is awesome to see.
PC: Is there anything else you would like to add about the Bayou Country Music Association?
JS: I want to stress the importance of this; we do this and we interview these artists, and I’ll speak for both of us, not getting people to look at us, it’s really about getting the content out for the artists and fans. I’m really thankful to have all of these people, such as yourself, who are helping promote Bayou Country, but it’s really a selfless goal for me. The more people we have that are fans of Bayou Country, the more people we can reach. That’s really the whole goal.