When Kyle Fields released his debut album Hillbilly Poetry in 2017, he made a strong first impression amongst the traditional country music community.
Now, two years and two new singles down the road, Fields is running on all cylinders, and has a better idea of how he wants his music to sound. The results are speaking for themselves, as his two newest singles are his highest streamed songs on Spotify, and his newest single, “My Appalachian Lady,” released less than one month ago, is his highest streamed by more than 4,000 streams.
Hear from Fields about Hillbilly Poetry, finding his sound, what listeners can expect from his upcoming album, and more!
Pro Country: Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Kyle Fields: There are way too many to mention them all, but being from Kentucky, Keith Whitley and Dwight Yoakum are both very big influences, along with George Strait, Alan Jackson and all the 90s-country era really. My grandpa used to have old George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings records I remember listening to at a very early age. Bluegrass, gospel, and southern or roots rock were all major influences. Chris Knight, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, and Larry Cordle are some of my favorite singer/songwriters of the modern country music era (last 20 years or so). Gary Allan and Eric Church would be at the top of my favorites.
PC: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
KF: I’d say after high school is when I really wanted to pursue it, but I’ve always loved playing music. To do it full-time and make a living at it took me about 8 years of playing bars and writing songs on the side. About this time last year is when I finally decided to take the jump full-time.
PC: Why did you decide to release “Good Ole Boys Like Me” as the lead single from your Hillbilly Poetry album? What emotions were you feeling as you were preparing to release music for the first time with that single?
KF: Honestly, I think it was the first song I cut for that album, and I was just ready to get something out there. The feeling about releasing new music is kind of still the same; you just hope and pray that people enjoy it and can relate to it. This far, I’ve written or co-written every song on the last album and upcoming album, so it’s a little stranger feeling when you write them, and hope people just get it.
PC: “My Call” goes pretty deep in to struggles and asking the Lord for help. How important was it for you to have that kind of song on Hillbilly Poetry, and why did you decide to record it totally stripped down?
KF: I wrote that song when I was 19 or 20 I think. The people who followed me and supported ever since the beginning, that’s always been one of their favorites of my original songs; there was no way I wouldn’t have put it on there. One day I may go in and actually re-cut it with a full band. I felt it’s just a very raw song, and sometimes that’s the best way to record them. I feel like it’s a relatable song for anyone who believes in God. All of us sin; we aren’t perfect, and sometimes you need a little guidance from above
PC: “Addicted to Suicide” is a pretty heavy song that talks about addiction from the Hillbilly Poetry album. What was the inspiration behind that song?
KF: The part of the country I come from is one of the most beautiful areas or regions in the entire world, and the people there are some of the nicest folks you’ll meet anywhere, and I’m very proud of where I come from. However, the tri-state area. all of eastern Kentucky, southern Ohio, and West Virginia is facing an opioid epidemic unlike anywhere else in the world over the last decade. Sadly, that is something everyone from our area can relate to. We all know someone that has been affected by prescription drugs in a bad way. I just felt like it was something that should be said to bring awareness to it. People are dying every day, and a lot of times they do get hooked unintentionally due to a doctor pumping them full of pills.
PC: While the Hillbilly Poetry album features a mostly acoustically driven sound, “Big Memories” has a fuller, bigger sound. Was that intentional as you were recording that song, or was it something that happened naturally?
KF: On the new album, I’ve been working with a new producer, Buddy Hyatt, and having him on board took it to a whole different level, along with the legendary Brent Mason playing the lead guitar on all of it. I feel like I learned a lot and have grown a lot the last two years as an artist. I’m very proud of the Hillbilly Poetry album, but for this album, I knew more of the sound I wanted. I wanted to bring in fiddle on everything and add harmonies, as opposed to the last one where we didn’t use fiddle or bring in any harmonies, and I think it just adds so much more to the sound.
PC: Your newest single, “My Appalachian Lady” was released about two weeks ago, and is already your most streamed song on Spotify. Does it give you a certain level of validation that your newest single is performing so well already?
KF: It definitely has me excited about the future, and I’m very happy with all the positive response of it so far. I can’t wait for people to hear the full album. I think it’s going to be something special.
PC: Can you talk about the inspiration behind and writing of “My Appalachian Lady”?
KF: I didn’t really write it for one specific lady, I’m single [laughs], but if I were in a relationship, that would definitely be the kind of girl I would be with. I’d want to be with someone who believes in God, but would still take a sip of shine with me, and she would definitely have to listen to Dolly and Loretta or it just wouldn’t work out [laughs].
PC: What are your plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond?
KF: Just getting this album done and keep grinding. I’ve been playing a ton of gigs and recording. I’m hoping that with this album, I can start playing some bigger venues and hopefully get my music heard. It’s very hard to get it out there without a record label or a bunch of money behind you, so I’m excited and nervous about it because I’ve put a lot of work, time, and money into it from my own pocket.
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
KF: Keep it country🤠👍🏼
*All images courtesy of Kyle Fields Facebook Page*