Seventeen year-old Farmington, New Mexico native and Season 15 The Voice winner Chevel Shepherd wowed audiences around the world with performances “You’re Looking At Country,” “Blue,” “If I Die Young” and “Space Cowboy” before cutting a Kacey Musgraves (with Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark) song of her own, lead single “Everybody’s Got A Story.” Her eagerly-anticipated debut continues with the bouncy, feel-good track “Southern Boy.” Coated in lush vocals and what People calls her “positive spirit and carefree attitude,” the ode to charming rural men is available on all streaming platforms.
Gathering inspiration from heroines Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Trisha Yearwood and the Dixie Chicks, Shepherd is committed to embracing classic country music while adding her own twist.
“I grew up listening to these powerhouse Country singers who were so savvy and knew exactly what they wanted to say in their music,” she shares. “Songs that in just three minutes have the ability to transport you into these other worlds with characters that feel so real.
“I have grown up in a town on the outskirts of Farmington, New Mexico with a population of less than 1,500 people, so I know a lot of those characters, yet at the end of the day, I do see myself with someone who has that southern charm in ‘Southern Boy’.”
“Well, up in New York they know how to wine and dine / And those LA guys put on that Hollywood shine / But I’m lookin’ for a backroad, take it slow, kinda love / With a John Wayne heart a little shy and a little tough.”
Mature in her ability to hand-pick intricately woven songs and with a keen eye for personal detail, the track written by Cassidy Lynn Alexander and Kellys Collins shows Shepherd’s playful side. It follows recent releases, the reflective “Everybody’s Got A Story” and “Mama Got the Chair,” which cleverly explores the other side of “The Chair,” George Strait’s 1985 No. 1 hit, written by Nora Collins, Nick Donley and Dave Fenley.
When it comes to her new music, Shepherd knows how invaluable The Voice coach turned mentor Kelly Clarkson’s support has been to her creative process sharing with The Washington Post “I got to pick the songs and I got to record it here in Nashville. Kelly just being a part of it, it’s been a blessing.” Leading Cowboys & Indians to declare Shepherd “stands poised to become Generation Z’s newest country music star.”
Shepherd plans to release an EP later this year featuring all three of these recently released tracks as well as four others selected by the powerhouse vocalist with support from Clarkson and producer Todd Tidwell.
Chevel Shepherd is helping us all remember the power of pedal steel and good stories. With bold sincerity and a sparrow’s natural instincts, Chevel sings modern country music that toes tradition’s best lines. The 17-year-old New Mexico native first charmed America as the champion of season 15 of The Voice, nurtured by coach Kelly Clarkson. Chevel spent the next year checking off a long list of red-letter firsts, including opening shows for Clarkson, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Lee Brice and more, along with singing “God Bless America” before the Indianapolis 500.
On March 20, 2020, Chevel released two highly-anticipated new songs: the moving “Everybody’s Got a Story,” written by Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally, and Brandy Clark; and “Mama Got the Chair,” a clever call-and-response to George Strait’s iconic “The Chair” penned by Nora Collins, Nick Donley, and The Voice alum Dave Fenley. With “Southern Boy” as her third offering from her forthcoming EP, fans can expect additional releases throughout the summer.