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Photography by Jayden Becker

Through a sorrowful yet evocative voicing, Aubrie Sellers sings ‘Haven’t Even Kissed Me Yet:’ a folky, intimate depiction of apprehension. Aubrie’s songwriting catches her audience happily on the edge, leaning forward to hang on every note. Check out this new dose of magic from the alt-country star:

On February 7th Aubrie will deliver her second full length album ‘Far From Home.’ But before she ventures off on all the tours planned for 2020 (get your tickets), I caught up with her over happy hour nachos and ceviche. You can learn a lot from the inner workings of an independent artist who holds the reigns on her budding career, not to mention a woman with authority.

In one breath, I understood Aubrie was beautifully headstrong and unapologetically herself. This soft edge comes across in her western-eclectic music, too, giving the audience an opportunity to relate and put themselves in the storyline. From the production style to her lyrics, all of it is a distinguishable Aubrie choice.

“A lot of it to me is taking time to explore what you love and find the connections between those things.” Aubrie co-produced the entire record alongside Frank Liddell. “I really wanted my first few artistic statements to be really representative of me and what I listen to; I wanted control so it wouldn’t sound like anyone else. It would sound like me.”

With both parents in the business, Grammy-winning singer Lee Ann Womack and songwriter-solo artist Jason Sellers, Aubrie says growing up in the studio led her to falling in love with the producer’s chair. She binged on records like Robert Plant and Allison Kraus, weaving herself into the storyline of a cohesive piece of music with a distinct style. That, she says, is what she strives to create in her own music. A statement. An experience.

Originally from Nashville, Aubrie was home schooled more than normal schooled. But unlike many kids with celebrity parents Aubrie also went to both private and public school; on her own accord, of course. Miss Sellers has always had an open mind of her own, consciously carving a path that felt right to her. She spent plenty of time with her mother singing back up and writing, so when it came time to branch off on her own, she welcomed the freedom.

Upon first bite, we were chatting about astrology, feminism, and haunted Hollywood hotels.

I think it’s hard for people out there to be themselves, unfiltered and t0 not let other peoples’ opinions in. Did you grow to that conclusion? Was there a turning point?

I did start out this way but I will say that if there’s ever been a time that I’ve ever made a business decision that felt wrong to me, I really regretted it later.

This is a repetitive narrative but it’s true: it is hard because as a woman in the industry, people are constantly thinking I’m difficult to a degree. I feel like when I have to say no over and over again – which you have to do if you are sticking to your own vision – that people are going to get tired of it.

You can’t be everything to everyone, first of all. But you can’t worry about getting this thing accomplished and constantly worrying about people thinking you’re difficult.

So this is a trend! I come to this point in the conversation with other females so often. People really do expect women to live up to a certain standard of being appeasing. If you are a trailblazer, you might be considered a bitch. And that’s really difficult!

Yes! And there are kind of two conflicting sides of my personality, because personally I don’t like people to dislike me. Just on a personal level. I don’t like to make people uncomfortable, I don’t want people to feel like I’m being a dictator. But I think about it all the time.

But almost everyone I can think of that I admire or has been successful, has been called a bitch. And they probably weren’t being a bitch. They were just saying “this isn’t right for me.”

Speaking of women killing it, your mom is a musician; what’s that like for you? Is she involved, do you guys write together?

I’ve sung with her a little bit and we have written songs together, and I enjoy doing it – but she’s not involved in my career, really at all. Mainly because I’ve wanted to separate. People ask me all the time about working with her and it’s been very important to me since I was young to distinguish myself.

Did you want to be a musician when you were a kid?

I knew that I was going to do music. But…I started taking acting lessons when I was eight. On top of just loving to do it, I felt like it was something that I had that was separate from the rest of my family. But I knew I was going to do both in some form or fashion, I just didn’t know when.

Right on! I guess you have these views, as a kid, of what it means to be an artist. How has your vision of being a musician changed from then to now that you’re actually doing it?

Oh a LOT. I’ve learned a lot over the past few years, from making two albums and being on the road as a solo artist. From everything I had gleaned from growing up around the industry, I knew, I think, that I wanted to be an independent artist without a major label because I knew that I wouldn’t get creative freedom any other way.

I did kind of have this idea that if I established myself enough through a label, it would be different. But the truth is, it’s so much about luck of circumstance; there are so many other factors that come to play. You can’t control it. On top of that, the business is so different from 20 years ago, or even less.

Regardless of knowing all that in the beginning and hoping things would work out a certain way, I think I’ve really learned that the only way you can have true control over your stuff is to be an independent artist. So I started as one and I am one again! You really can do it yourself.

Very interesting. I wonder: is it harder being an independent musician? Or do the pros outweigh the cons?

The pros for me do outweigh the cons. It’s just a different way of going about everything. Think about it this way, you’ve spent however many years in your own head and no one can truly understand your vision as well as you can – on a working level. Nobody is going to get it as much as you!

You might have this fear that without a major label push behind you that you won’t get the same opportunities. But that’s the thing about it. It’s not about whether I deserve something, it’s about me just being a workaholic. *laughs*

Haven’t Even Kissed Me Yet: True story? What is the emotion behind it?

I record voice memos everywhere and this one sort of just fell out! I wondered at first, are people going to be able to identify with something so specific? But there’s something about specificity in a song where even if that’s not your circumstance, you somehow connect to it more.

It is a true story, though I won’t say who. It’s a feeling of melancholy anticipation *laughs.* We’re not even that far in getting to know each other and I’m having all these feelings. It’s almost like when you start getting to know someone and you can almost feel that there’s something rubbing wrong…and maybe you hope it isn’t! But you know it probably is so you’re already so tied up emotionally and, you haven’t even kissed yet.



photos / Jayden Becker

story / Ariana Tibi 

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