11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Hadley Kennary

Hadley Kennary (Photo by Jason Lee Denton)Photo by Jason Lee Denton

Nashville Indie-Pop artist, Hadley Kennary recently released a nifty five-song EP titled “Crooked Roots” that fans of fun songwriter-pop will love. Check out “Orbit” and see what I’m talking about. And after you like that one, check out her back catalog which you will equally enjoy.

Maybe you saw Hadley open for Sherly Crow at the Ryman? Well in addition to that great gig, local radio station, Lightning 100 called her a “local gem” when they made her local artist of the week in May 2020. In addition to her own recordings, as a writer she has also written songs for others that have racked up a serious number of Spotify streams. (Funny how we track things these days!)

Thanks to Hadley for working through an 11 Questions so that we can get to know her better! It’s too late though for me to tell you about Hadley’s recent record release show at the High Watt. Hopefully she will be back on the local stage again in 2022.


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I grew up moving around a lot, but I spent the most time in the Midwest, primarily Chicago and Detroit. I moved to Nashville because I wanted to be fully immersed in the music industry and community, and I really wanted to grow as a writer. I wasn’t sure what lane of the industry I wanted to run down when I first got here, but I had a feeling being in Nashville would illuminate the next right steps. Seven years later, I’m still here, and I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

The first record I bought was Come on Over by Shania Twain (still iconic), on CD, from a Borders store (RIP). The last record I bought was a vinyl copy of Bon Iver’s self-titled album. I can’t believe it has been ten years since that record came out, it’s definitely a Top Ten album for me.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

My first concert was The Chicks in Kansas City, MO on the Top of the World tour. Joan Osborne opened. I wore a tiger-print cowboy hat. It was awesome. The last concert I saw was my dear friend Colin Elmore at The Basement East in Nashville. Colin has been one of my favorite songwriters in Nashville since my early years here, and his songs have soundtracked my Nashville experience. I get to be a total fangirl watching him and the rest of my friends do their thing on stage.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

I think Sheryl Crow should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame. Her career is one I look up to on so many different levels. She’s been a background singer, has an incredible arc as an artist, is an advocate for this city, and continues to be a prime example of collaboration and lifting up your people. To me, community is the foundation of Nashville. And I think having that kind of polychromatic, collaborative mark on music is so important to this city.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

Lately, my go-to for coffee has been Sump. I had an espresso tonic drink there the other day that was the coffee cocktail I didn’t know I need in my life. More often than not, I’m working through a bag of Sump beans at my house. My favorite pizza spot is Smith & Lentz. Gluten hasn’t been my friend as of late, but when I’m feeling inspired, I get their pepperoni pizza a Kellerbier. *chef’s kiss*

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

There are so many! One of my favorite records to ever come out of Nashville is Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour. That record has been so important to me over the past few years, as a songwriter, an artist, and a woman. It’s one I keep coming back to regardless of where I find myself in life, already a classic on my personal timeline.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

The Damn Sandwich and Animal Style Fries at Dino’s have been my late-night staple ever since I moved here. Honorable mentions include Duke’s, Babo, and Lakeside Lounge.

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

Bre Kennedy, Matt Koziol and Emily Hackett. Truly some of the best writers in town and some of my dear friends.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

The Basement will always be near and dear to my heart. It was one of the first places I played in town, and I’ve had some incredibly special and formative shows in that room. Belcourt Taps is one of my favorites, too. I’ve been playing there pretty much since I moved here, and it’s a really beautiful place to try out new material. There’s something sacred about that kind of safe creative space.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?

Honestly, I think every songwriter should have a season in Nashville, whether it’s a permanent move or a few weeks. There’s something about creating for creation’s sake that Nashville is really precious about, no matter how far into the business side it gets.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

Now that the Crooked Roots EP is out, I plan on spending some time in creative input/output mode, living a life that informs my art and creating for myself again. I’m not exactly sure what my next project will look like, but I’m trying not to be too precious with it. I’m so excited to get back to live shows, too. My most recent headlining local show was at The High Watt on November 20.

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