It may seem that to become a professional singer these days it takes reality show stardom, and as Hollie Cavanagh’s brother, I know that all too well. But a select group of people with hard work and a little bit of luck can achieve the same dream.
McKinney’s own budding country star, 20-year-old Crissy Harrold, bypassed the slew of singing competitions and landed herself a recording contract with TMG Records and a debut album entitled On My Way is available now.
Crissy may not fit the stereotypical country music artist image. Although she has lived in McKinney and been a Texan for 15 years now, Crissy was adopted from the Philippines. So how does a child from the Philippines land herself in country music?
"My parents and I traveled around the U.S. to sell their crafts at shows," Crissy explains. "We would travel in a motor home and listen to my Dad's classic country cassettes like Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn and my Mom's more modern country like The Dixie Chicks and Leann Rimes, and I just fell I love with it.”
The pursuit for a record deal required her to perform at any and every event available; she had to grace the stage at dozens of venues in and around McKinney to perfect her craft.
Crissy recalls, “I performed at Dickens of a Christmas in Downtown McKinney for 4 straight years, school talent shows, a Smiles Charity concert, the Wylie Opry and other places in east Texas in the middle of nowhere.”
So how did Crissy land that elusive record deal? She says, “I recorded a demo CD called Dream On of 12 cover songs, and decided to send it off to every country music management company with their address on Google. I eventually heard from Robert Metzger of Capitol Management who thought we could go far together, so after talking it over with my parents we decided to sign on with him.”
Crissy explains, “Robert helped me get my 12 original songs from Nashville song writers like Tom Shapiro, who has written songs for Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood, (and) also Jon Rich of Big and Rich.”
After the album was completed, Metzger and Capitol Management passed the CD around to record labels at a country music convention in Nashville, and in July of 2011 Crissy signed with TMG records.
One dream for any aspiring country music artist is to be part of the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, attended by every country music giant in the business. Crissy recently fulfilled that dream.
She says, “CMA Fest is a 4-day-long festival in Nashville with music on every corner. It is a mix of the biggest stars in country music and the not-so-well-know ones like me to get some publicity. I got to perform at some legendary places like Tootsies and Rippy’s and sign autographs at the fan fair convention center, which is where all the stars go to sign autographs. I had the most amazing time meeting people and learning about the Nashville music scene.”
McKinney has nurtured another talented singer and I know the country music community will embrace Crissy with open arms. Crissy is representing McKinney proudly and McKinney should be proud of her.
Crissy’s debut album, On My Way, is available now through iTunes and Amazon, you can also check out the video for her first single “Stop Rockin’ the Boat” by clicking on the video below.