Karley Scott Collins
As an international touring series, Introducing Nashville brings with it a rare, stripped-back show to fans. Designed with the same format as a traditional Nashville writers round, Nashville’s current artists take turns introducing their songs and sharing the stories behind the tracks, as well as their personal lives and careers. Experience a true cross section of what is coming out of Music City right now. Curated and presented by the Country Music Association.
Just 23 years old and already a seasoned veteran of Nashville’s elite songwriting community, CONNER SMITH has become one of Country’s most hotly-anticipated new artists – an uncommon talent mixing prime-of-life passion with old-soul perspective. After penning his first song at 6 and scoring a publishing deal at 16, the Country prodigy wrote five of the six songs on his Zach Crowell-produced 2022 debut collection DIDN’T GO TOO FAR (The Valory Music Co.). Featuring his first Top 40 hit “Learn From It,” viral smash “I Hate Alabama,” and GOLD-certified fan-favorite “Take It Slow,” the charismatic effort laid an artistic foundation that earned Smith 2022 Artist to Watch status from Spotify, Amazon Music and Opry NextStage, while also making him the only Country artist on Pandora’s Ten List 2022 and securing 2023 recognition from MusicRow Next Big Thing, CMT Listen Up, and more. As Smith continues to grow up in full view of his fans – both on the page and the stage – CMT calls him “an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.”
KARLEY SCOTT COLLINS started playing the guitar as a teenager in Florida, practicing chords in her bedroom and performing songs she’d created for her parents. Mostly self-taught, at 14 she turned to a neighbor as a collaborator, playing acoustic guitar to his electric. She soon formed a band in Lake City, never recording any material but gigging and rehearsing around town, cutting her teeth while still in school. Lately, she’s been practicing under the tutelage of Black Label Society’s Dario Lorina, “because I want to learn how to shred,” she says with a grin. A publishing deal sparked her 2019 move to Nashville, which brought new collaborators like Liz Rose, producer Brock Berryhill, Nathan Chapman, and Brett James into the fold. Having never cowritten before, Karley says the creatives she’s surrounded herself with “want me to have my own voice in a song.
Drenched in authenticity and rife with barstool charm with an addictive, Tennessee limestone gravel in her voice, Nashville-born and bred songbird LAUREN WATKINS writes, breathes, and lives country music. The 24-year-old original grew up on the outskirts of Guitar Town, mesmerized by a jukebox rotation of country music, from outlaws like Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow to chart-toppers Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, and Chris Stapleton. Moving back after four years at Ole Miss, Watkins’ unyielding, turn on a dime lyricism quickly caught the attention of GRAMMY-nominated multi-hyphenate Nicolle Galyon, who signed her to publishing and recording contracts with Songs & Daughters / Big Loud Records almost instantly. Honing in on a sound that’s both reverent of the genre’s roots and in lockstep with where it’s headed next, she’s introducing her take on country music now with seven-song teaser set, “Introducing: Lauren Watkins”.