For April Renzella, music has always been a part of her life, even at a young age.
“It was a hobby for me since I was a kid,” she explained when we sat down for coffee at Frothy on 8th a few weeks back. “I’m 23 now and between the ages of 16 and 18 I started taking things seriously with voice lessons and just learning the ins and outs. My parents said I had to go to college,” she laughed, “So I went for media and journalism.
In 2015 I signed with an artist development agency and work with Rene Grant-Williams on vocal coaching. That was my last semester of college when I started coming down and got introduced to Nashville and the way things are down here.”
April grew up a half hour north of Boston, but her childhood was still very much “country.” She road horses since age three, listening to country radio in the barn everyday. Influenced by the sounds of Shania Twain, Leann Rimes and the Dixie Chicks, her style today remains consistent with her roots.
“Musically, my biggest inspirations are those amazing singers I listened to in the barn growing up,” she said. “More recently though, I’ve really been into Kacey Musgraves. She is always true to herself and so chill; I just think she seems like a cool person and is always consistent with what she does.”
I got the feeling from talking to April that she really valued artists who didn’t change. The type of artist she, herself, strives to be.
“My parents are super supportive of my career and they always come down and visit. At the same time though, I go home just as much because I feel very established there.”
April, like all Nashville-transplants, opened up to me about being an artist in this city and how it’s a great place to call home, but not necessarily gig in.
“I’m going home to Boston for a few weeks and couldn’t be more excited,” she confessed in the midst of our conversation. “It will be about a month that I’ll be doing shows and spending time in the studio and just really focusing on working as a musician,” she said.
Speaking on her musical talents, I asked if she had a song she’s written that means the most to her.
“In October 2014 is really when I started coming to Nashville by myself more,” she explained. “I was getting more paid gigs and it just made sense. While staying at the Hutton and talking to a guy from New York about my music, we got on the topic of social media. At the end of the conversation he said he would ‘like’ my page on Facebook if I liked his. Which is when I found out about the Team Campbell Foundation. This man lost his youngest daughter, Campbell to cancer and started Team Campbell in her honor. I was inspired to write about that the next day and it’s probably the most raw song I’ve ever written. I still wear the bracelet to this day.”
Clearly someone full of talent and compassion, April has the ability to make a difference for people with her music – but I wanted to know the type of music that made a difference for her. While I figure the answer to this is always changing, at the moment she says the song she’s heard lately that she wishes she had written is “Humble and Kind” written by Lori McKenna.
As far as her own songwriting and musical career, she’s releasing a new single on June 7th entitled “Man Up.”
“It was inspired by a friend who was dating a guy for five years and they had been planning on living together. When the time came, he was totally uninvolved in the process and they wound up breaking up. She might not know this song is about their dynamic,” she said, “but I’m always very open about what inspires me to write.”
Beyond that, April will be coming out with a five song E.P. that’s very raw and in her own words, “not over-produced.”
After speaking with April about life, music and Leann Rimes meet & greets, I quickly realized she was as great a person as an artist. Genuine, down to earth and honest about her inspiration and vision, I think she has only scratched the surface of what she can do and I’m so excited to see her plans come to fruition.