Long before she wrote her first chart-topping country single for Zac Brown Band or played her first rock & roll show as a solo act, Sonia Leigh dreamt up her own songs in her childhood bedroom.
Born in Florida, Sonia moved around frequently
as a kid, spending time in more than five states across the Bible Belt and Midwest. It was a childhood filled with changing scenery and half-packed moving boxes, and throughout it all, music remained one of her only constants. Sonia ate it up, listening to everything the radio offered and mixing those wide-ranging influences — the country twang of her father's record collection, the guitar-heavy stomp of her mother's classic rock favorites, the angst of her classmates' grunge CDs — into her own songs.
Years later, those genre-jumping influences are still on full display in Sonia Leigh's music, which makes room for everything from pop melodies and country storytelling to the no-rules spirit of rock & roll. "I grew up listening to country music with my dad, but rock was one of the biggest parts of the picture," she remembers. "I just loved it all, and I wanted to play it all. I was never someone who wanted to play only one style. I just wanted to play music."
She's kept herself moving, too, from her cross-country tours with Eric Church and Zac Brown Band to her own international performances in America and the UK. Back in her adopted hometown of Nashville, she's become a popular songwriter on Music Row, with a pair of #1 hits to her name — Zac Brown Band's "Goodbye in Her Eyes" and "Sweet Annie," both featured on the Grammy-winning album Uncaged — and a reputation as a writer who stretches country music far beyond its limits.
Sonia saves the most forward-thinking music for herself, though. From the roots-rock swagger of her first Top 45 single, "My Name is Money," to her breezy summertime hit “Put It In Your Pocket,” she's carved a unique path that winds in and out of country music, entering genre-bending territory along the way. Recent recording sessions in Los Angeles and London have found her branching out even further, mixing her raw, raspy vocals (which have earned comparisons to Joan Jett and Janis Joplin) with electronics and grunge-pop production. Sonia is no stranger to the mainstream, with her album 1978 December — released in 2011 on Southern Ground, a label run by Zac Brown — climbing to number 43 on the country charts. She's enjoying her independence these days, though. Why? Because it allows her to chase down her muse, no matter the direction it leads her.
With Chicago roots and Texas ties, Daphne Willis brings both musicality and grit to the songs she writes and plays. Born in San Antonio to a classically trained vocalist and audio engineer, Daphne began singing at an early age and found her way to the guitar in high school. Since then, she’s developed the confidence, melodic mastery and vocal range that have won her admirers from here to Beijing.
Daphne currently calls Nashville home, where she crafts her distinct brand of pop and is poised to expand her fan base world wide.