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article imageCherie Oakley talks 'Work It,' Radio Disney and Michael Buble Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jul 10, 2019 in Music
Radio Disney country artist Cherie Oakley chatted with Digital Journal about her new single "Work It," as well as the impact of technology on the country music business.
She shared that her single "Work It" was inspired by a few years of frustration. "Lack of women was becoming an issue in every area of music, and it was financially hurtful and incredibly upsetting. I had gotten used to making a good living as a touring background vocalist and a session singer. I had celebrated a No. 1 song as a songwriter for a female country artist," she said.
"So, here I was experiencing rejection from songwriters when I'd walk in with an idea for a song for a woman. 'Oh, we don't want to write any female songs.' I watched as male guitar players who could kind of sing got hired to sing on the live gigs the female parts that I had recorded in the studio," she elaborated.
"Fewer and fewer females were being used on tours at all. I saw my workload get cut about 75 percent in the studio because there weren't as many female artists, so there wasn't a need for female background vocalists in the studio either," she said.
"I saw categories at awards shows changing how many females were nominated because they didn't even have enough to nominate," she said. "I wanted to do something about this, but what? When I signed my artist deal, I desperately wanted to use my platform to shine a light on this, but in a positive way, because I'm a positive person. Kind of like the kill them with kindness thinking. I decided to write a song that simply celebrates women and shows that I am proud to be a woman! We have a lot of pep talk songs to and for women, but how many songs do we have that just celebrate being a woman and all that women do? I brought my idea to my co-writers and we wrote 'Work It'."
On being a Radio Disney artist, she admitted that it feels "amazing." "I have been a fan of Radio Disney for a while now. They pay attention to their listeners. They play a lot of females. They play great music. I am ecstatic to be on Radio Disney. Simply, ecstatic," she said.
As a songwriter, she co-wrote Reba McEntire's chart-topping single "Turn on the Radio." "That was completely and totally surreal. I still can't believe it," she exclaimed.
Regarding her music and songwriting inspirations, she said, "I usually come up with a small melody idea. Then, a lot of random thoughts that can sometimes come together quickly to bring them in or sometimes they take me months to analyze before I bring them into a write with co-writers. I am inspired by a lot of what I read, whether it's current or not."
Her plans for the future are to continue making music and always learning. "I want to continue to learn all I can about all things musically and the entertainment industry. I'd love to do a musical on Broadway one day, get into acting in television, film just for fun. I'd love to get into the business side of the entertainment industry as well," she said.
She continued, "I have so many ideas that I would love to one day make happen to help keep musicians and singers employed full time locally in Nashville. I can one day see myself being head of A&R at a label, producing television and film projects. I've always envisioned being an artist who is a savvy entrepreneur."
Digital transformation of the country music scene
On the recent passage of the Music Modernization Act (MMA), she said, "I can't believe it has taken this long. I just felt like, 'Finally, we are getting somewhere.' I was incredibly concerned about what had been happening to songwriters as streaming certainly was not going anywhere. It was beyond wrong. I was angry about it. We still have a long way to go with all of this, but it was a huge victory."
On being a country singer-songwriter in this digital age, she said, "I think it's more of a struggle for a lot of indie artists since it's so overly saturated. On the other hand, I think it's an amazing thing to feel like you can skip the middle man and just get your music out there directly to the people. There is a lot more creative freedom in it as well. Nevertheless, I want to see artists, producers and especially songwriters make the same amount of money with all things digital as they used to with physical album sales."
She listed Michael Buble, Justin Timberlake, Keith Urban, and Chris Stapleton as her dream male collaboration partners.
For her fans and listeners, she concluded about "Work It," "I hope it makes you want to dance. I hope it makes you feel important, valued and respected. I hope it makes you feel like you can conquer the world because you can."
"Work It" is available on iTunes and on Spotify.
More about Michael buble, Cherie Oakley, work it, radio disney, Country
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