Artists in Music City: Musical Inspiration from ‘Play’!

Nashville based artists share with us how they stumble upon creative ideas and inspiration through various types of ‘play’.

We asked some Nashville based singer songwriters, “What types of ‘play’ inspire your artistry?” Here’s what they shared!

Let Music Tell Your Life Story

Alaya Eve

“Staying in an environment where I am constantly being surrounded by creative people, positivity, and love keeps my musicality diverse. I find inspiration for music in almost anything – I listen to old records, watch old movies, talk to old friends and new ones and just live my life. My music is my life story and I interpret it the best way I know how. Transparency. As long as you can say you are proud of what you’ve created, then it’s a masterpiece.”

Alaya is a rising artist who describes herself as an “R&B queen, bringing back the 90s”. Couldn’t have said it better ourselves— check out her fresh sound in her single “Pressure” (feat. Camm) on YouTube. Alaya can also be found @alaya.eve on Instagram.

Find that missing puzzle piece through co-writing!

Corianne Silvers

“So, I think the biggest thing for me is to keep forcing myself to write with other people. I was always so against sharing my ideas but quickly learned that another person could be what puts the missing puzzle piece of the song in there. It’s not only co-writing but it’s the friendship that leads to them that helps you ind more inspiration to write about too! I also love to sit at the piano with my eyes closed and just play around and let my ears choose the sounds I like and sometimes that helps me to play things I usually wouldn’t because I’ve been trained to just play triads and simple chords.”

CORI is a pop artist based in Nashville, TN.  Other than working on her solo career as an artist, she is also a full time vocal coach in Franklin, TN.  She likes to call her music “cotton candy soul”. Check her out on Instagram at @coriannesilvers.

Get a run in – literally and vocally!

Shawn Gough

“Well I know we get spoiled here living in music city where everyone is ridiculously talented, but it has really helped me to jam with friends, especially friends who are way better than you haha. You do the vocal riff stuff and learn to harmonize with runs and go back and forth on ad libs. That has helped my vocal dexterity a lot. I know that’s not necessarily straight up “play” because it’s basically unstructured practice, but that has helped me develop vocally. On the writing creativity side of things, getting away from the noise and constant on-call-ness of life in the city helps get me in a headspace to get my thoughts and emotions into words. So going out on a hike, walking around a lake, or kayaking has helped me turn off the phone and be alone with thoughts that can eventually become song concepts/lyrics. Usually those times produce concepts, because for me, lyrics take a little more intentionality and workshopping. Concepts are the core message or story of the songs, and I feel like it’s best when they get pulled from somewhere real that you’re feeling. But how can you pull them out if you haven’t taken a second to think about what you’re feeling?”

SHWN is a Nashville based audio engineer and producer with a compelling Pop-Electronic sound. Become transported while listening to his 2019 EP “therapy” or his recent release “18 Love” (feat. Menna). SHWN can be found at @shwnmusic on Instagram or at

Don’t think – just sing!

Timothy Myles

“Play for me can be a great way to get out of that head space you get into sometimes when you’re just trying to force a song or a part to come together. Whether that’s messing around with a new song or going for a walk for a few minutes. Most of the time I find that what I’m looking for is revealed in those ‘play’ moments when I’m not thinking so hard, and it all just comes out naturally.”

Timothy Myles describes himself as a “Chicago raised ‘Rockicana’ songwriter exploring collaborations and communication in music.” Dive into more of Tim’s music on his YouTube and SoundCloud. You can also stay up to date with him on Instagram @timothymyles615.

Play through improv & record the process!

Jamie Becker [singer/songwriter/composer]

“Every now and again, I will become inspired with a melody, lyric, or riff, and when this happens, I record the thought immediately usually just through my voice memos app. Then, once I’m ready to write, I’ll peek back at these raw ideas, and if anything catches me a second time, I’ll run with it. Taking this approach even further, I like to set aside time to record myself improvising entire songs. Doesn’t need to be fancy to be effective. I will press record and just play and sing whatever feels good, recording through the whole process, spontaneous hiccups and all, as you never know if you’ll strike lightning! (This is also a great ear training exercise to anticipate the chords that you are improvising and top line something that works). My favorite part of this process is when I surprise myself with something beyond what I imagined I could come up with. It is invigorating and so healing and encouraging, especially if you’ve been in a season of writer’s block. This relaxed and playful approach to songwriting has been so key for me in unleashing creative ideas while also highlighting creative struggles, habits, and strengths.

Jamie Becker describes her music as “whimsical folk with an edge” which cuts through in her apocalyptic single “Dance in The River”. Follow her on Instagram @jbeckermusic to see what she’s up to, and learn more at

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