We caught up with Priscilla Block to discuss her social media journey to Mercury Nashville recording artist with the release of her debut album, Welcome To The Block Party.
Early in the pandemic, Priscilla Block was struggling to make ends meet after losing her job and her apartment. Unable to get out and play in person due to Covid-19, Priscilla began experimenting on TikTok and quickly developed a rabid fanbase with songs like Thick Thighs, PMS and Just About Over You. Fans rallied together to independently fund Priscilla’s recording and since its release, Just About Over You peaked both the US iTunes Country and All-Genre charts and Top 15 on US country radio.
Following last year’s self-titled EP, she recently released her debut album, Welcome To The Block Party. Bringing a lyrically driven blend of country-pop and southern rock – a.k.a. the “Block Party” sound – to Nashville’s evolving musical landscape, Welcome To The Block Party features 12 songs, all written by the newcomer, including Wish You Were The Whiskey, Peaked In High School and My Bar.
Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Priscilla began singing at her Dad’s church as a child, which made her fall in love with music, and later learned guitar. She moved to Nashville to pursue music shortly after high school. In Nashville, the affable, hard-working, student of life worked multiple jobs to make ends meet, then a chance encounter with her idol – Taylor Swift – was the sign she needed to dive all the way in on her music. Priscilla is a seasoned performer sharing the stage and opening for artists including the Chicks, Lady A, Brad Paisley, Jon Pardi, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan and more.
You started song writing as a teenager before moving to Nashville to pursue music shortly after high school. Were you writing those sassy, self-aware, lightly comedic and honest songs you’re now known for when you were younger too, or did that start after you joined TikTok?
The reason why I fell in love with songwriting was because I felt like I could put my life into a song, and it started right away. I fell in love with Taylor Swift songs and how she made me feel understood. I love that part of songwriting – the honesty and writing about real stuff. I pull inspiration from different artists. The difference between being a songwriter and an artist, I think that, as a songwriter, you write the best songs that you know. As an artist, for me, it's about standing out and bringing something new to the table. That just falls into my songs, whether I'm singing about a guy that broke my heart or thick thighs.
You joined TikTok after losing your job and apartment at the height of the pandemic. Do you think you would have had so much gumption to start pushing your music out on social media if not for the pandemic and being put under those circumstances?
I definitely think timing is everything. I've been in Nashville for almost eight years now trying everything to get anybody to notice me to. I've wanted this so bad. I do think there was something with the timing of the pandemic and how everything lined up. There was a moment that everyone was on their phones because the world was shut down. I just used that to my advantage by really diving into social media and trying to gain the fans that I would plus some versus playing live show.
You’re quite open and honest on social media. Do you find that people feel more comfortable sharing their problems with you because of this?
Oh, yeah, all the time [laughs]. I love that because I share my problems with a lot of people via my songs and my life. I'm just very open. But it's flattering when people feel comfortable to tell me experiences they've gone through and how my songs have helped them. That's really cool.
Some social media influencers have spoken out about the pressures to keep making engaging content after they’ve tasted some ounce of success. Do you also feel that same pressure to keep making TikTok videos even if you’re say, busy releasing an album, touring etc?
I put a little bit of pressure on myself because I want my fans to still feel like they're a part of this, but life is so busy that it's hard sometimes and I forget [to post]. At the end of the day, people will have something to say. For me, I like to share what I'm doing. All in all, I post when I want. I'm like, “Oh, this is kind of cool. I'll share it online.” I'm trying to let go of that pressure that I put on myself.
You released a self-titled, six song EP last year and have now released your debut album – of which you had a hand in writing all twelve songs. Creatively, was there a different approach and were the songs on the album written once you got the go ahead to make an album?
For the sake of the EP, it was to get music out to the fans, let them get to know me more and dive in a little bit deeper. The only difference is this album, I truly feel like it's a full collection of me. I'm very much the girl that's either laughing all the time or crying all the time. What you see is what you get, and you find that in this album. You’ve got every type of song. There are songs that will make you laugh, and then there's some songs that will rip your heart out.
You’ve toured with many artists who have large male fan bases, how do songs like PMS and Thick Thighs go down in that kind of crowd?
To be honest, the guys dig it! The guys that are like, “Heck yeah, she's singing about thick thighs. We love that! Our girls are curvy.” PMS is great too because they have to deal with us through PMS. So, it's honestly going over really well, both of those songs, to the male audience, surprisingly.
To finish, what are your top three songs of the moment?
Keep up to date with everything Priscilla Block and follow her on Facebook here.
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