31 Days of Women: Britnee Kellogg

Courtesy: Britnee Kellogg

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Women’s History Month, You Sing I Write is highlighting female country artists and songwriters throughout March.

Britnee Kellogg pours her past experience with an abusive ex into her autobiographical single, “Back of My Mind,” out today. An anthemic song that has the Washington native reflecting on a cheating ex, “Back of My Mind” has the singer also empathizing with his new girlfriend.

“Shouldn’t feel bad for you/ But I do/ In the back of my mind,” she belts alongside soaring production, a slick beat and shimmering guitar parts.

Kellogg first previewed “Back of My Mind” on TikTok last month. In a clip she tells followers, “Do you ever feel sorry for your ex’s new lover in the back of your mind? I wrote a song for you.” The song instantly resonated with listeners and has since been viewed more than 1 million times.

“I have been writing songs and performing for almost my entire life,” Kellogg says. “And I have always shared a bit of myself online, but recently in a moment of vulnerability, I posted a demo of ‘Back of My Mind’ on my TikTok account. The positive response I received from almost 10,000 fans was overwhelming.”

Kellogg wrote “Back of My Mind” about a past relationship that ended with infidelity. Penned in 2019 with producers Autumn McEntire and Eric Wikman, “Back of My Mind” has the singer reflecting on the situation after learning that another woman may be in the same position she found herself in with her ex. Instead of coming from a resentful place, she is sympathetic with her ex’s new girlfriend.

Listen to “Back of My Mind” below on YouTube or your preferred streaming platform here.


31 Days of Women: Robyn Ottolini

Credit: Matt Stride

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Women’s History Month, You Sing I Write is highlighting female country artists and songwriters throughout March.

“If you wanted somebody to write a good song about you, treat them well,” Robyn Ottolini tells me over the phone from her home in Canada. Days away from releasing her major label debut “F-150” to radio, Ottolini reflects on the ex who inspired the song. “He has heard the song. I don’t know what he thinks about it.”

Ottolini initially wrote “F-150” alone after an ex of three years dumped her. He drove a Ford F-150 truck and whenever she spotted one in her small town her stomach would drop thinking it was his.

“I did not want to see him as you don’t want to see your exes,” she says. “It brings back all these memories.”

She finally had enough and pulled over to the side of the road and sang into her voice memo, “When I see an F-150.” She then drove home and finished writing the song in her bathroom. While she loved the song immediately, it took six months and some convincing to release it. As she explains, managers Mark Schroor and Erik Fintelman from Workshop Music Group said the song was too sad and she’s a happy person.

“They’re like, ‘We should rewrite the last chorus to be strong and independent, just like you,’” she recalls. “So that’s why we rewrote that chorus to give it that hope that I usually have in my music.”

The song was written and produced by Schroor and Fintelman and released February 2020 independently. It’s included on her independently released The I’m Not Always Hilarious EP.

Ottolini embraced TikTok when quarantine hit and shared the song there in August. In September, she posted it as a trend video, and “F-150” went from 100,000 streams to 1 million overnight. She met with several labels in October before signing with Warner Music Nashville. “F-150” has over 9 million streams on Spotify while its music video has amassed nearly 2 million views.

“I had almost no marketing budget back then,” she says of releasing the song independently. “It was all utilizing social media and trying to show people my following. This is something I never, ever imagined ever.”

For more of my interview with Robyn Ottolini, visit Country Insider.


31 Days of Women: Lily Rose

Credit: Anthony Stone

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Women’s History Month, You Sing I Write is highlighting female country artists and songwriters throughout March.

Lily Rose moved to Nashville four years ago to pursue an artist’s career. The self-taught drummer and guitarist began writing songs at 15 from her home in Atlanta. In December, Rose posted a clip of her song “Villain” on TikTok that went viral. “Villain” reached No. 1 on iTunes’ all-genre chart, besting Taylor Swift. Now she hopes to replicate that success at radio.

Rose grew up on Top 40 radio, initially planning to try her hand at contemporary pop. Not until relocating to Music City did she realize she most often fell in love with writing songs that were country. She says co-writing in Nashville elevated her songcraft.

“I’m getting set up on so many incredible writes with these legendary songwriters,” Rose tells me. “It’s humbling to even be in the room with them.”

Rose penned “Villain” in November 2019 with Kyle Clark and Mackenzie Carpenter. She had put the title idea in her phone after going through a breakup which she thought ended cordially only to find out her ex didn’t feel the same. In “Villain,” Rose sings, “Whatever helps you sleep at night/ You can make me the bad guy.”

“I’ve learned that you don’t have to live in a small town to have a small town,” she says. “Social media has turned into that for all of us. I expressed to Kyle and Mackenzie what I was going through [and that] I had to actively choose the high road every day because this person was making me look like a villain.”

Rose posted a clip of “Villain” to TikTok on Dec. 1 and due to an overwhelming response teamed with Back Blocks Music’s Rakiyah Marshall to release the song independently on Dec. 15. “Villain” held steady at No. 1 on the iTunes all-genre chart leading into Christmas and remained on the iTunes Top 30 for five consecutive weeks. The song’s success resulted in Rose signing a joint-venture record deal in January with Big Loud Records, Republic Records and Back Blocks Music. “Villain” is officially at country radio today.

For more of my interview with Lily Rose, visit Country Insider.


31 Days of Women: Emma White

Credit: Susan Berry

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Women’s History Month, You Sing I Write is highlighting female country artists and songwriters throughout March.

Emma White isn’t shying away from sharing her age with the world. Her new song “Thirties” has the 32-year-old embracing a new decade with confidence. It’s this self-assurance she hopes to give listeners while breaking the stigma of hiding one’s age as a woman.

White says she brought the title up to other co-writers, but many passed on writing the song with her. When she got in the room with her producer, Kate Malone, and another songwriter she met on Instagram, Tori Tullier, they immediately connected with the title and melody. All in their 30s and at different stages in life, White and her co-writers felt it was important to make sure they didn’t exclude anyone from the song.

“We wanted everyone to feel like they saw a little piece of their own story in it,” she tells me. “I do feel like 20s can be kind of rough. There’s an excitement to your 30s for sure. … I’d rather own it and embrace it because I really do feel so much happier in this decade. 30 is the new 20.”

“Thirties” has seen a positive reaction on TikTok after White posted snippets in January. White, who has been writing and recording music since the age of 15, says it’s the first time she’s witnessed people respond in such a personal way to a song of hers.

“It is really honest,” she says of the song. “I feel like it helped me find my voice. … I just want to contribute somehow to women not feeling shame about their age.”

For more of my interview with Emma White and her co-writers Kate Malone and Tori Tullier visit Forbes.