Country newcomer Nora Collins says that the aim her new single "Backseat Falling" – which Billboard is premiering Thursday (Aug. 16) – is to take one back in time a bit.
"It's a song about reminiscing about your first love. It's one my favorite songs from the upcoming EP. The track turned out so cool. I wrote it with my friends Aby Gutierrez and Clay Mills, and (producer) Marshall Altman did an amazing job in bringing the right vibe to the song and bringing it to life." Working with the man behind hits from Frankie Ballard and Amy Grant has been a learning experience, she tells Billboard.
"I admire his work a lot. It's been fun to be in the studio with him and collaborate with him and to learn with him. He's been great, and has really pushed me to be involved in the process. He's been open to my suggestions, and we have spent a lot time with pre-production on all the songs. I love what he does. I really enjoy getting to work with him."
Collins hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin – though she has been a resident Music City for over two years now. A publishing and artist development deal with MV2 Entertainment brought her to town to stay, but before that she had been traveling to Nashville once a month to build her contact base. However, the road life is nothing new to her, she says.
"Before I moved to Nashville, I was playing over two hundred shows a year – five years in a row," she says. "I've been doing this for a long time, and am very excited to be in Nashville pursuing my dream. I just signed with WME, so now I have a major booking agent, and am so grateful for all these opportunities and excited to share my new music with people."
Moving away from home was a risky move, but she says it's one that she's glad she made. "I had grown up in one house, and never moved before, so when I moved to Nashville, it was the first time for me to be away from home. So, there were a lot life lessons that I learned and a lot growing up that happened, but I love Music City, and I love getting to write every day with hit songwriters, so a lot growing has happened to me in a short amount time."
Though she moved to Tennessee, you can't truly take the Wisconsin out her. She confesses that she still bleeds Packers green and yellow. "I was raised that way, and will forever be a Green Bay fan," she says, adding that she has been able to become friends with one the team's all-time greats. "Just last week, Donald Driver – who is a former Packer – had a charity stball game, and asked me to sing the National Anthem, and then play a little bit. Being a fan, that was a really cool experience for me, getting to play with some former NFL and NBA players, as well as his Dancing With The Stars friends. It was a really cool day." Collins has yet to perform the National Anthem at the iconic Lambeau Field, but says it's on her bucket list. What is it about the Green Bay Packers that endears them to their fans? With pre-season action just starting, Collins has her ideas.
"We're not a fair-weather team. We are very invested in the team – emotionally as well as financially. The team is owned by the fans, which makes it a unique organization. I feel like Wisconsin is a state that is proud everything Wisconsin, but especially the Packers. We rally behind our own, which is something I love about our state."
With two minutes on the clock, and a drive starting at the twenty, do you go with Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers? She is definite on her choice. "Aaron Rodgers," she says emphatically.