By Jessica Foreman
Holly Tucker said it was fate when an Uproar Records bookmark on her desk was the first item to catch her eye in her North Russell dorm on move-in day. As the freshman held the thin slice of paper in her hands, marked with the date for auditions, she began to envision a year of performances, recording sessions, songwriting and doing what she is most passionate about: singing.
“It’s just like it was speaking to me,” said Tucker, a music and entertainment marketing major from Waco.
Performing is not new for this recently signed Uproar artist. This past summer, Tucker won the prestigious John Ritter Showcase, of The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage, over 30 other finalists.
On Sept. 8, Tucker released her first full-length CD, “Love Is What She Likes,” at Vitek’s Bar-B-Que. There Tucker performed with a full band and raised $250 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association from CD sales and donations. She was named the 2011 Female Vocalist and Solo/Duet Act of the Year by the Music Association of Central Texas during the annual Groovy Awards Show in Waco.
If that’s not impressive enough, she was just named “First Part” in the alto saxophone section in Baylor’s Golden Wave Marching Band, her songs are on iTunes and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of the 1st Congressional District of Texas profusely complimented her vocals. Gohmert, also a Baylor grad, is a proud owner of her new CD.
Tucker, who began singing when she was three, performed at opries across Texas with her musical parents, Cheryl and Johnny, starting at age 12. About seven years ago, she began recording demos with singer/songwriter Chris Wommack, the associate pastor for music ministry at First Baptist Church of Woodway. Wommack and Tucker have since traveled to Nashville to record four songs in the house of Rascal Flatts’ vocalist Jay DeMarcus.
“From the first time we heard Holly audition, we were blown away by the performance she gave us,” said Lincoln Faulkner, Uproar Records’ vice president of marketing and sales. “She showed us that she has a very wide range for her vocals.”
“She was also already taking initiative for her own career as an artist. She has a well-developed social media profile and she already had recording experience. We thought we could really build upon that foundation that she has already made for herself,” Faulkner continued.
Even though Tucker is a seasoned musician, she confessed to being nervous for her audition with Uproar earlier this semester. A contract with the student-run record label had been a goal of hers even before her freshman year.
Currently Tucker is working on a new song about procrastination in the lives of college students. The piece will be a modification of “No Excuse,” a song by Central Texas singer/songwriter Richard Paul Thomas.
“Who writes about procrastination?” Tucker said. “Most songs in the world are about love or money. Country is about drinking, which I don’t do. You have to think of new and creative things so that your audience doesn’t get bored.”
Tucker’s Uproar artist manager, junior Julie Johnson, a double major in music and entertainment marketing and entrepreneurship from Plano, said she is excited to see Tucker grow in her songwriting abilities, especially with Tucker’s desire to break into the Nashville music scene.
“Holly’s dream is to make it to Nashville someday, so we are beginning with the end in mind,” Johnson said. “She definitely has the country look going for her, and along with that a very genuine disposition. I am eager to see Holly develop as an artist as well as see her character grow even more.”
Tucker expressed a firm desire to always be unique in an entertainment industry full of stereotypes, provided she remains true to her morals and consistently produces a positive message.
“I like to make people happy…specifically be a good role model for girls and women,” Tucker said. “I love [that] about Martina McBride. She’s such a women’s empowerment artist. I want to hit that emotional note in my audience. I want to be versatile. I want to have fun with my song and be able to rock out to my songs and then to just slow it down a bit and make people think.”
Tucker will perform at tonight’s Uproar Showcase at Fountain Mall at 7:30 p.m. Her mother, Cheryl; father, Johnny; and brother, Travis, will perform with her onstage.