Marie Wise-Hawkins isn’t a household name yet, but in the next few years, she will be.  She’s been singing since the age of 2 and had the pleasure to listen to the greats like Merle Haggard, Ricky Van Shelton.

Being a musician is what she was made for and soon you’ll be hearing her name with the likes of Kalie Shorr, Taylor Swift, and one of her idols, Le Ann Rimes.  The Ryman Auditorium (aka, formerly known at the Grand Ole Opry) has a special place in Wise-Hawkins heart.

Marie Wise-Hawkins and I connected on Instagram after I traveled to Nashville in October of 2016 and I was able to get in touch with her in regards to an interview.  Here is my interview with Ms. Marie Wise-Hawkins.

Steve Rudden: Did you grow up in Nashville and what types of music did you grow up listening to?

Marie Wise-Hawkins:  I grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley, which is a suburb of Los Angeles. However, when I was 12 years old I made my first trip to Nashville and then Pigeon Forge, TN, where I Performed for the California Country Music Association at the Louis Mendrall Theatre. Ever since then I have traveled back and forth to Nashville for years before moving here. I grew up listening to the classics in my household.  I remember sitting in my mom’s jeep going to grandmas in the desert, listening to Merle Haggard, Ricky Van Shelton, Dwight Yoakam.   However, I also enjoyed listening to George Strait, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Celine Dion, Martina Mc Bride, Le Ann Rimes, Garth Brooks and Brooke’s n Dunn.

SR: How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a singer/songwriter?

MWH:  I’ve been singing ever since I’ve been two years old when I sang happy birthday for my Grandmother Mary. I’ve always had a passion for it. My Mom put me in piano lessons as a child and once it came time for the piano recital there I was front and center singing. My Mom wondered what the heck she was paying for with those piano lessons. 😉 I first performed with a live musician at the age of 12 at a benefit show and knew from then on that this was what I was meant to do. Being on stage is when I’m the happiest, I feel God gives each person certain gifts and we all should use those talents we are given.

SR: Who was your musical inspiration when you were growing up?

MWH:  My musical inspirations were Elvis Presley, Martina McBride, and Le Ann Rimes. I loved listening to Elvis and loved learning Martina McBride and Le Ann Rimes songs. I first learned to yodel by listening to Le Ann Rimes Cowboy Sweetheart.

SR:  Is the song “Satisfied” about a certain someone in your life and are a lot of your songs about real life situations?

MWH:  I think it’s a song anyone can relate to.  It’s a song about having passion and desire for someone and wanting to be more than friends, especially whenever you made eye contact with them.  It was written with my co-writers Tom Hatfield and Michelle Periera.  All of my songs come from the heart and are from moments that impact my life. I recently wrote a song about going through a heartbreak and breaking up with a jerk ex,  having hope and moving on to much better things.

SR:  How many times have you performed at The Ryman and what’s like being able to perform in such an iconic theater?  I’ve only walked by it when I visited Nashville, but my goal is to see a show inside.

MWH:  I performed once at the Ryman Auditorium as one of the top five national finalists in Americas largest country music talent search ‘The Country Showdown’ and it was the best experience of my life.  Singing along side my childhood musical inspiration Le Ann Rimes was a dream come true. To perform on the same stage as Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash was extremely honorable. The Ryman has a very special place in my heart and can’t wait for the opportunity to perform there again soon.

SR:  Are you releasing any albums soon?

MWH:  I will be releasing my music in the “very” near future 😉  Stay tuned on my Facebook, Instagram, and website for more information. ( Facebook.com/mwisehawkins    Instagram.com/MarieWiseHawkins   Website:   www.mariewisehawkins.com)

SR:  I noticed you have a few upcoming shows in Tennessee and I was wondering If you’ve ever toured in the DC Area?  I’d love to see you perform live.

MWH:  I haven’t had a chance to tour the DC are but would absolutely love to. I should have some tours coming up in the fall across the south and hope to be touring further east and west next year.

SR:  If you could collaborate with any musician dead/alive, who would it be and why?

MWH:  Elvis Presley as he is the best entertainer I have ever seen. I’d like to learn his entertaining ways and pray to be even half of the entertainer he was.

It’s going to be great for her fans to see her win music awards soon because she works so hard in putting out good music.  She will continue to grow as a musician and writer.

I want to thank Marie Wise-Hawkins for taking the time and help me grow my interview series.  If you want to follow Marie, here are the list of social media platforms that you can go to follow her:  Facebook, Instagram, and website. ( Facebook.com/mwisehawkins    Instagram.com/MarieWiseHawkins   Website:   www.mariewisehawkins.com)