Country Next: Leah Marie Mason

We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with Leah Marie Mason.


Melinda Lorge

| Posted on

June 29, 2023

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Leah Marie Mason; Photo by Preemo

Leah Marie Mason invites her already established fan base into her world even further as she continues her rise to country music stardom.

Born and raised near Charlotte, North Carolina, the talented singer with a standout ethereal voice and songwriting prowess to match began her music career as a teenager, performing in a band with her brother. Fitted to go the solo route and armed with a cross-genre appeal, Leah Marie Mason honed her craft in college, studying at Berklee College of Music and then at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., before turning to Music Row’s prestigious songwriting circles and amassing over 20 million streams across platforms independently.

In the spring of 2023, Marie Mason dropped her six-song debut EP Honeydew & Hennessey, which she notes as a labor of love. The project highlights themes of self-reflection, love stories, heart-wrenching breakups, and more. Showing her knack for writing, Mason co-penned all of the songs on Honeydew & Hennessey, which includes tracks – “Holy Water,” “Trust Fund Cowboy,” “Red Ruby Boots,” “Me or My Hometown,” “Montana Fantasy” and the title track.

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“I poured my heart and soul into this collection of songs, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share it with the world,” Mason shared in a press release. “This EP marks a significant milestone in my journey, and I’m honored to have it serve as a representation of my growth and evolution over the past year. Every track embodies a moment of my life, from the struggles, the victories, big dreams, and everything in between. My hope is that these songs will not only resonate with listeners but also inspire them to chase their dreams and embrace change.”

To celebrate the release, Marie Mason embarked on a tour, which found her making her mark in Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago, and returning to her hometown of Charlotte, where friends and family got to gather together to see how far the burgeoning artist has come.

Marie Mason caught up with Country Now to talk about her background in music, what led her to Nashville, her most recent EP, and more.

Read on to find out more about Marie Mason in this exclusive Q&A below!

Leah Marie Mason; Photo by Preemo
Leah Marie Mason; Photo by Preemo

How did you begin a career in country music? 

I grew up playing music in a ‘70s rock band with my brother. We did that from the ages of 11 to 13. Then, I ended up going to Berklee College of Music. I loved it there, but I really wanted to live in a city that was directly involved in music. So I transferred to Belmont University. I knew I always wanted to play country music. At Berklee, I was doing Americana-inspired stuff. So when I got to Nashville, I fell in love with the country music scene. I’ve been here for about three years now. So, it’s been a journey, for sure! 

Do you still collaborate with your brother? Was there a particular point when you decided to pursue your solo career? 

We still do stuff together, but he’s very different from me. He’s in a different world of music. He does Hip Hop. But, he can play, like, every instrument. So, he plays guitar for me a lot, live. But, creatively, we are very different. We were never going to work out as a duo. But, I think he’s still incredibly talented. 

What impact did going to Belmont University have on your music career? 

Honestly, it was scary because I had gone to Berklee without knowing anyone. I had made those connections and everything. But, then I had to start over again. But Nashville has a great community, and I feel like Belmont helped me get involved quickly. I was a songwriting major, so a lot of my professors were songwriters themselves. I feel like Belmont gave me a start in Nashville. I think it would’ve been a lot harder to move and not have had the transition of Belmont first and go straight into the music industry. It was like a buffer. It made everything smooth. 

Congratulations on your EP, Honeydew & Hennessey! Can you tell me a little bit about that project? 

I wanted the whole project to be this cohesive body of work that took you on a journey. I wanted it to be some form of escapism that allows you to go somewhere else and come back. I love this EP so much. I’m so proud of it. It’s been a journey for a whole year of working on this project.  

How did the title for your EP come together? 

When we were writing the song “Honeydew & Hennessey,” I remembered being like, ‘I love that line. That line needs to be highlighted and circled with an exclamation mark.’ I just thought it was so cool. I was thinking about other titles too, but I kept going back to that one. I feel like it embodies the whole ethereal side of the project. I thought it was the perfect fit as a title.  

The artwork also pulls everything together. Tell me about the photo shoot for the EP. 

I love visual creativity. I was very involved with that. I also worked with an incredible stylist, who is so amazing. She works with all vintage, sustainably sourced, which I love. I also had this amazing videographer/photographer. We worked together very closely, so it was like I was able to work with people that feel close to me and my friends. So it was fun to do the shoots together. 

Tell me about your song ‘Trust Fund Cowboy.’

When I moved to Nashville, I feel like, I saw them everywhere I went. It was crazy. It’s fine to be a certain way, but it’s also something else to pretend that you’re something you’re not. And, going to my write the day after I had gone out, I had seen a million of them. I was like, ‘We have to write a song about this. This is so annoying. I see them everywhere.’ We wrote that song so fast because it came so naturally. 

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‘Red Ruby Boots’ is one of my favorites on the EP. Can you tell me about that one?

I remember, I had gone over to my producer’s house. I was wearing those boots. And we were going from idea to idea. But we all looked at my boots, and I started telling them this story about how I always end up doing something crazy when I wear them. So they were like, ‘We need to write a song about that.’ That one also came easily. It’s one of my favorites. 

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You co-wrote every song on your EP. How has your songwriting grown since moving to Nashville? 

My songwriting has grown exponentially! I thought I was decent when I moved here. But now I listen to what I wrote when I was 18, and I’m like, ‘Wow! That was really bad! (laughs).’ But that’s the reason why I write the way I do now. So, I am grateful to have evolved. Writing with people in town allowed me to dig into myself. So, there’s been a lot of growth there, for sure. 

How long did it take you to complete the project? 

It took about a year to fully finish the EP. I was really going through this internal and artistic change as an artist. This EP speaks to the self-discovery I have had musically this past year. So it was a journey, and that’s why this project will be one of the most sentimental to me. It shows my growth as a person, as a songwriter, and as an artist. 

What artists or songwriters helped shape you into the artist you are today? 

I love Kacey Musgraves and Taylor Swift. I also love a lot of Indie artists like Gracie Abrams. I take a lot of inspiration from Indie and alternative artists. I love that style of songwriting. I listen to all kinds of music. I actually used to sing at a Jazz club in North Carolina. I love Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone and stuff like that. So, I feel like I’m taking a lot of inspiration from many different genres of music, which is something I’ve always done. 

What’s next for you? 

I have written so many songs this past year. I’ve written over a hundred of them. There are so many songs I am excited for people to hear. I have more than enough for a full album. But, you know, you keep writing, and there’s so much to be excited about. Be expecting a full-length album from me, though, sometime in the future. I have so much that I want to share!

Fans can keep up with Leah Marie Mason on Instagram.

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Melinda Lorge

Written by

Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.