Bean started on this musical journey not long after releasing her song “Like To Love You” on YouTube. She started garnering considerable attention online, and that led the Dallas-born, Nashville-raised and Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and performer to begin performing at venues in her hometown of Dallas, TX and then, around the country.
Bean’s music has been featured in spots for global brands including Mitsubishi, Lay’s, Bud Light Lime and Coca Cola. In 2013 she had the opportunity to write the theme song for the newly launched OK! TV entertainment news show. Meanwhile, she became a live draw, opening for artists like Colbie Caillat, Megan & Liz, Hot Chelle Rae and Austin Mahone. Bean also performed at Bonnaroo 2013, and now she is out on the road on the High School Nation Tour with Drake Bell and Dakota Bradley.
High School Nation is the country’s largest high school and middle school touring agency and they donate over $10,000 worth of music and art supplies to every school the tour visits. They’ll reach 90,000 teens in six weeks from coast to coast. The tour was started as a way to raise awareness for the need to keep music and the arts alive in public schools nationwide and they focus on schools they feel are going to benefit the most from the donation package and campus visit. Schools with active music & arts programs are a priority.
We caught up with Bean to talk to her about the tour and a few other things.
NWMS: What were some of your favorite artists growing up?
Bean: Some of my favorite artists growing up, since my parents were pastors and evangelists, I was homeschooled until like 6th grade, and I wasn’t really allowed to listen to most music, and the only thing that I really grew up with was oldies; anything from the Temptations to the Jackson 5 to Paul McCartney, Sonny and Cher, stuff like that. Reason being that that’s what my parents listened to when they weren’t listening organ church music and stuff. So that and I loved the Spice Girls, and I wasn’t allowed to.
NWMS: Hey, the Spice Girls can be very important. My daughter just went to college; she’s going to school college to teach music, She started out with the Spice Girls too. Anything that gets somebody singing and into wanting to create their own music is very important.
Bean: Oh, totally. So long as there’s something there for a kid to look up to, whether it’s like, a little boy wanting to be a fireman or something, as long as they see someone, a role model, who’s pursuing a dream that they want to follow, and having the same passions as them, that’s definitely one of the best things that I grew up, just having a ton of great musical influences in my life, including the Spice Girls ‘cos they’re amazing.
NWMS: “What was the first music you ever bought on your own?
Bean: I think the first ever CD I bought when I was a kid was a Shania Twain CD, and the other one was like a hits from the ‘70s compilation.
NWMS: What’s the most fun part of the business for you?
Bean: The absolute best part so far is the travelling aspect. I told my manager, “Someday I want to win a Grammy…” and the second thing is “I want to travel and see the world before I die…” And so I’m doing it one city at a time, especially with this High School Nation Tour, we’ve already gotten to go to two places that I’ve checked off my bucket list, Seattle and Portland, Oregon. I love it so much.”
NWMS: What’s the least fun part about the business?
Bean: I’m going to steal my road manager’s response, because during this tour, we do a Q&A with the students at each school every morning before we actually perform, and one of the questions was, “What’s your least favorite part of being in the business?” And my tour manager Hailey was like “I think it’s the stinky dude seats on the buses.”
NWMS: How are the crowds at the High School Nation shows? They must just be nuts, right?
Bean: It’s ridiculous; anywhere from like 1,500 to 2,000 kids sometimes.
NWMS: Right? And they all grew up with Drake and Josh, right?
Bean: Yes, they have. I know. It’s cool because growing up and watching the show, I never in a million years would have guessed that we’d all be touring together, so it’s pretty dope.
NWMS: Do you have a favorite show on the tour that you guys have done so far?
Bean: So far, I wanna say it was the Portland show. That one was the best one as far as crowd response goes; they were really into it, and I got a lot of kids coming up at the meet and greet after the show, and they were just stoked. It was amazing crowd participation.
NWMS: So, you’ve been out touring around for a while now. What’s the worst show you’ve ever done? Not in terms of performance, but let’s say the venue or something like that.
Bean: I’ve fallen on my face in front of a crowd a few times, but the first time was at my CD release party in Dallas. I was just stoked because the room was cool and they were all there for me and this other guy there named Ryan Beatty, so I wanted to go outside and meet the fans that I hadn’t met yet. So I walked in front to where the gates were, and I tripped over one of the legs of the gate….it was like a Miss Congeniality moment where I just took a tumble and the whole crowd just went (whoooooooo)!!! I just jumped up and was like, “I’m okay.” It set off the energy for the entire thing, though. It was crazy.
NWMS: Do you have any suggestions for younger artists that are trying to make it these days?
Bean: My suggestion would be to take every opinion with a grain of salt, because everyone is going to tell you what they think you should do and what would be best for you. If you don’t just really go with what you think is best for you, it’s going to end up blowing up in your face, then you’re going to wish you hadn’t, and nobody wants that.
NWMS: How important is music to you in your life? A lot of times I think these days music has sort of become background noise for some people.
Bean: Every year on my birthday, my mom tells me this story about how she prayed and waited for 36 years to have a little girl that’s a songwriter, and she finally got one after having three boys, and she said, “You know, it took you a good 19 years or so, but I’m glad you finally figured out your calling and that you’re pursuing what you were put on this Earth for…” so she’s proud and has been with me every step of the way.
More info on the High School Nation Tour HERE