Sue Bonzell: This is Up in Country on 93.7, The Bull. It’s powered by B Livecast. I’m your host, Sue Bonzell. Let’s get this show started.

She has opened for Jake Owen, Tanya Tucker, Sammy Kershaw and Trace Adkins, just to name a few. And she happened to be on Team Blake on The Voice too. I am so excited. Angie K is here. How you doing?

Angie K: I’m doing great. Today’s moving day so we just moved into our first home in Nashville. I’m [crosstalk] real excited.

Sue Bonzell: [crosstalk] Congratulations.

Angie K: It’s a good day.

Sue Bonzell: That is a good day. Although your guitar’s is all packed up.

Angie K: My guitar is all packed up. I don’t have them today, but you’re just going to have to listen to me later on.

Sue Bonzell: Exactly. You got to follow her. Make sure you follow her. Like I said, I did a little bit of stalking on you, and I had to find out lots of good nuggets. Found out you used to play on cruise ships. Is this where [crosstalk] you started your musical career?

Angie K: [crosstalk] Yeah. Yeah, you went way back. Yeah [crosstalk]

Sue Bonzell: [crosstalk] I did.

Angie K: Ten years ago I was working at a salvage yard in Monroe, Georgia, which is where your car goes once it gets totaled. Really fancy. And I was doing that, and I just really wanted to play music full time. And so I remember I was biking to work one day and my car had broken down, and I had this epitome of an idea. I was like, “I got it.” “I’ll go work on a cruise ship and play music then I won’t have to pay bills and just have the time of my life.” And I go, where anyone goes with the dream, to Google, and I eventually found someone to contact and they called me, asked if I could be in Miami in two weeks. And I flew down there. My mom thought I was going to get sold to some crazy [inaudible].

But it was a real job and I hopped on the ship, and I’ve been doing music ever since. I did that for about two, three years, and then I cut my teeth. And then I started really touring, and then The Voice happened. And the rest is history.

Sue Bonzell: Man, that is so cool. What a great idea.

Angie K: Yeah [crosstalk] right?

Sue Bonzell: [crosstalk] You’re young and you’re like, “Hey, I want to go get on a cruise ship.” “I’m going to go play music, and go see the world.”

Angie K: And it was fun, man. [crosstalk] We had a good time. They’ve got crew bar at the bottom of the ship for just crew, and it was just… we partied every day.

Sue Bonzell: Nice, nice. I don’t think I could do that for that extended period of time anymore. Back in the day maybe. I don’t know.

Angie K: That’s funny.

Sue Bonzell: Okay. You start on the cruise ships. You were born in El Salvador, is [crosstalk] that correct?

Angie K: [crosstalk] Mm-hmm (affirmative). [crosstalk] That’s correct.

Sue Bonzell: [crosstalk] And then you were raised in Georgia.

Angie K: Yeah. I moved when I was about 12.

I can speak English and Spanish pretty easily. It’s interesting. After Despacito came out, everybody started asking me if I could translate my songs to Spanish. And I was like, “Oh, this is interesting.” I keep more of an organic approach when I add Spanish in music. It’s always something that feels like, “oh, it needs to be said in Spanish because it sounds better that way.” One of the songs that I just put out called “Laredo”, it’s a story about my great grandparents actually on my mom’s side. That’s Texas, Colorado. And they were all very much in the Hispanic rodeo scene. And I wrote that song, and there were some flavors of… there’s some Spanish lines in there and stuff, but that’s actually from the history of those stories.

Sue Bonzell: That is cool. What a great talent to be able to bring that too. [crosstalk] And it’s expanding your audience as well too, because [crosstalk]-

Angie K: [crosstalk] Well I bring country to places and extend an invitation to people that think they may not have been invited. Country isn’t for everyone. You can find country people everywhere.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, yeah. Totally. Yes, absolutely. Even the places you think, “oh, this isn’t country.” No, they’re still there.

Angie K: You can find them.

Sue Bonzell: You can find them.

Angie K: They’re the ones in the Bud Light in the back.

Sue Bonzell: Yeah, exactly. Right? So of course we have to talk about The Voice now. I watched your audition on stage. They’re waiting for those chairs to turn around, and I’m watching this. I’m like, “oh my God, are they going to turn around?”

Like you sang, it felt like forever. [crosstalk] It must’ve felt like an eternity for you singing, and finally, you got Blake and who else?

Angie K: It was everyone, but Christina, which is ironic cause I really love Christina, but it was Blake, Adam and Pharrell.

Sue Bonzell: Tell me about this whole, I mean, The Voice is so iconic, and of course, we all love Blake Shelton. He’s so damn funny. And so damn talented.

Angie K: And tall.

Sue Bonzell: Very tall, but I mean, kind of the behind the scenes from somebody who’s been there.

Angie K: No, it’s so funny that you picked up on that too because I felt like it was forever, but no one ever brings that up in interviews. And I’m always the one that’s like, it was a long time.

Sue Bonzell: It was a long time.

Angie K: Cause I think sometimes things happen, and then you’re like, “oh, and then she got on the voice,” and I was like, I feel like I almost didn’t.

Sue Bonzell: Right.

Angie K: Actually, fun fact. The first time I auditioned for The Voice. I auditioned five times, by the way, so any of y’all at home listening, if you just didn’t get into your school talent show, just do it again over and over again until it works because that’s that works for me.

Sue Bonzell: That is great advice.

Angie K: I sat right next to you Luke Combs the first time I auditioned.

Sue Bonzell: No kidding.

Angie K: And neither of us got on. Isn’t that crazy?

Sue Bonzell: See! [crosstalk] Luke Combs.

Angie K: That’s what I’m saying.

Sue Bonzell: Luke Combs!

Angie K: Sometimes you just got to keep knocking on that door and eventually somebody opens it a crack, and you just-

Sue Bonzell: Then you just kick it in, and go, “I’m here.”

Angie K: That’s right. That’s like my whole career right there.

Sue Bonzell: So what was it like working with Blake? Cause you did get to work them. You were on his team, and you got to actually be mentored by him.

Angie K: No, he’s a, what I like about him is he has such a natural essence about him that it doesn’t feel like, there’s no anxiousness to his vibe. When he’s focused on you, he’s focused on you. And the extra time that he gave us, and the attention he gave us versus the other coaches, it just, it kind of inspired me to want to make it just so that I could give that feeling to somebody else on the way up that’s. And he’s just a good guy. Like truly, when you meet him, you could tell he’s just a good man.

Sue Bonzell: He’s funny.

Angie K: Yeah.

Sue Bonzell: I mean, he’s damn funny [crosstalk] person all the time. Like [crosstalk] he’s just joking all the time. I mean, not all the time, but I mean.

Angie K: I remember the first time that I met him, we went back there and we were like all nervous. Cause we’ve been amping up for this audition for like a year. Right? So we get on. We’re all just so pumped that we just made it through, and he’s standing there. And there’s this awkwardness of like quietness where no one really knows what to say. We’re like doing that weird, awkward smile. [crosstalk] And then he comes in, he’s like, “how are y’all doing?” And he’s trying to loosen us up obviously, but we cannot be loosened up. We’re so stressed. So we’re like, “oh my God.” It’s like [inaudible], and this guy, they wanted take our picture. And this guy, his only job was to screw in this light or something so that we could do the picture.

And it felt like it took him 15 minutes to do this, and we’re all just standing there. We’re kind of sweating a little bit. We have like pounds of makeup on from the show, and he just said, “you had one f-ing job, man.” And I just remember all the tension in the room just go away, and he just goes off like just one line after the other. And we were just rolling. And after that we all bonded.

Sue Bonzell: [crosstalk] That’s so cool.

Angie K: Yeah. It was fun.

Sue Bonzell: What an incredible experience that [crosstalk] was, and so then after that you were essentially cut before the end [crosstalk] of the season. And then where were you headed after that?

Angie K: Yeah. You know, it’s funny. I get a lot of people congratulating me for winning The Voice, and I always just go with it.

Sue Bonzell: You go, “sure.”

Angie K: [crosstalk] Cause I don’t want to disappoint [crosstalk]

Sue Bonzell: You’re like “hashtag winning.” Okay.

Angie K: I’ll take it. I’ll take it. No, but because I was touring before The Voice, just at like more like smaller country bars all around the east coast, as soon as I got off the show, I was able to call those same markets and say, “I brought in 200 people to this bar. I just was on the voice. Can I book this now?”

Sue Bonzell: Totally.

Angie K: And people knew my name and if you know bookers, they want to kind of know you before they get you in. So I’d already played the area. I had references. And so I was able to scale the tour, and like just meet everybody new that came into my life. And I think that’s why– some of the best advice I ever got in country music was, ” if you want to sell 10,000 records, shake 10,000 hands.”

And that has saved– it’s the reason why I’m still doing music, because people take some time to listen, and send me a nice note. And I hope that I can give back to the people that have given me everything.

Sue Bonzell: Nice. Nice. Well, I mean, like I said so far, you’ve done quite well. Now I know there’s also a Disney connection.

Angie K: Yeah.

Sue Bonzell: We want to hear about the Disney connection.

Angie K: So that’s what I’m saying, you just keep tap tap tapping on that door, eventually random stuff happens. The guy that hired me on cruise ships, he ended up moving to Disney. I’m actually meeting one of the other producers that worked on that song right after this actually, and it’s in town, but he’s just a massively talented producer. His name’s Roger Butterly, and he called me, he says, “Hey, would you mind coming in to sing a demo on a song I’m working on for the parks?”

And I’ve worked with him on a couple different park songs before. So, I was like, “yeah, sure.” But nothing at the scale of the [crosstalk] big one. And so it was my one day off. I had been on tour for about a month, and I drove six hours to do this demo and sang it. And then he calls me two weeks later, and he says, “what would you do if I told you’re going to be the new firework soundtrack along with Jordan Fisher.” And I just melted, I’m a Disney fan, like hardcore.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, that’s so awesome.

Angie K: Yeah, it was awesome.

Sue Bonzell: How fun. So is your song still playing when they–

Angie K: No, [crosstalk] I think they just switched over. So it was a four year run. [crosstalk] And they gave me free tickets to the park. Every time I went down, they gave me and my family VIP passes, so we didn’t have to like stand in line. It was nice. Nobody does it like Disney, man. Nobody.

Sue Bonzell: Right? I can only [crosstalk] imagine. Oh man. That is so cool. All right. I got more stuff for you, and I’ve got actually a game I want to play with you.

Angie K: Oh yeah.

Sue Bonzell: As well. I mean, don’t worry. It’s easy.

Angie K: I’m competitive.

Sue Bonzell: So it’s an easy game. Well, you’re always winning with me. It’s okay. You’re always winning. So let’s talk a little bit about some of your songs and your music. I was looking at some of these. So you have a song called “Real Talk.” Co-written by Thomas Rhett. Girl, you got the connections.

Angie K: Yeah, no, he’s amazing. The thing about Nashville is like, if you are really putting out your best work, what you think is your best work, you’ll always find people to help kind of level you up.

[crosstalk] But you have to be doing your best. And that’s why I always say new people that come to town. Like I feel like I didn’t do my best for a while when I was in town, and then when I first started, like, “you know what? I’m going to write a song like three, four songs a week with the people that I want to write them with.” And I wouldn’t just, when we finish a song, I’d go back and I chisel away at it. And slowly, but surely, those songs kind of got out into the city, and I ended up contacting one person to another.

And then what’s beautiful about Nashville is like, you could have the biggest stars in the world, like Thomas Rhett. [crosstalk] If they see someone working, and they agree with the level of talent they are, they’ll come and help them, develop them a little more. And that’s what Thomas did. He let me have that song, and he let me record it with the Jesse Frazier, his producer, which, who also was a co-writer on it. And me and Jesse, I’ve really looked up to him for a long time. So it was a dream to work with him too. But yeah, that was, that was a dream combo.

Sue Bonzell: I mean, I love this. I think this is so cool now. Of course. You got the Thomas Rhett connection, and now you got the Jake Owen connection. [crosstalk] You open for Jake Owen, and now you kind of said that Jake was a little bit of a mentor for you, as well. [crosstalk] Tell me about like you guys working together.

Angie K: Yeah. So Jake, him and his team discovered me, gosh, I want to say a few years after the boys or so.

And they were the ones that kind of convinced me to move to Nashville. That really, they were the first people in this town to really take a chance on me, and help me do things, and introduced me to people. And they were actually the ones that introduced me to Jesse Frazier, which was a Thomas Rhett connection. And yeah, no, they’ve done so much for me and never asked for return. Always, just truly [crosstalk] that’s what I’m saying. The community here is unlike any other genre and it’s real, it’s so real. Like you can’t be an awful human being and with [crosstalk] CMA award, like–

Sue Bonzell: I know it’s true. It’s true.

Angie K: There’s too many. Bless your heart behind the scenes moments.

Sue Bonzell: Well, that’s funny because it’s true. I’ve interviewed a lot of artists, and I feel like every single person that I’ve interviewed, I’m like, I could just like, hang out.

Everybody’s just like super cool, chill. They’re having a good time. Love what they do. I just appreciate country music so much for that, but okay. So you got a new EP?

Angie K: Yes.

Sue Bonzell: And number one music video on CMT.

Angie K: Yeah.

Sue Bonzell: Congratulations on that. So tell us about the EP, what you got going?

Angie K: Yeah. Well, it’s got five songs on it. One of them is “Country Is as Country Does”. It’s probably one of my favorite songs I’ve ever released. There’s so much in it that you might not even get from first glance, but being from El Salvador, and having kind of wild upbringing with my sisters, that song is how I found country, what I believe country to be. And like, it’s just pure fun. Like I just wanted pure fun in the song. Everything I love about my genre, about my fans, about what I do for a living is in that song.

And I was out in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska. And remember, I sat down at a bar before a show, and I order a Budweiser. I go play my show. I go down to, it’s just like a tiny little strip. I go back to the bar, and I sit down and before I finished sitting down, the bartender didn’t say a word, he just puts a Budweiser and walks away. And I’m just like, this is a small town. So I ended up talking to that guy for a while, met some people in town and a farmer there decided to, “Hey, I really like this song. I want to fund the music video.”

Sue Bonzell: Oh, nice.

Angie K: And we went to town. I mean, they let me ride some combines. We got like [crosstalk]a legit like class combine sponsorship for it just to light the stage.

I was like, it’s the most expensive lighting I’ve ever had. But we just messed around. And that music video is the one that went number one on CMT for multiple weeks. [crosstalk] And now I’m selling the album, that I’m doing a pre-order for the physical album [crosstalk] that I’ll sign and send out. [crosstalk] and I think we’re already at like 500 or so, sold [crosstalk] . Which is crazy, because if we get another a hundred or so I think we’ll debut like number one on billboard, which is crazy. Because we’re independent. So, as I said, country fans are the best in the world, man.

Sue Bonzell: They are.

Angie K: They just want to see each other win.

Sue Bonzell: The EP, pre-order now.

Angie K: That’s right.

Sue Bonzell: Where do they go?

Angie K: Just go Super easy. [crosstalk].

Sue Bonzell: Super easy. [crosstalk].

Angie K:

Sue Bonzell: Pre-order now we’re going to get you to that level. You know, whatever we can do, whatever I can do. I’m happy to help. So–

Angie K: Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: So do it now. We’re going to play a little game. You’ve heard of the game truth or dare.

Angie K: Yeah.

Sue Bonzell: Okay. This is not truth or dare. This is truth or truth. [crosstalk] because I’m not going to make you stand on your head or like shotgun, a beer or anything like that. I mean, not that wouldn’t be fun, but [crosstalk]

Angie K: Yeah, you know, I’d be up for it. Okay. So I just go [crosstalk].

Sue Bonzell: Go ahead, pick a question. You get to pick it.

Angie K: Have you ever lied to get out of a bad date? If so, what was the lie? I haven’t lied to get out of a bad date, but when I first started playing music, I did something called couch surfing, like right off the cruise ship. Which is you basically crash on people’s couches, thanks to a website that has everybody’s [crosstalk] over there.

And I honestly still am really good friends with a lot of people that I did that with. But there was one guy who was a nudist, but he was really nice about it. Like I didn’t get weird vibe. [crosstalk] I honestly, yeah. He told me, he tells me. I’m sorry, mom, if you’re listening. But he tells me very nicely. He’s like, “Hey, you know, I’m wearing clothes now, but I just want you to know, I don’t want you to be uncomfortable or anything, but I prefer to be in the nude.” And I just sat there. I took it in and I said, “oh, thank you so much for telling me.” Then I waited about an hour [inaudible], I said, “you know what? My friend’s in town. I’m going to go, I’m going to go hang out with her.” And then I just didn’t come back. But that was the only, that’s the only time.

I’m not a big liar. But in that situation I was like,

Sue Bonzell: I would say that was probably a warranted fib, for sure. I like that he’s like qualifying., I’m wearing clothes now.

Angie K: Yeah, no, he was very, very straightforward. Just letting me know.

Sue Bonzell: All right, you get another one. We’re going to do three. Right? I won’t put you through too much torture, but this is how we get the good stories.

Angie K: What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Oh boy. I was, you know [Aly Colinas]?

Sue Bonzell: Uh-uh (negative).

Angie K: She’s a great writer in town like her, but she’s a little bit of a badass. She always wants to like do like, “I’m not scared of anything” kind of chick.

Sue Bonzell: Oh boy.

Angie K: And when we’re together, I’m like, I want to do that too. And we had just played a show out in Gatlinburg, and they had this thing called the Slingshot.

Sue Bonzell: Uh-oh.

Angie K: And it was like, it puts you up in the air, and it drops you, and it like swings, but it’s terrifying.

And so I go up there with another girl, and we go down, and we come back up, and it was terrifying. Then she goes up, and I think she’s messing with me because they kind of messed with me right before I went up. They’d be like, “oh no, are your seatbelts on?” And then drop you. They actually [inaudible] it actually broke.

Sue Bonzell: Are you kidding?

Angie K: As they let her go, and she was like down here and it broke. [crosstalk] And so, [crosstalk] knowing that it broke the time after I used it with somebody I knew on it. I think that was the most recent scary thing that happened to me. For sure.

Sue Bonzell: And would you ever do it again?

Angie K: After seeing it break down? Uh-uh (negative). I got too much country music to write.

Sue Bonzell: Right? Exactly. I got stuff to do, man.

That would be scary, I wouldn’t want it in the first place, but [crosstalk] too much of a joke.

Angie K: I don’t know. When you’re around the right friends, it doesn’t matter what you want to do anymore. They’ll get you.

Sue Bonzell: A of couple drinks in you, like sounds like a good idea.

Angie K: Want to ride a bull? Let’s do it. What’s the one thing you’d never do for all the money in the world?

Sue Bonzell: Stay with a nudist on the couch. [inaudible]

Angie K: I don’t know, if they paid me enough. I mean, if I just had to look away, I could do that for all the money in the world. I probably would not… I feel like, especially like having come from California, there’s a lot of need to look a certain way and feel a certain way. And like recently I got, this is such a kind of a deeper conversation, but like a friend of mine asked me or in the industry, how I feel about my teeth, which is just a random thing. But she was just like talking about having the, what is it called? The veneers done, and I thought about it now. And she was like, it makes a huge difference.

And she wasn’t saying it in any way to be mean, but I started thinking, and I was like, I kind of have to draw a line in sand because I like the way I look, and I don’t want my sisters who have the same teeth as I do to ever think that they’re not gorgeous either. So I feel like that was a moment for me to like decide. Cause as I’m getting older, I just turned 30, so I think that’s when you start to think about those kind of things. And I was just like, I think I want to be really careful about that kind of world. And I think with, for all the money in the world, if somebody said you could be a movie star, if you change your face. I think I’m good. And I think that it’s a with me a second to get there.

But like I said, you surround yourself with the right people. I think you make better decisions, and that felt right to me. But little bit of a deeper answer.

Sue Bonzell: I like that, and I like that too because that also shows other people who are looking up to you even younger girls because I mean women, in general, we get that all at time. It’s like you’re not skinny enough. You’re not this and that. [crosstalk] [inaudible] it’s a this and a that. And it’s a one more thing, and I think that’s a great message for younger girls to say, “you know what? You’re perfect exactly the way you are.”

Angie K: Yeah, or just whatever you want to do. Like I think the message I want to send is like, you can go and get all this work done.

Yeah. But you can also be super successful without it, and I prefer to be the exception of that rule.

Sue Bonzell: Girl, you don’t need a thing.

Angie K: Thank you. [crosstalk]

Sue Bonzell: [crosstalk] Are you kidding me?

Angie K: Thank you very much.

Sue Bonzell: This girl. All right. I want to thank you so much for being our second guest in the new studio here in Nashville, and you’re absolutely invited to come back anytime. Would love to have back. I’m excited for your success, and it’s going to be fun to watch you and see. So make sure you go, and pre order [crosstalk] her new EP.

Angie K:

Sue Bonzell: There it is.

Angie K: Yeah, and you can find me on Official Angie K on Instagram or TikTok, and all that. And I check my DM’s a lot, so I’m easy to reach out to if you’re like, “oh my God, I’m going to see it in Chicago.” Let me know, if I don’t know a lot of people in Chicago, I’ll come out. I’ll have a beer with you before the show. I love meeting my people.

Sue Bonzell: Awesome. Well thank you guys for watching Up in Country, bringing you more and more new artists here in Nashville. So thanks a lot, Angie.

Angie K: Thanks Up in Country.

Sue Bonzell: Thanks for tuning in to Up in Country where we have new episodes every Tuesday, and be sure to visit for all of the episodes and information about our V.I.P Club, where you’re going to get exclusive backstage access. And if you’re on Instagram or TikTok, make sure to follow me, Sue Bonzell. I’ll see you next week.