We’re so excited to present our amazing interview with Cherie Oakley from CMA Fest 2019! The powerhouse singer and performer was on season 1 of The Voice, and recently released her first single, “Work It.”
Oakley told us that the song’s inspiration stemmed from her own frustration working as a woman in the music industry. “I worked for years in this industry as a background singer – both in the studio and on tour,” she said. “Everything started to affect my work. There were fewer women being hired to go on tour. They were being replaced by male guitar players. And it also affected my work in the studio. There were fewer and fewer female artists getting signed. There were fewer and fewer songs to sing background vocals on. It started to affect that part of things for me, and then it started to affect my life as a songwriter. I’d go in to write and say, ‘Oh, I have this great idea… blah, blah, blah…’ and they’d say, ‘Oh, no, no, we don’t want to write a song for a woman.’ And so I was frustrated.”
“An artist has the greatest platform of anyone,” she said. “You’re able to stand on that platform and you’re able to sing about things and evoke change. I think we’ve come a long way. I think we’ve recognized it in the industry. I think a lot of artists are doing what they can to talk about it.”
She was certainly able to use that platform, taking her energy and turning it into something totally positive and fun. “Work It” truly celebrates women everywhere.
“It’s not a female empowerment song because of a man that did her wrong,” Oakley said. “It’s just a female empowerment song because we’re celebrating women and what women do every single day – and who women are.”
Originally from Crawfordsville, Indiana, Oakley grew up touring full time in evangelism with her family. At the age of 20 she made the move to Nashville and sang backup vocals in the studio for artists including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Amy Grant, Martina McBride, and Gretchen Wilson. Her breakthrough came when she wrote Reba McEntire’s “Turn on the Radio,” which went to #1 on the Billboard Country Charts. We can’t wait to see what the future brings for her!
In the meantime, check out our interview with her below: