Born in Dallas, Texas, Amberlee Fletcher, 20, moved to the Nashville area when she was four years old.
Her father, an architect, moved the family to Hendersonville for work. She said her family moved at least eight times in the first eight years they were in Tennessee. Amberlee wasn’t sure why her family moved so much but said she eventually got used to it.
“I was homeschooled, too, so I never had to worry about changing schools or anything like that. It was a different experience being home with your mom all the time,” she said laughing. “I went through Aaron Academy and took classes three times a week. It was good because I could challenge myself in different ways and work at my own pace.
Amberlee said she’s always been extroverted and made friends through a swim team, church, and through music.
POST GRAD LIFE
Graduating from high school in 2014, Amberlee said she faced the challenge of whether or not she wanted to go to college and what she wanted to do in general.
“There’s a lot of pressure when you graduate, especially if you’re a creative person to pursue your passion,” she said. “There’s a lot of pressure to go to college first and get what most people would call a substantial education rather than just going full speed ahead into doing what you’d like to do.”
Amberlee said she initially thought it would be a good idea to go to college, but then realized she didn’t know what to study.
“I’d go and get a degree in business to do nothing in business,” she said.
Along with currently pursuing a career as a country music artist, Amberlee is a full-time nanny and a server in Kingston Springs on the weekends.
the MUSIC, the PASSION
In the past year and a half, she’s started working more on her music by playing more shows around town and writing music.
“My grandfather is one of 14 children, and all of them played instruments. They either played the mandolin, banjo, or the guitar,” she said. “My mom plays the flute, too.”
Amberlee said music was an easy thing to pick up because she was always around it. Her whole family sang southern gospel, and she sang in church for much of her life.
“I guess since it was such a natural thing, and I was always around it I never really thought about it with an intent of a career until about three years ago. Everyone in my family is good, and some are better than me,” she said. “Because they never pursued it, I always thought why should I?”
Amberlee said when she realized she was a great singer she wanted to see where a musical career would take her.
When she was 16, she was asked at the last minute to open up for The Easters and Three Bridges at a concert in Kentucky. It was the first time she had sung in front of a group larger than a church. Amberlee said she didn’t have any prepared material but got up there and sang songs she knew.
“I loved it. I had sung in church my whole life, but that was a little bit different than actually at a concert in front of 3,000 people,” she said.
“I have never felt so sure of myself as a person. I was just singing.”
Amberlee identifies as a country music singer now but doesn’t want to be limited to only that. In the midst of developing a new sound, she said she tries to diversify who she writes music with. Older artists like Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, The Dixie Chick, and Trisha Yearwood have influenced her sound along the way as well.
“It’s unrealistic to think any genre of music is going to stay the same for a long period of time,” she said. “When you think about it, you have Aerosmith and Elvis Presley. They’re both considered rock and roll, but they sound totally different. Music has to evolve and if it didn’t people would get bored.”
She said her music doesn’t necessarily embody the sound of contemporary country music, but she does like it.
Amberlee recorded a single in February called “This Door.” She said once her single is released her team is going to start on an EP.
COMMUNITY and CHANGE
“When I think of community, I think of people encouraging each other and influencing each other. Nashville is great about that. I feel an overwhelming sense of community when I’m in this city.”
Amberlee said everyone here is all about helping each other and inspiring others. She said through friends she’s met at Instameets she’s received an enormous amount of support and encouragement.
“In general, everyone has their place and the thing they have to say. Plus everyone is entirely different, their interpretations are different, their stories are different, and their lives are different,” she said. “Being a part of a community in any sense is about being relatable and experiencing things with people and going through things with people.”
In a town where so many people sing and play music, she has often asked herself what makes her different from anyone else. She realized being around so many talented people is intimidating, but also inspiring.
“I think because I didn’t move here for music, I have a different mindset. I’ve been very fortunate to grow up around Nashville,” she said. “Everyone I know is so passionate, and I love that. I find it encouraging to be around people I can learn from.”
Amberlee said she loves the changes that have been going on around Nashville and calls it exciting.
“I just really hope Nashville keeps it small town feel.”
“It’s not that big of a city but at the same time, it’s huge because so many people know about it now and are visiting or moving here. As long as it keeps its home feel, then it’s okay,” she said.
Amberlee said one of her concerns about the growth of the city is that the focus will shift away from music to business.
“The music industry is a business, obviously, but I love that Nashville embodies artistry all the way around, and I hope that doesn’t change.”
Amberlee said what matters to her right now is that she’s giving her all in everything that she does and that she’s there for people in supporting them. She said at times it’s easy to forget that, but said she’s doing her best to keep the people around her close.
Thanks for reading, Nashville!