Inside Track on Music Row: October 2021

Monthly Music News Column by Preshias Harris


Breakout, indie pop recording artist Graciela (Gr8 Entertainment) will release her sophomore single, and self-penned original titled “Best Days” via all digital retail outlets and streaming platforms on Friday, October 22, 2021. (Pre-sale/Pre-save event begins Friday, October 15, as 2021.) Listen or pre-save via  

The sentimental tune, written by Graciela alongside​​ Laura Cavacece and James Nickle, and produced by Byran Cole, serves as a coming-of-age example of the 14-year-old songwriter’s sensitive and mature introspection, and her devotion to use her voice to share words of encouragement, and her bright and insightful perspective with others. Deriving inspiration from her siblings who suffer with disabilities, the single delves into the teenage artist’s compassion and care for loved ones cherished. The soundscape of the track echoes with angelic vocals to paint imagery of blue skies that open to new possibilities and a hand holding, walk-along journey toward a better tomorrow.

Graciela strives to become a role model for the disadvantaged. She says, “I want to be an inspiration to those who suffer; to let them know that I am here, and I am listening,” More info at


The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and Twitch announced an agreement to work together to build productive partnerships between the service and music publishers. The deal paves the way for the economics of new gaming models to increase visibility and revenue for songwriters. From virtual shows to studio sessions, the partnerships stemming from this agreement will connect the Twitch community in many ways to the music they enjoy. Twitch will provide new opportunities to music publishers who will be offered an opt-in deal allowing for future collaborations to bring new facets to both the gaming experience and songwriter exposure.

These collaborations will create an even more dynamic and expansive environment for people to discover, watch, and interact with songwriters, according to statement by NMPA CEO and president David Israelite, who said, “Both NMPA and Twitch are creator-focused and our respective communities will greatly benefit from this agreement, which respects the rights of songwriters and paves the way for future relationships between our publisher members, songwriters and the service.”  More at


Rising country powerhouse Ryan Hurd has secured two nominations at the 55th Annual CMA Awards, including Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year for “Chasing After You,” his first official duet with his wife Maren Morris.

The song was recently certified GOLD and is currently in the top 10 and climbing at country radio. The nominations mark the first for Hurd at the awards ceremony.

Moreover, Hurd’s debut album Pelago is set for release October 15 via Arista Nashville. The album was inspired by Hurd’s upbringing on the shores of Lake Michigan and was produced with childhood friend and longtime creative partner Aaron Eshuis, with further contributions from Jesse Frasure (Thomas Rhett, Kane Brown, Little Big Town) and Teddy Reimer.

Singles “Coast” and “June, July, August” are out now. Hurd got his start in Nashville as a songwriter, penning Platinum hits and #1s for Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Lady A and Tim McGraw, among others. As an artist he has earned more than 700 million streams to date.

More about Ryan Hurd at


Edgehill Music Publishing has signed award-winning artist and songwriter CJ Solar to an exclusive publishing agreement, according to Edgehill co-founders Josh and Tara Joseph. A native of Baton Rouge and Belmont University graduate, Solar has penned #1 singles for Morgan Wallen and Jameson Rodgers and has had cuts by numerous artists including Jason Aldean, Justin Moore and Jerrod Niemann.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on CJ just waiting for the day he became a free agent,” said Josh Joseph. “He’s an amazing talent, and we are honored to have him as the flagship writer at Edgehill Music Publishing.”

As an artist, CJ has released three EPs yielding the Top 15 hits “American Girls” and “Airplane” and the Top 10 “Coming My Way.” More at  and  


Singer/Songwriter Ashlyn Grayce just released her powerful new single, “Letter From Heaven,” now available on all digital and streaming platforms. This emotionally compelling song tugs at the heartstrings of listeners everywhere, and it is by far the most personal song Grayce has ever written.

“Letter From Heaven” was affectionally crafted to honor her grandmother, “Mimi,” who recently passed away. Although the song is very personal, it also conveys a universal message of selfless love and painful loss, relatable to anyone who has ever experienced heartbreak and sorrow.  

Grayce and co-writer Steve Dean debuted the song live at Dollywood’s Celebrity Theatre during the 2021 Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival, receiving rousing enthusiasm and approval.  Grayce has shared the stage with top artists and performed on festival stages all over the southeast, and she is a frequent guest of numerous local Nashville venues including The Bluebird Café, Nashville Palace, Dollywood, Hard Rock Café, and The Listening Room. Her previous project, the EP Somethin’ ‘Bout A Song, debuted at #4 on iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart and their Bestseller list upon release. More at

Singer/songwriter Taylor Rae’s “Home on the Road” video premiered on Digital Journal and can be seen at CMT Music. The clip opens with a shot of Taylor packing her guitar and leaving a retro roadside motel to climb into a black, banged up fleet side 1970 Chevy pickup truck. Overhead drone footage shows a two-lane blacktop and the lone vehicle moving down the road.

Throughout, super-saturated colors enhance the vibrant “open to anything and anything is possible” message of the song, and that in turn guides the visuals. The video was produced by Michelle Robertson and directed by William Gawley for Charlotte Avenue Pictures, with videographer Stephen Shiveley handling the lens work. The video was filmed in the small town of Lebanon, TN.

The track is the second release from Taylor’s upcoming album, Mad Twenties, due out October 1. Fans can pre-save the album now at  More about Taylor and her music at

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