Afton Prater is a 16-year old country-pop singer / songwriter / guitarist from Seabeck, Washington. She learned to play the guitar when she was eleven years old and wrote her first song when she was twelve. She has performed at various venues through Washington State as well as venues in California and Nashville. Prater recently released a six song EP titled ‘I Want a Truck’. ‘I Want a Truck’ is a Nashville-produced, energetic and upbeat mix of pop and country music that is a must-listen for pop and country music lovers. Seattle-based Sunset Chevrolet Trucks has partnered with Prater and will be using the title track for advertising on television and radio throughout Western Washington. ‘I Want A Truck’ follows ‘Stay With Me’, Prater’s debut EP. We recently spoke with Prater about her career thus far and the release of her second EP, “I Want A Truck” – read on for more!
Entertwine: What initially inspired you to begin pursuing a career in music, specifically songwriting? You’ve won a number of awards since 2013; how has this recognition encouraged you to continue working towards your dreams and goals? I’ve been singing as long as I can remember but I really became inspired when my mom taught me how to play guitar when I was eleven years old. I finished my first song when I was twelve, ‘Losing My Mind’, and every since then I have been writing non stop.
I’m honored to have won several awards for my song writing. I love knowing that people have listened to my music and voted for my songs. It was really cool because I also performed at the Indie Music Awards Ceremony in Hollywood. Great memory!
What is the music scene of Seabeck, Washington like? Could you tell us about some of the most exciting or memorable live performances you’ve been a part of? Seabeck, Washington is a very small community so I often have to travel to nearby cities such as Tacoma, Seattle, Bremerton, and Silverdale to perform. Some of my most memorable performances have been benefit concerts that were hosted by high school clubs. I loved the experience of helping the community. The concerts included dancers from a nearby semi-pro basketball team (Kitsap Admirals) and my full band. The shows were super cool! Also, I opened for Josh Thompson at the Clearwater Casino; a large outdoor venue on the Puget Sound. It was a beautiful summer night with amazing energy from the crowd. I love playing summer festivals because it’s sunny and warm and the crowds are always upbeat and enthusiastic. I performed and recorded some live footage for my EPK at The Rutledge in Nashville during Fan Fest. That was cool because of all the country fans EVERYWHERE. We had a blast!
Tell us about the project you recorded back in 2013 in Nashville with Sean Giovanni at Sony Tree Studios; could you tell us about each of the five featured songs that make up “I Want A Truck”? What was the recording process for this album like?
My first EP, ‘Stay with Me’ was produced in 2013 by Sean Giovanni with The Record Shop. That was my first experience in a recording studio and it was amazing! We spent hours on pre production and I loved watching my songs come to life in the studio. ‘Stay with Me’ earned me several awards with the Indie Music Channel and it received lots of radio support as well.
How does “I Want A Truck” expand on or differ from your first EP (“Stay With Me”)? Could you tell us a bit about “Stay With Me”?
My recently released EP, ‘I Want a Truck’ is a bit more country and mainstream pop. I had the awesome opportunity to work with talented Nashville writers in two of the songs on this EP. This EP will always be memorable to me because I started recording it on my 16th birthday at Sony Tree Studios in Nashville. I loved making music with some of the best players in the country at such an amazing studio. ‘I Want a Truck’ is a good mix of upbeat, fun, catchy songs with a couple of slower songs with heart warming lyrics.
You were featured on Smiley D’s song ‘Worth Fighting For’ and also appeared in the music video for the song, correct?
Being featured in hip/hop recordings/video was a great experience and it introduced me to a whole other genre. Smiley D is such an inspirational person whose songs send messages of encouragement. He and I also perform for kids at schools in hopes that they will hear those messages. I love being a part of it all!
Who are your biggest musical influences? Why do these particular artists or acts inspire you?
I love Miranda Lambert because she is an amazing performer who takes charge the stage. I like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. Most of my musical influences come from my family who are always singing, dancing, and listening to music. We have music nights at our house where we hook up amps and mics and we all gather outside to play music.
What activities or hobbies outside of music do you enjoy?
Outside of music I play fast pitch with my school. I also, enjoy camping, swimming, crabbing and hanging out with friends and family.
What does 2015 hold in store for Afton Prater? Do you have any upcoming live performances? Are you currently writing new music?
2015 is already on its way to becoming an awesome year! I have partnered with large Seattle area Chevrolet dealership who will be using the single, ‘I Want a Truck’ in radio and TV commercials. I will be promoted on the radio and I will be appearing in the TV advertisements. I will, of course, continue to write music and perform as often as possible. I’m totally stoked!