Stephen keeps us posted on all things fresh in and around Nashville, thus when he honed in on a young musician we had to feature, I followed his lead. Then the images of Pap arrived, and I was - well - smitten.
The kind of girl whose spirit lingers in an image, she is more than pretty, more than lovely ... she's the kind of girl we all aspire to know. This was proven when I arrived in Nashville to meet her and found myself scooping her into my proverbial Ball jar immediately, one of my favorite lightning bugs as of late.
We became fast friends, and attended a conference in LA together - she was there for her non-profit Everything Burns, co-founded with her husband Chuck, helping high school students "live for things that matter," via connecting them to resources to tackle social issues in their communities. (I was there trying to come to terms with my new CEO-ness and all the messaging that entails...)
Read Stephen's interview with Pap below, the interesting story of how she got her name, and watch for a very special feature of her in Issue005 of our newsrag, BOOTLEG Newsprint, arriving in one short month.
Oh, and take a peek in her BOOTLEG Market closet - you will not be disappointed. Blush ... sigh.
Stephen: When did you first become passionate about music?
Pap: I can’t remember becoming passionate about music ... I just always have been. My Grammy (my dad’s mother) was a classical vocalist who studied at Ohio State University and sang professionally after college. My dad and his siblings all grew up singing, and a couple of my aunts went on to get doctorates in music. On my mother’s side, my grandpa toured in Barbershop Quartets for many years, and at 82 is still singing. So from my waking breath each day, I literally had music all around me. I sang at home with my family. I sang at church. I started playing piano when I was four or five, and was made to practice an hour a day (no exceptions!) until I graduated high school ... which, by then, no one had to make me do.
SD: Tell us about when you met Chuck.
PS: Chuck and I met at a summer conference for high school students in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He was about to go into his senior year, and I had just graduated a year early to be able to spend a year as an exchange student in Ecuador. I saw him around and thought he was about the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, but also thought he had a girlfriend (turned out to be his sister, who he was always with!). One of his friends invited me to bring my guitar and play music on the beach one night, and Chuck sang and played some songs he had written ... it was love at first sight and sound. Thankfully he was thinking the same things, and when we stayed up for hours talking, realized, although we had pretty opposite personalities, when it came to really important things it was crazy how much we had in common.
SD: When did you develop an interest in fashion?
PS: My love for fashion was more unexpected, I guess ... but on the other hand, doesn’t every little girl grow up loving to try on their mother's clothes and shoes? I got a lot of hand-me-downs growing up and some handmade clothes, with a decent amount of Goodwill buys mixed in, so I had to be creative about putting things together. I embraced not having extra money to buy "cool clothes" during high school and really dug into finding stuff at thrift stores ... which is when I fell in love with vintage clothes! Throughout my time at college in Nashville and on shoots for our band, I started to meet quite a few stylists, and through them I think I developed a respect and love for the art of couture and high fashion. I love the mixture of old and new, vintage and modern.
SD: When it comes to the shoes you wear, what are some of your favorite brands?
SD: Why Nashville?
PS: I moved to Nashville in 2000 to go to school at Belmont University. Chuck and I both graduated in 2004 and immediately started touring. For a while, most of the people we worked with in the music business were based in New York or Los Angeles, so we thought we may have to move at some point. We’ve always loved being in Nashville, but it didn’t completely feel like home. Probably because we were spending so much time on the road, and we both missed the diversity of bigger cities. But over the past five to 10 years, as we got off the road some, we fell more and more in love with the city and the people here. Nashville was expanding and diversifying - new restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, art spaces and bars opening all over the city. And at the same time, people in the music business (including artists) started moving here from all across the country. So ... Nashville has kept that small-town feel, but with everything we need in a home base. And we have our Nashville family now, which grows bigger every day, and they would all be very hard to leave.
SD: What would you recommend most to anyone visiting Nashville?
PS: Let's see...
Food – Rolf & Daughters, City House, Otaku South, Burger Up
Coffee – Barista Parlor
Clothing – Nisolo, Imogene + Willie, Otis James
Music – The Basement, Grimey’s, Robert’s
Drinks – No. 308, Holland House
Patio party – my house
SD: Who are you most inspired by these days?
PS: I am incredibly blessed in that a lot of the above people who create the places, products and food that make Nashville really special are great friends of mine who constantly inspire me. I am also continually inspired by my father, who very truly makes every day count by creating, writing, reading, learning, loving the people he comes in contact with, and just being. Who at 55 picked up and moved to Greece, and does that all now from there. And by my mother, who brings joy and excitement into every situation.
SD: What's on your Spoitify/Pandora this week?
PS: CHVRCHES, Otis Redding, Frank Ocean, Haim, Tom Petty, Among Savages, Midnight in Paris (music from the film), lots of old jazz, and one song from Phosphorescent that I listen to on repeat for hours (Song for Zula).
SD: What's next?
PS: Who knows? I definitely have no idea ... part of the beauty and tragedy of being an artist I guess. Working on new music, releasing current music in the U.K., doing some modeling and acting, and trying to learn to love and accept the gift of each day of my life, and love the people in it more fully.
images by Greg Manis