We all are familiar with Nashville-based superstars Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, Kelsea Ballerini, Kings of Leon, and more. But what makes Music City so special is its ability to foster musical creativity beyond just country stardom. There are Nashville based musicians, bands, & acts perform indie, folk, pop, & more, making the city more of a melting pot for music than just the home of country.
We’ve listed some of the more famous non-country artists below, but recognize that this is barely scraping the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local talent. Who is your favorite Nashville-based artist or band? Let us know in the comments below.
This electronic-indie duo are a pair of friends that met in Nashville and studied at MTSU together. You may recognize their hit song, “Doses & Mimosas.” They also are part owners of the East Nashville bar Rosemary & The Beauty Queen and sometimes do surprise DJ sets.
The blonde singer-songwriter was a favorite on the tenth season of American Idol is from Huntsville, AL but is frequently in Nashville to perform. Catch him on Cannery Row singing some of his hit songs (some about ex-wife actress Nikki Reid).
This G-Unit rapper has his own independent record label, Cashville Records, based right here in Nashville. Buck’s album Straight Outta Cashville, released in 2004 and based on his hometown, went double platinum.
Jack White is famously known as the lead singer and guitarist for The White Stripes, but has also made a name for himself as a solo artist. Fans everywhere flock to his record shop, Third Man Records (also the name of his label), in downtown Nashville.
Speaking of Third Man Records, Margo Price, the soulful Americana singer, is represented on this label. Her new album, A Little Pain, was recently released and she is on tour through the summer (you might even catch her singing with Jack White too)!
The Black Keys
This alt-rock band originally are from Akron, Ohio, but have been living in Nashville for almost ten years. That’s longer than pretty much all new Nashville residents have lived here…combined.
Once a popstar who sang about glittery grit, Jack-Daniels, and partying now performs under a much more subdued and soulful image. Either way, Ke$ha is major talented (which is to be expected, given her hometown).
R.LUM.R / Reggie Williams
One man, two acts. R.LUM.R is the pseudonym of singer-songwriter Reggie Williams, and each represents a different genre he performs. R.LUM.R is an alternative R&B artist, while Reggie Williams plays classical guitar. His most-known single “Frustrated” went viral in 2016.
This alternative emo-pop band when lead singer Hayley Williams was just 13 and moved to Franklin. She & Paramore were signed to Atlantic Records when she was 15. Their global fame and chart-topping albums aside, Hayley still resides in Nashville.
The Civil Wars
Joy Williams and John Paul White formed the Civil Wars after they met at a songwriting workshop in Nashville in 2008. Their music won 4 Grammy Awards before their 2014 breakup.