September 7, 2010

A real, laid-back personality

Christa Meadors says her mom, Anna, remembers the exact moment she knew her daughter would be a singer. About to perform for the talent competition in a pageant, the 3-year-old sassily asked, “Where is my microphone?”

Born and raised in Tunnel Hill, Meadors — now 22 — began singing in church at age 3. She loved gospel music until she got her first CD, The Dixie Chicks’ debut album “Wide Open Spaces,” in 1998. Meadors’ heart belonged to country from then on.

“Pop is more about the image,” she said. “Country is more real and laid back. You’re in jeans. That’s more like my personality.”

Her parents bought Meadors a karaoke machine, and she would also sing at her grandmother’s motel, The Downtowner, when nobody else was around. At Northwest High Meadors participated in the drama program and finally summoned the nerve to sing in front of an audience in the school’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” As a senior she also sang in the Miss Northwest pageant, placing fifth. Meadors says her friends were stunned.

“They were all like ‘Oh my god, I didn’t know you could sing like that!’” she laughed. “They said, ‘You’re really good!’”

The Northwest stage is also where she became friends with Mallary Hope, a fellow singer who currently lives in Nashville, Tenn., and is beginning to make her mark on the music scene as a recording artist with MCA Nashville. So far Hope has released two singles, “Love Lives On” and “Blossom in the Dust.” Prior to the family’s move to Nashville, Hope’s mom began the Georgia Country and Gospel Music Association, which Meadors quickly joined. Alisa Asbury now oversees the organization.

Today Meadors’ weekends are filled with music. If she’s not performing somewhere such as The Wildhorse Saloon and The Listening Room in Nashville, Lake Winnepesaukah in Catoosa County or Heritage Point Park in Dalton, you can find her at El Pueblito in Eton doing her beloved karaoke. Meadors loves belting out “guy revenge songs,” preferably by Miranda Lambert.

“I would love to do a duet with her,” she said.

Meadors had the thrill of helping choose Lambert for her recently announced nine Country Music Association nominations as a new member of the association. She said it took seven months to be approved.

“They really check you out,” said Meadors. “They listen to your music and everything. They don’t let just anybody in.”

Still, she says she doesn’t want to fit into any one type in order to be famous, such as losing weight to please record executives. Meadors remembers one lady who told her after hearing her sing, “Honey, you’re really good, but you’re going to have to lose weight to make it.”

“And, you know, she was right,” Meadors said. “But I don’t think it should matter if you have the talent.”

She also realizes how few country music artists have success, which is why she will graduate in May from Dalton State College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She also works 60 hours per week at The Downtowner.

Achieving that level of fame would probably make her cry and she’d take care of everybody in her family, “probably buying houses for all of them,” she said.

I’d have a tour bus that clearly says it’s mine instead of hiding like a lot of performers do,” said Meadors. “I’d be middle of the road as far as privacy. I would keep some things open and some things private. I’m a very honest person.”

She may not have to wait too long. Meadors is currently a finalist for Country Atlanta’s 2010 Favorite Local Artist. Fifty people began vying for the title in June and now the list has been whittled down to 10. Polling ended Aug. 31 with the winner to be announced over the holiday weekend. The Top 5 will be spotlighted by Country Atlanta and added as Top Friends on its MySpace page. The organization promotes country, bluegrass and Southern gospel music in the Atlanta and North Georgia areas.

Right now Meadors is getting a little taste of what fame might be like, as people are starting to recognize her when she’s out and about watching her little brother, Charlie, play in the Northwest band or looking at houses.

“I love real estate,” laughed Meadors. “I watch a lot of HGTV (Home and Garden Television).”


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