1- Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
I am Joanna Smith, singer/songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. I grew up on a farm in south Georgia where my dad raised peanuts, corn & cows. I've always loved country music for the stories and heartfelt emotion of the songs. One day I hope to be an international country music performer!

2- At 18 years old, you sung with Mustang Sally. Is it different to sing with an all girls band than a mix band?
It was very different to look around you and see all girls playing instruments that are so typically played by men. However, it was one of my first experiences playing with any band, so it's stranger in retrospect more so that it was at the time I was actually singing with them.

3- You are singer & songwriter. What do you prefer?
Both equally! They compliment each other nicely!! haha

4- Two of your songs "flying by" & "home at last" are on Billy Ray Cyrus album. Does it help you to open doors in country music business?
Actually, "Flying By" is the only cut I received on the Billy Ray Cyrus record. It certainly helped my credibility in the music business, but Nashville is an extremely tough town and you have to have many, many accomplishments in order to see doors open. I've been in Nashville a little over five years now, and it's been only recently that I've seen doors truly opening for me!

5- How are you influenced to write lyrics.What influences you?
Real-life stories influence me more than anything else. I love words, and I love to hear people's personal experiences in life- love, children, travels, etc.

6- Who are you favorites artists? and favorite newcomer?
I love the Judds, Patty Loveless, James Taylor, KT Oslin & Keith Whitley. My favorite act in recent years has undoubtedly been the Dixie Chicks.

7- When you don't sing, what do you do?
I spend time with some refugee children here in Nashville from Sudan & Somalia, and I study International Politics at Vanderbilt University. I also love golf!

8- What do you think about country music evolution?
I think that it's definitely evolved into a more pop sounding production with a majority of acts singing more pop sounding songs. I don't dislike it, but I'm looking forward to being a new artist on the scene that bridges the gap between true country music and the pop audience.

9- What is your feeling after your coming in France to Equiblues festival?
My feeling is that I can't wait to come back!!! And several opportunities have arisen for that to happen! I'm very excited about future trips to France, improving my French, seeing more of the French countryside and getting to know the people better.

10- Do you want to add something else, and some words for FACM fans?
I want to thank all of the FACM fans for supporting and listening to country music. I can't wait to see all of you again really soon!! Please stop by my MySpace for the latest on shows, etc.

Interview (2009): Florent Dufour

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