For those outside of the North Georgia area, you might need a little bit of clarification when it comes to the title of Tiffany Huggins Grant’s new album Jonquil Child. So, first – a little bit of a history lesson.
“I grew up just north of Atlanta in a little town called Smyrna,” she tells Country Music #CMchat. “It was such a small town, and has grown up so much since I left. Everybody’s parents all went to high school together. I think my generation was the first to move out. It was named the ‘Jonquil City’ because before anyone settled in it, a lady brought in the Jonquil, and planted them all over this field that used to be a plantation. They were so pretty that everyone wanted them, so she started to sell them. Even to this day, they still pop up all over Smyrna. Everyone there is so proud of it that it’s on every welcome sign in town,” she says.
Growing up in a state with such a rich and diverse musical history, Grant admits that her musical influences were everywhere. “Early on, I listened to a lot Otis Redding, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. Then, when I was about 10, I started listening to country radio through my grandparents. I heard George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, and all of the greats. I remember thinking – even at a young age – what great music that was. Then, when I got older, I started listening to a lot of the 90s country. After I moved to town, my listening habits changed a bit – Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, and Darrell Scott. I have so many influences, it’s crazy. That’s why I don’t fit into a box of one specific genre.”
All of those influences come across in the new album. There’s the traditional slant of the yearning-filled “If You Only Knew,” which the singer/songwriter describes as a song that describes the feeling where “you know in your heart that you want to be with them, but it’s not possible.” Then, there’s a nod to her 70s influences on “You’re Not Alone.” Compare the track to Fleetwood Mac – and you’re going to get a smile from the singer, who says “I love them. I’m a huge fan of theirs.” She admitted the song was one that she has witnessed first-hand. “It’s about a family member who has gone through the hard times of drug addiction. I didn’t feel the family was supporting them as much as they could have. I just felt the person deserved more help when they asked for help.”
Grant moved to Nashville from Georgia in 2002, and said it was a definite learning experience. “I moved here at 18, and was too young to know to be scared. I didn’t know anyone here. I got lost a little. I moved here with the expectations of getting a songwriting deal. That’s what I was hoping for, but that didn’t happen. So, I just wrote and started playing writers’ nights. It was a slap in the face. It was a big wake up call,” she admits. “Everyone who moves here doesn’t become a star. I didn’t know that.”
But now, with Jonquil Child out, Grant is continuing to chase her career goals – with one big one crossed off of the list. “It is a dream I’ve been dreaming of since I was 14 years old. This is my job now. That’s so scary. You invest a lot of money, blood, sweat, and tears into getting a record out. You don’t just put out a record, people play it, and you get attention. That’s not how it works. It’s not that simple. There’s so many people you need help from. You can’t do it by yourself.”