Southern Miss senior wins independent music award

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On September 17, Kyle Graves senior Miss Southern received an award for her song “Wicked Woman” at the seventh annual Josie Music Awards in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Graves, alongside co-writer Ryan Purser, received a Josie Music Award for his lyrical work on “Wicked Woman” for their group, Four Way Stop.

“I like to think of myself as a singing guitarist, if that makes sense,” Graves said. “The guitar is kind of my main thing. “

Although he wrote much of the writing for “Wicked Woman,” Graves said he felt Purser sounded much better for his lead vocals. So, Graves provided the backing vocals and the electric guitar for the song while Purser sang.

“My voice really wasn’t my favorite on that song, and I said, ‘You know, I really think Ryan’s voice will sound a lot better with that,” Graves said.

Four Way Stop recorded and performed “Wicked Woman” statewide before submitting it to Josie Music’s Rock category. To their surprise, they ended up winning “Best Rock Song by a Duo / Group”.

“It was literally disbelief from the moment they said my name until the moment I got on stage until the moment I said my thing, said my peace and sat down,” Graves said. “I think it took about thirty minutes for it to really set in.”

Photo by: Sarah Kofman

Four Way Stop began as a group of friends interested in music during their first year of college. Graves thought their transition from friends to group mates went well because they all respect each other.

“The four of us, you know, we love each other, we care about each other, we want each other to be successful, and I think that makes things a lot easier than most people think,” Graves said.

The songwriter has left some tips for all aspiring and aspiring songwriters.

“Be prepared to be the only person in the world who loves this song, and be okay with that, because you should write something that expresses yourself,” Graves said.

The Josie Music Awards began recognizing independent artists of all genres in 2015 when mother-daughter duo Josie and Tinamarie Passantino created a show based on skill and talent. The gala recognized winners in more than thirty categories, from lyrics and music videos to lifelong achievements.

You can stream “Wicked Woman” on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music. You can also keep up to date with Four Way Stop through their Twitter and Facebook pages.


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