By Jackson Dillard
Center for Collaborative Journalism
For Molly Stevens, “ the journey started a long, long time ago.”
The singer-songwriter was born and raised in Macon, Georgia. Even though her nearly decade-long career has taken her all over, she finds that her Macon roots are still strong.
“It’s home. It’s in my heart. And I take that with me wherever I go,” Stevens said.
Stevens moved to Nashville in 2009 to pursue her music dreams and further developed her voice. Her musical style is rooted in Americana, folk and country.
Earlier this year Stevens was on Kelly Clarkson’s team on the 14th season of NBC’s The Voice. Stevens was eliminated after the battle rounds. She wrote some of the songs on her recently released album, Here & Now Vol. 1., after that experience.
She said, “some of the feelings of being vulnerable on TV, being able to say ok, I’m owning it, this is who I am, this is what I do,” influenced the themes and lyrics. “Sometimes it’s not easy to listen to but it’s true.”
In tied to her Macon roots is her religious background. Her grandfather was Jimmy Waters, a well-known Baptist preacher. “I was really brought up in the church, and that’s really how I started signing. I would say that’s where I found some soul and grit in my voice,” Stevens said.
Returning to Macon for her homecoming show at The Society Garden on September 29, Stevens said she felt that spirit immediately.
“As a musician when you come here, you just feel that. You feel it in the air, and it’s just a part of you. You can feel the ghost in the liveliness the past,” she said.
Stevens speaks highly of Macon saying, “I think that Macon is such a unique city because there’s a lot of pride here,” and, “I’m always going to be proud of being from this town.” She appreciates the small town energy and how it spawned her career saying, “I feel like it’s the perfect size to be seen, to be heard and to discover new music and new talent.”
Stevens has performed with other musicians such as Jamey Johnson, Lindi Ortega, Darlingside, Billy Joe Shaver, Mindy Smith, Griffin House, Angie Apparo, the Indigo Girls, Christian Lopez, Natalie Stovall and The Drive, Elizabeth Cook, and Bonnie Bishop.
Macon has kept Stevens going when times have gotten hard.
“I have felt so much support in my own career and I think that’s probably what’s helped keep me going,” she said.
She hopes that she can serve as an inspiration for other artists wishing to continue Macon’s long and storied music history saying, “My hope for Macon is that people all over the country can see the beauty. There’s a lot of opportunity here. I would hope people can feel what I feel too.”
The I Am Macon series can be found on Visit Macon’s YouTube channel. Macon is where soul lives. Listen to the stories of those who call this place home. Discover Macon's rich history and heritage through their voices. #IAMMACON