Hannah Everhart Talks Upcoming Covers EP, Working With Clark Beckham, Life Since ‘American Idol,’ & More

Hannah Everhart; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

18-year-old American Idol alum, Hannah Everhart is gearing up to release her cover of Allen Stone’s “Give You Blue.” This cover will be featured on her upcoming covers EP, produced by Idol season 14 runner up, Clark Beckham.

“Clark is a very great Christian guy,” Everhart told Music Mayhem of Beckham. “Like, if you want a nice guy to work with, that is Clark, so I’m just glad that I got to meet him, you know, and that he was the person who helped me with this, because I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else, like truly, and he is a musical genius and you know, we both kinda put our heads together, and I’m not gonna take any of the credit really, because he came up with all of the renditions, pretty much.”

During her audition for Idol, Everhart wow’d the judges with her cover of “The Wayfaring Stranger” by Johnny Cash. After a zoom audition took her to Hollywood to stand in front of the judges, she realized her dream of being an artist could actually turn into a reality.

“Music is what God had planned for me, and so that’s what I do now,” Everhart explained in the interview. “And it’s something that I’ve grown a strong passion for the more that I did American Idol, and I’m just glad that other people believed in me as well.”

Although she’s currently based in Mississippi, Everhart hopes to eventually move to Nashville to pursue her music career, and one day play on stage at the Grand Ole Opry. Until that shining moment comes, she plans to continue to work on her songwriting vocal skills, starting with her upcoming EP. This project consists of a collection of covered songs from her favorite artists, including Miranda Lambert.

“These are a few songs that represent who I am and who I want to be as an artist,” Everhart added.

Performing on live TV can be stressful, which is why this EP is Everhart’s chance to show off her true talent, without all the pressure of being watched by millions of viewers on TV.

Music Mayhem sat down with Everhart to find out more about her upcoming EP, competing on American Idol, finding inspiration within the Country music community, her future goals and so much more.

Read on to find out what Hannah Everhart has been up to in this exclusive Q&A!

We’ve been keeping up with your American Idol journey. I mean, you went through some crazy amazing experiences on that show. I mean, how’s life been since doing all that fun stuff on Idol?

It’s definitely been an eye-opener, and there’s been so many opportunities coming from it, so I’m grateful for that. I’ve just been, you know, taking it easy, but staying on top of things at the same time, and continuing to do music, and it’s turning out wonderful for me, so I’m grateful for that.

Let’s talk a little bit about your Idol journey. Can you tell us maybe what led you to audition for Idol, and what led you to choose Johnny Cash to cover for your audition?

You know, it was kind of a spontaneous thing. A friend just messaged me outta the blue, and said hey, you know, they’re gonna be in Mississippi auditioning, and so I just signed up because I was like, well, that’s convenient cause normally they are way off in a different place, and so, yeah, I signed up, and it was a Zoom call, and so I was like, well, that’s even more convenient, and yeah, so I did it, and they all like said yes, and then three weeks later, they messaged me, and they were like, hey, you’re going to California. And so, yeah, so the “Wayfaring Stranger” song, me and my dad have always sung that in the living room. I know it’s a Johnny Cash song, but I always liked the rendition that Trace Adkins did to it. So it was just an easy, safe choice for me to pick, and so, that’s what I did.

So did you ever, a girl from a small town in Mississippi, ever think that you would one day be on national television in front of millions of people, not only in front of millions of people on TV, but also in front of some major superstar artists that just praised your vocals, attitude and your overall personality, they just loved it. Do you ever think you would be in front of those people?

No, I didn’t. I didn’t even see music as a dream for reality, you know what I’m saying? That’s why I never thought that I would do American Idol or anything like that, and why I’ve never really done music in general and had any experience because I just never saw it as a dream, like a reality, you know? But doing it, you know, I’ve always thought that I was destined for big things, you know, whether that’s being a neurological surgeon or being in the Marines doing combat engineering, you know, like, but music is what God had planned for me, and so that’s what I do now, you know, and it’s something that I’ve grown a strong passion for the more that I did American Idol, and I’m just glad that other people believed in me as well.

So, during your time on Idol, I mean the judges just bragged over you several times. I mean, a Grammy Award winner, Lionel Richie, he told you your voice is a gold mine. Katy Perry and Luke Bryan both loved your tone, your personality. Like, what did it feel like receiving such high compliments from people of that stature?

Honestly, when I left that room, I couldn’t tell you what they said to me until I saw it back on TV because that’s how surreal it was. It’s just, I mean, I don’t know, it’s like you black out almost when you’re in that type of situation, but it was, it was, I could honestly say, I was fixin’ to cry because I was like I don’t know if he’s getting’ on to me, or if he’s being nice, you know, but it was just, I don’t know, I couldn’t, I can’t thank ‘em enough for everything that they’ve done.

Did you get any advice from them, maybe off-camera, that’ll maybe like take you into the future, that you can think of?

No, not off-camera, really, I mean, everything they pretty much saw was… Now I did sing a duet with Luke Bryan in the audition room. I sang “Grandpa” by The Judds, but they didn’t put that on TV, so yeah, that was great. I was like, dang, I got to sing with two of ‘em!

I know, with Katy Perry. You and her sang Etta James there, too. That was pretty amazing.

Yeah, that was crazy.

I mean, even on the show, you were labeled as a Katy Perry lookalike, which I know you said you get pretty often. That must be pretty flattering to have Katy Perry herself ask you, are you the country version of me?

Yeah, I do, I do, and I did love it a lot, but now everywhere I go, it’s like, you look like Katy Perry. Well, why can’t I look like Hannah Everhart, you know?

Exactly and now your voice will set you apart from all the rest, because you have definitely a unique tone that not many people have out there. And once you start releasing all this music coming, then people will definitely be asking “are you Hannah Everhart?” So aside from singing in front of those superstar judges, you also performed with one. I mean, Jason Aldean. What was it like performing a duet with him, and did you receive any advice from Jason while you were on the show?

That was probably one of my favorites because, I mean, it felt so electric when I was on stage with him. Like, I had never felt that comfortable on stage. That’s when I knew that that’s what I wanted to do, you know? Like, I wanted to be a big performer, you know, and just showcase my voice, and just have that feeling again and again. And you know, Jason was so meek and mild offstage, but it’s like when he got on stage, it was just, he came out of his shell, and he’s just a really cool and awesome dude, and he just, he gave me a lot of great advice that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.

Yeah, he’s definitely a superstar when it comes to performing. His shows are just out of this world and incredible. So, have you kept in touch maybe with any of your other Idol contestants while you were on the show? I saw you were actually just hanging out with Chayce Beckham, the winner, and also Caleb Kennedy. Like, have you guys maybe written any music together? I saw you guys were jamming and playing some shows in Nashville, it looked like.

Well, we were, we were like doing what I call back porch picking. It’s just where you sit in a little circle, you know, and whatever, just sing a few songs. So that’s what we did. If we would have had more time, I’m sure we would have written some songs together, but we just, you know, everybody’s life is so busy now. But I’m just glad we still get moments to catch up like that.

Did you have any plans to make the move to Nashville?

I see it in my future, for sure. It’s just as of now, I like where I’m at, so…. Yeah, yeah.

Are you in Mississippi?

I am.

Cool. So aside from the contestants, have you maybe been in touch with like Katy, Luke or Lionel since the show?

No, I wish I was, you know, I tried DMin’ ‘em, but they don’t DM me back, so…

Yeah. I mean, it must be a definite crazy mess of DMs in their inbox. I couldn’t even imagine.

Oh, for sure.

So just for our readers to kind of get to know you a little bit better, could you tell us a little bit about how maybe you got into music? Was it something that, I understand you come from like a pretty musically inclined family?

So ever since I was like little, I just remember, you know, my Granny, who’s passed away now, when she would get the whole family together when we lived in Alabama for a little while. You know, it was, you know, backyard karaoke, and I was singing a Taylor Swift song, you know. I sounded like crap. But I’d be screaming it from the top of my lungs, and you know, ever since then, I just love singing, so I’ve always sung in the shower, sung in the living room, sung walking through the house. And my Momma, she grew up singing in church with her two sisters…

And then my dad, he, you know, has gone to Nashville and chased that career, and just different things, but God didn’t see that was his plan, and so I’d say I’ve kinda lived out his dream and mine for him. And… That’s pretty amazing.

So, like, what would you say inspired you to maybe get into music, aside from your family? Is that like something you’ve always definitely dreamed of, or is this something that you were just like, wow, everyone thinks I have this incredible voice, and now I kinda believe in myself to keep going with this?

Pretty much what you said the second time. You know, like I said, I never saw it as a dream, so I never really pushed to do music. But when I got out there and I did it, you know, it’s, every round that I would make it through, it’s like this new passion would come out for it, and you know, I was like, this is what I wanna do, and you know, confidence came with it, too, so the more confident I got in myself, and the more I believed in myself, the better.

Yeah. I see that, after you guys, you and Claudia Conway, with your duet together on the show. After what could be just like some, I don’t know, maybe just like a little bit of drama beforehand, and then you guys came through it, and you became good friends, and did a killer duet that ultimately brought you into the final rounds of the Idol shows. Have you guys been in touch at all, during, after the show?

No, actually, we haven’t. I’ve tried several times to reach out to her, but she doesn’t respond to me, so…

She’s a crazy, busy person on TikTok now, right?

Um, yeah. But you know, all that drama, it was never drama. They told me to go eat. And so I went and ate. And then they came over there, and it’s just…It made a story for the show. Oh, they did. They used me to make a story for the show. That’s reality TV for you.

Definitely. So who would you say are like some of your biggest musical influences or inspirations that you look up to?

Definitely, Sam Cook, Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, the Judds, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Reba McIntyre. Just several of the good ones. Alan Jackson, George Strait.

Definitely some good ones in there, I mean, and not only good ones, but like iconic ones that you can definitely hear some influence in your vocal range. And on the topic of all those people who inspire, I know you’re gearing up to release an EP of cover songs in the coming weeks. Could you maybe tell us a little bit of what inspired you to do so?

I kinda wanted to do this so I could show people, you know, because there were a few pitch issues on Idol, but keep in mind, it is very hard to sing on national TV. But I wanted to show people, you know, like, hey, like, this is my voice. You know, like it’s gotten better, and I wanted to show people too, like this is who I am if I could choose songs to show, you know, even though there are so many I could choose. These are a few songs that represent who I am and who I want to be as an artist, you know? But I did it with video too, so that people can, you know, just see more of me since Idol, you know, not just doing local shows, but actually getting’ in the studio and doing something, so…

Yeah and we’ve heard some of those covers, and they are just like crazy. I mean, your cover of Miranda Lambert is just like whoa! That’s definitely a really good showcase for your vocals, and I mean, it’s just like, when people hear that song, they’re gonna be blown away.

Well, thank you.

How did you choose what songs to put on this EP? I know you mentioned Aretha and so were big inspirations to you, and I know her song is appearing there. And I mean you covered two Chris Stapleton songs, which you’ve covered some of those on American Idol as well. And then Miranda…

Yes, Chris Stapleton is another one of my idols. I forgot to mention that. But that’s a current idol. The other ones are all oldies but goodies, but Chris Stapleton is really the only modern-day person…

Yeah. So, you don’t really listen to the whole like mainstream country music, it’s like more of the old school country stuff? I mean, do you have any aspirations to maybe one day even perform on the Grand Ole Opry, like most of those people have, like you?

Oh, of course.

That’s like the ultimate pinnacle of country music right there. I mean, moving to Nashville, playing the Opry… It’s just like wow, this is pretty, definitely where the country music hub of the world is.

Exactly.

How did you go about choosing those couple of songs for the EP, like was it hard to pick just, I think it’s eight songs on the EP?

It’s like eight, nine, something like that. But, yeah, it was really hard. I was just going through my playlist, you know? I was like, what can I choose ‘cause there’s so many, and so I just said, you know, eeny, meeney, miney, moe, pick you. So that just worked out because there were so many by Aretha that I could have chosen, and there were so many by Chris Stapleton that I could have chosen, but I just chose what, you know, worked, and so…

I mean, would you say Miranda has been like an influence on you as well? I know that she’s definitely one of those females in country music that is just like sassy, the attitude, the personality. I mean, some of her it seems like it’s inspired you a little bit.

Uh, yeah, for sure. I mean, I grew up listening to some of her music, but I really just, I do love the way that she carries herself and the way she performs as well. Definitely.

You guys definitely need to get on a track together, I mean your voices would just blend so crazy, I mean that would be iconic.

Yeah, that would be great.

So, I mean you worked with Clark Beckham, who previously was on American Idol as well, with the upcoming EP. He produced it and also he created the content, video-wise, for you. Like, what was it like working with him? I know that he’s been covering American Idol. He covered your journey and everyone else’s on American Idol throughout his YouTube channel during the entire course of Idol. Like, what would you say it was like working with him?

Clark is a very great Christian guy. Like, if you want a nice guy to work with, that is Clark, so I’m just glad that I got to meet him, you know, and that he was the person who helped me with this, because I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else, like truly, and he is a musical genius and you know, we both kinda put our heads together, and I’m not gonna take any of the credit really, because he came up with all of the renditions, pretty much. I mean, “Simple Man,” everything except the Two of Us spin, I had been singin’ it like that, you know, at different shows. I just kinda came up with that, goin’ higher on the chorus thing. But as far as the whole Just the Two of Us on the verses, like the guitar melody, and at the end doing it, you know, that’s all him. But it was really great. I loved what he helped me come up with, and how he helped me showcase my voice, so…

Yeah, I mean, and I really like how the videos are just like in the moment, they’re not like crazily overproduced or anything. It’s like in-the-moment raw, kind of like Miranda’s The Marfa Tapes record, which just came out that is just like, you can hear the cows mooing in the background. I mean, obviously you guys were in a studio, so you didn’t hear that, but I just love how it’s just like raw, stripped back, minimal production. It just really puts your vocals on full display.

Yeah, and I like that better. You know, we did live recording with the instruments, too, which I know nowadays everybody is like you know, fake guitar, fake drums. That’s never gonna be me. I don’t care who’s producing my records, I mean if you don’t like it, then cool, I’m like see ya later. But I love live performing, because there’s nothing like being, you know, in sync with that instrument in person, and just getting’ to really feel that big vibrations from the guitar, feelin’ the thud from the drums, you know? Like, it’s, there’s just nothin’ like that, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Definitely. So, I mean, aside from your upcoming covers EP, have you been working on any new original music?

Uh, I’ve been trying to write a few songs. It’s just hard because I don’t play an instrument. I know some people can do it, but I think that I’m just one of those people who can’t. I’ve written poems since about 6th grade, and they’ve made people cry, and they’re wonderful. But I mean, it’s just a whole different ball game for me for songs, but I’ll get there. I’m trying.

One hundred percent. I mean, just go out back to Nashville and meet up with some of your Idol buddies, and have them play guitar for you, and strum some of the songs.

Exactly.

So, what else is coming up for you? I mean, you got some shows under your belt already, and you’re gearing up for some more, and some festival appearances?

Uh, yeah, I’ve got the Bigfoot Festival in Natchez. I will also be opening for Tyler Farr, Adam Doleac and Corey Smith on August 7.

That would be amazing.

Uh, yeah, but I’m not putting that into stone or getting my hopes up until that actually happens. Just putting it out there. But you’re putting it out there. Yeah, so there’s that. And I have one in September, and just different ones, but big festivals that are coming up.

For sure.

But you know, I’m not pushing anything, I’m just letting things kind of open as they come, because I did push myself at first. And then it just became too much, and it overwhelmed me…

Yeah, yeah. That makes sense. Keep just going with the flow. As it happens, it happens. That’s usually when the big things happen. So, I just want to thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to sit down with us and chat about what all you have coming up and your Idol journey. It’s been great chatting with you, and we look forward to hearing the rest of everything to come from you, and hopefully seeing your live performance someday soon.

Of course. Thank you so much for letting me do it. I really appreciate it.

About Andrew Wendowski & Madeleine O'Connell

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