NewSong finalist Suzie Brown is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter, who is also an Advanced Heart Failure/Heart Transplant cardiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After years of working hard for success in the medical field, Brown discovered a relentless pull towards music that has now yielded five albums, a succession of songwriting awards, featured placement of her music at retailers like Starbucks and the Gap, and invitations to TEDMED and other conferences around the country to speak about finding a vulnerability through music that makes her a better doctor.
Her latest album, Sometimes Your Dreams Find You, was born in that space of uncertain transition followed by confident calm–she no longer feels the need to choose one part of herself over another. “For the first time in my life, I don’t feel like I’m working towards something else,” she says. “When someone asks me what I want to do in five years, I kind of just want to keep doing this.”
We asked Suzie some questions about her songwriting process and what it means to be a NewSong finalist. To purchase tickets for the Dec. 15 event at Isis Music Hall, visit our ticketing page.
I took a pretty big step back from performing and music in general when my daughters were born a few years ago. I don’t regret that for a minute — they’re only young and snuggly for a short time and I didn’t want to miss it. I wanted to be around as much as possible when they needed me most. And I’ve been so damn tired. Over the last year or so, I’ve felt myself slowly emerging from the sleep-deprived fog. I’ve been writing more (actually writing a ton). Playing more. I went back in the studio for three glorious days and recorded my sixth studio album.
It was some of the songs from this album that I submitted to the NewSong contest. I had to dig deeper than ever to write these songs; they are some of the most meaningful I’ve ever written, so it means so much that they resonated with the judges. I am looking forward to making new connections with new artists, planning new collaborations and having FUN.
Song ideas are everywhere! The best ones for me pop up in every day life — while driving to work, running, putting my kids to bed — and I tend to jot them down in my phone. When I have a moment with my guitar, I start strumming and put the idea to music, and let the rest of the song evolve. I’ve been doing a lot more co-writing since moving to Nashville as well. It used to terrify me, but I’ve come to love it. Songwriting muses include Ron Sexsmith, Patty Griffin, Kacey Musgraves, Sarah Siskind, and Jason Isbell.