Story by AshMarie Boyd

Photos by Fela Raymond

“You can’t copy anybody and end up with anything. If you copy, it means you’re working without any real feeling. No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music or it isn’t music.” -Billie Holiday

In this edition of #BeatsByHer, you’ll meet three bonafide creatives who are authentic in sound, creative in style and firm in self-awareness.  Kourtlynn, Tisha and Tyler are among the growing ladies in Dallas’ music scene who are giving the men a run for their money. Whether it’s in a studio, playing the local circuit or on a stage, these women are dedicated to the game. They’ve figured out that just playing it won’t work. They’ll have to change it.

In a very real interview with The City Influencer, they share their personal style, their love of Dallas culture and the reason behind their passion. Faithful to their true self, each artist gives an account of who she is and who she aspires to be in this city of possibility.


Kourtlynn Faith

“I am a very emotional person, anything that grabs my attention emotionally inspires me. I’m heavily influenced by artists like Amy Winehouse, Anita Baker, and Lalah Hathaway who are all very emotional artists so you’ll typically find me writing about love, and heartbreak. But something as simple as the weather changing inspires me. I have a strong connection with my heart and whatever my heart feels inspires me.”#beatsbyher

What is it like being an artist in the Dallas music scene?

Being an artist in the Dallas music scene is exciting and challenging. They’re so many opportunities and incredible musicians to work with, great places to play, great recording studios, Dallas definitely has the resources for artists. However, I feel like you have to work hard to prove yourself especially as a woman.

How would you describe your personal style?

I’m a very simple girl. Growing up my mom always said simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. You’ll typically find me in a plain black or white t-shirt and ripped jeans.

Your top go-to places for fun?

I’m honestly such a homebody I love just being at home playing my guitar for hours. However, I love Deep Ellum, a great place to see awesome local bands and artists, they have a great art scene. I also just love going to a bar hanging out and watching sports, or going to a good Mavs game.

What tips do you have for aspiring artists looking to get started?

Trust yourself, go with your gut, a#beatsbyher Felaraymond.com-1-7nd follow your heart. If a situation does not feel right, run far away from it. Don’t worry about missing out on an opportunity. If a situation does not equal up with your vision and your direction, let it go.

Preparation meets opportunity. Always strive to be better, and set goals for yourself so you won’t become comfortable in the place you are. So when great opportunities come, you will be more than prepared.

Never lose sight of your dreams. Sometimes this industry can be blinding and overwhelming, but don’t let that take away your love for music. Every step of the way remind yourself why you do this, and revisit your purpose.

Don’t be afraid of the no’s or the disappointments. Every time you’re told no, or told you’re not ready yet, take that as an opportunity to get better, and be a student first.

Set the mood when in you’re the recording studio and the vibe is just right for you.

I am a night owl for sure. I love to record at night, with low lighting, everything is very calm and peaceful. I don’t like distractions so my phone is typically turned off. I don’t like a lot of people around when I record, just me and the engineer. I feel most connected with myself then. I have a small recording setup at home, so if I’m recording there I’ll start about 10 pm and work until the sun comes up with just an anchor that lights up on above my desk and a few candles lit, and my notebook beside me at all times.

Kourtlynn’s Beats HERE.


Tisha Stratford

“As a songwriter, I am constantly inspired by any and everything that goes on in my life personally or by what I see on television in pop culture or current events. A creative soul, is also a sensitive soul. So things affect me very deeply and passionately; which is both a blessing and a curse! So almost every day I am writing verses in my head or melodies come to me constantly, as I experience life.  It’s a spiritual experience, as many artists will tell you. God uses us to communicate messages to the world. It’s then our job to stay creatively in sync with Him, and execute these messages with excellence.

What is it like being an artist in the Dallas music scene? #beatsbyher

Dallas is a large, major market city with a vast variety of talented singers, music genres and cultures. The positive, is that there is no shortage of venues, producers and singers to work with. The negative, is that your talent or music can also get lost in the sea of choices out here. So I discovered early on to really listen to my voice within and hone in on what makes me unique. Once I did that, I focused on a specific niche of producers and musicians in the Dallas area. I formed my production and publishing company “Gloriosity TM Productions.” Here to date, my focus has been in the Christian music scene, and I have had the privilege to work with some of the most respected artists and producers in the industry. Artists such as Dallas’ own Greg O’Quin; Carnell Murrell, and I have recently worked with the legendary Fred Hammond on various projects including him producing a single for my project.  Dallas has some of the nation’s most influential and impactful churches in the nation. For me, this is the area where I have gained the most exposure.

How would you describe your personal style? 

My Music style is something that I branded as #GospelSoulPop. I am a fusion of all of these genres. From a lyrical foundation, I am spreading the “good news” or GOSPEL. Vocally, and musically however, I am giving you pure Soul, Pop,  Dance, Hip Hop or R&B. I am not “trying” to reach the youth or all music lovers… I AM the youth and I AM a music lover, so I come from a true and authentic place. My Personal style is what I call “GLAM-CASUAL CHIC”; I like to mix casual pieces such as a pair of jeans with dazzling jewelry. Or maybe a sparkly or statement piece or accessory with a blazer. I always wear high heels… I love them. They give me height and life! My person#beatsbyheral style also requires at least a “light beat” for make-up. Even if only going to the store.

“I shall always have lipstick and praise on my lips. My countenance shall be dusted with grace and powder. My eyes will look to the hills, with mascara on my lashes.”

What tips can you share with aspiring artists looking to get started?

Determine within yourself, that you will pursue music because YOU LOVE IT, and it is the ESSENCE of who you are. All other reasons must be secondary. Your love for music must be your firm foundation.

Set the mood when in you’re the recording studio and the vibe is just right for you. Please describe the scene.

My perfect studio atmosphere is set by the mood of the people involved and those in the room. When I am creating, it’s like birthing a newborn baby into the world. The producer is kind-hearted yet an expert in what they do. I can “feel” that they believe in me, and help me “push” out the best that is inside of me. My co-writers or musicians are in the room. They are like the supportive family members waiting with anticipation for the beauty they are about to witness. The room has cozy and contemporary décor and couches. Slightly dimmed lighting illuminated by a few candles. I am then alone in the recording booth. My little cozy spot, where I can focus on my voice, relax, hear myself think creatively and sing without fear.

Tisha’s Beats HERE.


Tyler Marco

“It’s personal situations and/or relationships that inspire my creativity. Events will take place in my life, both good and bad, and they really spark the lyrics and melodies that I come up with. Other times, I could just be driving in rush hour traffic on 75 Central and an idea will just pop in my head. Of course at that point I’m antsy to get home because I’ve GOT to get this idea down and let it unfold before I lose it. I’ve also encountered the moment when I have a really exciting, productive day and I feel very inspired to create something. It could be new chords, melodies or I may just try and take a new spin on a cover song. Whatever I’m feeling, I go with it.”

What is it like being an artist in the Dallas music scene?#beatsbyher

Personally, it has been very exciting for me and such a learning experience! People always ask me, “why don’t you move to Nashville or Austin for music!?” My answer is always, “I want to stay here in Dallas, and I want to be part of a scene that is continuously growing.” I love the challenge in that; in being a part of an initiative to get the ball rolling for singer/songwriters and musicians here in Dallas. It helps me grow as an artist by learning the ins and outs of the music scene here. Who to talk to, where to go for live music and ways to meet other musicians. That in itself is so much more inspiring to me.

How would you describe your personal style?

My heart is truly with bands and artists such as First Aid Kit, Brandi Carlile, Fleet Foxes, The Lumineers, Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, gosh I could go on forever. They are the contemporary artists that I aspire to write like. Their lyrics and melodies capture me a million times over. I never tire of them. I also find myself inspired by classic rock from The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan.

Your top go-to places for fun?

I can be somewhat of a home body at times, but when I do go out I usually head to Bishop Arts because there is ALWAYS live music down there and it’s such a down to earth environment. I’ve found myself at The Rustic quite a few times as well. D#beatsbyher Felaraymond.com-1-56inner, drinks and live music! I can’t ask for much more of a good time than that. I do love a good Deep Ellum hangout though! I can’t even choose one place down there, but you bet I’ll be stopping by Serious Pizza for dinner and Glazed Donuts for dessert.

What are your top four tips for aspiring artists looking to get started?

Support the artists around you. We’re all in this together right? We all love creativity, we all love making art. Find out where other local artists are playing and support them. It makes a world of difference, and it’s also very much inspiring. Any time I’ve ever been out watching other local artists, I always walk away with such good insight.

Set the mood when you’re in the recording studio and the vibe is just right for you.

The setting has to be real relaxed for me. It’s a creative space, so I need to feel comfortable and free to express. I am a summer baby through and through, so being cold is not an option. It’s not good for your vocals anyways. Space to stretch my body and to lay down is always a plus! I love to stretch especially since I’m one of those people who can tense up kind of easily.

Tyler’s Beats HERE.


A very special thanks to the women of #BeatsByHer, MUA: Nijia Britt and Photographer: Fela Raymond

#BeatsByHer Volume 3 Drops September 22, 2016

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