Country music has a place of its own in the hearts of music lovers who cannot get enough of the simple and raw charm that the genre exudes. The Apple TV+ show, ‘My Kind of Country,’ provides many aspiring country singers a chance to showcase their talents to the world and prove why they are different from the rest. Season 1 of the musical series featured many talented artists, including Avery “Ismay” Hellman. Though their time in the competition might not have gone as expected, the musician retains an impressive number of fans eager to learn more about their work and current whereabouts. So, let’s explore it all together, shall we?
Ismay’s My Kind of Country Journey
A young Ismay spent much time backstage at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, a musical event their grandfather started when the reality TV star was about nine. This helped fuel their passion for the art of music, and they drew inspiration from icons like Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and Hazel Dickens. Venturing into the field of music, the artist decided to use “Ismay” as the name to represent their various projects.
Thanks to their fantastic singing and stage presence, Ismay captured the attention of country music icon Orville Peck, who was looking for unique and talented artists to be a part of his showcase for the Apple TV+ series. Working alongside several other aspiring artists and meeting people like Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton, and Adam Blackstone seemed like a dream come true to Ismay, who was ready to give their all to come out at the top.
While the non-binary artist acknowledged that many people wanted them to stay true to the “traditional” definition of country music, they stated that it was far more vital to them to be authentic. For their showcase performance in front of Orville, Jimmie, and Mickey, Ismay sang ‘Linger,’ a beloved song by The Cranberries.
The performance itself was pretty captivating and gained immense praise from the listeners, with Mickey stating that it was “haunting” to listen to Ismay’s voice. However, the judges ultimately decided to send them home. Orville admitted it was hard, but he felt like the nerves may have hampered Ismay’s performance. Yet, he stated that he loved the raw quality of their work and was looking forward to what the artist would bring to the world of country music.
Where is Ismay Now?
As of writing, Ismay is based near Petaluma, California, and continues to further themselves as a musician. Their ability to combine alternative, folk, and country music has helped the Apple TV+ star create a loyal fanbase that always looks forward to what the musician will bring next. Ismay recently announced that they would be a part of the Woollystar festival that is to be held from June 16 to June 18, 2023.
Ismay’s debut album, ‘Songs Of Sonoma Mountain,’ was made available in 2020 and immediately captured many hearts. Not only was it named among the ten best Albums in the Bay Area, but the work is dedicated to Sonoma Mountain, where Ismay lives, and serves as an ode to the region’s beauty. It even uses natural elements like rivers and rocks to talk about issues like gender identity, which is sure to resonate with many.
Furthermore, ‘Songs of Sonoma Mountain’ was featured in publications like American Songwriter, No Depression, and Sonoma Magazine. Since starting their career as a musician, Ismay has performed in festivals like Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Strawberry Music Festival, The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and The Lantern Tour. Places like the Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, the Golden State Theater, and the Mystic Theater have also seen the artist performing.
Besides, the reality TV contestant has even worked with people like Steve Earle, Watchhouse, Justin Townes Earle, Robert Earl Keen, John Doe, and Chuck Prophet. Other than music, Ismay likes to travel, having visited Sweden recently. Moreover, they are pretty hands-on when working with the lambs living near their home. The artist has an adorable dog named Minnie, who helps care for the lambs.