Priscilla Block is breaking stereotypes and taking names. A few months ago, the 25-year-old singer from Raleigh, North Carolina, exploded onto Nashville’s country music scene, thanks to her quarantine-driven TikTok success and infectious melodies. Now, she’s reaching millions of fans with her unapologetic, uber-relatable take on everyday experiences. Not one for sugarcoating, she uses her platform to promote positive body image and an unfiltered musical narrative of breakups, makeups and everything in between. Recently named one of the Next Big Things of 2021 by MusicRow Magazine, she’s officially on the path to success. Please welcome our newest FACE of Nashville, Universal Music Group recording artist, Priscilla Block.
What drew you to country music and Nashville?
I’ve always loved country music. I had a CD player in my room, and I always had music playing. I picked up the guitar when I was about 15 and couldn’t put it down. I started writing songs and really fell in love with writing and listening to country music. There was nothing else I really wanted to do, so I decided to make the move out of high school. I came to town when I was 18, and I’ve done everything besides work the street corner. I’ve walked dogs; I’ve nannied. My favorite job was finding things on the side of the road and selling them on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. I did anything I could to pay the bills. I was playing as many shows as I could, cleaning houses, all of that.
Rumor has it you experienced a very memorable run-in with Taylor Swift.
Yes! Taylor Swift was a huge reason why I wanted to move to Nashville. She was on top of the world, and I was this younger girl [who] really looked up to her and wanted to do what she was doing. My first year in Nashville was really rough, and I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was working at a yogurt shop, and I remember clearly that I was talking to my sister one morning. It was rainy in Nashville — just one of those super depressing days — and I said, “I don’t know what I’m doing out here; I’m drowning. I came out here to do music, and I’m not even doing music.” She said, “You know you can come home, but maybe you should stick it out a little bit longer.”
That day, I was leaving work, and I was wearing a Taylor Swift t-shirt, and Taylor Swift was driving by and saw me walking out of that yogurt shop. She stopped her car, hopped into her passenger seat, opened up her door and said, “Thank you so much for wearing my shirt!” We talked for a little bit; I didn’t even tell her I did music, but it was one of those “wink” moments. I was like, This opportunity doesn’t come around a lot, and I should really give music my all. At that point, I quit school and my job, and I really dove into music.
TikTok has driven your success. How did you discover that avenue of getting yourself out there?
It’s weird. A lot of people are like, “How did you do this? What was the strategy behind it?” There really wasn’t a strategy; quarantine started. Everyone’s on this app, TikTok, and I’m thinking, It’s a dancing app. I was learning TikTok dances and impersonating the Kardashians on there. I didn’t even think of putting my own music up until I sang a Morgan Wallen rendition of “Whiskey Glasses” about being stuck in quarantine and drinking until it’s done. When that one popped off on TikTok, I thought, This is really cool; I should start posting more of my original stuff on here. I did, and overnight, people seemed to gravitate toward my music. So I just kept feeding the crap out of that app — posting tons of stuff and interacting with fans. I think TikTok is a huge reason why everything happened the way it did [for me].
What’s the story behind your debut single, “Just About Over You?”
That was one of the songs I wrote over quarantine, but I had the idea on my phone for a long time. I had a run-in with my ex, and I came back home and thought I have to write this song now. Not long after, my girlfriends and I wrote “Just About Over You” over FaceTime. I was like, “Holy crap, I love this song so much!” but I didn’t know it was going to be the song that exploded. The day after [we wrote it], I decided to put it up on TikTok to see what people thought. It became this huge thing overnight, and people begged me to record and release it. I had people getting behind the song and putting their own money towards me going into the studio to record it, and I knew it was a moment I couldn’t miss. I ran as fast as I could with it; I hopped into the studio the next week, and I released the song three weeks after writing it. It’s really cool because a lot of times when I put out songs, I’m past that point in my life. What’s really special about this song is that this is where I’m at. It’s very fresh and “where Priscilla is right now.” I’ve been able to be super vulnerable with it.
You have a brand new song called “I Bet You Wanna Know.” Tell us about it.
I like to say I’m a little sass, I’m a little trash, and I’m a little sad, but this song is straight sass. I wrote it with two of my friends. We went into the room and tossed out ideas, and nobody had anything that really stood out, so my friend started playing this track — it was awesome. The song fell out super fast. It goes back to the whole breakup thing — everyone gets curious to know what you’re up to, and you’re like, “I’m sure you want to know.”
You’re unapologetically yourself and broach topics like body positivity, such as in your anthem “Thick Thighs.” What drives you to speak out through your music?
I think it’s super important to stay real, and I’ve always been really outspoken. I’m a curvy girl — everybody knows this, so why not just embrace that? Living in Nashville, there were people telling me, “Hey, you need to lose 30 pounds if you’re going to make it in country music. You’re good, but you need to get in shape.” So, it was always something that was around me. It’s really awesome when girls say, “I love your confidence. I love how you own your body.” So I thought, You know what? I’m going to sing about it. I know I’m not the only curvy girl out there! I think it’s really important to be who you are and own it, and it’s kind of like calling out your own BS before anybody else can call you “fat” in magazines, you know?
How has the response been?
The response has been amazing. I went into the [writing] room and said, “Y’all, I’m not writing a breakup song today. Can we write ‘Thick Thighs?'” I just really wrote it for me. Then, I played it live at Puckett’s in Nashville, and by the first chorus, everybody in that room was screaming and clapping. I started getting messages from people saying, “Thank you so much for writing that song.” That response from people really helped me be like, “Hell yeah, I’m putting this song out there; the world needs this.”
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What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“There will always be someone that will outwork you, so you’d better go work.”
Outside of family, faith and friends, what three things can’t you live without?
Wine, my dogs, and country music.
Thank you for sharing your story, Priscilla, and thanks to Eric Ryan Anderson for the photography.
Read more interviews with our inspirational FACES in our archives!