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Windermere Observer Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2019 6 months ago

Windermere native Noah Schnacky makes noise in country-music industry

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Noah Schnacky, a Windermere native, is garnering national and international attention in country music.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

The moment he hit the stage at Country Thunder — to the tune of hundreds of cheers — Noah Schnacky’s signature smile lit up his face.

It was the first time the Windermere-area native had been invited to play the main stage at the annual country-music festival in Kissimmee, and he was both thrilled and right at home on stage.

 

FINDING HIS CALLING

Schnacky, 22, has been in the entertainment industry since childhood. Following in the footsteps of father Lance — a singer/songwriter/musician and actor — he spent many years working in all different facets of entertainment. In the last few years, though, Schnacky found his voice in his passion for music.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve been in the entertainment industry, and my dad was involved in the country music scene when he was younger,” he said. “I grew up going back and forth ever since I was 12, recording things in Music Row and falling in love with country as a genre. My parents were really good to me and tried me in all different facets of entertainment. We tried theater, some Broadway stuff and some TV stuff, but I never really connected with anything like I did music.” 

Schnacky always knew he loved the idea of putting on a performance but didn’t understand why he loved it so much until he realized music was his calling. He studied under vocal coach Mark Goff, who has assisted with the careers of The Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, Britney Spears and Creed, among others. His first original single, “Miami to L.A.,” was released in 2014.

He attended Sunset Park Elementary and Bridgewater Middle before switching to Florida Virtual School for high school to accommodate his travels to Los Angeles for work opportunities. After high school, he came to a crossroads: He could go to college or start pursuing music right away.

“College is something that will be there regardless (of time), and I wanted to at least give music a shot,” he said. “I decided to pursue music and my dad said, ‘If you’re gonna do music, we’re not going to just put it out and hope for the best. We’re doing it right.’”

Thanks to advice from a member of Taylor Swift’s team — “If you want a million fans, go and shake a million hands,” Schnacky said — he capitalized on social media, collaborating and networking.

“When I was 17 and 18, I would spend a good amount of time on social media trying to gain fans by being in their lives,” he said. “I was responding to hundreds and thousands of DMs for hours on hours on every single night. It’s not very sexy, but I believe in that — in reminding them how much they mean to me.”

 

BREAKING THE MOLD

It wasn’t until Noah’s 21st birthday Jan. 27, 2018, that he and his team decided to release his debut single, “Hello Beautiful.” In just six months, “Hello Beautiful” had more than 15 million streams on Spotify.

“We released it, and the fans absolutely blew us away,” he said. “We released the song, and in eight days, it had a million streams on Spotify alone, completely organic. We quickly got playlisted by Spotify and by Apple Music.”

Since “Hello Beautiful,” Schnacky also has released his second single, “Maybe We Will.” He released them separately to bring attention to the two songs he believed in most.

“We wanted to shake things up, and that’s what we did with the first song,” he said. “What we found after the first song was released was that we were getting calls and taking meetings, but we felt that at that moment, they still didn’t believe … the power that was behind what we’d built.

“When we released ‘Maybe We Will,’ it had a super similar story,” he said. “It was starting to get a lot of recognition and was quickly picked up on The Highway Playlist on Sirius XM. After that was when we really could go to these meetings and say, ‘This is who were are and what we represent,’ and that it was working. Now a year later, we’re about at 50 million streams between the two songs.”

And despite the success he has enjoyed thus far, Schnacky believes he’s just getting warmed up. After being in the studio writing and recording for the last year, he has at least seven songs waiting to be released. Although his current two singles were released independently, he recently signed with Big Machine Records — and his label mates include Thomas Rhett and Danielle Bradbery. 

He also is gaining both national and international recognition in the world of country music. Schnacky made his Nashville live-performance debut at the 2018 CMAFest, performing at both Blake Shelton’s “Ole Red” and on the Radio Disney Country Stage. Just a few weeks ago, he performed at C2C: Country to Country on the BBC Radio 2 Stage, introducing himself to country-music lovers in the United Kingdom. From there, he performed at CMC Rocks in Queensland, Australia, among fellow country stars such as Luke Combs, Florida Georgia Line, Locash, Michael Ray and Frankie Ballard.

 

POWER OF MUSIC 

Most recently, he performed March 22 at Country Thunder, a country-music festival at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee. 

“Getting to play these shows like C2C and now Country Thunder — these are some of my first opportunities to be in the public eye and see the impact firsthand the movement we’ve created has had,” he said. “To go overseas and see thousands of faces that know every word to my song and having crowds singing back was a jaw-dropping experience. … Country Thunder was one of the first people to recognize and believe in us as we were kind of growing with our first two songs.”

Knowing your calling means finding something you are passionate about. For Schnacky, believing in the power of music and seeing how it connects people is one of the reasons why he continues to make music and define himself as a performer.

“The reason that I love music so much is because of what I feel called to — to help people see how much value that they have and show people how much love they’re missing because they’re not looking for it,” he said. 

“If I could put it plainly, a movie could bring you to tears, change your perspective and give you so much joy in two hours, but a song can do that in two-and-a-half minutes. What’s crazy to me is you don’t even have to look at a screen for it to take you on a journey. … Just putting out songs that have a good message and can bring life into our culture that’s so desperately in need of it is awesome.”

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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