Some people are just born to be in front of an audience. Those fortunate few have a passion for communicating and an innate gift for connecting with people that is simply undeniable. With her vivacious personality and powerful, distinctive voice, Tiffany Woys is definitely a born entertainer. And much to her parents’ chagrin, the judicial world’s loss is Nashville’s gain as the enterprising newcomer soars with her debut set.
“Growing up my parents just didn’t take me seriously,” she admits with an infectious laugh. “They bought me a little karaoke machine and a microphone like, ‘Oh! This is cute, but she’ll get over it.’ They wanted me to be an attorney, but I just never quit. I’ve always loved to perform for people.”
That desire to entertain combined with an abundance of talent and an impressive work ethic are fueling Woys’ rise. Born and raised in Sacramento, she grew up being influenced by such powerhouse vocalists as Celine Dion, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, Michael Jackson and Carrie Underwood. As a child, she’d look for any opportunity to get up and sing in front of people, and by the time she hit 20, she was recording an independent album and hitting the road.
“Being on the road really taught me the ins and outs of how a live show works, which is really important,” says Woys, who has hundreds of shows under her belt. “My stage presence really beefed up so much. That’s what I wanted to do is be an entertainer and I learned how to adapt to different crowds because every crowd is different. From big to small, it taught me that no matter how many people are in the room—even if it’s a dozen or if it’s thousands—treat them all as if it’s the same.”
With her considerable vocal chops, she could have easily found success in any genre of music, but admits she’s always been drawn to country. “There is something about the authenticity of country and the story telling behind it. Just telling the truth, being honest and really relating with people in the audience is something that I love to do,” she relates. “There’s no plan B. There’s no being a lawyer. It’s a risk, but I’ve always been willing to take risks and anytime I take the stage, I’m doing what I love.”
After honing her stage presence performing relentlessly, more than 100 shows sometimes for three plus hours a night in bars all over the West Coast, she decided to make the move to Nashville. Since arriving, she’s earned the respect of Music City insiders for her warm, evocative vocals and her plucky attitude. Working with Grammy winner Chad Carlson (Taylor Swift) and up and comer Bobby Campbell who has worked with artists ranging from Lauren Alaina to Meghan Trainor, Woys has recorded a debut set that showcases her potent way with a lyric and simmering vocal energy.
Among the highlights on her new project is “Last Call Weakness,” a sultry exploration of temptation and the strength required to battle loneliness and bad decisions. Woys says recording the song helped her hone in on her signature sound. “I want to be true to myself completely. I knew coming into this you can’t be the next Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris or Carrie Underwood. You need to be yourself and you need to have your own lane,” she says. “‘Last Call Weakness’ is my sound. It definitely has pop influences but I wanted to stay true to country. It definitely has an edge to it. That’s what my brand is. What I love is dramatic and edgy yet still has a country feel. That’s what I want—something that I could put a great smoke and light show to.”
Even more than conveying her sound, the song reflects some hard-earned wisdom that has made the young artist who she is. “I’ve had two really big relationships in my life. The first one had a huge substance abuse issue and I became a band aid for it,” she relates. “He was four years older than me and his substance abuse took over my life. I became a mom, a babysitter, a girlfriend, a counselor, all of those things that I shouldn’t have had to been at the age of 19. When I heard this song, it was an immediate trigger reminding me that’s what I went through dealing with someone that wasn’t sure of his own feelings.”
“Priceless” is an empowering anthem reminding women of their value and Woys turns in a spirited, compelling performance. “It’s telling someone, ‘Hey, I know my worth and I’ve already been through x, y, and z,’” she says. “This song is saying, ‘This is what I deserve and this is what I’m going to get out of it or I’m going to move on. I’m going to find someone else.’”
Woys definitely infuses “Priceless” with sass and strength, and on the buoyant “Spark,” she conveys the exuberance of a burgeoning romance. Woys knows how to own an up-tempo tune and on the flip side, she can convincingly echo heartbreak and loss because she’s experienced it. On the Shane McAnally/Trevor Rosen/Sara Haze penned power ballad “Love Has No Heart,” she oozes a tenderness and vulnerability that listeners will find instantly relatable. If she sounds hurt, it’s because she’s been hurt. Shortly before recording the song, her boyfriend called it quits.
“We were together for almost five years. I thought he was my soulmate. He’d been with me from the start of the journey, went to every honky-tonk show, sat in the small bars, waited until three in the morning, all of it. I moved to Nashville and he visited once. Then not even three months after I moved, he called me and said, ‘I don’t love you anymore and I’m never going to move. Goodbye.’”
Woys had fallen in love with “Love Has No Heart” but the song had been on hold for Brett Young. Suddenly, it became available and when she went in to record it, there was a torrent of pain and heartbreak that defined her performance.
“We all do have a story and ‘Love Has No Heart’ really represents a lot of people’s stories and how they feel,” she says. “Country music was built on the foundations of heartbreak and love songs. Someone’s heart is always breaking. Someone is always falling in love. Those songs are never going to go out of style and that’s why I relate to those the most. Everyone makes fun of me because if I put my phone on shuffle, it’s always sad songs. Even if I’m super happy, I still listen to sad songs because there’s something about them that really grabs you and it takes you back to something. Sometimes it will empower you and make you feel good or it will make you cry and maybe take you back to that place.”
Tiffany Woys has worked hard to get to this point in her career, and she’s ready for the next chapter. “I know who I am. I will always be growing. I’ll always be evolving, but I’m confident in what I can bring to country music,” she says with a smile. “And I’m hopeful that everybody will be accepting and will love it just as much as I love it with all the hard work and passion that I’ve put into these songs. I’m excited about sharing them. I want to be someone’s first concert that they never forget. That was my childhood dream. I’ve come this far and I’m nowhere near stopping now.”