NASHVILLE – Moreso than in any other city, there is a crossroads between sports and music in Nashville, Tennessee. Across all four professional sports teams in the Music City, including Nashville Soccer Club, the sound of the Nashville community resonates deeply in logos, traditions and with fans.
On Monday night in the heart of Nashville, Nashville SC took over one of the city’s most popular music staples, Whiskey Jam.
Featuring six artists who have sung or are scheduled to sing the national anthem, Smithfield, Tigirlily, Julia Cole, Angie K., Henley and Morgan Myles, Whiskey Jam was covered in acoustic blue and electric gold. With mic stands adorned in soccer scarves and slap koozies showcasing the new MLS crest, soccer danced hand-in-hand with the music. Many of the artists even wore the NSC jerseys they received from the club when they sang the anthem.
“One of the first things I heard about when I moved to Nashville was Nashville Soccer Club,” said Angie K, who played Whiskey Jam after performing the anthem for Nashville SC both last season and again this year. “I was born in El Salvador so I am a huge soccer fan. It was amazing to make that connection right when I moved to the city. A lot of the other artists that are here, I know them and have played with them.”
Sports and music is a two-way street for many of the artists that played at Whiskey Jam on Monday and with soccer’s broad reach, it’s no wonder that many musicians have fond memories of time spent growing up on the soccer field.
“I grew up playing sports, so I have always tried to combine sports and music,” said Julia Cole, who performed the anthem on February 22 this season and actually got her start singing anthems at her own games. “I think [Nashville SC] is only going to grow here in this city,” said Julia Cole. “Nashville loves starting something some new and knowing that this is starting from scratch with us – it makes it our team.”
For the artists in the spotlight at Whiskey Jam, there is a sense of pride for being in on the ground floor of Nashville SC. They have built friendships through the music industry with some of the other artists who have sang or played an anthem at First Tennessee Park. As the group gathered at Whiskey Jam to perform, there was a keen camaraderie amongst the group.
“I love finding out about everyone that has been playing the anthem because I know them already,” said Morgan Myles, who sang the anthem on July 25, 2018. “I was like ‘Oh wow, you did that too?’. It was one of those things that unites us outside of music. I love it.”
The sister duo Tigirlily are Nashville SC anthem veterans, having performed the anthem three times in the last two seasons. While the opportunity to play in front of the fans is great for Kendra and Krista, the pair loves knowing that they are able to be at the intersection of soccer and music in Nashville.
“I think the whole point of Nashville is bringing music into everything,” said Kendra. “When you have something like Nashville SC, people go to those games and expect to see music too. Merging it all together is what this whole city is really about. It is such an honor to do the anthem with Nashville SC. We love being involved in everything we can with this club.”
One of the other performers at Whiskey Jam, Henley, will perform the national anthem on October 8 when NSC takes on Louisville City FC at First Tennessee Park. Like above mentioned artists and groups, Nashville SC remains committed to featuring local artists in the Music City at its home matches. So far, NSC has had 23 different artists or groups to sing or perform an anthem prior to a match.