Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sweetheart Music Video Premier, Shows and Radio Stations, OH. MY.

Oh hey you guyssss,

My last blogpost detailed the making of the Sweetheart Music Video (which was just the best time) and now I want to share all the fun things that happened with the release of the music video and the single. It was a whirlwind couple of weeks, but as always, a total blast.

The coolest thing was that Clare High School let me come back and do a special assembly for the premier of the video. It took place during the school day. I wanted the students and the town of Clare, who all had worked so hard to make this video such a success, to be the first people to see it. It was awesome and incredibly humbling to have so many people show up.

I truly will not ever be able to say THANK YOU enough to Principal Hubel at Clare High School. He was a huge part of this whole thing coming together. He wanted to do it for the students because he knew making this video and releasing it at the high school would be special for them and he wanted it to be special for the community as well. I remember asking him if I could invite the public out since it was all happening during school hours and he said, "Kari, the more the merrier."

That's the thing about small towns. Throughout this entire process I just kept thinking how grateful I am to have grown up in Clare, MI. I mean, how many high schools would let you and a crew come in for 2 days to shoot a music video, help you out with anything you needed, then allow you to come back and do a special assembly during the school day to release the video so that the students could be the first ones to see it? Oh yeah, and they took care of the production so it could be viewed on a huge screen in the gym. What?! I'm still not over it.

Speaking of production, shout out to Sound Productions for providing all of the viewing equipment to make the premier happen. They set up a huge screen, provided microphones and went the whole 9-yards to make the premier special. It meant so much to me.

Also, special shout out to my video production crew, Chop & Hue who created and directed the Sweetheart Music Video. They made the trip all the way up to Clare, MI just to be there for the release because they knew how much it would mean to me.

These are the types of people God has blessed me with. This is the type of crew Chop & Hue are. Even as I sit here and type, I just cannot believe the way this all came together. I feel like the luckiest person.

I love my hometown. I'm forever proud to be a Pioneer and to have graduated from such a stellar high school with teachers and staff who care and work hard everyday to make each student's experience in school the absolute best it can be.

Forever. Grateful.

Here are some of the highlights from the Sweetheart Music Video Premier at Clare High School and some of the fun I had with radio when the single came out the following week. Check it out!

Walking in and seeing the way Sound Productions had set everything up for the premier was pretty awesome. 

Had special front row seating for some extra special people. <3

"I don't know, I'm very excited." Haha

The star of the music video! 

Did a little chatting before the premier. Shay didn't know I was going to call her up to the front. Thanks for letting me put you on the spot girl! xo

Just hanging with celebrities at the big deal.

Guys, thanks for letting me talk at you about this song and growing up and life and all that stuff. Thanks for showing up. Thanks for listening. Thanks for caring about this song and this video. It means more to me than you will ever know.

This isn't the highest quality picture of all time, but that's a pretty darn high quality human. 

Dustin, thank you for directing this video and putting your heart and talent into it. Thank you for being at the premier. Thanks for standing on the side and being proud and happy with me while everyone watched it for the first time. Thanks for not making fun of me for crying every 5 minutes about everything. :) You are one of a kind dude. 

I can't wait to be working with this guy and the Chop & Hue team again soon...hmmmm. ;) 

I like these people. I like them a lot. Successful video premier...CHECK!

After the premier,  the Crew and I headed to Cops & Doughnuts to grab lunch. We were greeted with a fun surprise.

They had my video playing throughout Cops & Doughnuts and we're talking to anyone and everyone who walked through the door about it. These guys. Man do I love these guys.

The amount of l-o-v-e you guys showed me was unreal. I didn't stop smiling the entire day. 

Did I mention how much I love the guys at Cops & Doughnuts? They posted my video up on their Facebook page and it got shared SO MUCH and SO MANY people from all over the country posted encouraging and kind comments and "liked" it thousands of times. It blew me away!

This was me being really excited on my SnapChat because YOU GUYS were giving the Sweetheart music video ALL of the love. 

A HUGE thanks also to RFDTV for interviewing me about "Sweetheart". It was wonderful chatting with you all! 

After the release of the music video, I released the single to iTunes and Spotify AND I got to visit a ton of radio stations to play and talk about Sweetheart. The day after the music video came out I had stations reach out and ask me to come in for an interview and play Sweetheart live. It was the coolest thing and it's all because you all shared the video and helped me get the word out. These are some of the stations I visited who are currently spinning Sweetheart! 

(P.S - feel free to call and request "Sweetheart" at your local radio station...just sayin').

I had a blast co-hosting and visiting my friends at 103 Country in Gladwin, MI...also they invited dogs so it was basically the best day ever. They've been spinning Sweetheart since it's release and I can't thank them enough for the support they've been giving this song and my music since I started recording and releasing music. It was the best thing hearing Sweetheart on the radio for the first time on the station where I first heard my music play! Thank you guys!

I also got to hang with my pal DEAN-O at 96.7 The Bull in Cadillac, MI. I've known Dean for years. He's been such a supporter of my music and my career. He loves music and he gets behind people he believes in. I'm so lucky to have had his encouragement and support since day one. Love ya DEAN-O! Thank you for spinning Sweetheart on 96.7 The Bull! I get people all of the time telling me that they've heard Sweetheart on your station and it makes my life! Can't wait to come back and see you guys again when the next single comes out! 

I also got to meet Johnny and Blondie in Bay City, MI. They reached out the morning after the Sweetheart music video was released. They are HUGE supporters of indie music and were the sweetest folks! I loved chatting with them and getting to play some of my songs live on their show. I hope I can come back and visit y'all soon! Thank you for having me in the studio!

The folks at WIN 98.5 in Battle Creek, MI have been supportive and awesome to me for years. I've been going in to play their HOMEGROWN series since I released my first full band EP 7 years ago. Crazy! This is Wild Bill and he is he coolest. Loved getting to chat with him and play tunes from my new album. Seriously one of my favorite interviews I've done in awhile. I can't wait to visit again soon!

You can check out my segment on WIN 98.5's Homegrown Series by clicking the link below!

Just me and my Breedlove Guitar at WIN 98.5. 

Bobby Guy at 102.5 Kalamazoo's Country is another guy who I've known and who's been supporting my music for years. I met him way back when and it is the nicest and coolest thing that he still follows what is happening in my career and was gracious enough to let me come in and play the Sound Check segment and chat it up about new music and projects. In this picture we are comparing new tattoo placement ideas. ;) Love ya "Buddy" Guy! ;)

If you want to see some of the songs performed from my segment with Bobby Guy, you can check them out below!

Sound Check- Kari Lynch Live In Studio

Carey Carlson! I love this lady! She is the sweetest and kindest person. I met her awhile back when I opened for LoCash at The Cherry Festival in Traverse City, MI and then touched base with her again the next year when I opened for Montgomery Gentry at The Cherry Festival. After that we obviously became BFF's. It was lovely to visit with her and play some songs live on air during her morning show on WTCM in Traverse City, MI. THANK YOU for always being so encouraging and thanks for always inviting me in, Carey! Hope to see you again soon!

LCC Radio WLNZ 89.7 is a stellar station with wonderful people who strive to play and support indie music and artists. I adore these guys. I've had the best experiences playing their Local Lunch Hour segment and their Live Grand River Studio Sessions. They always check in to see how things are going and they are always willing to get behind my new music. They even made the trip out to my Album Release Show in Grand Rapids, MI in May 2016. I can't say enough good things about them! 

In all the craziness, I found some time to pop in a see my marvelous friends at eightWest in Grand Rapids, MI. It was so nice of them to invite me in to play Sweetheart live. They even played the music video in the background during my performance. It was awesome. I know I must sound like a broken record, but I can't say enough nice things about the eightWest team. They are phenomenal people and have been huge supporters since the very beginning of my career...seriously, they invited me in to play eightWest before my very first full band show ever in Michigan. They even invited me out for an interview when they came down to cover the CMT Awards in Nashville, TN last year. Love them!

You can see my performance and interview from the eightWest show by clicking the link below.

New Music from Kari Lynch on eightWest

I cherish the relationships I have with all of these radio stations, TV shows, venues and business owners and I never take it for granted that these are the folks who continue to reach out, support and encourage the music I am making and what I am doing with my music career. Most of these people have been with me since the first show I played and/or the first single I released. That says something about who they are. I've always been for the underdog, the person who is out there trying to make it doing something they believe in, working hard and giving it everything they have. It's the best thing to have people in my corner who are all about supporting the same thing. 

Thanks guys. It makes me feel all kinds of blessed. 

Somehow we also managed to fit in a show with the wonderful Native Run at The Intersection in Grand Rapids, MI in the midst of all the busy. They were wonderful. Not only was it an absolute blast playing that show, they were the sweetest folks and were super talented to boot! I mean, they played a TLC cover AND a Shania Twain cover in their set and after the show we went down the road and we all had a 90's dance party at The Grand Woods Lounge...need I say more? 

Hope we get to share a stage with them again soon! Y'all check out Native Run if you haven't yet!

Thanks to everyone who came out to this show! Loved seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends! 

Coffee'd Up. Read to Rock. Thanks to Mayan Buzz Cafe for keeping us caffeinated! 

This girl. Rachel you are a GEM. Thanks for being so sweet and seriously, thanks for dancing with me to 90's music (MY FAV) all night and for knowing all the words to all the songs (DUH!). :)

We're professionals ok? Deal with it. #AwkwardFamilyPhoto

MUAH! <3

Needless to say, April and May were sort of giant blurs, but in the best kinda way ya know? I'm glad I have this blog to look back on. Sometimes when I'm in the moment and there is so much going on it's hard to just be in that moment. That's something I actually have to work on a lot...allowing myself to live in and appreciate moments while they are happening. Releasing the Sweetheart music video and the single was one of the best things I've ever gotten to do. Thank you to everyone who was a part of that journey. I'll never forget it. Ever. 

And THANK YOU to all of you who continue to share the Sweetheart Music Video and Song and my album with your friends and families. YOU GUYS ARE MY FAVORITE and you all are the reason I continue to try to make big things happen with this song. If you haven't seen the Sweetheart Music Video yet, you can check it out below. :)

Thanks for reading y'all and stay tuned! My next blogpost is going to cover the Little Games Album Release Show! It was soooooo much fun. Whoohoo! 

Nothin' but love.

xo - Kari 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sweetheart Music Video Shoot (The Making Of...)

Oh hey guys! It's me, Kari...memmer me? know, that girl who hasn't updated her blog in 5 months.


Good grieve. I'm sorry. I am. Spring/Summer touring, releasing a new album and music video and doing a cross-country tour got the best of me and in order for me to not go completely nuts, I kinda had to let a couple things go for a minute...

BUT I'M BACK. Hooray! And I'm really back this time...I promise. No more 5 month breaks.

And I am finally (FINALLY) going to catch y'all up on the happenings of the last few know, if I still have any readers left. :)

If you are still here, thank you. Over the next week I'm going to release a bunch of blog posts starting with the Sweetheart music video shoot and ending up back here in the present moment. Y'all ready?

Let's. Do. This.

The first single off my latest record "Little Games" is a song called, "Sweetheart". It was the last song written for this album. In fact, Brian Donkers (my co-writer on Sweetheart) and I finished writing it about 2 weeks before I was heading into the studio to record. I remember quickly having to demo it in Nashville because he was leaving for Canada the next day (I had a sinus infection and let's just hope no one EVER hears that demo) and then shoot it off to my producer and band just in time to make the cut.

It was madness. 
But we did it. 

And I am SO HAPPY we did because Sweetheart ended up shaping this album and this experience in a way that was always meant to be. The minute Brian and I finished writing this song I remember saying, "Um, I think we just wrote the first single for my new record." 

Flash forward just a couple weeks later and I was sitting down with Chop & Hue to discuss music video ideas. 

Chop & Hue is an amazing video production company based out of Grand Rapids, MI. Dustin Foster (the director of the Sweetheart Music Video) and I had been chatting for a while about wanting to work together again. I made my first video for, "Nowhere Now" with him, and I had been wanting to work with him ever since that experience. When I knew I wanted to make another music video, I knew he had to be a part of it. Dustin is an incredible director and he's wonderful to work with. In addition, his creative mind is just fantastic. He covers so much ground as a director. 

Initially we'd talked about other songs for the video, but the minute I played him the demo of Sweetheart (sinus infection and all) I could see the lightbulbs start to go off and I knew that he and the crew could feel the magic that could happen with this song too. So we began tossing around ideas for the video. We knew we wanted to shoot it in a high school environment. 

When Brian and I were writing Sweetheart, the entire time I was flashing back to my days as a teenager in my hometown of Clare, MI at Clare High School. I wrote Sweetheart thinking, "If I could go back to a 17-year-old me and tell her some things about life and love, what would I say?" I even remember thinking that it would be so fitting and awesome to shoot a music video for this song in my hometown at my old high school because that was what inspired Sweetheart in the first place. 

I remember saying to Dustin and the Crew at Chop & Hue, "Ok you guys, so I know this probably can't happen, but wouldn't it be so awesome to shoot the video at my actual old high school and in my hometown where this stuff actually happened, and wouldn't it be rad to have Clare High School students be in the video and shoot at places around my hometown...and what would you guys think about my cousin Shay, who has never done any acting at all, playing a younger "me" in the video...?"

And this is just another reason why I love Chop & Hue so much, because they were totally on board. 

In fact, preparing for this video was a TON of work, but it was the best experience. Literally every single person I talked to who had a hand in making this video a reality was on board. My glam squad at Cheeky Strut in Grand Rapids, MI was on board to make the trip to my hometown to do ALL of the hair and makeup for the shoot (and they even helped me decide on outfits...they are FREAKIN' ROCKSTARS). 

Mr. Hubel, the principal at Clare High School, was in from the minute I asked him if we could take over the high school for a couple of days. He helped rally students to be in the video and he and Mrs. Beatty (the theatre teacher at Clare High School) even helped to cast the crew of students who played the main characters. 

Every business I asked to help with food for the crew and students was happy to help and the Doherty Hotel in Clare, MI helped out last minute getting us all a place to stay while we were in town. My hometown has been wonderful to me on this musical journey, but I've never felt so encouraged, so supported and so overwhelmingly thankful and blessed as I did while shooting this video. I'm so proud to have grown up in Clare, MI. I'm so proud to call Clare, MI home. 

So, I'd like to share some of my favorite moments from the shoot and a little behind the scenes look at the making of the Sweetheart Music Video. Check it out! 

The night before the shoot I was sitting at the dining room table at my mom's house making posters for the shoot...I actually did feel like I was back in high school.


Cops and Doughnuts in Clare, MI provided me and the entire crew with breakfast and lunch every day while we were shooting. I can't tell you how excited the crew got when I told them that they were going to get Cops and Doughnuts for 2 days. I think they were more excited about that than actually shooting the video. Cops & Doughnuts has been awesome to me. Greg and Al are some of my personal heroes. Love them and Cops & Doughnuts and what they do and stand for as a business. Make sure y'all pay them a visit! They've got a number of locations now, but the Clare location will always be my favorite. :)

THESE GIRLS ARE ROCKSTARS. Holy smokes, Hillary from Cheeky Strut and Adrienne from Siren & Proper out of Grand Rapids, MI killed, just KILLED it on this shoot. I am so thankful they were able to come along and be a part of it all. They put in long hours and were champs the entire time.

Ta Daaaa! 

Hair - Hillary Rumsey (Cheeky Strut)
Makeup - Adrienne Tieman (Siren & Proper) 
Outfit - Dress / Cardigan / Bracelets - Francesca's
Boots - Coral Boots 
Heart Sunglasses - Thrift Store Whaaaaat! :)

Hallway Scene: My cousin, Shay played the lead in this video. People have told us our entire lives that we look a lot alike and our family calls her my mini-me. When we were casting the video there was no other choice for me as to who would play a "younger me" in the video. I knew she could relate to this story and this song. Shay had never done a day of acting in her life. A lot of people don't know that. They thing we hired an actress for this part. Nope. Totally her first time behind the camera. I've never been more proud of her. She absolutely blew us all away. 

Dustin doing that directing thang. :)

Sometimes you just need your momma's advice about one of the scenes. :)

Hillary and Adrienne doing some quick touch-ups in-between scenes. 

Y'all should've known better than to give me the mega-phone...just sayin'. 

A little behind the scenes moment.

This was one of my favorite scenes to shoot. 

I could not have loved my hair/makeup for this shoot more. Loved the braided headband Hillary did!

The dress and cardigans I found at Francesca's for this music video were perfect.

Shot some scenes in the gym. It was pretty neat being back in my old gym where I used to play volleyball and go to basketball games. Lots of memories on that court. 

I loved, LOVED working with all of you. 

That's a WRAP at Clare High School!

Buncha Cuties. <3 The biggest thank you to FOUR LEAF Brewing for feeding these guys midway through the first day. These students put in such a long day and Four Leaf Brewing was so kind to prepare lunch for everyone. The food was SO GOOD! They had gluten-free options for me too. They were wonderful! Make sure you stop in and visit them when you're in Clare, MI!

Heading to the next scene!

We did a quick wardrobe change, hair change and refreshed makeup and then it was off to shoot at the third location of the day. Adrienne kept us lookin' sparkly. :)

Speaking of the third location of the day, Heart of Michigan Cafe stayed open way past their closing hours to accommodate us for the shoot. They provided food and endless soda (we owe you guys like, so much soda) and even made a special apron for Shay to wear during her scenes. The cafe was perfect for the scene we needed to shoot. They were incredible to us. Huge thank you to them! 

P.S - If you find yourself in my hometown of Clare, MI...stop in and get a "Kari Latte"...yeah, it exists, and it's SO GOOD. It's the cutest little coffee shop!

Talk about a crew. Chop & Hue, Cheeky Strut, Siren & Proper and these kids. This video would NOT have happened without all y'all. Thank you for being troopers and shooting (literally ALL DAY) to make it so special. xo

Mini-Me. Love this sweet and talented girl. <3

Hillary changed up my hair for the restaurant scene and I loved it.

The cardigan/scarf combo I'm wearing in the restaurant scene was another piece from Francesca's. I found the wardrobe for this shoot the weekend before we shot the video because I was so busy playing shows and getting ready to leave for tour. Thank goodness I was able to find so many of the pieces for this video at one place. 

Loved that my Breedlove Guitar got to make so many appearances in my music video as well. This guitar has been with me through it all. 

After a LOOOOOOONG day of shooting, pizza from Buccilli's Pizza in Clare was exactly what we all needed. Big thanks to them for getting us dinner so late and taking such good care of us. They even went the extra mile to include gluten-free items for Jaimie and I. So kind of them and the pizza was SO GOOD.

These people are the best people. <3

In case any of y'all were wondering, though we were insanely tired after the first day of shooting, we totally had a dance/pizza party in the hotel room after the shoot. I laughed so hard the entire time that I woke up the next day and felt like I had done the ab workout of all ab workouts.

So. Much. Fun.

BIG, HUGE THANK YOU to the Doherty Hotel in Clare for hosting us. Such a cool and historical hotel right in the center of my hometown and they were so accommodating to us. I can't think of a better place to stay while in the area. It was perfect.


Day two was spent mostly at Clare Middle School shooting in the auditorium. This is a stage I grew up performing on. I sang in many talent shows and acted in so many plays on that stage throughout middle and high school. It was pretty special to shoot these scenes on that stage. 

I had to actually leave this scene in the middle because I started to cry. Watching Shay up there on a stage I had performed on my whole life playing talent shows and putting on productions for Theater and watching her play my guitar and sing along to Sweetheart was so overwhelming. 

The first day of shooting had been so crazy and busy and I think it was at this moment that everything really hit me. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for everything the Lord has done for me, the people in my life I've been blessed to work with and call friends and honestly, it was a moment of realizing how much work and experience had gone into arriving in that moment, making the music video for a song that is so special to me, from an album I couldn't be more proud of, with the best crew in the world, in the place that I call home. 

I will never stop being thankful. 

9&10 News was gracious enough to come out and cover the second day of shooting and let me tell a little bit of "Sweetheart's" story. They've been so wonderful to me. 

This gal right her is a GEM. I met her way back in the day when I opened for The Band Perry at the Clare County Fair...almost six years ago. I was just starting to get to play bigger stages and I was so nervous shooting my news segment with her. She was awesome though. She has been keeping up with my journey since then and took time out of her day to come cover the shoot in Clare. I'm so thankful for her and the love and encouragement she has shown me! It's been really cool to get to share my story throughout the years with her.

Talk about memories. I found the spot backstage at the Auditorium where I had signed my name for Theater my senior year of high school. Meeeeeemories.

Haha...I got to make the posters so I had some fun with it. Snuck my friends into the music video here and there. ;)

Shay is wearing an old dress of mine that I gave her. I remember she showed me the outfit she was thinking of for this scene and I just laughed out loud because she nailed it. 

Outfit - Black cardigan from Francesca's

Best director in the world. Hands down. Dustin, you are just one of my favorite people on this planet. Also, apparently we can't just smile like normal people.

Hi, were professionals. :D

I will never stop singing praises at the top of my lungs for Chop & Hue. I'm so lucky I get to work with these guys. They are my dream crew. They are incredibly talented. They are the most creative and hardworking people. They brought Sweetheart to life in a way I could never have dreamed of. 


This scene was special. Just solo on stage singing Sweetheart...I mean, I had to sing Sweetheart about 7,000,000 times, but it was special standing on that stage where I had performed so many times growing up.


The Evening Post in Clare, MI was so wonderful have dinner for the crew and I after the second day of shooting. They are a hometown favorite. My crew loved the fried Chicken and it was so nice to have a home-cooked style meal after two very long days. Huge, HUGE thank you to them for taking such good care of us...and for allowing DJ to ride the chicken. Haha!

And if you're wondering how Jaimie and I after-partied after the second night of shooting...Whelp, let me just tell got pretty wild. 

And by pretty wild I mean we ate a ton of candy, danced on the sidewalk and rode a children's carousel downtown.

No really, that's what we did.


Told ya.


I could go on forever about this experience and how thankful I am. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life to date. To get to have my hometown, my family and my friends involved and to work with so many people I respect and admire was a blessing I will never forget.

This morning I looked at the Sweetheart Music video online (I haven't watched it in while) and it still brings me to tears. I don't think I have watched it yet and not cried, for so many different reasons. Also, it's almost at 20,000 views. What?! That's just awesome you guys. It's so far the most watched music video I've released and that rules.

If you haven't seen the music video for, Sweetheart, you can click the link below to check it out.

You can also find it (and other cool stuff) on my website. 

As always, thank you for reading guys. Thanks for caring about this stuff. It means a lot that you all follow along with my story. I hope you'll forgive me for being a little MIA. I promise, no more long gaps. *Scouts Honor* 

Look for another blog post in the next day or so about the video release party, the fun radio promo I got to do for Sweetheart and some of the special stories that have been shared with me since the release. It's all been pretty dang cool. 

ANNNND there just might be a special announcement about another project with Chop & Hue coming very soon too. ;)

Nothin' but love. 

xo - Kari