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So you ask someone new what kind of music they like, and they give the dreaded answer, “Everything but country.” With the rise of Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Hunter Hayes, and their crossover ilk, it’s not just boring—it’s out of date!

OK! News: The Voice winner Danielle Bradbery talks her future.

Katie Armiger is the perfect example of a country artist who’s easy to love, whether you own cowboy boots or not. Her bold lyrics (“You can’t put this out like a cigarette, ’cause I’m already lit and this ain’t done yet”) and catchy beats will have you convinced in no time. Also, I am digging the red hair. Learn about her, and have a listen!

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OK!: How did you get your start in music?

Katie Armiger: I started singing when I was 9. I grew up in Sugar Land, TX, and I’d go to festivals, fairs, and rodeos, and my mom would drive me everywhere in her mini-van. I’d give them my little tape and sing a few songs for them.

OK!: How do you set yourself apart from other country artists?

KA: Being a songwriter would be the biggest thing, because when you’re the one writing your songs, it’s from your head. It’s your specific thoughts and dreams and life experiences.

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OK!: Your lyrics are more defiant, sexier, a little feminist. Is that part of your identity?

KA: I don’t set out to have my music sound a certain way. I know a lot of people say that and it’s not typically true, but in my case I genuinely don’t set out to write music that’s empowering, even though I love it. I just write what’s in my head and heart, and I don’t view it as a bad thing. I don’t think I’d call it defiant at all—I would view it as being completely comfortable in own my skin and singing about that.

OK!: What are you working on this summer?

KA: This summer, I’m doing quite a bit of touring so I’ll be gone the next two to three months going to festivals, theaters, just a lot of shows.

OK!: Are there certain things you have to have with you on the road?

KA: I try to bring my dog with me on the road. I have a little terrier mix named Opry, like the Grand Ole Opry. She’s adorable.

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OK!: Is there someone whose career you’d love to have?

KA: I would say Dolly Parton. She started out so young, and look how she’s thrived in this industry! She’s become an ambassador to country music. I’d love to model my career after her, because there are so many people who come and go and she’s been around for years and years and just gets better with age.

OK!: Where would you like to be in five years?

KA: Doing what I’m still doing. I always want to be in this industry, no matter how old I am or what I’m doing. I love music, whether it’s singing or songwriting or playing arenas or theaters, I would just love to be here.

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OK!: Why do you think country is having such a moment right now?

KA: I’ve always loved country, and it’s always been big to me. I think it’s because there are so many new, young artists coming into the genre, and they;re bringing new fans and social media and all the other things country didn’t have before. Country’s always been cool—but now everyone’s in on it!

What do you think of Katie? Are you a country fan? Who is your favorite country artist? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.

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