Kashena Sampson has been heralded as one of country's most promising new artists. Drawing inspiration from the heartfelt folk rock of the 1970s and channeling her heroes, such as Barbara Keith and Bobbie Gentry, Sampson has blazed a trail all her own.

Her debut record Wild Heart, which was released in the U.S. last year and will drop in the UK later in 2018, is filled with raw emotion. Now, that emotion can be sadness, anger, or even humour. But Sampson has the rare ability to shift moods, tones, and sounds while maintaining a cohesive atmosphere and sound. Her honest songwriting and heartfelt singing is among the very best out there today.

Sampson spoke to me about moving to Nashville, finding humor and heartache in equal measure, and her debut record.

I've read you moved to Nashville without knowing anyone or having any concrete plans for making music. How difficult was it for you to will yourself to take such a risk?

It wasn't difficult at all, really. Sure, it was scary, the unknown always is. But I don't like to live in fear. You gotta take chances and I am chasing a dream. I would rather try and fail and try again, than sit and wonder what could have happened. I thought to myself, "Well, I better go out there and see what happens. If it doesn't work out, I can always go home."

A song like 'Greasy Spoon' is imbued with a lot of humour, which isn't always the easiest thing to incorporate into lyrics. Do you incorporate humor consciously and, if so, how did you work through it in your songs? Or is it just a natural style for you?

I think it comes naturally. I mean, a lot of my songs are a bit more serious and heart-wrenching, but I have a great sense of humour! I am the youngest in my family, and love to goof around and make people laugh. I wanted 'Greasy Spoon' to be a fun, playful jab. You got to laugh at what life throws at you.

A lot of the artists I look up to and admire are very clever and humorous with their lyrics -- Jim Croche, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton. That's what I love about them.

One of my favorite songs by Lynyrd Skynyrd is 'Gimme Three Steps.' The lyrics are great, they make me smile. You can't take yourself too seriously in life!

Recording live-to-tape seems like something is increasingly falling out of fashion. How was your experience using this technique?

It was awesome! It also helped working with such talented musicians. I recorded with Jon Estes over at the Bomb Shelter. We tracked all the songs in two days, then took another couple days for overdubs, background vocals, and mixing. Altogether, everything was done in six days.

Jon helped produce and mix everything. He also played bass, as well as a bunch of other instruments, and we had Jon Radford on drums and Jeremy Fetzer on guitar. Everything was tracked analog to 2" with mics, guitars, amps, etc. no later than 1976.

It was very important to me for this record to have that vintage sound. Tape gives you that nice, warm sound. I didn't want it to be over-produced or "perfect" sounding. I wanted it to sound raw -- especially the vocals. I wanted people to be able to feel the music, which I think gets lost a lot of the time in recording. Jon got it right away! He really helped me get the sound I was going for.

Unlike many budding stars, you've arrived at your debut record with a wealth of experiences informing your songs. How do you think this sets you apart as a musician?

As an artist, I believe you are always creating and, if you are sharing your truth, it will always be unique. One experience, one situation, one idea can be perceived and expressed in so many different ways. I think the key is to stay true to yourself and not to compare. We are all different in our ways and that's what is so great.

'Wild Heart' is a moving, soulful, and heartfelt track. Not only is it the title track of your album, but it's one of the record's best songs. How did it come about? Tell me a little about its gestation/creation/etc.

Thank you! The song is about a possible relationship and the fears that come with that. It has been hard for me to find balance with my art and romantic relationships. I tend to lose myself when I am involved with someone and I do not like that.

I wrote the song at a time when I was very focused on making this record and pursuing my music. I had met someone at the time and felt very conflicted. The song started from a journal entry. I do a lot of free writing to clear my mind, and that is how 'Wild Heart' came to be.

The relationship never happened.

What's next for you after this fantastic debut?

I hope to keep creating, writing, and recording. I have plans to go into the studio again this summer, and I would love to tour with Wild Heart this year in the UK and Europe.

Wild Heart will be re-released in the UK later in 2018.