Meet Caroline Rudolph and learn about her new Nashville artist management and vintage lifestyle brand Not A Public Figure

Ryan McDonald
Raised Rowdy Staff Writer and definitely Not a Public Figure

 

If you look hard enough, you can find a lot of dreams discarded along Music Row and Lower Broadway in Nashville.  Dreams that lacked the desire and push to make them come true.  One entrepreneur is working her tail off to ensure her vision isn’t just another Music City memory.

It’s not a well hidden secret anymore that Nashville has become a mecca of creativity and enlightenment outside of being the country music capital of the world.  Caroline Rudolph is not blind to this and knows when to strike an iron that’s hot.  Parlaying her love of country music and vintage fashion into her new brand Not A Public Figure, the 23 year old Ohio and North Carolina transplant now calls Nashville home and is already making waves.  From managing up and coming cowboy country, with a twist singer, Ian Munsick, to selling out her one of a kind designs in less than 24 hours, Caroline is primed to reap the benefits of her insight, creativity and hard work.

Bucking traditional trends while setting her own, we’re sure you’ll be impressed with Caroline’s story about how she came to meet Ian, how Not A Public Figure came to fruition and what her plans are for the future.

How does a girl from central Ohio get the country music bug that eventually leads to moving to Nashville?  Was the move to get closer to the music, the scene, or did you have plans of something bigger?

I actually grew up between Lima, Ohio & Huntersville, NC my parents are divorced so I split my time between the two! I think I got the country music bug because it was honestly the soundtrack to everything I did in high school. Country concerts is the thing to do where I grew up. All my memories involved tailgating to pregame for country concerts, bonfires with country blasting from our trucks, stereos on our four wheelers when we’d go muddin, listening to it out on the lake, etc. Country music was literally everywhere & it made life so fun. When I figured out about Nashville I had that gut instinct of that’s where I needed to be. I only applied to one college and that was Belmont University in Nashville, luckily I was accepted. I didn’t even go to my high school graduation I skipped it to go to CMA Fest. I was always a little different than everyone else in my hometown. I think a huge part of that is because my parents allowed me to have a lot of freedom and let me travel. I had been to over 20 different countries by the time I did move to Nashville and that really impacted my mindset. I always thought big picture when I felt like my friends were always focused on getting married, having kids, staying where they are at. That’s great for them, but it was never me. I always felt like there was something more I could do with my life and somehow I felt like being in Nashville I could make that happen.

What fears did you have about moving to Nashville?

I never had any fears about moving to Nashville. I was so wild and eager to take on anything and everything when I was younger. Honestly, my fears regarding Nashville started to develop the longer I’ve lived here in town. Nashville is a very small and can be an intimidating town. You’re surrounded by successful people and people who are all trying to make it in the same industry so it can be difficult to navigate what’s real and what’s fake. I think my fears come from making sure this life is going to allow me to be genuiely happy, but as of now I think I’m navigating it pretty well and I realize it’s part of the game.

Has fashion always been something you were interested in?  If so, is what you’re doing now resemble any of what you hoped it would be?

I’ve always loved fashion. I would go through all my grandma’s Vogue Magazines when I was really little. I could point out any couture brand by the time I was 8. Through out my teen years I was such a tomboy and hung around all the redneck boys so honestly all I wore in high school was camo, muck boots and ripped up jeans with mud stains on them. Even in my tomboy phase I was always ripping up and cutting my clothes to how I liked it to fit my body. It wasn’t until I moved to Nashville that I truly started to express my personal style. I dated a guy for a while who really inspired me to step up my fashion game. He was so up to date on all the high end edgy couture brands and got me into turning men’s clothes into something sexy a woman could wear. What I’m doing now fashion wise resembles me… it’s my past, present and future, which is all I could hope for it to be.

The brand, for lack of a better phrase, is ‘edgy forward’. Is Nashville ready, or perhaps willing to embrace a more redneck couture brand?

Haha redneck couture I love that, but yeah I think Nashville is ready. Nashville is one of the most popular cities in the world right now. People from LA and New York are moving here. Nashville is moving forward fast and I think Not A Public Figure expresses that. If Not A Public Figure is one of the first brands here in town to express that then even better considering I’m not a fan of being apart of a trend.
 
How did you discover Ian?
 
I discovered Ian at a Belmont showcase 4 years ago. He was playing bass, for Carlton Anderson, who actually just put out a single for Sony. I was interning for a country artist at the time who was in need of bass player and I was like that dude can play plus he sings really good harmonies so I Facebook messaged him asking if he wanted to tour. He did, but I stopped interning for the artist once Ian started playing with him so I never really got to hang around him. He would text me every now and then to keep me up to date to see if I could come to a show, but I was working on a world tour with a metal/rock band Asking Alexandria at the time so I was never in Nashville to catch him play. A year ago we reconnected in a really random way. I’ve been fortunate enough to become close to Travis Tritt and his awesome family and Travis’ son Tristan was visiting with me while he was in Nashville. Tristan was talking to me about how he was obsessed with this artist he heard on Facebook and was super adamant on me checking this guy out. I asked him what his name was and he said Ian Munsick… I was like NO WAY you’re joking right? Tristan was surprised that I knew him then told me how he had dm’d Ian on social media saying that him and his dad are a fan of his stuff, but Ian never responded because he thought it was fake. Travis Tritt’s son wouldn’t be messaging him. So I immediately text Ian to come where we were at and the rest is history. I had just stopped working with Asking Alexandria and was very ready to start doing my own thing in the industry. Ian had just stopped playing bass for the band he was touring for and was ready to be his own artist so we decided to team up. We’ve been inseparable ever since. It’s one of those things where God made sure we were in each other’s life and gives you a gut feeling he has purpose for it one way or another.
 

What do you hope listeners glean from his unique sound? 
 
I hope listeners can get a strong sense of who Ian is as not only an artist, but as a person. Ian is from Wyoming. His dad and brothers are straight up cowboys who work on the ranch near the Big Horn Mountains. Ian and his brothers all grew up singing/playing together thanks to the influence of their dad who is an amazing fiddle player. Old western country music/culture comes out strongly in Ian’s music. Ian also has a lot of strong influences on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. He loves pop music and his favorite band of all time is the Beatles. He loves to incorporate genres, such as pop because his voice does really well with high falsettos. Ian is also an extremely gifted musician who can play guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, piano basically anything you put in front of him.
 
 
What do you hope to see him as an artist accomplish in the next few years?
 
I hope Ian can accomplish everything & more in the next few years. We have currently been in the studio working on an album that finally makes Ian’s lane of who he is an artist clear. Finding his lane was hard because there are so many different elements to who Ian is an artist. His new album that we will be releasing in the near future is country vocals/lyrics with bluegrass instrumentals and banging pop production. There is no denying Ian is different, but that is exactly why I gravitated towards him and everyone else who comes across him does as well. I’m ready for the world to get the chance to know who Ian Munsick is.
 
Country music and fashion are indelibly linked throughout each decade. How do you see fashion fitting into the current country music landscape?  Is it possible to intertwine the two and not allow one to outshine the other?
 
Country Music and just music in general have always gone hand and hand with fashion. I’m inspired with each decade that passes. I’m greatly inspired by the 70’s era when it comes to fashion and music. I’ve been an Elvis freak since I was a little girl and I obsess with the way he used to dress his girlfriends Priscilla Presley, Linda Thompson, etc. You can definitely see those influences in Not A Public figure. I think it’s completely possible to intertwine the two because all it does is bring attention to the other. I was lucky enough to become friends with a photographer from LA named Marcus Hyde who came to Nashville to shoot all of my Not A Public Figure Content. Marcus works closely with Kanye West who is a prime example of being able to intertwine music and fashion without outshining the other.
 

What do you hope for people to think of when they hear “Not A Public Figure”?

 
When people hear Not A Public Figure I hope they hear Ian Munsick and I hope they think of a brand that makes them feel like it’s okay to not try so hard to be cool. Be confident, be you, be inspired by the amazing influences we’ve had from music and fashion through each decade when moving forward.
 
 
“Country music fans want real people singing about real life shit and they are proving that with Luke Combs’ success.”
 
Lastly, do you ever fear that ‘country music’ is afraid to embrace artists that don’t fit the typical radio sound? 
 

I don’t think ‘country music’ is afraid to embrace artists that don’t fit this mold that’s been going on in radio, but I think the industry is  terrified to break this lame monotonous cycle because it’s a trend. One of my biggest mottos is that a trend is always late. What’s being played on the radio is real late right now. It honestly blows my mind when the industry sees people like Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton absolutely crushing the game, yet they continue to factory produce these pretty boys with weak lyrics and even weaker pop production on their country albums. I’m all for evolving the genre but if you’re going to do it… make it unique, make it sound big. Country music fans want real people singing about real life shit and they are proving that with Luke Combs’ success. There are soooo many insanely talented country artist in Nashville that the industry should be putting all of their money into, but instead change isn’t happening because they are blinded by the fear of breaking an outdated trend. Also WHERE ARE THE WOMEN AT!? Girls like Meghan Patrick, Lainey Wilson & Hannah Dasher should be on the radio right now. Kacy Musgrave’s “Space Cowboy” is a country smash, but I never heard it being played on the radio. If I could give advice to people in the industry to help make this change that needs to happen in country radio it would be go back to your hometown. Go back to your small hometowns wherever you came from and reconnect with the people. Those people you grew up & who are working normal jobs those are country music fans who are buying tickets to concerts, merch, albums, etc. If you reconnect with those people I guarantee they will help you lose this fear of breaking this radio trend. 

 

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