DT: APRIL 27, 2023




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“LA” Cover Art

Chicago native and current Nashville songbird MAKENA HARTLIN today (4/27) releases the striking video for her newly released single “LA.” A deeply soulful ballad about romantic heartbreak and how lives can take different turns, it will be included on MAKENA’s upcoming five-song debut EP, She Decides, out later this summer on the Nashville label Melody Place. Watch the video HERE and listen to the single, written by MAKENA and Konrad Kupiec, HERE.

Directed by Chancellor Warhol, the “LA” video was filmed almost entirely in black and white, conjuring classic old Hollywood movies, with MAKENA starring as an actress and Barron Boedecker as the male lead.

“I was beyond blown away at how accurately Chance brought my vision for this video to life—he nailed all the visual aspects and easily understood what the purpose of the Old Hollywood aesthetic served in terms of the song’s meaning,” says MAKENA. “I was really thrilled to work with him and his team that day in East Nashville.  I have always felt passionate about this era of film and art and feel blessed to have been able to put my own spin on it.  I am so excited to see people’s theories and interpretations of it.”

Before signing with Melody Place, MAKENA independently released the songs “The Apple” and “Jealous Girls.” These songs, plus “LA”—along with “Less Lonely” and “She Decides,” out in June and July, respectively—all together comprise the EP.

“I couldn’t be more excited and proud to have signed with Melody Place,” says MAKENA of her exclusive recording agreement and publishing deal with Melody Place and its affiliate, Melody Place Publications (BMI). “I am so grateful to have joined a team who is truly behind my artistry and who work so tirelessly to get the songs to the world. I can’t wait to see all we will accomplish as a team.”

Explaining the label’s passion to sign her, President/General Manager Sanborn McGraw says: “Makena Hartlin is without question the most talented emerging songwriter I have yet to encounter since moving to Nashville. Being able to find a talent truly worthy of the resources necessary to ‘break’ an artist onto the main stage, is an opportunity Melody Place could not be more excited to embark upon.”

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Makena Hartlin; Photo credit: Erika Rock

About Makena Hartlin:

Nashville is known for being the most cut-throat and saturated city for musicians; some even call it a ten-year town. But in Makena’s first year alone, she racked up Nashville milestones one by one.  She quickly stood out for her unique writing style and voice and was noticed by Eric Fortaleza and Mike Gannon, the founders of the award-winning artist collective Pitch Meeting and was asked to join the world class house band in its early stages in January 2021. The group went on to win “Best Writers’ Night” by the Nashville Scene that year, as well as grace the Ryman Auditorium stage for a sold-out show as the backing band for the Whiskey Jam Ten Year Reunion.  Makena has since sung backup vocals for numerous top acts in music including Lainey Wilson, Karen Fairchild, Charles Kelley, Randy Travis, David Ryan Harris, Gavin DeGraw, and countless others. When she realized she was sharing stages with artists who used to only be voices in her headphones and whose lives she watched from afar, she realized just how much potential this city had for her and that she certainly made the right decision.  She has become a member of the popular all-female songwriter round Song Suffragettes at the Listening Room Cafe, and played multiple full band showcases at the Whiskey Jam.


Being a core member of the Pitch Meeting band, Makena would perform her songs at the weekly full-band writers’ open mic night, and at many of the other events and venues the group played such as the Brooklyn Bowl, and the festival Bonnaroo.  Songs like “The Apple,” “LA,” and “She Decides” became staple crowd favorites due to their universally felt themes such as overcoming generational trauma, enduring unrequited love, and becoming empowered to leave unhealthy relationships.  While Makena gravitates toward song themes with weight, they have an undertone of empowerment and positivity that lightens up the darkness of the human experience.  She quickly earned the nickname “Songbird of Nashville” around town by musicians and artists due to her soaring melodies, feminine essence, and her storytelling and vocal power.



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