Karla Davis Johnson ’08 may have spent the past 10 years in Nashville, Tennessee, but her sound is undeniably North Carolina.

The former Spartan soccer star turned Americana singer-songwriter is a captivating storyteller, with just the right amount of church choir soul and Southern twang.

Johnson has had quite the ride since graduating from UNCG with a degree in business administration and media management. She won the 2009 Colgate Country Showdown, appeared on “The Voice” and “American Idol,” and quickly established herself as a household name in Nashville thanks to performances at the Grand Ole Opry and The Bluebird Cafe.

When she’s not performing, she co-writes with other singer-songwriters. Johnson also works as a financial planner – not the typical “side job” for a musician, but one that allows her to be more analytical.

She’s currently working on her third full-length album, which reflects how she’s evolved as an artist. Yet even in the process of self-discovery, she never forgets those Carolina roots, and the way that UNCG and the community helped set the stage for success.

“If it weren’t for UNCG, I wouldn’t have met my husband, who first encouraged me to do music. I wouldn’t have met my first manager. My first gig was at the Blind Tiger, just right down the street,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Now I’m just wondering what’s going to happen next.”

To learn more about Johnson, her music, and upcoming shows, visit karladavismusic.com.

This story originally appeared in UNCG Magazine. To read more stories about UNCG alumni making an impact, visit alumnimagazine.uncg.edu.

 

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications