The phrase "overnight success" means nothing to the Minnesota-based country band UP SOUTH. Collectively, the band's members have nearly a century of experience honing their craft. From smoke-filled saloons to festival stages, UP SOUTH prides itself on playing like their lives depend on it and in a way, they do. As lead singer Mike Villalva recalls, "I remember being about 9 or 10 years old and seeing "Jailhouse Rock" on TV. I asked my parents who that was and they told me it was Elvis Presley. That was the day my life's purpose was set in stone."
While their individual biographies go back quite further, UP SOUTH'S story begins more recently. Mike explains, "I moved to Minnesota from Nashville to be closer to my daughter. When people hear that I moved from Nashville to Minnesota they give me a look like I'm doing things backwards but that can't be further from the truth. I can write songs anywhere. I'd rather have to travel back to Nashville than have to travel to see my daughter." Shortly after arriving in Minnesota, Mike formed UP SOUTH and the band hasn't looked back.
UP SOUTH's debut single, "Far Too Long" received airplay on multiple radio stations throughout the Upper Midwest. Their follow-up single "Paradise" garnered even more attention and radio play and the band is poised to hit the studio later this year to record their first EP. Meanwhile, the band maintains a busy touring schedule, playing over 150 shows this year alone, and their schedule appears to only be getting busier.
With every song, whether it be a cover of a hit country favorite or an original fan favorite, UP SOUTH gives their all. "Overnight success? We believe in hard work, paying dues, writing the best songs possible, and putting on the best show possible. Our music deserves that and our fans deserve it. That's what we can control and that's what we'll do."
Like their lives depend on it.
Mike Villalva - Vocals/Guitar
Jason Biechler - Lead Guitar/Vocals
Logan Mehr - Pedal Steel/Guitar
Howard Mische - Bass/Vocals
Danny Martinez-Diaz - Drums