Many Belmont University freshmen dream about playing the Curb Cafe.
Louisa Wendorff was no different, but her path to playing the Curb was rather unusual.
The former Belmont student was thrust into the spotlight overnight in the December of 2014 when Taylor Swift tweeted to more than 60 million followers that she was “OBSESSED” with Wendorff and fellow Belmont student Devin Dawson’s mashup of her songs “Blank Space” and “Style.”
The video went viral and has since amassed 29 million views. Wendorff has been in “Seventeen” and on-air with Ryan Seacrest, but not until Dec. 7 did she play the Curb Cafe.
Wendorff performed with Palmer Lee and pop duo Sawyer in the second monthly “Bonfire” writers’ round hosted by Baylor Wilson.
Wendorff teased the crowd by saying, “So I have this thing called a YouTube channel…” She proceeded to play her mashup of “Goodbye” and “Belief,” not the mashup “Blank Space” and “Style” that put her in the national spotlight.
“I don’t play ‘Blank Space / Style’ unless I’m with Devin. Or if I’m with my full band, then my guitar player sings with me,” Wendorff said.
Swift’s tweet brought a world of new opportunities for Wendorff.
Wendorff’s EP “Arrow” shot up the charts and to No. 2 on iTunes singer/songwriter category and topped Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart.
After returning to Belmont in January of 2015, Wendorff had some tough choices. The Grammys were in February, and Wendorff and Dawson were invited to perform on the countdown to the red carpet.
Wendorff was also offered an opportunity with the upcoming film “Gracia.”
“It was the decision between saying no to a movie and the Grammys or staying in school, so I left,” Wendorff said.
The response Wendorff received from new fans was tremendous and has had a lasting effect on her career.
Since then, Wendorff has grown musically and personally.
“I feel very differently now because, when it happened, it was very exciting and new and my reality really shifted, and now I definitely feel more grounded in what I’m doing and have a more specific goal,” Wendorff said.
Wendorff’s goal meant venturing into a new genre.
“I always wanted to do pop but was kind of afraid to really get into it,” Wendorff said. “The video gave me the confidence to just go for it.”
Wendorff released three singles in 2015 that proved her pop songwriting ability.
“Let You Love Me” is the most radio-ready song of the three. Wendorff sounds like an American Ellie Goulding with crisp, airy vocals that soar above a catchy pop groove.
Wendorff has written more than 50 songs in the past two months and is now in the process of whittling them down for an album that will be released in the first quarter of 2016.
Thanks to Swift’s shoutout, Wendorff’s social media following is now substantial enough to where her new original material doesn’t need anyone’s seal of approval to be a success.
“I’m just excited to not be known as the Taylor Swift covergirl and to be known as Louisa Wendorff and for my own music,” Wendorff said.
This article was written by Grant Robinson.