You may recognize the name Claudia Hoyser as an American country music singer, songwriter and social influencer. Now, Rochester Woman Online is excited to have her as our latest cover woman.

As a local girl with dreams of being on the country music stage, she can now be seen opening for country music superstars such as Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert, Ryan Bingham, Whiskey Myers and Mitchell Tenpenny. 2022 brought on shows with Willie Nelson, Zach Bryan, Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Justin Moore, LOCASH, Jessie James Decker, Chase Rice and more!

In our interview with Claudia, we got to talk about her plans for the future, her incredible coffee and whiskey brands (which are pretty amazing), and so much more we hope you will enjoy. Did I mention she is not only incredible talented with an amazing voice, but she is as sweet as they come.

Can you share some insights about your background and growing up in Fairport, New York?
I loved growing up in Fairport and had a ton of support from the family-like community when I started getting into music. My sister and I had been “performing” in the living room since we were very young but it was probably around 9th grade when I actually started playing a few favorite songs out at the local coffee shops and grew into playing a lot of the bars and restaurants in town.

What sparked your interest in singing, and how did you get started in the music industry?
I had been writing songs since I was a little girl (even though they didn’t make much sense back then). I remember skipping sleepovers with friends just to practice the guitar and record YouTube videos in my garage. I started taking some voice lessons in high school and knew music would always have a special place in my life, I just didn’t think it would become my whole life! I was a junior at Kent State when I was introduced to my now manager and producer by a fellow Fairport grad. Next thing I knew, I was interning at GFI Studios with Tony Gross, in Ontario, NY over the summers and getting serious about my sound and style. It wasn’t long before we had a few song placements in a Netflix film and a single on the radio.

What drew you to country music specifically? Is there a personal connection?
It’s funny because as a kid, my grandparents would “haunt us” with country music! My Poppy used to always have the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band blasting on the TV music channel when we would visit. I called it “twangy banjo music” and would joke that it was “so terrible!” That obviously left a lasting impression, because I grew to love it. I started out more of a singer-songwriter style but it was when country radio stations started playing my first single that really encouraged me to go country.

Who are some of the artists or figures that have influenced your musical style and career?
Mirand Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton.

Out of all the artists you’ve worked with, who stands out as your absolute favorite and why? 

I’ve had a chance to meet and open for now. I never would have believed it five years ago.In my Facebook series “Fired Up Live” I had a chance to interview a bunch of incredible people. I absolutely loved chatting with Deana Carter because even though she has been doing this for such a long time, she still seems just as passionate and in love with her career as ever. She seemed to beam about the fact that this is what she gets to do and I loved hearing about how she got her start. She’s just a go-getter and a really hard worker and finds true enjoyment throughout all of the ups and downs and I admire that. I also think Little Big Town should write us all a book on how it’s done! They are a larger than life party on stage with lyrics that can pop a cork or rip your heart out! They are pure class and an all around joy to be around and look up to.

Could you give us some details about your coffee and whiskey brand, and how that idea came about?
The coffee and whiskey brand has been one of the coolest parts. I am a huge coffee lover so it’s the best feeling to share my own blend with all our coffee loving listeners! It all happened pretty naturally and a lot of it was fan driven! We started hiding a vintage espresso moka pot in all of our “Hoyser Country Monday” Facebook videos. After a few Facebook posts, people from around the world were tuning in every Monday to see our latest classic country cover song and hunt for the coffee pot! We had over 120 million views on the series! These videos lead to our very own coffee thanks to our friend Bucky Montrois, who has been in the coffee business for a long time and approached us about the idea. After tons of taste testing, we launched our delicious Hoyser Country Blend coffee and people started ordering in over 15 countries! You can also find it at all of the Tops Markets,, Amazon and even in chain stores in Idaho. About a year after the coffee came out in 2019, we heard from a distillery in Idaho who wanted to help us turn our coffee into something… After another round of countless test batches and design ideas, came Hoyser Country Drunken Bean coffee whiskey! It’s sweet and silky and has hints of Madagascar vanilla bean. We’re proud of the fact that the coffee is actually brewed and barreled with the whiskey since this is a pretty unique process for flavoring whiskey. Drunken Bean is now in over 400 locations in New York and Idaho, with more states coming soon.

Do you have a favorite place where you’ve performed? What makes it special to you?
One of my favorite things about performing is getting to travel and experience new places. Feeling at home in an unfamiliar place thanks to warm-welcoming new friends is always really special for me. We just had the best trip with the band in Salinas, California opening for Little Big Town. Everything about it, from the views to the hospitality, was amazing. Little Big Town has always been one of my favorite bands, so getting a chance to hang with them all day is something I’ll never forget.

Share something surprising or lesser-known about yourself that your fans might not be aware of.
This might come as a shock to some but there is nothing like my little alone time! I think my followers always see me so out and about and on the go! But sometimes I crave getting a chance to put on a record, go for a walk, read some trendy young adult love story, paint some nature scenes on a canvas and hang out with my Holland Lop Henry. These things work like a reset button for me when I get a little too busy for my own good.

At what point did you realize that singing was transitioning from a hobby to a full-fledged career?
I think when I decided to really jump in and saw how quickly things started snowballing. Following my heart, I had turned down an interview for a potential marketing position in NYC and moved back home to hit the studio as much as possible after I graduated from Kent State. From that point on, it just seemed like once a week something crazy was happening. Placements in Netflix films and commercials, singles on multiple country stations across the US, traveling all over to be on-air with country radio and perform in new towns, hosting my own series online with millions of views, opening for my favorite artists… It took time and a ton of work but with all of the milestone moments, It just became easier to say “Yes, this is definitely my career.”

What plans do you have for the near future in terms of your music or other ventures?
There’s something special about not always knowing what’s next. I never thought I would be opening for people like Blake Shelton, Brantly Gilbert or Ryan Bingham. I just hope to keep it going! Touring with my amazing band, writing and releasing new music and lots of coffee and whiskey mixed in sounds like the dream to me!

Who are your top three favorite artists of all time, and what about their work resonates with you?
This is tricky because I pick up little bits of things I want to rub off on me from so many artists. Miranda Lambert will alway be a life-long favorite. She’s both fiery and graceful in her music and I feel every word she sings. Her storytelling really shines. I can only hope some fans will feel that way about my songs. Chris Stapleton is another one for me. I love how what you hear on his albums is exactly what you get from him on stage. There’s such an art form in capturing all that beautiful, rugged, soulful sound in the studio and being able to deliver it with equal oomph on stage, never missing a lick! Lastly, I know I’ve mentioned them a bunch here but Little Big Town. There’s so much to admire about their family-oriented work life personalities and I could try to weave myself into those harmonies for an eternity. Recording unique harmonies in the studio is one of my favorite parts about working on a new song, so their four part harmonies always really wow me.

With various social media platforms available, which one is your favorite for connecting with fans? 

I love using Instagram and TikTok most but Facebook has been the biggest winner for me! Everyone gets to be a little more personal and it gives me a great outlet to really connect with people.

How do you balance your roles as a singer, songwriter, and social influencer?
The balance is something I am always working on! It’s hard to not let one aspect outweigh the others, while also trying to soak up my 20s. I try my best to give each my all, which is usually pretty easy to do since I thoroughly enjoy what I do. I am very lucky to call this my “job.”

Can you describe the creative process behind one of your favorite songs you’ve written?
The title track of my debut album Red Light’s Turning Green stands out for me. This song has been through so many different waves of creation which is both a blessing and a curse! I was so thankful to have the time and the amazing team to help me keep recreating, but it was so frustrating trying to get it right. It seems like I learned so much about myself and my voice in the process though. We probably re-recorded this song seven times over the course of four and a half years. I started writing it in college and brought what I thought were finished lyrics to my co-writer over summer vacation. We got into the studio and worked on a whole new chorus and put down some very rough instrumentation. I knew even then, before years of finding the right sound and polishing, we had something special.

What’s a significant challenge you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
Overall, I have been super fortunate. There’s always ups and downs that I am forever learning how to flow through. Some of the best things are also the hardest! For example, living the dream of getting to travel around the country and perform original songs in front of thousands of people – sometimes you miss out on big life events with your friends and family which is really tough. Now that I am really in the swing of it, I have definitely started to prioritize what matters most to me and I feel really good about diving into the future.

How do you find inspiration when you’re facing a creative block or feeling uninspired?
I try my best not to force anything! The best songs for me are the ones that just pop in from out of nowhere! I usually just give it a rest and do something completely unrelated to find some subconscious inspiration or listen to other music in totally different genres!

Share a memorable fan interaction that touched you or made an impact on your career.
There’s been so many! If there’s one thing that is so cool about my fans, it’s that they are willing to do anything to help take us to the next level. Before I ever had any music released, we sent an unmastered demo to our friend Stone Hill at Big Dog Country to see what he thought of the song. He loved it and thought even the rough mix would work well on his station. Stone aired the song a few times and called us back excitedly to tell us that he had a few listeners call in asking about the song and loving it. After such a great test, he decided to add it to his regular playlist on Big Dog which led to a chain reaction of other stations adding the new single. One of those listeners who called in was Brenda Patterson out of Newark, NY. She and her friends have been following us ever since and I will be forever grateful she decided to speak up that day.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a performer and connecting with your audience?
Seeing how your music affects people and brings them together is the most heart-warming feeling. My loyal followers at home here around Rochester, New York and the Finger Lakes continue to amaze me. They rarely miss a show even though they’ve heard my songs a few hundred times! Watching them all form friendships throughout the years at my concerts and then seeing their faces in much larger audiences in different states has been very rewarding.

Are there any genres outside of country that you’d like to experiment with in your music?
I love all kinds of music. I could see myself experimenting with some pop or some real indie or Americana music. Sometimes I write things that would never work well for the country genre I always pocket those ideas anyway. You never know! But Country music has my heart.

What advice would you give to aspiring singers and songwriters looking to make it in the industry?
I’ve always been about the lyrics. A great song can take you to so many places. So I would say keep writing and figure out what matters most to you in life and in your sound and hang onto that.. And go for it. We only have a little time to do what we love the most. I am a big believer in doing what makes you happy. Also keep working really hard and a little luck might meet you halfway!

Could you describe the feeling of performing on stage and connecting with your fans through music?
Performing has become one of the most natural feelings for me! When I am looking out at an audience of listeners, big or small, it’s like this energy takes over and creates this meaningful connection. I could never do this without the listeners. It’s their care and interest that makes it come so second nature for me.

What’s the story behind the title of one of your albums or songs that holds personal significance?
Willin’! The last song on the record. If you want to follow your dreams, you have to be willing to try. The last line in the chorus says “you can’t start livin’ unless you are willin.” I remind myself of this every time I feel like I am stuck or scared to make a step or change. Sometimes you just need to get in your car and drive to your favorite spot (in my case, The Thousand Islands), take a deep breath and just leave behind whatever has been stopping you from moving forward.