During her new song "Free.99," Courtney Cole celebrates the art of scoring free drinks at the bar. It begins with looking your best and might include a little flirting. Think this Louisiana girl is a pro?

You're right. Cole has been that girl. In fact, if not for a busy touring and writing schedule (and the holidays), she would have been that girl this month.

“Not once, not twice … probably a million times,” the newcomer says, smiling. “Look, being a musician, a starving musician … going out in Nashville to support your friends, it’s like super expensive. You have to pay covers, and buy a drink and there is always something going on and someone to support. You have to eventually get creative.”

She may be slightly exaggerating her weekend strategy, or not. When she plays the song live, Cole says guys and girls love her for it. “I put it on the guys, like ‘Guys, this is your chance right here to buy a pretty lady a drink,’” she says.

The hooky, pop-country song is just one side of what Cole has in store for fans when her new EP drops in 2017. While she gravitates toward the sassy, bubbly songs and tries to have fun whenever possible, “life is not always butterflies and rainbows and laughter, so I try to show both sides of myself,” Cole says.

Last Question Courtney Cole

The singer's older songs like "Mama and Me" are tearjerkers. A popular song called "Cool Girl" was inspired by her niece. “Just seeing how she feels like she had to do that and how I remember being that way,” Cole says of her thought process.

Everything she writes and records has to be honest. She learned that from touring with Miranda Lambert in 2015. Since then, the two have kept in touch, with the hitmaker often showing her grace and surprising Cole (or her dog) with a gift.

“As a new artist, really understanding that you have to be 100 percent true to yourself and 100 percent true to your happiness, and your joy and your pain," Cole says. "That’s the most important thing you can learn as an artist and she is the best example of that ever.”

In addition to a new EP, look for Cole at Stagecoach Music Festival in April. She’s playing on the same night as Kenny Chesney but jokes that she may try to stick around to see Shania Twain, as that’s one of her idols.

Listen to Courtney Cole's "Free.99"

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