Starting out this week we have a Spotlight – Lainey Wilson. Her name in many lists and has event had her music featured on the hit show Yellowstone. We sit down with Lainey to talk about her music and her inspirations. Check out the newest release Say What I’m Thinkin out now!
You started writing music at 9 and by 11 you were playing guitar. What inspired you and drew you to music in the first place? Was it family, friends?
My family loved music. My Granddaddy would take me to bluegrass festivals as a kid, my Mama loved to dance, and my Daddy played a little guitar and piano. I wrote my first song at 9 years old when I was having a playdate with my friend. She was pretending to be Shania Twain and I was pretending to be Britney Spears. As part of our game, we both wrote ourselves songs, but it turned out not to be a game for me. I kept on writing. Then my Daddy taught me a few chords on the guitar at 11, and I just kept on running with it.
Who are 3 artists that would surprise people influenced you?
Bob Seger, Tim McGraw, and Buck Owens
Coming from a community like Baskin Louisiana (pop. 300), to now having lived in Nashville for about 10 years, what are some major culture shocks that you went through?
Traffic. The closest thing to a traffic jam we ever have is being stuck behind a tractor. I also learned that not everyone is your friend like back at home, which is okay, but it’s something to be aware of.
Follow up, how does living in a huge metropolis like Nashville effect your song writing?
I feel like I see the world from a lot of different angles. I’m surrounded by or interact with people from all over the world day in and day out.
You really broke out onto the scene with “Things A Man Oughta Know”. It was hugely successful. What were some of the best comments that you received for it. What about its release were you most proud of?
I love hearing about how the song has empowered folks. I’ve had dads tell me they’ve made their kid listen to the song over and over again, A woman who told me the song saved her marriage. Of course I love the accolades from fans and media and all the best songs/songs you should know lists it’s made its way onto. I’m most proud of the fact that people are connecting to a song that highlights my values and the things I stand for.
Your other big single “neon diamonds” is my favorite of your releases. Can you indulge and tell us a bit more about that track?
It’s my Mama’s favorite too. She was up in Nashville visiting when we were making the album and she came to hang out at the studio the day we were tracking this song. We needed a few folks for gang vocals on the last chorus, so she hopped up and join the band. She can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but somehow she still makes her way on to the record which was pretty cool.
Currently your new album Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ is about being outspoken and bold. What makes this message and anthem more relevant now than ever before?
Sayin’ what you’re thinkin’ is not always about sharing your opinion, it’s about feeling comfortable enough in your own skin to express yourself honestly and confidently. Confidence is a strength and helps protect you from a world that tries to tear you down sometimes. Sayin’ what you’re thinkin’ I think can help give folks the confidence they need to deal with whatever comes up.
We interview a lot of country musicians, especially women creatives. I love the storytelling narratives and creativity that comes from that voice and perspective. What is it about country music that really calls to you?
It’s the storytelling for me too. The realness, rawness, honesty, vulnerability, and relatability. It’s the music that reflects on the simpler things and the way I grew up.
Country music is known for playing by the rules but continuing to be yourself. Do you find that within your own creativity?
I follow the rules when I need to but I’m not afraid to break them either.
What was it like for you to be on such a high popularity wave to then transition back to playing online shows?
We just role with the punches. The situation’s pretty much out of our hands so we made what we could of it. We were bound and determined not to let any of this time go to waste and we didn’t.
You recently did a Twitter AMA. Was that stressful? I feel like it would be weird to put yourself out there in such a raw way?
Just as bad as I want to know my fans, I want them to know me too and the questions they asked me showed me more of what they’re interested in and want to know.
You have also been aggressively busy with both the CMT Campfire Sessions and an interview with People magazine that dropped. When do you take time for yourself?
A lot of the things I have to do are about me, so I’d say I take a lot of time for myself. But as far as down time goes, I take it whenever the little windows present themselves but I stay pretty busy and I like it that way.
How crazy is it being recognized in People magazine? That must have really been an “I’ve made it” moment.
Ask Franklin Parish, where I’m from. They had a whole lot to say about it haha. It is pretty dang cool to be in People magazine.
After a year of press and interviews, what is one thing you wish that people knew about you that never comes up?
I kinda feel like my whole life is out there. One thing I could stand to talk about more is my nephew and how much I love being an aunt to one and soon two little boys. I could talk about them all day.
What are some coping mechanisms that are helping you stay grounded and happy during the pandemic? And you cannot cheat and say music!
Prayers and a drink. Besides that, I really enjoy having my closet and jewelry cabinet organized. When I’m out on the road my wardrobe can be a tornado, so I like having order to my things. It’s the small things.
Lastly as our favorite independent and smaller businesses have been hit hard this Covid season. What are some of your local favorite places to hype up and give a shout out to?
All local Nashville businesses – Grimey’s Record Store. High Garden Tea. Pre to Post Modern. Chic Artique. Chef’s Market. Moby Dicky’s. The Basement & The Basement East.
Spotlight – Lainey Wilson has come to an end. Big thanks to Lainey for taking the time to chat with us
Check out Sayin What I’m Thinkin which is out now!
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