Since RaeLynn rose to fame during season two of The Voice, she has grown from a spunky 17-year-old from Baytown, Texas who strutted across the national stage singing covers of Pistol Annies and Jason Aldean into a sharp young woman who still maintains that feisty spirit with lyrics to match. From her top 10 hit “God Made Girls” to more recent material like “Keep Up” and “Bra Off,” RaeLynn has proven that she can master a range of personas in her music whether they be sweet or salty, clever or poignant, and everything in between. The singer embraces these wide-ranging characteristics on her 2020 six-song EP named after her hometown.
In this edition of Female Friday, RaeLynn shares insight into her thoughtful single “Me About Me,” how her sound has evolved and what it means to truly be “Baytown.”
What are some personal facts that you put in to your song “Me About Me” that you wish your ex had known about you?
I think “the watching my daddy leave” [line], that brings up old wounds of me only seeing my dad every other weekend growing up because I was in a divorced family. Anytime my dad leaves still to this day, when he goes to the airport and goes home to Texas and I’m in Nashville, I always cry because I miss him. Or the reason why I am in music is because it’s the only thing that I could do that makes me feel like I’m alive. It makes me feel like I have a purpose or one of the reasons why I have a purpose. But you would know that if you’re like ‘she just does music, why does she do all these things, why does she have to read the Bible every morning?’ The reason why I have to read the Bible every the morning is because it keeps me grounded realizing that there’s something bigger than myself every day to focus on, that [if] there is something that makes me upset that day, I can realize there’s something bigger than me going on in the world today, I don’t have to get so upset about a certain thing. I definitely put all that in the chorus of the song.
With your EP, Baytown, we’re seeing a lot more of your personality: your sassy side, your fun side and your confidence. How has your sound evolved?
I think these have always been something that I’ve lived forever. I’m a very sassy person, that’s a huge part of my personality, but I didn’t think I really knew how to hone in on it when it came to songwriting. Recently, I’ve really figured out my niche with it. The first song that really showcased that was “Tailgate.” When we wrote “Tailgate,” we were like ‘whatever this is, this is the vibe’ and we started writing more songs like that, and that’s how we got “Keep Up” and “Rowdy” and “Judgin’ to Jesus” and all these other songs that have a little bit of hip-hop, country-rap feel, but also very country because my voice is country; a mixture of all those different genres, but in a really cool way. I remember when we wrote “Tailgate,” they’re like ‘the girl that I see in the room, this song matches that girl.’ It takes a second to find that, and we found it, and I just love that. This whole EP is so me and that’s what makes me so pumped about it.
How do you feel like these songs come together to make Baytown?
The reason why I named it Baytown was because I feel like a lot of figuring out who I am today as an artist and as a person, I’ve been going back to who I was and where I come from, how I grew up and the places that I grew up, so that is Baytown for me. Baytown is the town that shaped me into the woman that I am and the reason why I’m different in this town and why I have a different perspective of the way that I write songs. It’s an imprint in my heart that will forever be there. So that’s why I wanted to name this record after the town that gave me my different identity in Nashville. I feel like every song represents a little piece of my heart in a different way. That’s why I named it Baytown was because I couldn’t imagine it being anything else. I always describe things as Baytown, so if I’m wearing flip flops and a big old T-shirt at a writing session, I’m like ‘hey y’all, sorry my Baytown came out.’ It’s a little ratchet-glamorous, so it’s always been a describing word. That’s why it was the perfect name to name this EP.
Through the EP, what do you hope that fans learn about you?
I think this EP really does share a lot about my heart and my love for songwriting and for being confident and authentic and not apologizing for who I am. I love that line in “Judgin’ to Jesus,” “I’m little down home, a little Cardi B,” that is me. I have a down home vibe, but I also love to have a good time. I’m the girl that you can talk to about anything, and so I want people to get out of this EP that you can be both, you can have morals, you can have things that you’re passionate about, but you can also be fun-loving and love people just for who they are. I think that’s one of my biggest takeaways from this EP is I want somebody to know another layer of my heart and through each song, whether it’s a fun song or a more serious song, I really do think that it captures all of those moments.
What is on the horizon for you? How do you hope to continue growing and fostering your talent?
For me, it’s to put out more music; I love what we’re doing. We’re going to be putting out more EPs and continuing to grow the fan base and put out music and being authentic and getting back out there and seeing the fans, doing show is my favorite thing ever. A goal for me is to really think outside of my bubble and growing in different areas. “Keep Up” is doing really great in Australia right now and other places, so realizing that so much of our talent goes to so many other places besides the U.S., channeling that too has been really cool for me. But my main thing is continuing to grow as a person and as an artist and getting back on the road and creating a show that represents this music in a really cool way.