Country musicians have always bartered in love, loss and personal pain. Technology hasn’t changed things for the latest generation of emerging artists.Like many of her peers, 24-year-old Texas singer RaeLynn has an Instagram account stocked with carefully curated photos of herself, friends and family. Unlike many women her age, there aren’t many selfies. That’s probably because the shots are being called by Warner Bros., who released her debut album, “WildHorse,” last year.
The singer rose to fame as a contestant on season two of NBC’s “The Voice,” where she was coached by Blake Shelton. Her lyrics say more about her inner workings than a one-on-one interview. In her song “Queens Don’t,” her Texas-powered, distressed twang croons about how she “wasn’t raised in a castle” and her “rings are handed down” but she’s going to be treated like royalty. Her title song, “WildHorse,” is about living a life without fences and how she won’t be anyone’s arm candy.
Raelynn co-wrote almost all the songs on “WildHorse,” which arrived at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums Chart. Rolling Stone named it one of the 40 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2017. The artist, whose full name is Racheal Lynn Woodward, talked to Inland 360 before a performance scheduled for Friday at the Clearwater River Casino outside Lewiston.
360: Your debut album with Warner Bros., has been out a year. What has that year been like?
The past year has been a lot of growing and seeing my fan base really grow after putting out this record. I’ve been able to connect on a deeper level because of this record, because it’s my heart.
“Queens Don’t” came out earlier this year. It’s my love letter to women and even men. I believe everybody should be treated like royalty. A true king or queen does not judge people for their flaws.
360: Are you living the life you imagined you might have when you were competing on “The Voice?”
This is something that I’ve always dreamed of and so, yeah, this is something I’ve always wanted. I never dreamed it would come as fast as it did.
360: What is your favorite part of your life as a rising singer right now and what is your least favorite part? Hopefully it’s not giving interviews.
My favorite part is meeting the fans and seeing how the songs that we write affect them. To write a song in a room with two people and see thousands sing it back to you and hear people’s stories about how those songs affect them is the coolest thing.
The hardest thing is like any job, being away from the people you love, missing the people you love, missing your nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays. (RaeLynn is the youngest of eight children, born into a blended family.)
360: In your songs “Love Triangle” and “Lonely Call,” you really bare your soul and open up about your parents’ divorce and a breakup with the man who later became your husband. Is it scary to be so publically open?
It’s not for me because I can’t imagine singing a song I wasn’t completely sold on or wasn’t completely me. When it comes to being a songwriter and writing songs that are really authentic, I couldn’t sing a song I wasn’t connected to.
360: You take an active role in songwriting with the help of co-writers. How does that work?
For a writing session, you book a session, bounce off ideas and create. Songwriting is my favorite part. I write every day. My morning time is my time with Jesus and time to take time for myself and journal. I love that part.
IF YOU GO
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3
WHERE: Clearwater River Casino, east of Lewiston