Lainey Wilson is holding the reins of country music.
In a recent interview, the “Watermelon Moonshine” singer shared that her journey to the top has been anything but easy. And because Lainey’s personality is cut, dry and to the point, she’s not going to romanticize it for anyone… even though she sometimes received advice to do just that.
In a recent interview with iHeart Country, she opened up about her time in Nashville, and the points on the timeline of her more-than-a-decade long climb:
“It was interesting watching a lot of new artists move to town. I didn’t even get a publishing deal until year seven, and a record deal until year eight. And here we are, I’m working on year twelve.”
As a young nine-year-old, Lainey wrote her first song which she shared featured the likes of “cigarettes and tequila,” two things she had no experience with, but likely picked up from other country songs.
Her life in small town Louisiana meant that country music was never viewed as a genre, but a way of life, and upon visiting Nashville and The Grand Ole Opry with her family she felt the premonition that she would stand on that same stage some day:
“I’m gonna be up there one day. I didn’t know how in the world I was gonna get there, but it was just one of those feelings that never wore off.”
She endured a lot of things throughout her journey to reach fame in Nashville, but Lainey said she likes to consider the entire trek as a “brick-by-brick” progression.
In a social media post about her Bell Bottom Country album, she shared that many of the songs for that project were created in “Year Five” of Nashville when her “give-a-damn was busted,” but still eluded to her gratitude for that challenging time:
Even after a year that has featured a win for CMA’s Female Vocalist and a coveted guest spot on the hit television series, Yellowstone, Lainey remembers a time in her success when she was told to avoid the authenticity of her story in exchange for a “taking off to fame” narrative.
Lainey kindly rejected the advice in exchange for the truth:
“I’m proud of how long I’ve been working at this… I want people to know that I have busted my tail and I deserve to be here.”
She even took it as far as to say if she’d known how challenging it would be, she’s not sure she would pursue it again.
And even though moonlighting as a pseudo-Hannah Montana and living in camper to make ends meet may not be the most glamourous tale, Lainey has managed to hang on tight and persevere no matter what the industry threw her way. She valued waiting patiently for the right opportunities to sing the music she loves, and both of those traits were likely akin to listening to her daddy’s advice:
“When my daddy brought my first horse home… I remember the horse was bucking and it was acting crazy. And I was crying, ‘let me down, let me down, I wanna get down, I’m scared.’ And I remember like it was yesterday, he told me, ‘you better hold on.’
Those words have stuck with me forever. Because any time I feel like I’m about to lose control or I’m about to fall and hit the ground, it just makes me dig in a little deeper, and it makes me just hold on.”