L.A. Means Hollywood, But Lainey Wilson Hears ‘Home’
When you first meet Lainey Wilson, you’re instantly saturated by her congenial, authentic and warm-hearted personality. However, this salt-of-the-earth country singer has an audacious demeanor, birthed from her small-town upbringing in Baskin, La., with morals, value, and work ethic that correspond to growing up in a farming community. Her past offers her music the unique relatability of real world struggles.
Making her label debut with BBR Music Group's Broken Bow Records, Wilson’s recent EP, Redneck Hollywood, lets us discover who this girl from a small town with soulful twang vocals really is. Wilson says this four-song project will give a little snapshot of her story and life moments that have landed her here.
Her EP title derives from her song “LA”, and not the Los Angeles that may quicken to your mind. Nope, she means her down home roots of Louisiana, giving a little taste of the storyline for her EP.
“I feel like the whole project tells who I am and what I stand for; what I've been through, what I've overcome,” Wilson says.
While she says for someone like her, Hollywood has always seemed far away, she has never allowed her fears to stop her from pursuing her dream. “I knew deep down that I was going to have the opportunity to go places my little redneck heart never could imagine,” Wilson says.
“LA" is her story “wrapped up in a little bow and put to music ... when they heard LA, they heard Hollywood, but I heard home.”
With all her life lessons and wounds that have healed into scars, she says this EP is much more vulnerable in comparison to her last self-titled EP, released back in 2018. When co-writing these four songs, Wilson wrote these lyrics to affirm people that they aren’t alone.
“We all go through the same thing,” she says. “We all put our pants on the same way.”
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Wilson moved her life to Nashville nine years ago to crack into the country music community and lived in a Flagstaff bumper-pull camper trailer for the first three years. This free-spirited farm town girl has a resilient tenacity that is a force to be reckoned with — a tenacity that was nurtured at a young age.
With her father in the farming business, he was quick to teach her the importance of hard work ethic. “They [parents] made sure I worked hard at whatever I was doin’ growing up. One of my summer jobs was, I was in charge of washing my daddy’s farm truck," she recalls. "I didn’t wash it the right way the first time, and then I didn’t wash it the right way the second time. He made me wash that thing five times!”
The practice of hard work spills into her song “Dirty Looks," a single that is headed to country radio. Wilson sings this steamy number about a man who’s been working hard all day, she’s ready to meet him for a beer, and could care less if he shows up dirty from work. The residue of a hard workday is something that Wilson finds sexy.
“I grew up in an area, a very blue-collar town, where we were taught to take pride in having a hard workin’ man. Really is what this song is about ... what I stand for.”
Though Wilson isn’t dating anyone at the moment, she jokes with Taste of Country saying that in a way, she’s foreshadowing her future man with this song, but just doesn’t know where he is quite yet.
A hard work ethic has taught her if you want to get things accomplished, sometimes you’ve gotta do it yourself. She can do everything a man can do, as you hear in “Things a Man Oughta Know."
“Us girls need to know how to change a tire. If you get in a bind, you’ve gotta do it yourself," Wilson says. “Everything in this song, it’s not just all things a man should know. I feel like girls need to know these things too. We need to know how to treat people, we need to know how we want to be treated, and I think that’s something everybody needs to know.”
With as much time as this newcomer puts into working hard, she’s also learned the importance of the “work hard, play hard” mantra. Her mom was a teacher and her dad a farmer — both occupations that call for a labor of time.
“They busted their tails all the time, but you know at the end of the day or on the weekend, there’s nothing like taking the boat out and just having a good time," she admits. She reflects the, “work hard, play hard” expression in her fourth song, “Straight Up Sideways”, which she says everyone has to have a party song and this one is it.
As the country music world continues to open their arms to Wilson, thanks to her family and upbringing, she’s not worried she’ll ever lose her roots or faith. “I’ve been in Nashville for nine years now and thankfully I’ve been able to be nothing but myself. If I had to be anything other than myself, it just wouldn’t work,” she says.
When asking if she could go back and tell “Little Lainey” anything, Wilson said she’d tell her: “Stop freakin’ out Lainey. It’s gonna be okay. Trust the process and trust the good Lord. He’s gotcha right where he wants ya ... your music is going to be heard.”
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