Kyle Wilson and Anne Bowen had the opportunity to go behind the music with rising country star, Kaylee Rutland, and learned what sets her a part in the Country music world.
I recently found myself at the Rustic restaurant in uptown Dallas, fully prepared to experience a large dose of Texas twang and the beer-and-babes lyrical content that so often fills modern country music. My ears were pleasantly surprised to hear something different.
When Dallas native Kaylee Rutland sings, it becomes easy to forget her age. The 18 year old singer-songwriter brandishes a soulful, fresh sound that is both original and nostalgic. She has performed in such stadium-caliber venues as the American Airlines Center, and her first official music video, “Daddy’s Got a .45,” has garnered a staggering 1.1 million hits on YouTube. One thing is certain – Kaylee Rutland is no wannabe country girl. She is the REAL DEAL!
Following her dazzling performance, Anne Bowen and I had the opportunity to ask Kaylee a few questions regarding her career.
Anne Bowen: What motivated you to pursue a career in country as opposed to rock n’ roll, or any other genre?
Kaylee Rutland: Well, I mean, I’ve grown up listening to country – living in Texas – and then… I don’t know. Especially when I started high school I really got into country music, and so when I knew that this was what I really wanted to start taking more seriously I just… I don’t know, I never considered doing any other genres. I just knew it had to be country.
You’re originally from Dallas, correct?
KR: Yeah, I live in Dallas and I go to school in Nashville.
Was it really hard to transition all the way to Tennessee?
KR: I was worried it would be – like, I was really really scared before freshman year but… I don’t know. I kept in contact with friends and family really well. It was great!
Kyle Wilson: What would you consider your first big break?
KR:A few years ago, I got a call from someone who said, “Oh, we found your card from this thing when you were thirteen, and we just wanted to see if you were still singing.” They got me hooked up with some writers and producers in Nashville. So I guess it would be when I met up with them and produced my first EP.
What about your music would you say separates you from other country artists?
KR:Well, I know a lot of country is contemporary right now, which is really what I like to listen to and play, but I love traditional country too. What’s different about my music is that I try to put a little bit of traditional country into all of my songs, so you get a good mix of both in there.
Anne: What motivates you to keep writing when life makes you feel stuck? What keeps you going?
KR: When you’re having a terrible day or it’s just really hard, that’s where you get good song material from. You just have to remind yourself, “Hey, I know you’re in a bad mood right now, but this could end really well.” So you just have to stay positive and flip every situation around.
Any advice to the up-and-coming country singers out there?
KR:This might sound a little cliché, but don’t give up, because especially when you’re young and you’re really trying to do what you love… I don’t know. A lot of people just seem to be discouraging sometimes, and you just can’t let it get to you. If it’s what you know you love to do, and you know you’re good at it, and it’s what you want to do for the rest of your life, then I say go for it!
Kaylee Rutland’s music is available on her bandcamp pageas well as iTunes and Amazon.
Her new EP, “Good Day To Get Gone,” will be available July 21, and can be pre-ordered here.