Rayne Johnson is a rising country artist that’s continuing to make a name for himself in the industry. He’s already got a Top 40 hit under his belt (“Front Seat”) and just dropped his self-titled EP last month. He took a few minutes to chat with us, virtually, for this brand new interview.
Nashville Noise: You’re an Ohio native. Tell me about your upbringing and how your love for music developed.
Rayne Johnson: I was raised in southwest Ohio by my mother and father. I grew up singing in church from a young age. My mother was a very powerful singer in the church so I guess music and singing was just a normal thing for me. I grew up listening to classic country most spring and summers while riding along with my father as he worked operating the water hauling business he owned. I also can remember the sweet sounds of vinyl Elvis, Frank Sinatra records playing because those were some of my mom’s favorites. Especially around the holidays!
Nashville Noise: That sounds like a perfect holiday tradition! So how did you decide to take that love for music and pursue a career in it?
RJ: I have always loved music and it has always been a huge part of who I am, but to be honest I think before I ever really made the hard and fast decision to make this my career, things started to take off and it seemed like “well this must be what I should be doing,” so I just went with it. I’ve just always followed the direction that music has taken me and here I am just a few years later and I have my first EP out there. Pretty exciting!
Nashville Noise: So exciting! And your sound is interesting to me because while you’re definitely country, you have some R&B and rock influences we can hear. What has influenced your sound?
RJ: There was a time when I was really into R&B. I’ve always been amazing with artists like Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight, Babyface and so many more were able to do vocally! I was consumed by it and it influenced how I approach words and phrases musically. I think the rock stuff came later when I was playing in a cover band.
Nashville Noise: Speaking of your words and phrases… how do you find the inspiration for your songwriting?
RJ: Life experiences are the best things to draw from in songwriting in my opinion. Or co-writing with someone that has experienced something that you haven’t but yet you understand what they’ve felt from their story.
Nashville Noise: You dropped your debut single two years ago. What have you learned during those two years?
RJ: Time flies when you’re having fun! But really I am based in Ohio with my family so although my day-to-day life is still the same, I have learned a lot about myself as a musician and how the music business works.
Nashville Noise: Now, you’ve dropped your debut EP. How would you describe the EP as a whole?
RJ: Purposely heartfelt, meaningful and a whole lotta fun because that is where I am in my life. These stories are set to today’s modern country sound which really reflects me personally.
Nashville Noise: “Real Dang Good” is your most recent single from the EP. Tell me about that one.
RJ: “Real Dang Good” is just a fun uptempo tune that I think we all can somehow relate to. And we all need some fun right now! You also remember the phrase and the sentiment of “Real Dang Good” before the song is even over. The catchiness is what I love about it.
Nashville Noise: Now that it’s out, are you getting a response to one song more than any other?
RJ: There has been a lot of response to “Love Em While You Can.” I’m not surprised as it is one of the more emotional songs on the record that really tugs at the heartstrings. You know it’s a special song when people tell you their personal stories of why they connect to it.
Nashville Noise: What’s one goal you have for this EP?
RJ: I just want people to get to know me better as a musician and as a person. The music in this EP is just a great introduction, but there is MORE to come and I hope everyone can take something from this record!
Want to see Johnson in his element? Tune in on Wednesday (Nov. 18) for his weekly Instagram and Facebook live series, Rayne’n and Pourin. Get your own copy of his debut EP by clicking on the artwork below.
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