Rachele Lynae grew up in Alaska, an unlikely place for an aspiring Country singer, but she owes her life to the off-beat upbringing. Early on, she performed in church and even pursued Christian music a few years ago. Country music, however, beckoned her to Nashville, and she hasn't looked back since. Her new single "Fishin' for Something," a tune she co-wrote with one of her closest friends, goes for radio adds this month, ahead of her forthcoming debut record, which is being co-produced by fellow musician Jamie O'Neal.
Nashville Gab recently chatted with Lynae about working with O'Neal and what her fans can expect from her debut album, as well as her major influences growing up and the inspiration for her new single (and much more).
Nashville Gab: Your new single is “Fishin’ for Something.” What inspired it?
RL: I wrote the song with one of my best girlfriends. She and I both grew up with dads who took us out fishing, and we have good relationships with our dads. They’ve given us a lot of boy advice over the years. [laughs] We like to go out line dancing and have one of those nights. We get really pumped up for it. We’ll meet at one person’s house and get all dolled up. Then, we’ll go out, and we’re ready to dance all night. There’s always some guy approaching [us] that’s like ‘hey, what you doing?’ We’re like ‘it’s 12:30, I’m going home…my home.’ So, we decided to write this song saying ‘you’re fishing for something that ain’t in the water.’ It’s just a sassy, playful way to respond to that.
NG: When you were growing up, did your dad ever intimidate the guys you were interested in?
RL: He did when I was younger. I wasn’t allowed to actually go on dates until I was 16. So, if there were ever any boys hanging around before that, then he definitely intimidated them. My dad is the kind of guy who’s a man’s man. He usually got along with most of the guys my sister or I have dated. He has a quiet strength about him, though. So, [the guys] know not to mess with him.
NG: What kind of music were you exposed to?
RL: I grew up with my dad playing the guitar and singing after dinner. Most nights, he’d play Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson. I was a huge fan of Leann Rimes, especially when I was younger. She was 13, and I was like ‘that’ll be me in a few years.’ I was trying to get a record deal, too. That was really inspiring as a young person, seeing another young person out there achieving their dreams. In addition to that, I listened to Shania Twain, Reba McEntire and The Judds. Back when it was cassette tape, I would flip that tape over and over. Our parents would be like ‘ok, that’s great, but can we listen to something else?’ [laughs]
NG: You grew up singing in church. Did you ever think about going into Christian music?
RL: As a young person, my opportunities were more in Christian music. Through high school, I would take the occasional Country gigs — I mean, that is my heart and passion — but for a while, I did tour and do Christian music and worked with World Vision. Once I was able to come down to Nashville and was old enough to get gigs, I was on top of that. That’s always been home.
NG: You’re working on your debut album, right? Will it be released this fall or early next year?
RL: Well, I actually just had a meeting with my graphics person for the album. It’s a big hurry up and wait process when you’re making an album because there’s all these creative parts that come in. It’s not just the music part. We’re still finishing up the making it part, and then soon, we’ll have a date.
NG: How do you decide what songs to put on it and what story you want to tell?
RL: The songs that are on this album are all songs that I’ve written or co-written. When you’re picking what’s going to go on an album, you’re looking for the strongest songs — and along with that, you don’t want your whole album to be sassy, uptempo songs, you want to take people on a journey. It’s important that a lot of different things are reflected so it’s not just one emotion the entire time. There’s sassy songs; there’s love songs; there’s breakup songs. Mostly, I try to pick songs that are empowering, something that comes from a position of strength.
NG: You’ve been working with Jamie O’Neal on the record. What’s that like?
RL: Jamie is amazing. She’s such a power woman. She is an amazing vocalist. You’d be hard pressed to find a better singer. I’ve heard her when she’s sick. I’ve heard her when she’s on top of her game. I’ve heard her softly singing to herself, and I’ve heard her singing to a big crowd. It’s always amazing. She’s really helped me with everything, just teaching me how to be an artist, how to handle interviews, what songs to pick. We’ve written songs together, too, and she’s helped me to have the courage to (in co-writes) to just spit out ideas. The first or second song we wrote together, I remember there was an issue where I wasn’t sure about the direction we were going and I kept it to myself. We got back together, and I really learned you have to spit out thoughts, to be bold when you’re songwriting.
NG: How did you get to work with her? How did that come about?
RL: I met Jamie’s dad when I was 13. I was in Washington because his other daughter Minnie Murphy was recording in the same studio I was. My producer at that time really trusted Jimmy’s opinion. So, he was like ‘hey, I have this young girl who I think really has something. I want you to hear her and tell me what you think.’ He was spending a lot of time with me as a producer, and Jimmy came in and was like ‘yeah. I think she has something.’ So, we stayed in touch, but at that time, I was doing Christian music. He wasn’t involved in that world. He knew I liked Country music and that was my home. He was kind of waiting for me to come back. [laughs] When I graduated from college, I met up with Jimmy to pick his brain over coffee.I handed him an EP that I’d done of all original stuff, and I said ‘if you believe in this, then help me.’ He left and popped it into the CD player. I got a call within ten minutes. He set up a meeting with Jamie and I. We clicked right off the bat. I went over to her house, and we jammed for a little bit. Later, they approached me about being the flagship artist for Momentum Label Group. It’s been a whirlwind.
NG: What current artists are you most inspired by?
RL: Jason Aldean. I think he is one of those that paved the way for Country-rock, which is what I’m all about. He’s been a strong influence [on me]. Eric Church[, too,] and Miranda Lambert.
Read the full interview here.
Photo Credit: Hot Schatz PR