Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Waylon Payne

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Waylon Payne over Zoom! 

Waylon Payne is a multi-talented artist known for his talent and passion for singing, songwriting, playing instruments, and acting. He’s the son of the two established artists, Jody Payne, an iconic guitarist, and Sammi Smith, a Grammy Award-winning singer. You really know how the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. 

He was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and grew up being with his mother on tour. He was under the supervision of Sammi’s brother and sister-in-law who were living in a strict Christian household. It was Waylon’s inspiration to enroll in a seminary with the goal of becoming a minister. Apparently, as he got used to and fancied the taste of marijuana, alcohol, and music, these were against the perspective of his aunt and uncle. 

His career in the field of music was molded when he was taking chances to perform in the clubs of Los Angeles in California. Being featured in different renowned clubs across the country and partnered with flourishing artists and musicians bought him a seat in the music industry. He started writing, singing, and recording his creations alongside being with his friends who helped him build a name. One of which is Keith Gattis who is a producer at that time. One opportunity led him to another. 

Carnival Music was the first record label that signed him. Since then, he wrote songs for towering artists in the music industry such as Miranda Lambert, Cory Marrow, Ashley Monroe, Aaron Lewis, Charlie Robison, and Lee Ann Womack who was nominated for Grammy’s for Solitary Thinking released in 2010. 

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