The strikingly vibrant country singer/songwriter Lainey Wilson is unabashedly southern. So southern, in fact, that Wilson confirmed that “southern is absolutely the best word to describe [her].” Her roots, however, don’t merely define her past. Wilson built and continues to build, a rapidly rising career on the foundation of her rural hometown and upbringing. And on American Songwriter’s Behind the Mic series, Wilson explained how she weaves past experiences into mellifluous sounds.
For her song “LA” off of her 2019 EP, Wilson told the story of strangers misinterpreting her. Wilson relays, “I moved to Nashville about nine years ago…. Everywhere I open my mouth to speak people say, ‘Where in the world are you from?’ And I tell ‘em, ‘Well I’m from LA.’ And they’d say, ‘There ain’t no way you’re from Los Angeles talkin’ like that.’ That is how this song idea came about. When I say LA they hear Hollywood, but I heard Lousianna.”
This witty anecdote makes sense once you realize that Lainey Wilson hails from a small town of Baskin in Northeast Lousiana. Growing up in Baskin instilled an unstoppable work ethic and the kind of wanderlust that put “stars in [her] eyes.” So, once in Nashville, Wilson hit the ground running and dedicated pieces of her songs to the place that got her to Music City.
Wilson also co-writes songs with other songwriters to dig deeper into the wells of talent that exist in Nashville. She rapidly fired off names of songwriters that inspire her including Brandy Clark (“incredible lyricist”), Jonathan Singleton (“melody guy”) and Jay Knowles (“one of the best”). The song “Things A Man Oughta Know” was the product of this constructive co-writing with Jonathan Singleton and Jason Nix. Wilson divulged that this song just came together like puzzle pieces falling into place.
But no matter what, Wilson is going to stick to the morals and principles she learned in Baskin. Her wildly catchy and rock-inspired “WWDD [What Would Dolly Do]” emphasizes Wilson’s insistence on working hard and being kind, a mentality she states Dolly Parton embodies. Wilson elaborated, “[Dolly’s] look, her personality, her sense of humor, she’s an incredible businesswoman, she has a giving heart… Dolly is everything we should all try to be.”
Follow Lainey Wilson’s mesmerizing music career for more uplifting southern tunes, and listen to her latest single “Sunday Best.”