RaeLynn On Finding Herself (Sans Blake Shelton) Five Years After The Voice

Mar 24, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Image: Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images

Today is a really huge day for RaeLynn. Heck, some are even proclaiming it's officially RaeLynn Day.

In 2012, everyone — including Blake Shelton — fell in love with the young country starlet on The Voice. Fast-forward five years (which was packed with hard work, tours with Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert and writing more than 200 songs), and RaeLynn's final debut album is not only here, but it's already shot to No. 1 on iTunes.


And this girl deserves all the success she gets.

Check out our exclusive interview with RaeLynn, and don't forget her album's available for download on iTunes today!

More: Lily Singh on Silencing Self-Doubt, Influencing Fans and Loving "The Rock"

SheKnows: Let’s talk about your musical journey. You’ve mentioned rejection before — was there a lot of rejection and self-doubt that you had to go through to get to where you are now?

RaeLynn: Oh, my God, of course. I was on The Voice when I was 17 and figuring out who I am. Writing a song — you don’t really know what you want to say. And I’m talking about myself here — like, I didn’t know what I wanted to say on this record. Before that, I was doing acting, and you’ll go on auditions… That’s why I love that La La Land movie, because it’s so true. People wouldn’t really care that you were there. And even when I was on The Voice, even when I made it to the top 12, you had negative people telling you, "Oh, your voice is not good." Now that I look back, I’m like, I was 17 years old! Cut me a break. When I see a young person on a reality show, I don’t think, "Oh my God. They could be better." I think, "Oh my God. They are really good for 17. They’re going to learn so much!" If they’re this good at 17, imagine what they’re going to be like at 20, you know?

SK: Definitely. After The Voice, Blake Shelton took you under his wing. Were there ever times where people told you what your brand of music should be? What kind of country artist you should be?

R: Yes, but I didn’t know who I was either, if that makes sense. Like, I was just starting out. I was just a girl from Baytown, Texas. I still am that girl, but it was different because I didn’t know what I wanted to write towards. I didn’t have an angle. I didn’t really know what kind of artist I wanted to be or what artist I was. And the more that I wrote, the quicker I figured that out, but some stuff I wrote wasn’t technically me, but they thought they were me. The label I was with at the time thought it was me. But it was just about writing more and growing up a little bit and then you think about what songs, of the ones I’ve written in the last five years, really fit me.

SK: So, who would you say RaeLynn is now?

R: My music’s country pop. When I put this record together, I want to put the 12 most real songs to me. I want this record to take somebody through a journey. I want them to have a song for everything they’re feeling. If they’re feeling sad, I want to have a sad song. If they’re feeling happy, I want them to have a happy song. If they just want to jam, I have those songs. That’s the mindset I went in with picking songs for this record. I really want it to be a journey of where I’ve been in the last four years.

SK: And you’re headlining your first tour. How do you feel about that?

R: I am so nervous, but I’m excited. I can’t wait to have something that’s completely mine and make it my own. The best part that I’m excited about is the dance party after the show’s over with. It’s just going to be something so unique and so fun.

SK: So, does this mean you’re not going to tour with Blake anymore? Or will you still sometimes?

R: Yeah, I mean, he’s not doing anything else this summer, so I was just trying to figure out something to do for myself.

More: Going Beyond the Bikini: An Exclusive Q&A with SI Rookie of the Year Bianca Balti

SK: What have you learned touring with Blake?

R: Blake is so himself onstage and is just an incredible entertainer. If you go to a Blake show and you don’t really know him, you’re going to leave thinking you’re his best friend. That’s definitely a trait.

SK: Let’s talk about another man in your life — your new hubby. He just enlisted in the military. How are you doing with that?

R: I’m just great. But missing him, like, it’s unimaginable. I miss him so bad. He’s doing awesome. I just got a few letters from him yesterday, and he’s doing so great in his training. He could not be any more of a perfect guy for me and the best guy I’ve ever met in my life. He means the world to me, and I’m just so thankful for him in every way.

SK: What were some of the conversations that went into that decision? Had he told you that that was something he wanted to do for a while.

R: Yeah, he was sworn in in September or October, and it’s just something he’s always wanted to do. It’s a dream of his, and as a wife, I’m going to support him in anything he wants to do. Because I am his wife, and he supports me in everything that I do. Even though it’s hard, I’m so honored to be his wife and I’m honored to stand by him through this time because he’s just going to kill it.

SK: Your brother and husband are both active-duty — give them our thanks. So many people can relate to that, though. Do you think you’ll ever write music about that?

R: Heck yeah, I will.

SK: Are there any social causes or movements that you’re really passionate about?

R: I have Type-1 diabetes, so Team 1 Diabetes is one thing I’ve been a part of for a while, empowering kids who have diabetes to know they can do anything they want to do. It’s amazing, how much guilt and sadness comes with a kid when they find out they’re diagnosed with diabetes. Really, diabetes is a disease that you can manage completely well. That’s a campaign that I’ve been championing lately… I’ve already started the RaeLynn Diabetes Foundation. I’m already an ambassador for NovoLog, the insulin that I take. It’s been super-easy for me because I’ve had diabetes since before I was ever a singer. So this is a normal thing for me to take on.

SK: Second to last question! What do you love most about women?

R: One thing I love about women is they have so much drive. I know every woman in my life, even if they’re going through something, you wouldn’t know it, because women are so good at multitasking. I think that’s a great quality to have in a woman.

SK: And last, a lot of artists are releasing music with political statements. What is your opinion on that, because your music is very personal?

R: If that’s what they want to put out, then that’s what they want to put out. I’ve never felt an urge to put out something with a political statement, but that’s just me.

More: Karla Souza on Being Mexican-American and Celebrating Her Immigrant Culture

RaeLynn's debut album WildHorse is available on iTunes today.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

country artists 2017
Image: Carly Pearce/Instagram