“That record is my heart. I love to have a good time, but I’m also not going to shy away from hard subjects.” – RaeLynn on her most-recent album, “Baytown”
It’s been 10 years since RaeLynn first captured the hearts of country music fans on season two of “The Voice.” Since then, the 27-year-old has been churning out hits and creating a unique space for herself in Nashville.
She looks back at her time on the show fondly, noting that losing only made her stronger.
“Even though it was a success to be on the show, that little bit of letdown was very good for me because it made me want to work even harder,” she said.
Today, she’s riding a wave of success after releasing her latest album, “BAYTOWN.” It’s a mix of the trademark country sass she’s known for, as well as deep and vulnerable ballads. It’s her first album to be released under Round Here Records, the label created by Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard. But that’s not her only tie to some of the biggest names in country music.
RaeLynn is currently preparing to go on a tour with Kane Brown that kicks off on May 19. While the preparation can be stressful, she said it feels good to be getting back to normal after the pandemic put touring on hold for so long.
“It’s good to see people are coming out to shows,” she acknowledged. “We need music; we need shows; we need people to be together.”
Motherhood and military life
Of all her recent achievements, nothing comes close to giving birth to her daughter, Daisy Rae, in September 2021.
“At the end of the day, having a child is genuinely the most incredible thing,” RaeLynn gushed. “It’s cooler than any record I’ve ever put out, it’s cooler than any awesome stage I’ve got to play or any award I’ve ever won.”
RaeLynn shares the joy of her first child with her husband, Josh Davis, active duty in the Army special forces. But unlike most military spouses, she didn’t marry into the military. Her husband played Major League Baseball and worked in finance before deciding to enlist shortly after their wedding.
It was a decision that RaeLynn admits caught her off guard.
“Oh, it was a fight,” she laughed. “I did not know that it was in his heart.”
That said, RaeLynn was no stranger to the military lifestyle. Her brother, who she considers to be one of her best friends, served in the Army for more than a decade.
“It’s a sacrificial thing that no one can understand,” she said as she reflected back on deployments that kept him away from milestone moments.
In hindsight, RaeLynn recognizes that her husband probably would have enlisted sooner, but it just came down to timing.
“Watching him go through this and be a part of this process has been hard, but really rewarding,” RaeLynn said. “He’s really good at what he does, and the community of men and women I’ve met is a community unlike any other.”
It’s a community that she was always cut out for, even if she didn’t realize it at first.
“I’m gone a lot. I’m used to change,” she explained, and it’s a way of life she hopes her daughter will embrace.
“I want her to be on the go and able to adapt to any situation because you never know what’s going to be thrown our way.”
Baring her soul through songwriting
For RaeLynn, all of life’s twists, turns and surprises inspire a truly unique type of songwriting that feels more like storytelling.
She wants people to “go through a journey” when they hear her music, and that’s exactly what “BAYTOWN” reveals.
“That record is my heart,” she said. “I love to have a good time, but I’m also not going to shy away from hard subjects.”
Perhaps the most impactful song, “She Chose Me,” details the decision her mother faced when she became pregnant with RaeLynn.
“If it went the other way, nobody would have blamed her.
Think of all the small town talk it would have saved her.
She could have chosen one quick fix to get her out of one big mess …
But she chose me,” RaeLynn sings in the chorus.
The song has garnered thousands of shares on TikTok and Instagram from women using it as a soundtrack to tell their own stories.
“I wasn’t surprised because I really had a peace to put it out,” RaeLynn said of the song. “I was born to be bold and to say what I feel and do it in a way that God created me to do it, which is with love and kindness.”
Likewise, RaeLynn emphasized that her songs never come from a place of judgment. In fact, one of her upbeat tracks on the new album expresses that exact mentality. It’s appropriately titled “Judgin’ To Jesus.”
When all is said and done, RaeLynn simply hopes to encourage others to go that extra mile and show vulnerability.
“Nobody can take your story away from you,” she said. “Your story is your own.”
Enjoying the juggle of it all
As she writes this next chapter of her story, RaeLynn looks forward to all of the exciting changes ahead. She hasn’t quite figured out all of the logistics when it comes to hitting the road with a baby and a husband in the military, but that’s OK.
“I think it’s all about the attitude you have when you’re becoming a mom,” she explained. “I really do enjoy the juggle of it and figuring it out.”
It’s a sentiment that resonates with military families who face the same hurdles every day.
“Military spouses are so strong because they are used to the constant change,” RaeLynn said.
For her, part of embracing that uncertainty is knowing when to lean on your community.
“As women, I think we want to take it all on ourselves, but it’s OK to ask for help,” she added.
When it comes to her daughter, RaeLynn is encouraged by what she sees in the other families around her.
“Kids that come from military families are some of the strongest kids I’ve ever met,” she said. “They know that every day is precious, and every day looks different.”
And when every day is a little different, and the curveballs just keep coming, all you can do is keep moving forward.
“Day by day! That’s what we do,” RaeLynn laughed.
In times of hardship or high stress, she encourages fellow military spouses to remember that —
“We’re all in this together. Lean on God and also the people he’s put around you. This world is not meant for us to take on alone. It’s meant for us to be able to have a community of people, and it’s OK to rely on that community.”
For more about RaeLynn, visit RaeLynn.com. For tour dates and ticket information, go to RaeLynn.com/tour.