25-year-old North Carolina native Rainey Qualley is the latest of many talented ladies to catch the attention of Music Row and country audiences. Qualley was born and raised into a family of entertainers and credits her love for music to her childhood surrounded with music, her dad being a musician and influences such as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson.
Earlier this year, Qualley was signed to a brand new label becoming the flagship artist for Cingle Records; one might assume this would increase the pressure on success, but Qualley seems a natural-born musician and performer. This month saw the release of Qualley’s debut EP , Turn Down The Lights, allowing an insight into what her and producer, Russ Zavitson have been working on. The EP displays a vocal maturity beyond her years as well as the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary country in a similar style to artists such as Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe.
Qualley’s influences seep into her music not only sonically but lyrically, her latest release, “Me and Johnny Cash” is a witty discussion of her speedy recovery from a break-up aided by Johnny Cash (and alcohol.) The video for the single is expected to drop next month as the follow-up to her debut single “Turn Me On Like The Radio.”
In the few short months that Qualley has been signed, she’s already released her debut single and EP, started her US radio tour, performed at the legendary Ryman Auditorium opening for Willie Nelson as well as appearing at many festivals including CMA Fest and South by Southwest. This is quite literally the definition of hitting the ground running and she’s taking country music by storm.