What happens when you take the best of Nashville’s music community, brilliant songwriters, seasoned, top-notch musicians, the high-quality studios and production and team it with a high school senior with a big, expressive voice and exploding Internet popularity?
You get the perfect blend of old-school craft and wide-eyed enthusiasm, proven Music City genius and fresh new Lone Star talent, all fueled by a staggering amount of online exposure, with over 13 million YouTube views, 100,000 Facebook friends ,160,000 Twitter followers and 111,000 Instagram followers.
In short: you get new teen sensation Payton Rae, with her brand new EP, GONE GIRL.
Part of a new wave of performers who are taking their music directly to the fans, this 7th-generation Texan (hailing from just outside Houston) has harnessed the exponential promotional power of the Internet to become a bona fide YouTube sensation, amassing an impressive domestic and international audience for her fresh-faced blend of pure country music and genuine Texas charm. By instinctively following her muse, sticking steadfastly to her dream and singing her heart out at every opportunity, Payton Rae has already achieved the impossible, and she’s just getting started.
Dare To Live, Payton’s first release captured the youth, passion and flourishing talent of this young performer. Recorded in Nashville, Dare To Live, charted Top Five on the iTunes charts in the U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and Belgium. Her video for “Not Your Cinderella” has received over 3 million views on YouTube.
“I just really love singing; sweet love songs, songs about breakups, and songs about boys I guess,” she says with a laugh. “When I’m in the studio it’s like everything that’s on my mind is put to the side. It’s the best feeling ever.”
After the success of Dare To Live, Payton headed back to Nashville to write with some of the country music’s hottest songwriters including Odie Blackmon (Gary Allan, Lee Ann Womack, George Strait), Liz Rose (George Strait, Taylor Swift), Rachel Proctor (Martina McBride, Jessica Simpson) and more. Odie Blackmon then teamed up with Grammy Award winning producer (and Academy Awards nominee) Kenny Greenberg to produce a new EP on Payton which resulted in the fiery EP, Gone Girl. The new EP just released December 17, 2013 and will no doubt bring many new accolades to this talented young singer.
It all started for Payton Rae with her first public performance, singing the national anthem for the Houston Comets women’s basketball team when she was just four years old.
“There’s a funny story behind that,” Payton says. “I had never sung it before, but I was sleeping with my mom one night and she says I burst out singing the national anthem. After I sang it in my sleep, she had me learn it and I auditioned after that.”
That pre-game performance, a vintage video of which the fans have now made a YouTube hit, touched something deep inside the singer, and her fate was sealed. “After that performance I knew what I wanted to do,” she says. “I just kept singing the anthem for my brother’s baseball games, for high school volleyball games, wherever. That’s pretty much how I got started.”
Inspired by the Internet-aided launch of teen stars like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift and armed with a microphone and a digital video camera, Payton Rae went to work, posting videos and monitoring the astonishing response. “I put some videos up for my friends and family and all these people started viewing them,” she says with a touch of surprise still in her voice. “It’s a great way to get your music out there and connect with listeners.”
Her YouTube tributes to some of her favorite artists including everyone from Carrie Underwood to Taylor Swift to newcomers like The Band Perry have become viral hits in themselves, igniting Payton’s singing career and making that all-important fan connection with no prior management or label help.
“I spend a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook, and I love talking to my fans,” smiles Payton Rae. “It’s one of my favorite things to do.”
Boosted along the way by great friends and a supportive family, she stays plenty busy these days between being home-schooled, shuttling back and forth from Texas to Nashville to pursue her music, and the high-tech business of keeping in touch with her growing legion of fans. Her immense popularity in the social media world has brought her numerous unsolicited requests from sponsors. She chose to be a spokesperson with the hugely popular dress designers, Alyce Paris, who are known for their couture dresses which have been worn by such celebrities as Britney Spears, Country Music’s Miranda Lambert, Vanna White and many more. Payton is a spokesmodel for their prom line and has been featured in Seventeen magazine, Teen Prom and Seventeen Prom.
From her hometown in the Houston suburbs, north to Canada, and all the way to Europe, Asia and Middle East, Payton Rae and her music have also inspired countless, devoted young female fans to follow their own impossible dreams, to “dare to live.” When Payton Rae steps up to the microphone to sing, people react and respond.