Reyna Roberts Shares Path From Alaska To Nashville, Hopes "Bad Girl Bible, Vol 1" Makes People Fearless

Reyna Roberts: "I want all the awards. What I want to do is make history."

In the days leading up to 26-year-old Reyna Roberts' debut album release, she was excited and nervous. She giggled she was trying to "chill myself out" and remind herself that "it's going to be great."

"As an artist, you hope and you pray that you're creating songs that will resonate with people," she said. "But you won't know until you put it out there and see people's responses. I'm just hoping that it'll hit people the way that I'm hoping it will."

Roberts' "Bad Girl Bible, Vol 1," is out now and includes "Country Club," which has been streamed approximately 200,000 times since its June debut. The album, released on September 8, is also home to her singles "Louisiana" and "One Way Street."

The Alaska native, one of CMT's Next Women of Country in 2021, fiercely debated her brand, how she wanted people to view her and what emotions she hoped to evoke with the album for months before its release.

"I want people to listen to it and have a sense of fearlessness and vulnerability at the same time," she said.

Roberts wants people to use adjectives like "passionate" and "heart-wrenching" to describe her collection and hopes they go on the journey with her as "Bad Girl Bible, Vol 1" takes them through her first love and subsequent heartbreak along with her trek to salvation. When she chose the title last year, she just thought it "sounded really awesome" but said that over time, it has taken on a whole new meaning.

"I've grown closer to God in this amount of time," she said. "The album and what it means to me is completely different than when I first started it. I hope people learn about salvation, maybe their journey through Christ, and then also just the journey of life. There's so many different songs on there that, to me, represent confidence and empowerment, but also deals with real issues at the same time."

She considers "Bad Girl Bible, Vol 1" her life's work. Songs on the album are inspired by everyone from God to Jamey Johnson, Charlie Daniels, The Chicks, Miranda Lambert, Johnny Cash, Adele and Beyonce. But they're not Christian songs. Roberts' favorite track, "Don't Waste a Prayer," started as a fictional story inspired by Daniels' "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

Roberts wanted to tell the story of a girl who woke up in hell and had to make it to Heaven.

"She has to find a way to be saved," explained the singer. "Even though there aren't Christian songs on there, I'm still telling the story about how God can still save you and about life in general and how you can make it on the other side."

Listening to The Chicks as a child spurred her to write "We Said I Do," and Adele influenced her to write "Death of Me."

"I have all these elements of all these different artists, and when I put them together, they have created me and my voice and my sound," she said, adding that her song "Miranda" was inspired by Lambert, Cash and Beyonce. "They're all different artists, but their music has raised me and raised my sound. So, you have this whole new different style of country."

Roberts' varied musical influences are as different as the states she grew up in. She was born into a military family in Alaska and was raised in Alabama and California – mainly California. She moved to Music City three years ago when Carrie Underwood and Mickey Guyton each posted videos of her singing Underwood's song "Drinking Alone." People responded so positively that it encouraged her to rethink her future – specifically herself as a country artist and songwriter.

"I love writing all types of songs and stories," she said. "But during that time in my life, I realized most of the songs I was writing were country songs. My family was like, you need to go to Nashville."

She took the risk praying that country music fans would connect with her music and wouldn't question her authenticity – particularly because she's capable of singing any genre of music.

Roberts had been visiting Nashville for a couple of years before she moved permanently. Even though she was just 22 years old at the time, she wasn't afraid and felt in her spirit that Middle Tennessee was where she was meant to be.

"I've grown up listening to trap, blues, hip hop, classical, all the things rock to country," she said. "I feel like all those genres live inside me. I didn't necessarily choose country, but it chose me. I'm not just singing country songs; I'm singing Reyna music, which happens to have country with influences of other genres."

When she got to town, she realized that many songwriters use the same creative process that she does – sitting down with her instrument and writing the song from the ground up. The stories she heard in the songwriting rooms inspired her to write "Bad Girl Bible, Vol 1," which she hopes pushes her music career to the next level.

"I want all the awards," she said. "What I want to do is make history. That has always been my goal and my dream. I've never had any other kind of drive for anything else. I want to make music that will outlive me."

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