EXCLUSIVE: Lainey Wilson Discusses Country Music Week UK Debut

Lainey Wilson is one of the most intriguing country artists on the scene right now and last week she made her much anticipated UK debut during Country Music Week (CMW) in London. Her live sets were very well received and the Louisiana native, Nashville based singer/songwriter has gained a whole new British fanbase.

During CMW I managed to catch Lainey’s standout set at the Daytime Hub at The Borderline on October 27th where she performed alongside US sensation and adopted Brit Sarah Darling and Ireland’s much loved four-piece Keywest.

And here we catch up with Lainey Wilson to discuss her time in the UK, performing at Country Music Week, UK reception and more:

Hey Lainey, I caught you live at the Borderline and was very impressed with your vocals, what was that show like for you?

I’m just blown away by how engaged the audience is in the UK. I saw it at Borderline, and I saw it at [the] Bush Hall show earlier in the week. They wanted to hear the stories behind the songs. And they listened to every word throughout the entire set. Experiencing that kind of audience is pretty dang special. 

You were on the bill alongside Sarah Darling and Keywest, what it’s like being on the line-up with such esteemed acts with strong UK fanbases? 

I’ve been a fan of Sarah Darling for a long time now, so it’s pretty cool when I get to play shows with artists I’ve come up listening to. It was my first time seeing Keywest, and I totally get why they have such a following. I am now a fan as well. Really…I just appreciate both acts sharing their fans and letting me join them in their neck of the woods. 

Your latest single ‘Waste Of Good Whiskey’ had a huge reception, how did it feel to have your music so well received?

This is something I’ve been working on for a very long time. I’ve done a lot of experimenting, learning, creating, and honing in on my sound. I’ve written a lot of what I like to call “stepping stone songs” – songs that get you to the next step, whatever that may be. The music I’ve released this year, including ‘Waste Of Good Whiskey’, was what came from all that. As you can imagine, after putting so much time and so much of yourself into something, it’s incredible to watch people latch on to it.

This was your first time in the UK, how much fun did you have being over here?

I had so much fun getting to know the UK country music community, both the fans and the industry folk. I stayed so busy meeting as many people as I could between shows, I really didn’t have much time to visit any landmarks or areas outside of London. But, I have a list of things to see and do when I come back!  

Did you notice any major differences between a UK and US audience?

At my shows and the other Country Music Week shows I went to, the audience was all ears and all in. They made it pretty obvious – there’s a serious demand for country music in the UK.

At the Borderline you said you’ll be releasing a new EP in the New Year, what can fans expect from that?

Well, Jay Joyce is producing the record, so I have that working in my favor. I just hope I’ve written songs that will make his job enjoyable haha. We’ll be in the studio recording a full length album during the first quarter of 2019. If I’m being completely honest, my goal is to make a record that is timeless. Expect songs that are stimulating, vulnerable, provocative, empathetic, stripped down, freeing…all brought to life with the magic that Jay Joyce adds to everything he touches.

What’s the overall feeling you are taking away from your first UK visit?

Amazed. Grateful. Inspired. Y’all welcomed me with open arms. I’m really looking forward to coming back and I’m excited to share new music with y’all.

Do you think you will be visiting us a lot more in the future?

That’s the plan. Y’all ain’t gonna be able to get rid of me. 

Now you’ve been introduced to a British audience, can we expect to see you working with UK country acts?

While I was visiting the UK I met a girl named Twinnie who I absolutely loved. She’s actually signed to BMG out of Nashville so I’m sure I’ll be seeing her soon and can definitely see us doing something together in the future.

Looking ahead what do the next twelve months hold for you?

Well, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around everything that’s happened in the last 12 months haha. In my line of work, it’s hard to know for sure what the next month looks like, let alone the next year. Things can happen so quickly, and then they can change, and then they can change again…sometimes within days or less. I know I’ll start recording my record in the first quarter of 2019. I know I’ll continue to write and play shows up until then. I know I’ll do everything I can to make the record the best it can be. And I know how ready I’ll be to share it with the world. The rest is kinda out of my hands. 

Make sure you follow Lainey on Twitter @_laineywilson to keep up to date with all her latest music and tour news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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