North Carolina native Rainey Qualley is more than just a pretty face. She’s like a modern day Tanya Tucker mixed with the sex appeal of Marilyn Monroe. She gives authenticity a new meaning. Her voice takes you back in time, yet her style and fashion can be quite easily compared to popular pop stars such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. She is really something spectacular and intriguing. Her latest single “Me & Johnny Cash” is catching fire on every country radio station imaginable. Rainey Qualley is true artistry at it’s best.
1. Where are you answering these questions from and what are you wearing?
I’m answering from my house in Nashville, Tennessee.
2. What’s your official title and favorite thing about what you do?
I am an artist and my favorite thing about what I do is getting to create music.
3. What are three things you CANNOT live without?
I can’t live without my family, my cats, and creative expression (and cozy sweaters and peanut butter if I could add a few more things).
4. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
When I wake up in the morning I check my phone, brush my teeth, and make coffee.
5. What’s your favorite cartoon character?
I loved the Disney princesses growing up. Probably the fairies in sleeping beauty are my favorite.
6. What’s the hardest life lesson you’ve learned?
I’ve had to deal with a lot of rejection in my life but ultimately I am really grateful for it. Now I’m not afraid to put myself out there and go after what I want.
7. What artists influenced you growing up?
I’ve been influenced by a lot of different art forms and a lot of different artists. Musically, I listened to a lot of traditional country music being from North Carolina. Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline to name a few. I also love Neil Young, Van Morrison, Simon and Garfunkel, The Temptations, and more modern stuff like Purity Ring, Chvrches, Broods, Hozier, Grimes, Tame Impala and Sky Ferreira. I think it’s a really exciting time to be making music. I also spent a lot of time dancing growing up and still dance for fun. I think that was really influential on me as a musician because as a dancer you’re exposed to so much music and you have the chance to experience it physically rather than just listen. I also had the opportunity to travel all over the world growing up which meant I got to visit beautiful museums everywhere I went. And I think having images created by artists like Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet seep into my subconscious as a child was influential as well.
8. Beer or whiskey?
Whiskey (but really vodka or wine)
9. What’s your favorite country song from when you were a child?
“Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Johnny Cash.
10. What’s your favorite item in your closet?
At the moment it’s probably this great big fuzzy Dries Van Noten sweater that I’ve been wearing almost every day.
11. What’s your favorite candy bar?
Hershey’s Cookies and Cream chocolate bars
12. What’s one gift you will never forget?
I got a pink Barbie car for Christmas one year that I was absolutely obsessed with and I drove it around our wraparound porch for hours on end.
13. What current event has your eyes and ears? What are you doing about it?
I am passionate about animal rights, protecting wildlife and the environment. Currently there is a lot of attention on drilling for oil in the Arctic and wildfires in northwest America so those are two topics that have been on my mind. I fill out a lot of online petitions and send in donations to help. I also love to volunteer at animal shelters but I haven’t had any time to recently.
14. What’s one thing you hate but wished you loved?
I’m not a sports fan. I don’t necessarily wish I loved sports, but it would have made hours of watching football with ex-boyfriends more interesting.
15. What do you believe makes a successful life?
Happiness and exploration (in whatever form).
16. You’re making your favorite sandwich, what’s on it?
Grilled cheese with avocado, tomatoes and arugula.
17. Name one artist of any genre besides country that you are a fan of and tell us why?
I already listed a bunch before. But I really love Hozier. He has such an incredible, soulful voice. And I love his songwriting.
18. What makes you laugh out loud?
My sister, the office and dumb cat gif’s. A lot of stuff. I laugh all the time.
19. Fill in the blank: It’s not a party until…
…I’m feeling socially awkward and pretending to text. Just kidding. Kind of.
20. Fill in the blank: Country music has made me…
…Who I am today.
Pick up Rainey Qualley’s EP Turn Down The Lights at iTunes.