Exuding passion and embracing wonder in every endeavor may well be the most defining quality of Asheville, North Carolina’s native-daughter and rapidly rising star that is Rainey Qualley. She moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting but quickly embraced her desire to entertain, and she is now the flagship artist for the new label Cingle Records.
Born in New York, NY, Rainey’s family moved to Missoula, Montana when she was two. Living on a farm in the Big Sky state with her parents, older brother and younger sister afforded wide open spaces to roam and play. Her love of the outdoors and animals were firmly entrenched by the time the family moved to Asheville, North Carolina when she was nine.
“We didn’t own a television, so my brother, sister and I and friends would be outside playing catching salamanders, climbing trees – everything most kids do outside,” said Rainey.
A student of dance since the age of two, Rainey always loved the performing arts and was a passionate participant in school plays, dance competitions, and choirs throughout her childhood. She credits dance for giving her an appreciation for a wide variety of music genres and styles. Between dance, the music her father listened to at home and in his own bands and her own eclectic tastes, she credits Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Otis Redding, Etta James, The Temptations and others for helping drive her love of music.
“Being in the Appalachian Mountains, those sounds are really native to my ears, and I love the historical element of Country music – it’s so native to America,” she said. “Country is innately earthy, which I’m drawn to.”
Rainey began creating her own songs as a young child, and her father taught her how to play guitar. Her love of writing and performing eventually led her to Nashville, where she immersed herself in the creative community.
“I love the songwriting atmosphere in Nashville. Everyone is making music, and there’s a real sense of community here.”
Second only to her passion for songwriting and music is her love for animals. She calls herself the “crazy cat lady” and confesses to carrying cat food in her car to share with strays she encounters. Her own two cats, Myrtle and Wizard, were rescued from the basement of a vacant house.
Rainey was recently announced as the flagship artist on the new Nashville label Cingle Records, and she is currently working on her debut album with acclaimed producer Russ Zavitson.
Her song, “Turn Me On Like The Radio,” was added as a “Highway Find” on SiriusXM’s The Highway and rose to #17 on their countdown. Her debut single “Me And Johnny Cash” hits country radio soon. TURN DOWN THE LIGHTS will be released on June 2, 2015.