This week’s Swag Spotlight is taking over the airwaves with his current radio single “Front Seat.” Rayne Johnson hails from Southern Ohio, but his sound is influenced by his vast life experiences and multi-genre musical interests.
Growing up in church, Johnson often sang on holidays. He shared that his parents, especially his mom would always play the classics on vinyl, such as Nat King Cole, Elvis, and Frank Sinatra. “I think the impact that influenced me from the Nat King Cole and the Frank Sinatra stuff [was] I could always recognize how they could make you feel what they were singing.” On the other hand, his father made him fall in love with classic country music, especially Merle Haggard. “On the country music side, my dad was a classic country guy, that was more of the story-telling and I saw that in country music.” When he got older, he added R&B artists like Brian McKnight and Babyface to his music collection.
His eclectic music taste led him to a music career, writing and recording songs that span genres. Johnson’s song “Laid Back” garnered success on Spotify, where fans took a liking to the cheeky lyrics in the fun song. He wrote the song with a friend from Rhode Island, who he claims has a knack for wordplay. Although the lyrics are the star, the funky and soulful beat, along with the singer’s vocal delivery make it a smash.
On the the other end of the spectrum, Johnson’s current radio single and first national release, “Front Seat” showcases his vulnerable and emotive side. All the buzz around the new song can only be described with one word “surreal,” according to the singer. “Honestly it wasn’t one of those songs, where we’re like ‘this is the one,’ everyone is going to love this. We knew it was a good song for sure, but it’s really hard to break with a ballad in any type of music really. It’s just been received super well.”
As we delved deeper into the impactful song, we learned about the inspiration for the beautiful ballad. “It was more or less, some friends of mine attacking a song that could maybe inspire guys to treat girls better. A few of us have younger boys, and we were like ‘How do we want our boys to be when they grow up?’ Cause honestly, today’s society is a lot different when it comes to respect and the old school type of thing, ya know.”
Johnson added that he is so appreciative that fans are relating to the song’s message, sharing “It’s been really cool to see. I get direct messages all the time from young ladies, I would say more from women expressing like “I just came out of an eleven-year relationship, where I was treated awful, this song is so awesome for me.,” adding that the song resonates with the men too. “I also get messages from guys, saying “Bro, this song is awesome man. I wish my friends treated their girlfriends this way.””
We could all learn a thing or two from “Front Seat,” and it is especially important that we continue to empower women to stand up for themselves, but also to encourage men to be the best they can be too. Johnson is a pioneer when it comes to that sentiment.
We closed out our interview discussing upcoming music. Although are no solid dates, Johnson assures us that there is an EP coming towards the end of the fall, early winter. He added, “I’m so excited about it because I feel like it’s one of those EPs that have so many songs that people are going to love.” If it is anything like his previous releases, we are sure that Johnson’s upcoming EP will be just as powerful.
“Front Seat” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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