Swag Spotlight: Kaylee Rutland

Kaylee Rutland


When Kaylee Rutland was just eight years old she recalls raising her hand to sing a solo during her church choir show and was immediately bit by the performance bug. “It was the best feeling in the world and I knew I wanted to do this all of the time. It is something that I will always remember.”  She spent her childhood in Flower Mound, Texas, and grew up  listening to Christian music and Radio Disney, before falling in love with country music.  “It’s always been country music for me, in particular, I would listen to Reba, Carrie Underwood, and Sara Evans,” she recalls.

After graduating high school, Rutland made the move to Nashville to attend Belmont University as a Music Business major. She graduated this past December and attributes so much to her college experience.  Having heard from songwriters in the industry how they wished they had gotten a degree in the inner workings of the music industry, she decided to pursue that track and outside of class take voice lessons and go to songwriting sessions, ultimately creating a good balance of knowledge.  “Getting to take what I learned in the classroom at Belmont and then apply it to my own career and mix being a student with being a musician has been fantastic,” she says of her four years at Belmont.

Her EP, That Side of Me, released in October features five original songs, all of which Rutland co-wrote as well as a new twist on Adele’s “Rumor Has It”.  She explains how some of the tracks were written four years ago while others were written and recorded just months before the EP was released.  “I wanted a variety of songs that showcased a different side of me as an artist, as a 22-year-old girl and I hope that each of the songs speak out to other people and show them different sides of them as well,” she says of the project. She has learned that being vulnerable and going into a songwriting session and opening up to the other writers is the way to find great, honest lyrics.  “That’s what I love about country music, so much of it is real, it’s really just somebody sitting there with a guitar and pouring our their thoughts,”  Rutland says.

Kaylee decided that the EP should close with a cover, and she knew that she could take a song that wasn’t a traditional country song and transform it into something new with an added twist.  After one of her bandmates suggested an Adele song, she recalls laughing to herself thinking she couldn’t sing an Adele song, however, she took the upbeat revenge song and made it her own.

Looking forward to life as a college graduate, Rutland is excited to have her classroom days behind her and not have to balance her school schedule with her music career.  “I plan on doing a lot more widespread performances, I am always performing in Texas and in Nashville, but I would love to get to more places around the country that I haven’t been before,” she explains.  For more about Kaylee Rutland be sure to be following her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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