It is safe to say that women in country music will always have my heart. In 2022 that statement is still holding strong thanks to new faces on the scene like Charly Reynolds. The charismatic singer-songwriter was born and raised in the sunshine state of Florida, which also appropriately describes the beach blonde’s sunny disposition. Pulling from fellow strong country ladies like Miranda Lambert, Shania Twain and Taylor Swift, Reynolds is holding her own and bringing her own spin on the genre. With a tender yet powerful vocal and a pinch of sass, Charly Reynolds is helping to usher in a new era of strong female narrative in country music.
What are some of your early music memories from being a little girl?
As a little girl I listened to all kinds of music. listened to pop, country and even broadway musicals. Then I got into Taylor Swift. She was honestly a huge inspiration to my music growing up. I got into all kinds of country and then Carrie came after Taylor and that was like sealed the deal. I saw Carrie was I was 12. That performance really sealed the deal on country music for me.
Is anyone else in your family musical? Or are you the one carrying the torch?
My mom is a great singer, and my dad is pretty good too. they don't really sing anymore, but they can carry a tune. My mom used to sing in church growing up, and my brother is also a very good singer and piano player. So I guess I definitely grew up in a musical family for sure. I didn't start playing guitar till I was a senior in high school. I wish I would've picked it up sooner. As a child, my parents had me in piano lessons, but I hated it. I wish I would have kept up with it, so I guess my parents were right. I've been trying to learn over again.
Who have been your biggest supporters along the way?
My entire family has been super supportive. I've been very blessed with a supportive family. Without them and their support, I literally could not be living up here and doing this. It was a very big decision. I was going to go to University of Alabama to be in news broadcasting. I just didn't think that being a country artist was a real option. Which now I have just such different views on that.
What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned since you moved to Nashville?
I guess some advice I would have is to just put yourself out there. When I first moved here, I was 18. I graduated high school and then two weeks later I moved here and I did not know anybody. I worked at Chick-fil-A full time, for like the first seven months. Being that young, I just couldn't really go to anything. I didn't know how to meet people. I was too shy to reach out on Instagram to people because I thought it was weird. In this industry, I think you can't worry too much about stuff and you just have to put yourself out there and do it. That's how I started making friends was reaching out on Instagram and messaging people asking to get coffee or to write. Doing that helped me a ton.
Another thing is to not say “no” to things that you should be doing just out of fear or laziness. Because I think it's so easy to get in your head or just blow it off. You cannot say no to opportunities that are placed in front of you because you never know what that might have led to.
Talk to me about your journey on TikTok. What has surprised you the most about the platform?
This past year, I have started posting music and taking it seriously as a platform like I should have done from the beginning. It's so crazy because there's no rhyme or reason as to why things blow up and why they go viral. These last couple months I've just had the most random stuff blow up.
I am not sure why, but I started this series “Hey Char” where I sing on the spot about a topic. I didn't realize how people would really like those videos. I just had one with “Beer Never Broke My Heart” by Luke Combs and it blew up. It went viral on both TikTok and Instagram Reels, which is wild to me. It doesn't show my vocals that well. But who knows. it doesn't like do anything, you know, I don't understand, but it blew up on TikTok and it blew up on here as well, which is crazy. Like I've never gotten, you know, over a million views on Instagram before. It is crazy that it can blow up that fast.
I was talking to my friends, Diamond Dixie about it actually. I just don't wanna keep posting my songs because I don't wanna annoy the crap out of people. The girls reminded me that videos are seen by different people every time you're posting. So I think its a great lesson in taking advantage of what is working for alot of artists right now!
Being a woman in country music, playing at the first country music bar owned by a woman down on Lower Broadway. What does that mean to you?
It's incredible. It's so funny because when it opened, which was a little over a year ago now, I knew I wanted to play there. When it first opened, my friend went, she was in town from Orlando, my hometown. When we went in there and I was like, it's pink, it's sparkly. It's me. I need to play here. I was asking around all the bartenders, which they don't have anything to do with booking. So, so they didn't know.
My friend Lauren star who plays there, asked me to be a duo partner there one day. And it went from there. She was not able to make her standing gig one time and I filled in. I guess they liked me so much they kept booking me.
Within my first three weeks that I played there is when I met Miranda. It still seems so crazy. It was so funny because I remember I texted my mom on stage. We were getting ready, and the staff was making sure that everything, I mean everything was perfect. I told my mom, “all right, either Miranda's coming in or there's an event because they're making sure everything is in tiptop shape up there.”
Low and behold three songs in, Miranda and her family were watching from the balcony. My guitar player Dave didn’t even notice. We laugh now that I had to tell him. But after we got to go up and meet her. It was so nerve wracking performing for her, but my adrenaline kicked in and I am so glad it did.
Pinch me still! Her and her whole family were beyond kind.
Why do you feel like country music needs women?
What would it be without women honestly telling the true stories? Women tell different stories than men do in country because we have different perspectives on everything. I love men and women in country music. But the older songs, like the stories and the heartbreak and the like heart wrenching songs, that women in the past have put out have a way. Those songs have sassy punches like Loretta Lynn’s “Not Woman Enough to Take My Man.” That song is just hilarious. I think there'd be so much perspective that was lost if there wasn't women in country music.
What was your goal with your new single “Rodeo”?
Shania Twain is also a huge influence of mine. I love Shania Twain, like before Shania Twain like got super popular again in the last two years. Growing up, I was so obsessed with her anthems and her fun writing. I wanted a song like that and for some reason. I know this to be true for a lot of my female friends who are writers. It is so hard to write an anthem sometimes because it's so natural to just want to write a sad song for some reason.
When we wrote “Rodeo”, I was sitting down with my best friend, Nicole Croteau and our other friend, Sean Cook, who produced it as well. We got together on a Friday night and we wanted to write something like that and we're going through song ideas. Nicole said “rodeo.” As in “this aint my first rodeo”. From then I was all in on the idea. We came up with the melody. I have some funny videos of us coming up with the melodies and singing them. Honestly the song came together so fast. and it just all fell together so fast and we loved it.
I'm just obsessed with it. I love that I got to write it with my best friend. It's more pop country than, than I was going like than I was thinking for this direction for these next few releases. But I love it.
How do you define country music?
I would define country music as the music that still tells stories and truth. Some pop artists probably do that, but I don't listen to pop as much anymore. Country music, even if it's a made up story, you're still telling a story, which is something that I love to do. I love to tell stories Even with my new single “Rodeo.” We made it up, but it's still telling a story. She's a girl in a bar with a guy hitting on her and I really love that. It's a storytelling genre and I hope that it always will be so.