Singer-songwriter Rainey Qualley may have entertaining in her blood, but don’t expect her to follow in the footsteps of her mother, actress Andie MacDowell. Instead, Qualley is forging her own creative path in country music.
Qualley grew up in Asheville, N.C., raised on the music of classic country entertainers including Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. Over the years, the 25-year-old has called Montana, Los Angeles, and Nashville home.
During her MusicRow visit, Qualley offered a three-song acoustic performance of songs from her Turn Down The Lights EP. Qualley co-wrote every track on the EP, with co-writers including Ramey, Jeffrey Easy, Adam Smith, and Roxie Dean. THe project was produced by Russ Zavitson and John Ramey.
Qualley ran through tracks including the power ballad “Never Mine,” “Dead and Gone,” and “Me and Johnny Cash.” She says the song, a quirky tune about turning to booze and The Man in Black to get over a breakup, was inspired by personal experience. “I was venting to [co-writer Ramey] in the car about an ex-boyfriend, and we came into the office and wrote the song.”
“I was in L.A. and I was coming back and forth from Nashville regularly for songwriting trips,” said Qualley of her introduction to Music City. “I’ve always loved songwriting, and Russ knew I had a lot of room to grow. He started setting me up with co-writers, and I began going back and forth to Nashville and Los Angeles. After my first trip to Nashville, I was begging Russ, ‘Hey, when can I move here?'” She has now been living in Nashville for nearly a year.
The multi-talented entertainer has dabbled in acting, scoring roles in the movies Falcon Song (2014), Mighty Fine (2012), and Pink & Baby Blue. Just before making the move to Nashville, Hollywood came calling again, in the form of a role on popular series Mad Men. “I auditioned for the role and ended up getting it. It only took like four hours to shoot, so I thought, ‘Why not?'”
Still, Qualley says her goals for the future center around her upcoming full-length album and burgeoning music career. “Music is really my focus and where my heart is.”
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