In 2017, Mercury Nashville/Interscope artist Lauren Alaina celebrated her first No. 1 single with “Road Less Traveled,” a soaring affirmation anthem aimed at dreamers of all ages. Alaina, who is nominated for a second time in the New Artist of the Year category at the upcoming CMA Awards in November, keeps that positive outlook going as she says hello to the decade of scrunchies, faded denim, and radio waves where the ladies dominated in her latest single, “Ladies In The ‘90s.”
The track pays homage to hits from both pop artists Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and country stars including Shania Twain and Reba.
“Ladies In The ’90s” follows her guest appearance on the Platinum-selling track “What Ifs” with Kane Brown, which earned Collaborative Video of the Year at the CMT Music Awards earlier this year. Alaina also took home the ACM’s New Female Vocalist title in May. Last year, she was named Breakthrough Artist-Writer of the Year at the MusicRow Awards, and earned CMT’s Breakthrough Video of the Year for “Road Less Traveled.”
Alaina recently discussed her new single, work on an upcoming album, and her biggest ’90s idol.
Your new single “Ladies In The ’90s” is equal parts nostalgia and female empowerment. How did the song idea come about?
I have been asked more times than I can count who my main musical influences are and what inspired me to become a singer/songwriter in the first place. One day I really thought about the question. I realized my heart dreamed the dream and the women dominating on the radio made me believe in it. I would sing my heart out in the living room to Whitney, Britney, Shania, Faith Hill, Reba, Christina Aguilera, and so many more. Those women were living proof that I could be a woman on the radio.
With the ongoing conversation about females on country radio these days, I wanted to address it. Instead of being bitter and hateful about how I believe women should be heard, I wanted to remind people of a time where women were unapologetic about being women and owned every ounce of it. Those women continue to be proof that little girls can dream big dreams and accomplish them. Also, I missed scrunchies, and now I have excuse to wear them again.
You include so many iconic ’90s song titles in this new track. Which title was the hardest to fit in?
It was a bit of a puzzle to put together. I feel like the songs eventually fell into their own place.
Do you think that the female empowerment component of ’90s songs plays a part in the recent surge of fans and artists loving on that particular decade of music?
I think good songs last a lifetime. No one can ever take away iconic songs and moments in music. There will only ever be one “Man, I Feel Like A Woman.” That song will be a huge song forever. I think it was such an important message for women and will always be. That’s just one example of the many. I love how fierce and true the women in the nineties were. I hope I can have even a fraction of that.
You have already been performing the song in concerts. What has the fan reaction been so far?
The response at our shows has been blowing my mind. People are already singing every word and it’s brand new. I had the most amazing moment at a show recently. There was the most beautiful little girl in the front row. I noticed when “Ladies” came on, she sang every word. The song had only been out for five days. I let her sing a quarter of the song. It was a moment I will never forget. It made me so proud to hear that little girl singing all of the songs that made me fall in love with singing. I hope I can be that for her.
If you had to choose, who is your biggest ’90s idol and why?
Phew. That is so hard. I would have to say Dolly Parton. She didn’t come out in the nineties, but she knows no time in her career. She’s a Lady of all the times. I respect her so much. She is one of the sweetest women I have ever met, and she is a total boss. She is the definition of owning your brand and expanding it to the moon. I love her so much.
How far along are you in the album-making process for your next project?
I have just begun the process. “Ladies” is the only song I have recorded so far. I’m writing and getting going. I’m so excited to see where the songs take me.
How do you feel your music has evolved since Road Less Traveled?
Road was a record of growth. I feel like I’m in a completely new chapter of life for this one. I am just getting started on it, but the songs feel like an extension of where I’ve been.
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