Rylee Austin continues to chase her music dreams

Published 12:39 pm Monday, October 16, 2023

Rylee Austin grew up attending concerts and events like the Pike County Fair and now she’s performing at them.

Austin just wrapped up her performance at this year’s Pike County Fair this past weekend and she also performed at the Down South Music Fest in Opp this weekend. She’s become a regular at events throughout the Wiregrass.

“It fees pretty good, it’s kind of crazy,” Austin said of playing at shows she once attended. “I went to places like the Hank Williams Festival and the Festival At The Well and now I’m the one on the stage. So, being that person on the stage is pretty awesome. It makes me feel like I’ve made it, at least around here.”

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Austin grew up in Greenville and graduated from Luverne High School, but she knew pretty early on that what she wanted to eventually do with her life.

“I started singing in churches when I was around nine or 10. I started playing guitar when I was around eight,” Austin said. “I started listening to Loretta (Lynn) and Conway (Twitty) and all that with my daddy when I was younger. When I started playing guitar that’s when I said I could see myself doing this.”

Austin said that the “storytellers” of country music, which has influenced her music, have inspired her. This summer she released her first album, “My Side,” through Nashville, Tenn. label Grace Records.

“It was an amazing experience,” Austin said of recording her first album. “I have worked with Pat Holt and musicians such as Garth Brooks’ lead guitar player. My bass player played bass for Roseanne Cash and Roy Orbison and the keyboard player played for Dolly (Parton) and Reba (McEntire). To have people of that caliber playing with me was pretty amazing.”

Austin said her album could be described as “true life.”

“You can expect true life stories when you listen to it,” she emphasized. “There is anything from songs about my kids to drinking songs to child support songs, just everything.”

Her next single is called “I Love Her More” and is the lead song from the album.

“It’s a song about my daughter and about the co-parenting relationship with her dad,” she said. “It’s about how I love her more than I dislike him. That’s the type of music you can expect from the album.”

Austin, who travels between her home in Greenville to Nashville to perform and work on music, quit her career in law enforcement to pursue her dreams in music. She said self-doubt has been the biggest obstacle to overcome.

“Believe it or not, the hardest part of it is myself,” she said. “Fighting that feeling of, ‘Do I deserve this?’ It’s about the internal (struggle) of wondering am I doing the right thing or is this where I need to be? “

Austin said that any younger people that dream to pursue a career in music have to fight that self-doubt and keep working.

“If it’s something you really want to pursue, keep doing it,” she flatly said. “It doesn’t matter how many ‘No’s’ you get, keep going. You’ll get way more no’s than yes’ in this career. Do not let those ‘No’s’ tear you down or keep you from chasing what you know that you want.”

Austin is already planning her next album as she continues to chase her dreams.

“The goal for the future is to start working on my second album and eventually I would like to make it to the Opry,” she said. “Maybe next award season I could have some nominations for some awards, too.”

Austin is performing in Enterprise at Bugsy’s Saloon on Oct. 18 and at the Daleville Scarecrow Festival on Oct. 28. Austin’s music and more information on her career can be found at ryleeaustinmusic.com.