Reyna Roberts Talks How She Discovered Her True Self In Country Music

In 2023, she released her acclaimed debut album “Bad Girl Bible, Vol. 1”, cementing her status as one of the genre’s brightest stars.

Reyna Roberts is bringing soul to country music, and she will not apologize for it. An extremely gifted singer/songwriter and pianist, Roberts, 26,  is one of the leading figures of a new generation of Black country music artists breaking traditions and barriers by leaving their mark on the genre. 

Since her arrival on the scene, she has taken the country world by storm with her infectious, energetic personality and penchant for composing heartfelt songs.

After honing her craft on the independent circuit, Roberts attracted mainstream attention by releasing 2020's "Stomping Grounds” along with appearances on NFL’s “Monday Night Football.” She was chosen to open for Jamey Johnson on his 2021 summer tour before signing a deal with Eclipse Music Group, a Nashville-based publishing company.

In September 2023, Roberts released her debut album “Bad Girl Bible, Vol. 1”, which included the hits “Miranda,” "He Gon' Be a Problem,” and "Country Club.”

With all her success, Roberts is just getting started on what is shaping up to be a remarkable career.

Roberts shared how growing up in numerous cities and states exposed her to various genres of music that influenced her style.

“My parents are veterans, so I was born in Alaska. I don't really remember all that much because I was only there until I was four, and then we moved to Alabama and then to California,” she told “So, I grew up in a lot of different cities in three different states.”

“They always played all genres of music for me. They played blues, country, rock, trap, R&B, and gospel. So for me, it wasn't like a new genre that had been introduced to my life,” Roberts continued.

Because of her exposure to music at an early age, Roberts always knew that she would pursue music.

“For me, it was never a question about pursuing music. I've always felt like God put me here to be an artist, to create music, to be a performer, and hopefully, to inspire others,” she explained. “I've always known that I wanted to be a singer and I’ve been writing songs since I was 16 in high school. That’s when I started to realize within a few years that most of the songs I was writing were country songs.”

Investing in her musical pursuits, her family suggested that she relocate to Nashville, the capital of country music, to cultivate her talent.

“My family told me that I needed to go to Nashville because we didn't know anybody in the country music industry,” she recalled. “But I also write hip hop, pop, rock, I can write multiple genres. So I was trying to find myself and my sound. I tell people that I feel like country music chose me as opposed to me choosing it.”

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“Before I moved to Nashville, I was going there for about two years. People want to know who you’ve written with, and the producers you've worked with. So I had to get in multiple rooms,” she went on. “I just had to learn and have different experiences within those spaces which was really positive. I know that it's been so different for a lot of artists. After those two years of being in the writing camps.”

After covering Carrie Underwood's "Drinking Alone,” Underwood and Mickey Guyton shared the performance video, giving her the ultimate “stamp of approval.” The endorsement also shielded her from a lot of racist backlash that many before her experienced in the past.

“I had two major artists and a team surrounding me so I didn't have to face a lot of negativity at the time. They were putting me in safe spaces. Thankfully I had a lot of great experiences. There's definitely been some roadblocks,” she said. “On the one hand, people are very open and are champions of me.”

While she knew that being a Black woman in country music would have its challenges, she was shocked to learn how sexism is embedded within the genre.

“I would say that there are not many women that get played on country radio, and we're talking about superstars. So Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Laney Wilson get played, but other than that,  you don't really hear too many women, which is so sad,” Roberts said. “Imagine being a Black woman trying to get played on country radio and if it's already hard for women in general?”

Roberts also shared how Beyoncé’s recent foray into country music will bring more visibility to the genre’s Black artists.

“I believe Beyonce being in the genre will help so many more people be introduced to our music.  I’ve gained more than 120,000 new fans on social media because of her new songs,” she said. "I'm hoping that she would bring me, Tanner Adell, and Britney Spencer, on tour with her because a country tour would be revolutionary!”

On “Bad Girl Bible Vol. 1,” Roberts said that her debut project—even its title — encapsulates her journey of self-expression and artistic freedom.

“I genuinely cannot tell you at what moment I thought of that title, or what even made me think of it. But one day, it just came to me and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness ‘Bad Girl Bible’ sounds badass,” Roberts explained. “At first, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know how people would receive that title because I love God so much. I don't want people to think about it in a completely different way.”

To bring the album to fruition, a team effort included David Mescon, Kendall Brower, Danny Myrick, Aaron Wagner, and others. Roberts wanted the album to be an experience for listeners.

“It was a bunch of different artists who helped to bring that project together sonically and visually,” she said. “I wanted every song to have its own story so I have probably eight different shoots so I could tell a story for every single song, which was really important for me.”

“I'm just so happy that I was finally able to put out a whole body of work because I've written over like 200 songs. It's such a long journey.  I released my first song in 2018, or 19 and now we’re here in 2024, I'm grateful to be able to do what I love and to put on a project,” she added. “I hope people who are listening to it will get more of an idea as to who I am and the stories I want to tell as opposed to before when there's just a single here or a single day there.”

As country music continues to evolve, Reyna Roberts is undoubtedly one of the genre’s brightest stars and will help shape its rise for years to come.

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