Singer-songwriter Kaylin Roberson is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her dad put her into piano lessons when she was just six years old, and at the time admits through a small laugh, “I refused to practice.” Her passion for music emerged later on in middle school when she started writing her own music as a way for her to deal with the difficult ordeals that come with the early teen years. “Growing up, sometimes you have so much to say,” she exclaims. “It just kind of became an outlet for me no matter what I was going through.”
As Roberson was finding her words through her lyricism at a young age, she began to go on tour to different high schools to discuss bullying. “Ever since then, I’ve always wanted my music to have a purpose,” she explains. Because of her busy schedule, she switched from public school to online school and then right after graduating high school, she moved to Nashville.
The move away from home and transition into a big city was a fairly easy one for Roberson because of her experiences from her teen years: she had already sacrificed a social life for her busy schedule. “I’ve been here for two years now,” she tells us. “I’ve just been focusing a lot more on songwriting because I always say I don’t just wanna be another voice. I want to be a voice that people actually listen to.” Her passion for music, and songwriting specifically, drove her to the city because she felt an urge to improve her penmanship as an artist.
Her first single, “Out of My Town” was released in 2020 and ended up being a top 10 finalist in the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s songwriter contest that year. Her dad was the one who convinced her to submit it, and even though she was hesitant because she was unlucky with competitions in the past, she gave in. “It was like a reassurance that I’m here and I’m doing the right thing and that my songwriting is improving,” she tells us. Since then, she’s co-written tracks for numerous other acts like Halle Kearns, Matt Gorman, and also had a hand in the TikTok famous song “Far Boy” by Leah Marie Mason which now has over a million streams on Spotify alone.
Her track “Big Fish,” which was released in early 2021, started out as a joke that she brought into a writer’s room. The song is about a phrase used in the south and often said by her mother that goes, “You’re just a big fish in a little pond.” The phrase is typically directed at people who think they’re a big deal within their small circle, but are irrelevant otherwise. “I want ‘Big Fish’ to be a song that you can take from either side of the story,” she says. “I’ve also been the person who’s been told they’re a big fish in a little pond, and then you get out and you figure it out. Especially in a place like Nashville where everybody is trying to do the same thing.” The song is upbeat with lyrics that have a duality about them; the songwriting is sassy yet also meaningful and encourage people to stay grounded.
This past Friday, Roberson followed up “Big Fish” with “When He’s Been Drinking” which was inspired by the music stylings of ERNEST. The track tells the prologue to the relationship she’s currently pursuing. She distinctly remembers waiting around for the boy she liked to text her one night to make plans, but he opted to spend it at a baseball game with his guy friends. “I just grabbed a bottle of wine and was chugging it. And then, a couple hours later he started texting me cute, stupid things,” she says. “It sparked the idea for ‘When He’s Been Drinking’ because I was like, man, most girls would die to have someone that thinks about them whenever they go out and get drunk without them.”
The contrast between “When He’s Been Drinking” and “Big Fish” is obvious. Where “Big Fish” is audacious and brassy, “When He’s Been Drinking” is softer, sweeter, and heartfelt. Growing up, Roberson listened to all variations of country music; each sub-genre has found its way into influencing her work and she’s testing the waters to see what works best for her. “Right now as an artist, I am figuring out a lot of my sound,” she explains. “A lot of what I’m releasing has to do with stuff that I love. I know it’s all different and that’s kind of why I’m putting it out.”
To hear more of country music’s best new releases, head to our Playlists Page and follow The Nash New Releases playlist on Spotify. For the latest in country music news follow The Nash News on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, and don’t miss our brand new newsletter!