Meet Lou Ridley, an “anti-country country” artist you’re gonna want to remember! Putting a spin on the average radio-ready country song we’ve all known to be about faith, family, friends, and a nice cold one, she sings to a new tune while still embracing those “country” roots.
In her single “Hometown“, instead of sharing solely the love she has for home, she emphasizes her memories of being an outcast and bullied there. Showcasing an immense amount of devotion and lyrical talent, she wrote the song in just 20 minutes after meeting with a label that told her she wasn’t country enough. Talk about showing them what they’re missing!
Following the release of “Hometown” back in August and her upcoming EP’s intro “Hellfire” with the single and a video, we spoke with Ridley on her song “Delivered” which dropped today, her Angel/Outlaw EP releasing on December 2, and more about her musical journey and aspirations.
BTS: You have self-proclaimed your music as anti-country country. What led to this distinction and what are key elements of your songs that support this title?
When I say anti-country all I really mean is lyrics that don’t align with most of what you hear on country radio. I feel as though there are a few key topics that just get sung about repetitively, leaving only a small group of people able to relate to them. Country listeners experience a variety of emotions just like anyone else…I want to tap more into that. “Hometown”, for example, is a song about hating my hometown as opposed to the tried and true “love my hometown” song that’s been done already.
BTS: Despite the “anti” part of your country sound, do you feel inspired by true country or does your musical stimulation stem more from other genres?
I do feel inspired by true country; I grew up on Garth Brooks and Reba. I feel equally inspired by Nina Simone or Bill Withers. So, I like to imagine my sound is a nice mix of all the music I love.
BTS: How did you use these influences throughout your upcoming EP?
I don’t have any classic training, so most of my music knowledge comes from emulating people I admire, thus my sound is that mix I mentioned before. Or at least – I hope so!
BTS: Did any specific moments of your life inspire a large portion of the EP?
I’d like to thank all my exes equally and my upbringing for giving me a wonky vocabulary.
BTS: “Hellfire”, the intro to your EP, was released a couple weeks ago. What emotions were you feeling following its debut?
Grateful. Always feeling grateful. I get to do what I love everyday.
BTS: The song was accompanied by a video that premiered on YouTube on release day. Tell us about what we see in the music video which includes you at a bar and even riding a mechanical bull.
You see me at a friend’s bar having fun with my other friends behind the camera. I think sometimes it’s best to be vague and let the viewer or listener interpret the meaning.
BTS: Why did you choose “Hellfire” as the opener for the EP?
We felt it best communicated what the EP consists of.
BTS: Today, you released another song from your soon-to-be-released EP. What does “Delivered” stand for and mean to you?
Whew…”Delivered” was the first song I wrote after my BIG breakup. I felt as though I was trapped in my love for him. I was suffocating. I didn’t even want to be in it, but I couldn’t get out. I felt like I needed deliverance. Some other worldly intervention.
BTS: People who have gotten to hear the EP before its release have included “Delivered” on their favorites list. Do you share a similar sentiment?
That’s tough because they’re like my little children. But “Delivered” was my first born, so.. I guess I do.
BTS: Your EP titled Angel/Outlaw is set to release early December. What have you done thus far to prepare for the big day?
Well, all the technical things an artist must do, distribution and that. We are having a release party, which I’m excited for.
BTS: As its release inches closer and closer do new feelings arise? What are they?
All the things I put in this EP I don’t feel anymore, at least for the people they’re about. They’ve been cast out in a sense. So the new feelings are just the new songs bubbling up.
BTS: Do you have a favorite song from Angel/Outlaw? If so, what about it makes it special to you?
“Blind Eye”. It’s an incredibly vulnerable song… which I have trouble with. I really let it rip with that one.
BTS: Following the EP, what should we expect from you for the rest of 2021 and into 2022?
More music, more videos. My team would say more TikToks lmao. Another project maybe? We will see. Hopefully, evolved articulation in describing my new heart breaks.
BTS: What have you enjoyed about being an artist thus far and what about it gets you excited for the future?
To be honest, I don’t know any other way to be. I left music alone for years and I was still constantly writing, just not pursuing it professionally. Now that I’m releasing music again, everything excites me. I love performing and connecting with people. Bringing awareness to the things that matter to me.
BTS: What messages from Angel/Outlaw and your other projects do you hope resonate with your listeners?
Use you heartbreak to become a stronger, more powerful version of yourself. Don’t let it take you down. There is value in pain.
With two EP singles already behind her, the release of Ridley’s Angel/Outlaw will be here in the blink of an eye. While you have the time, do a deep dive into her sound by exploring her discography so you know the perfection you’re getting yourself into with the EP. Be ready to hear more of the perfect blend of those classic country elements with a lyrical and genre-unifying twist that could make the biggest country hater hit that add to playlist button!
Stream “Delivered” here.
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