At just 18 years old, Temecula, California native Payton Howie is establishing herself as a forced to be reckoned with in country music.
With the release of her debut single “Catch Flights” in September, Howie set a high, country rocking bar for herself. Now, nearly four months to the day since releasing “Catch Flights,” Howie has doubled down on her country rocking sound with her newest single “f150.”
Her sophomore release is the first song that Howie wrote that she has released, which she says brings about a feelings of uneasiness.
“The number one word to describe the feelings behind releasing a song you’ve written is ‘vulnerability,’ says Howie. “’f150’ is very lyrically simple, but the words and feelings behind my reasons for writing it are all there in that song and very personal for me.”
Howie says that “f150” is a song that came together as a way to cope with things that were happening in her personal life at the time she wrote it.
“When I wrote ‘f150,’ I was going through a rough time personally in my life. It was two years ago, Christmas Eve, and things had just reached a boiling point in my life with a couple different situations. My home life was kinda rough at the time, and I was literally in the midst of my heart being played with by this guy,” says Howie. “Everybody has something they turn to when they’re trying to keep their head above water in a difficult situation. For me, when I feel trapped within my own emotions and I just feel oppressed by something, I feel like I have to break free from that by getting out into the open air, on an open dirt road, windows down, with my music blasting, in the driver’s seat of my truck. That’s where I find myself able to feel free. Kind of wild, kind of in control of my own situation in that moment. ‘f150’ is a song about that Christmas Eve two years ago and my ability to break free from the sadness that I couldn’t control.”
From a sonic perspective, “f150” picks up right where “Catch Flights” left off; another anthemic type of song inspired by the past and present greats of country music.
“My musical influences as far back as I can remember have always been Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert, and I love me some Johnny Cash, Hank and Chris Stapleton,” says Howie. “I find myself drawn to more kick-ass, tough songs. I consider myself to be a fighter, even though I can come across as sort of shy. I’ve been an athlete my whole life, and I believe playing sports really brings out the tough side of you.”
Just over a month since its release, “f150” is just over 1,000 streams shy of the total for “Catch Flights,” something that she appreciates and credits to the personal nature of her music.
“As musicians, we love to have people embrace the art that we create. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love seeing an increase in streams, followers, subscribers, etc.,” says Howie. “That’s just another way you can know people are listening, but I always try to stay focused on the goal of connecting on a personal level with my listeners through music on an intimate level. If I’m doing that, I know the rest will come in time.”
With her sophomore release under her belt, Howie plans to spend 2020 busy both in the studio and on the road to continue to make her mark.
“I’m scheduled back in the studio again in March and June to record new music as well as writing tons of new songs as we speak! I can’t wait for you all to hear them!” says Howie. “I am also working with some amazing national acts and will have some exciting announcements coming soon! The video for ‘F150’ is being recorded and will be released in 2020 as well. Summer time is going to take me to Nashville and Texas where I will be immersing myself in the music scenes out there!”
*All images courtesy of Payton Howie Facebook Page*