Shelby Raye Begins First Musical Chapter with Resilient Single “Call Me Crazy”

Ever since she was five years-old, all signs have pointed to Shelby Raye being where she is right now.

Performances before she was a half dozen years-old, writing songs in her pre-teens, winning talent contents, and most recently, packing up and moving to Music City have all culminated in the release of Raye’s debut single, “Call Me Crazy,” earlier this month.

The single, an empowering tune that encourages pushing through tough times in a relationship, comes equipped with a pounding backbeat, rocking guitars and Raye’s ranging voice, and serves as merely the beginning of what the South Carolina native has up her sleeve.

We chatted with Raye all about “Call Me Crazy,” as well as her early start in music, industry recognition, major opening slots, what’s next and more!

PC: Who are some of the earliest artists you remember hearing that have helped shape your sound?

Shelby Raye: Martina McBride, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

PC: You’ve been performing since you were only a few years old. What was it about performing and singing that connected with you so early in your life?

SR: I have always had a love for music. There was something about the way it made me feel that I could not put into words. Music always fit into my day and lifestyle, no matter the mood I was in. For me, music is the same as needing air to breathe. 

PC: When did that early interest in music translate into wanting to, and realizing you could, pursue music as a career? 

SR: When I was 10 years-old I saw my first live band performance at a restaurant in my hometown. An artist by the name of J Edwards was playing. He had previously seen me singing karaoke at the same restaurant and told my mom to bring me out to a live show if she was comfortable with it. He said he felt as though I had a lot of potential and wanted to get me on a stage. I got on stage with him, and we sang “Wagon Wheel” by The Old Crow Medicine Show. From that point forward, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

PC: In your formative years, you won several local and national talent contests. What do those kinds of experiences do for your confidence as an artist as you win those contests?

SR: When I first began doing talent contests, I was young. As I began winning these contests, I remember thinking to myself “Okay, maybe I’ve really got something here, because there is a pattern.” As a human, naturally, we often find ourselves dealing with self-doubt. This started opening my eyes to the realization that I might really have what it takes to make a career out of this, and a very successful one that is. 

PC: Additionally, you’ve been previously nominated for Best Female Country Artists and Best Solo Act by the Carolina Country Music Awards. What do award nominations and praise from within the industry itself mean to you as an artist?

SR: Being nominated for any award nomination is very honoring. Being among hundreds of other artists who are working equally as hard-working and diligently as I am, and to be chosen for an award nomination like that makes me feel very accomplished. I work very hard on my craft every day. I know that, and the people closest to me know that, but for someone in the industry who sees thousands of artists daily choose me for a nomination like that is very honoring.

PC: You’ve made your move from South Carolina to Nashville. What emotions did you feel moving so far away from home, and what has it been like to be immersed in the Music City scene?

SR: It is safe to say that I believe I have felt every emotion there is. From sad to happy, scared to excited and many more. My mom always told me “Baby Girl, if what you’re doing doesn’t scare you, then you need to dream bigger.” That stuck with me from then until this day. I view fear and nerves as a sign of doing something right. 

Being immersed in the Music City scene is exhilarating. Being in Nashville, writing and performing every day is the very reason I moved to town. 

PC: What emotions were you feeling as you were preparing to release music for the first time with your debut single, “Call Me Crazy”?

SR: Again, this is a very similar instance where I was feeling every emotion in the book. Excitement seemed to overpower many of the other emotions, but feeling unsure was a close second. Feeling this way was not because I felt like the song felt short of my expectations, or that it was not my best, but simply because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I wasn’t sure what to expect or what would come of this, I just knew I was doing everything to the best of my ability. 

PC: You co-wrote “Call Me Crazy” with Callie Prince and Sam Johnson. Can you take us in the room and talk about how the song came together?

SR: I had the idea of “Call Me Crazy” for the hook of a song for a while. When I had my first co-write with Sam Johnson and Callie Prince, I approached them with the idea, and they ran with it! We didn’t want to settle for the “easy out” on this song. So halfway through, we decided to take a lunch break, shout out to Jack Browns and their Jack Brown Sauce, if you know you know! When we got back, we knocked out the second half of the song and fell in love with everything about it. I knew from the moment we finished it that “Call Me Crazy” was going to be my first single.

PC: Since release day, “Call Me Crazy” has landed on high profile Spotify playlists by Whiskey Riff, Country Central and Country Pickinz, among others. How encouraging has the response from within the industry been to “Call Me Crazy” in the days since its release?

SR: Going into this release, I was not sure what would come of the single or the response it would receive. Now, seeing how the industry and everyone is reacting to “Call Me Crazy” is truly an honor. It is also so amazing to witness the overwhelming amounts of support from many of these industry accounts such as Raised Rowdy, In The Round and Country Pickinz. I am so grateful to have so many wonderful and pure people in my corner. 

PC: Your bio mentions that you have several original songs written. What information, if any, can you give about follow up songs to “Call Me Crazy”? What can people expect to hear?

SR: I can promise this is just the beginning. 

PC: In your career, you’ve landed opening slots for major artists like Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow and TG Sheppard. What can you take away from major performing experiences like that, and how satisfying is it to see your name on bills with such high profile artists?

SR: The main concept I took away from opening for and meeting such big-name artists as themselves, is to remain humble. I will never forget where I came from, and there will never come a day where I am untouchable to my fans. 

PC: What do you have planned for the rest of 2023?

SR: My plan for the rest of 2023 is to just get my music and my story out to the world, I have a lot I want to say, and I’ll be damned if I don’t get to.

*”Call Me Crazy” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*


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