Kaylin Roberson: Our Hometowns are Always Home

Kaylin Roberson released her first single since moving to Nashville a little over a year ago on May 29, 2020. The Raleigh, North Carolina native, reminds us no matter how much progress occurs, the memories remain. It is our hometown and our life experiences that make us who we are. Undiscovered Nashville discovered Roberson almost a year ago playing with her band at Live Oak. We are happy to share her story and celebrate the release of “Out of my Town.”

Kaylin Roberson’s Musical Beginning

Kaylin Roberson’s firsts exposure to music other than listening began when she was young. Roberson said, “I started playing piano when I was six years old. Music was something my parents, especially my dad, wanted my sister and me to at least appreciate. He liked us to experience a lot of different things, whether it is was music or sports. So I played a lot of different sports, and always played piano in the background.”

Finding Beauty from Pain

When we experience hardship, loss, or something traumatic in our lives, it’s important to look for the lessons and beauty. For Kaylin Roberson, that is precisely what happened. The singer-songwriter said, “As a kid, I had something in me that wanted to be on stage singing and to perform. However, when I was about nine or ten years old, I was attacked by my grandparents’ dog. He ripped off the right half of my lip, exposing my gums. He also tore the right side of my eye around that high cheekbone, exposing that as well. I had to go undergo plastic surgery, and ended up with over 200 stitches in my face.”

Take a moment and think about the trauma Kaylin went through. However, while Kaylin had her struggles, she also found strength. Roberson said, “After the dog attack and surgery, I found a different kind of love for music. It didn’t feel like I was doing it because my dad wanted me to take lessons. It felt like it was a way for me to express myself. The older I got, the more I started to write my songs and express myself. I had a lot of self-confidence issues because of the scars on my face. 

As a teenager, appearance becomes much more critical. Kaylin explained, “At age nine, I can’t say my experience affected me the way it does now. As I got older, like in middle school, especially with social media, you begin comparing yourself to how other people look. I think that is something I had to overcome, and music helped me do that.”

Meet Kaylin Roberson

Kaylin Roberson: Using My Voice to Help Others

The one common theme that emerges when I talk to songwriters is the hope their music can impact others and make a difference. Kaylin took that further than most at a young age. Roberson said, “music turned into much more than something I wanted to do. I tried to use my voice to spread my message to other people who have gone through something like bullying or even as horrible as cancer.”

Most high school teenagers worry about boys, girls, homework, or getting through the day. However, Kaylin Roberson was traveling with other teens trying to help others. The singer-songwriter said, “In high school, I began taking online classes at home so I could go on the “Teen Nation” tour. It was an anti-bullying tour going to elementary, middle, and high schools all over the country. I was also part of the “One Voice” project, another school tour.”

Guess what I’m Thinking?

Helping Others Helped Me

Roberson continued, “It was on these tours. I found the power of my voice could have affecting other people. This realization was inspiring, and I kept falling more in love with the art of songwriting and using my voice to give back to the community. That is when I figured out this is what I wanted to do.”

Kaylin’s story can be a source of inspiration to others, but it also inspired her. Speaking about the dog attack and the anti-bullying tours, Roberson said, “Being a young girl who wanted to perform, it took me back a second. I had all these dreams. How would this affect it because I look different?”  Kaylin would find confidence by helping others. She said, “I think as much as those anti-bullying tours were a way for me to help other kids going through things, they also helped me. I remember the exact show when I realized that was happening. The tours were a way for me to heal by sharing my story.”

Growth as a Songwriter    

In the beginning, songwriters find inspiration in many things, but songs inspired by traumatic events and hardship can help you process your pain. The singer-songwriter said, “When you are first learning to write, I think you write about the first thing that comes to mind. Of course, in middle school, it can be an argument with your friend or just dumb things kids do.”

However, as you get older, you will grow as a writer as your life experiences change. Kaylin continued, “As I got older and in high school, especially when I started doing the tours, I wrote about loving who you are and finding hope where home can’t be found. I began writing more empowering songs. They weren’t commercial radio songs, but they helped me understand what I was going through, so I shared them with others.”

Kaylin Roberson performing
Kaylin on stage

Gaining Confidence as a Performer

The first time I saw Kaylin Roberson perform, she had an undeniable presence on stage. When I asked her how she gained confidence as a performer, Kaylin laughed and said, “It did not start like that.”  She continued, “Just thinking about the times I have failed on stage, it is embarrassing.”

Roberson continued, “I remember my first gig, and it was just me and my piano. I went from playing in my room to being on stage. I printed all my chords and some lyrics, and I was playing at The Boathouse in Myrtle Beach. It was a windy day, and down by the water, the wind was even worse. I get on stage, and I am already sweating and nervous. Of course, the wind blows all my chords away. My piano pedal started sliding, and I started shrinking. It’s the worst memory I have of playing by myself on stage.

Stage presence and performing take deliberate practice. However, it is not uncommon for someone to make mistakes on stage. Kaylin said, ” You have gigs where you mess up lyrics or chords, but you eventually learn to keep moving on. If you start a song in the wrong key, start over, laugh about it, and have a drink.”

Kaylin Roberson release “Out of My Town”

“Out of My Town” is Kaylin Roberson’s first single since moving to Nashville. Roberson released an EP five years ago, but she has since removed it from streaming services. She talked about why now is the right time. Roberson said, “I released an EP when I was fifteen, but since I released that I have spent so much time learning about who I am as an artist. I have been growing my songwriting skills by moving to Nashville and co-writing. Through that, I feel like I finally found the quality of music that I want to release.”

Kaylin wants her music to matter. Kaylin said, “I don’t want to be just a voice. I want to be a voice that people want to listen to and to do that, the songs have to be there first. Then I can start to spread my message and start getting back into the community.”

Album art for Kaylin Roberson's Out of My Town single
Artwork by: Micah Clevinger

The Story Behind the Song

Out of My Town” reminds us that progress and change cannot erase what your hometown means to us. Kaylin co-wrote the song with Clayton Mann and Bryce Mauldin, and Gary Garris produced the single. Roberson said, “What’s funny about this idea is I didn’t have a title at first, but I wanted to explore it. I know every country artist has a song about a hometown. I am well aware this idea is overused, but I don’t know if I have heard a hometown song that hits from this angle. Something cool about songwriting is that you can hit the same type of song from a different perspective, and that is what we did.”

Kaylin continued, “Since I have been in Nashville, I’ve had numerous Uber and Lyft drivers that are older and have been in town for a long time. They will say you didn’t want to walk around here ten years ago, or this was not here. That sparked the idea, and I thought, how can I relate to how it feels when I go back home.”

The singer-songwriter continued, “I didn’t have these feelings until I moved here. I began thinking about all the things that have been torn down in Raleigh. The physical changes are inevitable; Raleigh will keep growing. Every time I go back home, there seems to be more traffic. But, every time I go home, the feeling is always the same.”

Fun Facts About Kaylin Roberson and Future Releases

Here are some fun facts about Kaylin, according to Kaylin. Roberson said, “I am terrible with grammar on Instagram, and at this point, people probably think I am not scholastic at all. But, something people might not know is I am in college. I plan to graduate and get my Bachelor’s degree all online.”

Roberson also plans to release more music during 2020. Release dates are not yet confirmed, but she plans to release four more songs this year. As live music slowly returns, look for show announcements. In the meantime, you can listen to “Out of My Town” on Apple Music, Spotify, etc.

Follow Kaylin on social media for updates and remember, “you can’t take the home out of my town.”

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