Rising singer-songwriter Ivory Layne moved to Nashville in 2013 to pursue a career in pop music. Originally from Denver, North Carolina, she caught the ear of producer Ed Cash who has worked with legendary artists like Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman and more. They released her first EP, Volume One, that same year.
Once in Music City, Layne struck a publishing deal with LBK Entertainment and began working with acclaimed songwriters Shane McAnally (Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan), Lori McKenna (Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban) and Jimmy Robbins (Brett Young, Keith Urban). She also provided vocals on songs with NeedtoBreathe, Natalie Grant and Ginny Owens.
It wasn’t long before Layne’s unique tone, engaging lyrical prowess and strong melodic sensibilities grabbed iconic singer-songwriter-producer Justin Timberlake’s attention. He immediately signed her to his Villa 40 artistic development company. Her latest single, “Committed,” in dropped in June. Layne did a short live tour this summer and played at the star-studded 2018 Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, Tennessee.
As one of Nashville’s hottest emerging talents, the multi-talented songstress is hard at work on new music, which will be released incrementally over the next several months. Check out a list of 5 things you may or may not have known about Ivory Layne below.
1. She started singing in church.
Ivory Layne comes from a musical family, rooted in Christian/Inspirational songs. Her father was a worship leader for many years, so she grew up singing in church. During an interview with Tim Hibbs for Vinyl Lunch, she revealed her first song, which she wrote at 6, was called “Flower of Love" and was a Southern Gospel song, born out of her faith-based musical background.
2. As a “theater kid,” she wrote songs and was the musical director for a school play.
Layne was involved in her school theater program and played the beloved Mrs. Potts in their production of “Beauty and the Beast,” she told Hibbs. She was also asked to write songs for another production, “Willow in the Winds,” and served as musical director for the play.
3. Her first single under Justin Timberlake’s Villa 40, was “Shake My Head.”
Layne released “Shake My Head” in 2017 under her Villa 40 deal. It’s an upbeat pop track in which she sings about leaving a bad relationship in a good place. In the chorus, she declares “Darlin’ it’s over, and I ain’t even gonna shake my head/I ain’t even gonna shake my head at you.” She's all about moving on with confidence in this catchy, infectious track.
4. She’s following JT’s advice as she continues her musical journey.
Layne is honored to work with a music legend like Justin Timberlake, who she described as being “a great guy, a hard worker, and not all smoke and mirrors,” to Hibbs. She also said she’s following his advice to “keep hustling and keep working hard” on her career. Part of that effort includes releasing a series of singles incrementally over time, in the coming months.
5. Produced in London, Layne hoped to bring a nostalgic element to her latest track, “Committed.”
Layne’s latest single, "Committed," and its accompanying music video dropped in June. The light, breezy video for the empowering track was directed by Bree Fish and boasts a distinct, intentional retro vibe. She talked about it during a Billboard interview saying, “Written in Nashville and produced in London, 'Committed' is a combination of my favorite 80's synths and cheeky, honest lyrics. Naturally, my hope was to bring those vibrant, nostalgic elements to the screen. I had the honor of working with an all-female team of Nashville creatives to whip up something both empowering and playful, and I'm thrilled to be able to share it with the world!"
BONUS FACT: Ivory Layne frequently posts fun behind-the-scenes production snippets of songs she’s working on via her Instagram account. She recently paired her song “Pretty” up with the 1957 classic movie “Funny Face” in a great video clip which describes to her followers in the caption saying, “Forget the age gap, this is a match made in heaven.”