Emerging pop sensation Ivory Layne credits Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Coldplay and Imogen Heap among her chief influences. Upon close listen, one can also arguably hear some glimmering similarities to Adele in Layne’s unique, full-bodied, sparkling tone.
With her background rooted in faith-based music, Ivory Layne began singing in church while growing up in Denver, North Carolina. She connected with iconic producer Ed Cash in 2011. The two teamed to write, produce and release her first EP, Volume One, in 2013.
That same year, Layne relocated to Nashville and quickly found her footing in Music City’s constantly evolving music landscape. After signing a publishing deal with LBK Entertainment, she began writing with renowned songwriters Lori McKenna, Shane McAnally, and Jimmy Robbins. While writing, she also provided vocals to artists like Needtobreathe and Natalie Grant.
Layne caught Justin Timberlake's attention and signed her to his Villa 40 artistic development company in 2014. Layne stands out among songwriters for her clever use of wordplay and strong lyrical prowess. Her latest single, “Committed,” is an infectious, empowering song in which she assertively conveys exactly what she’s looking for in a relationship. In case you're just catching on to her music, we created a list of Ivory Layne’s 7 best songs below.
This piano-driven track hails from Layne’s 2014 three-track EP Something’s Gonna Happen. Her dynamic tone sparkles in this wistful ballad, which is about recognizing when someone is falling short and failing to give in a relationship. The layered background vocals pop and lift the song to a sweet melodic place and the catchy chorus lives in your head long after the song is done.
“Radio” is part of a cool #SecretSongbook lyric video roll-out Layne did on YouTube. She co-wrote the track with Jimmy Robbins and Shane McAnally, who’ve worked with music giants like Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Brett Young and more. She dubs it as “one of my go-to tracks for when I’m getting’ all dolled up” under the caption and we couldn’t agree more. It’s a playful song about attraction and potentially catching someone’s interest and getting into their head. The chorus hook about being someone’s radio and letting them turn you on is clever and fun.
Another #SecretSongbook tune, "Dare the Devil" is an empowering song about finally getting out from under an oppressive, soul-crushing relationship. Layne talks about his wicked ways in the lines, “He’s a liar/Just brings me down, down, down/To unholy ground.” Her decision to “dare the devil” and get away is boldly inspiring and her feisty command in the lines, “Get back to that hell you come from/Don’t want what you’re selling nuh, uh” rocks! Check out the lyric video above.
Layne’s vocal range shines and her lyrical genius prevails on this track which also hails from Something’s Gonna Happen. Layne is dealing with heartache at the hands of the boy she once knew, who ultimately turned into someone she could no longer relate to. Disillusioned, she has him up on a pedestal like “Superman" until she realizes he doesn’t belong there. She confesses her misguided impression in the chorus, “And you can't fly, look with eyes like laser beams/And I was blind for wanting you to rescue me.” Layne’s emotional resilience is sonically palpable and notably propels the ruminating track to triumphant heights.
“Shake My Head” is Layne’s first single from Justin Timberlake’s Villa 40. The up-tempo track oozes melodic and lyrical confidence as Layne walks away from a relationship with her chin up and the calm determination that she’s not even gonna shake her head at what went wrong. Overall, its feel-good vibe is radio-friendly and the kind of tune you want to play on repeat.
Notably featured on two international ad campaigns for White House Black Market and Swarovski, Layne's EP title track is bright, optimistic and fun. The song is about embracing all the potential in a brand new day and Layne takes us right along with her as she hits her vocal stride in the toe-tapping, infectious chorus singing, “Hey! Something's gonna happen/What?! Everybody's grooving like this/Yeah! You better believe that if I bring the beat then something's gonna happen.”
Layne’s most recent track is pulsing with sweet, ‘80s synth magic and honest, confident lyrics as she spells out exactly what she wants from a relationship. She knows who she is and is happy in her own skin. Overall, the song is upbeat, electric and its empowering message is inspiring. Directed by Bree Fish, the music video is loaded with retro images which play perfectly to Ivory Layne’s distinct, nostalgic style.