By Jessica Foreman
Newly signed Uproar Records artist Layne Lynch began playing music in front of an audience when she sat down at one of the public pianos at Baylor. The junior theater performance major from Dallas, had a talent that drew crowds around her, and eventually landed her a spot with the student-run record label this semester.
“I first heard Layne when she was practicing with some friends of mine for a performance at a dinner my creative leadership and entrepreneurship engaged learning group was putting on my sophomore year,” Lincoln Faulkner, vice president of marketing and sales at Uproar Records, said. “She was singing and playing piano. I remember being shocked at how incredible her piano parts were, and at first I actually thought she was covering music. I listened to them sing a song she had written and I was immediately reminded of Regina Spektor. The lyrics were very unique and felt genuine.”
Lynch said she has been singing and playing piano since before she can remember. While she took piano lessons for two years in elementary school, she said her preference was to just sit down and play music instead of read the notes.
Her natural ability and “God-given gift,” in Lynch’s words, took hold at a young age.
That was especially apparent when Lynch retold a story about a time her mother picked her up from pre-school.
“I was singing a song,” Lynch said, “And when my [mother] asked me what song I was singing, I said, ‘Jesus put it in my heart before I was born.’”
Lynch said her lyrics are written from the heart. She is always writing down quotes, responses to her daily devotional and anything else that may be useful for a song or later reflection.
“My music is very personal to me,” Lynch said. “I have a really hard time defining my sound, but I can say that it’s honest, passionate and real.”
“She takes her music very seriously and it’s an outlet for her emotions,” Hunter Hale, Lynch’s manager and San Antonio senior, said. “I’m hoping that she’ll be able to get the opportunity to play a lot of shows and really get her music out there. She puts a ton of emotion and feeling into her music and so it’s really passionate.”
Layne said that working with Uproar this year will help her grow as an artist and keep her organized.
“Already I have to get a calendar,” Lynch said, thinking ahead to anticipated shows, recordings and other opportunities that working with Uproar will bring.
Hale, who worked with KJ Doug Grate last year for Uproar, said Lynch is mainly focusing on integrating into the “Uproar world” this early in the game.
“We’re working on setting up a foundation,” Hale said. “We’re working on narrowing down her songs and finding some good ones that we can make some good quality demos with.”
Layne played Ethel Peas, Dorothy Parker and was an ensemble dancer in Baylor’s Theatre Department’s recently debuted “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” but the singer/songwriter said her love of acting is second to music.
“My passion for theater spawns from my passion for music, because there’s a psychological aspect in both of them, and in both of them you have to be able to pour yourself out for everyone to see,” Lynch said.
Lynch writes all of her own pieces, and said even though her lyrics are personal, she wants her songs to be applicable to others in their own life.
“The lyrics are like a puzzle,” Lynch said. “I like people to pick out bits and pieces of the lyrics and relate it to themselves so they can have their own response to it.”
Hale said that when Lynch performs, she speaks to the crowd as if she is talking with close friends.
“She likes to tell a little bit about the song that she writes before she performs it,” Hale said. “A lot of times she kind of sets the stage…to where the emotions and passion are coming from. She’s friendly. She makes everybody feel like she’s playing just to show you something.”
Lynch said an important component of her music is that it applies to her at the time she writes that particular song, like a diary. She said they are her “response” to what her current life circumstances are. She spoke of her newest work in progress.
“That song is about moving forward and having the strength to continue on with what you’ve been given, even if that means leaving things behind,” Lynch said. “Basically a song about endurance.”
“I think Layne has really grown as an artist and found her identity in her style,” Faulkner said.
More information on Lynch will be available on the Uproar Records website soon.