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Artist To Watch:


By Anastasia Iliou


If you haven’t heard of rising star Rainsford, you’ve been missing out. 

Rainsford, real name Rainey Qualley, spent the last couple of years establishing a career in Nashville’s country music scene after spending some time following her mother’s (Andie MacDowell - Magic Mike XXL, Jane By Design, Footloose, Groundhog Day, etc.) footsteps as anMad Men actress. Rainey played, literally, her mother’s daughter in 2012 drama-comedy film Mighty Fine. She also starred as Sarah Lou in 2014’s Falcon Song, and had a brief role as a model in popular TV series Mad Men.

Rainey’s sister Margaret Qualley, another family beauty, is making waves as an actress as well after starring in The Leftovers, The Nice Guys, and Palo Alto.

Rainey grew up away from the spotlight in Montana and then in Asheville, North Carolina. At the age of 19, she moved to Manhattan to take vocal and acting lessons. She soon made the move to Nashville to focus on songwriting and her future career. Her country career was off to a great start as she was the flagship artist for Cingle Records. She worked with songwriter John Ramey and producer Russ Zavitson (Billy Ray Cyrus, Kinleys, The Wilkinsons). Her “Turn Down The Lights” EP secured her a spot in the 2015 CMA Festival in Nashville, and the single, “Me And Johnny Cash,” was released that June. You can watch the exciting video for the single here.



Having grown up in Asheville, but having Andie MacDowell for a mother, Rainey and her siblings grew up in both worlds: The Nashville/southeast area and SoCal. It only makes sense that Rainey would produce an incredible, rich, lyric-driven country record and follow it with an equally exciting pop-infused sound. 

In an interview with Backstage.Com, Rainey states, “I started taking dance when I was 2 years old, my mom put me in ballet and I continued taking dance throughout college. My favorite is jazz and modern. I did competitions and everything so I guess Andie MacDowell for a motherthat's really when I had my primary performing experience. My dad sings and plays guitar so I started singing when I was real young.  I grew up basically visiting my mom on set and I was always really interested in acting too, so the performing arts was something I was exposed to early and something I've been really interested in.”

Today, Rainey lives in L.A. Her pop career features her new persona, Rainsford, who is stylistically and musically very different from the Rainey Qualley country image. Rainey quickly made the change from slow grooves and banjos to heavy bass and synth. She traded fringe for diamonds and boots for heels.

So why the switch? Breaking into the female country industry is one of the more difficult things to do in 2016, though it is getting easier. Success comes slightly more easily in the pop world for women, and Rainey didn’t want to slow down. In an interview with PasuNature, Rainey said, “I am the type of person who always has to be working on something or else I feel like I'm wasting time. So having multiple creative outlets keeps me from going crazy.” Rainey wasn’t going to sit still and wait for her country career to take off. When she saw the opportunity to enter the pop market, she took it. Moving back to L.A. means more acting opportunities, and easier access to pop producers. Plus, she’s living close to her mother and her sister, Margaret.

Catch Rainsford’s latest single, S.I.D. (Sunshine In December) here! / Issue 184 - September 3662
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