Alli Leighann may be new to the ears of many country music listeners, but at just 22 years old, she is destined for stardom. The singer/songwriter has an ease in her authentic vocals and a storytelling nature that makes her songs sound tailor-made for country radio.
The Trussville, Alabama, native has released many songs throughout her country music journey. But her brand-new track, "Wallen On Your Radio," out today (Friday, April 21), may just be the one that takes her to the next level.
Remember when Taylor Swift first turned heads with her debut Top 10 single "Tim McGraw" or when Scotty McCreery earned his fifth No. 1 hit with "Damn Strait"? Well, Leighann's song, which she co-wrote with Cole Miracle, Ryan Brisotti, and Linde LaChance, takes a similar approach as it pays homage to another heavy hitter – Morgan Wallen.
Alli Leighann 'Wallen On Your Radio' Single Art; Photo Courtesy of Anna Kizer
The John Newsome-produced track plays out like a breakup song as Alli Leighann ruminates over the end of a relationship and questions whether or not she should have stayed with the person she once loved. In the process, she asks her ex a myriad of questions to find out whether or not he thinks about her because she still thinks about him.
"Why keep it 'Up Down' in your hometown that you love more than me? / Are you knocking back them 'Whiskey Glasses' wishing that I didn't leave / Do I stay with you like sand in your boots everywhere you go / Is it me on your mind every time Wallens on your radio?" Leighann sings, throughout the memorable chorus, showcasing her natural country twang and angelic vocals on the cut.
Listeners may notice throughout the mid-tempo tune — which features a simple backbeat, acoustic guitars, and pedal steel — that Leighann makes references to a dozen Wallen's hits, including "Chasin' You," "Sand In My Boots," "Whiskey Glasses," "Up Down," "Still Goin Down," "Your Bartender," "Somebody's Problem," "Thought You Should Know," "865," "This Side Of A Dust Cloud," "Quittin Time," and "The Way I Talk."
"It is a lot, but some of them are mentioned more subtly than others," Alli Leighann tells Music Mayhemof the tracks. "I remember we started listing popular Wallen songs just off [the top of] our heads to what made sense in our story, and then eventually we pulled up Morgan Wallen's song list and went through to see if there were any more that could add something cool to the song."
"We wrote this song this past fall, so I had it in my back pocket. I have loved it since the day we wrote it," the singer, who boasts 24k followers on TikTok, continues. "I decided to release it after I posted a clip of it on TikTok when Morgan Wallen did his pop-up album release party at Bridgestone Arena. The song blew up way more than any of my other videos, and people started asking when it was coming out and saying how much they loved it, so I figured I had to release it, and now would be the best time."
Adding in Wallen's tracks was certainly intentional, as Leighann considers the Tennessee native to be one of her major influences, aside from Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert.
"I have been such a big fan of Morgan Wallen. I think the biggest area he has influenced me in is my songwriting. I love listening to the way he writes and how it's different but honest. I am from Alabama, so I relate to a lot of the lyrics in his songs about growing up in the South," Leighann says. "He has not reached out, but he did like the very first TikTok I posted about the song, haha."
Leighann has had dreams of becoming a country music artist since she was a little girl. Her first introduction to country music came by way of her grandfather, who wrote country songs for a living. Her love for the stage materialized when she attended Swift's Fearless Tour years ago in Birmingham.
"I remember thinking that was what I wanted to do," Leighann recalls.
Alli Leighann; Photo Courtesy of Edward Wall / WALL MEDIA
Alli Leighann previously shared several songs, including "I Love Alabama," "Tennessee Honey," "Mr. Jones Country," "Small Town Magic," "Town In Tennessee," "This Town Still Does" and more.