Laci Kaye Booth is passionate about her singing and bringing her signature “dreamy country” vibe to the world.
In 2019, Booth, a Livingston, Texas, native, advanced all the way to the Top 5 in Season 17’s American Idol competition, which propelled her music career. The twenty-something talked with us about her journey, her ambitions for the future, and what rising artists should consider if they want to follow in her footsteps.
Tell us a little about yourself and how your interest in music began.
I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t just absolutely consumed with music. It’s so strange to say, but I’ve known I wanted to be in music since I was really young. I come from a musical family. My Dad, who’s a Texas Country artist, taught me my first three guitar chords when I was just nine years old, and from then on it was an infatuation.
When did you start wanting to be a singer?
Since I could remember, but I didn’t quite find my sound until I was around the age of 12. I discovered Stevie Nicks and then Norah Jones, and I understood why I was born with such a breathy, smoky quality to my voice and a craving for music that blurred the lines of genre. Those ladies were all of those things and proved that you don’t have to have a belting voice to be a successful musician, and I knew in my soul that that’s what I wanted to do.
You spent most of your childhood in Livingston, Texas and now live in Tennessee. What do you miss about living in Texas?
I miss so many things about my home state. The food, the crawfish, the pine trees, the lakes, the ocean, the starry skies, the rodeos, concerts, and most of all the people-my family and friends.
When did you start traveling as a singer?
I started playing gigs by myself around Texas when I was 17, before then I went on the road with my dad, Jody Booth, and would sing a song or two with his band and sometimes open for him. I’ve played places in Texas, Washington, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, and a couple other states. I plan on definitely playing more states in 2022 and hopefully getting overseas very soon.
Tell us about your most recent song, “Shuffle.”
“Shuffle” is a song that started when I was in my car on the way to write. I was a little upset because I barely had any ideas that day when suddenly “Stand By Your Man” came on. I immediately had this really vivid memory of my grandma’s house. We would have these family karaoke parties and she would drag out the karaoke machine on her back porch and sing “Stand By Your Man” and dedicate it to my grandpa, who was a wild one back in the day. I was thinking about how that was truly her song to my grandpa and I started questioning what song would be mine to my person. I jokingly said, “Dang, I’m somewhere between Stand By Your Man and…Goodbye Earl.”
Though I was completely kidding, I thought it was a good song idea and took it to my writing. We decided to make it one of those song title songs, and I thought it would be really cool and on brand for me to make it all female song titles that I grew up on.
What do you like to do when you have some free time?
I like to sit at home with my dogs, I like playing guitar and writing songs in my bathroom because those are the best acoustics. I like cooking and trying out different restaurants, I love bargain shopping, and I love a good Netflix or Hulu series.
What is one fun fact most people would not know about you?
I’m a natural redhead and I have baby pictures to prove it. Now that I’m older, I miss it and I’ve been slowly trying to go back to my roots. Pun very much intended.
What advice would you give to someone who has a gift to sing to encourage or inspire them?
Find your sound, cultivate whatever kind of music that inspires you and truly is you to your core, and chase that. No matter if it’s popular or mainstream or if some people don’t like it. Sing and play what you like and what is most authentic to you. Authenticity is what is most attractive. And be confident in it. Oh, and learn an instrument! At first it’s hard (I’ve put down the guitar a handful of times) but I’m so grateful to my younger self for sticking with it.
Follow Laci Kaye Booth on Instagram here.
Cover photo courtesy Laci Kaye Booth
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.