Against all odds, the first artist on the 106.1 KMEL Holiday House of Soul lineup, Layton Greene, is forging her own path in the music industry. What started out as casually posting videos of her singing some of her favorite songs on social media catapulted her to viral fame. Greene began posting her singing videos on Snapchat because she wasn't receiving a response on her Instagram. Then, the singer decided to post her cover of Kodak Black's "Roll in Peace" on Twitter and finally received the overwhelming response she knew she deserved.
A true testament to just how powerful social media has become in terms of influencing the music industry, just a few viral Twitter posts and Soundcloud tracks later, Layton Greene became the first R&B artist to be signed onto Quality Control Music (QC). The label is relatively young, forming in 2013 by Pierre "Pee" Thomas and Kevin "Coach K" Lee, but is responsible for some of the biggest names and hits in the past five years in part due to their dedication to the younger generation. The two cofounders are prepared to see this musical movement's impact ripple throughout the decades. "Just as punk erupted out of New York City and Motown from Detroit, the new wave of the most successful and acclaimed music comes out of a specific city at a specific moment -- this time it's Atlanta, home to QC," says their rousing biography on QC's website. Greene now finds herself in the same world of Top 40 giants like Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, Migos, and City Girls. Her debut EP Tell Ya Story dropped in late September and is proof that the label is serious about keeping their fingers on the pulse of youth culture.
On Tell Ya Story Greene manages to deliver the raw and the devastating in a digestible way without sacrificing authenticity. Reminiscent of past musical eras known for their rawness like the blues, singer-songwriter, and grunge Greene's lyrics are deeply personal and confessional. But her uncensored story telling is coated by a thin layer of bubblegum, making the tracks as singable as they are ruminative. Singing along to tracks like "Blame on Me" or "Never Knew" (which brilliantly samples Stephanie Mills' 1980 hit "Never Knew Love Like This Before") can be cathartic for those who have similar stories but can still serve as a soundtrack for lighthearted car rides with friends. Greene's lyrics prompt her to sing from the heart making the 106.1 KMEL Holiday House of Soul the perfect stage for the newcomer to share her story.