Singer/Songwriter Peyton Gilliland Shares the Scoop on How She Balances Music, School & Life

Peyton Gilliland is a 17-year-old singer/songwriter who is traveling between her home in Alabama to Nashville, Tennessee in order to balance life as a high school student and an up and coming musician. She has an incredible voice, a talent for telling stories through her lyrics, and she’s just the sweetest! If you haven’t heard her music yet, you have to check her out! Her mentor, Lincoln Parish of Cage The Elephant, discovered her star-worthy talent, and we are so glad he did.

Her two new songs “Placeholder” and “Frantic” can be found on all music streaming services, and they are our new obsession. She’s a sweet Southern girl who is making a name for herself in the alternative pop genre. She’s not afraid to be herself, and she is all about girl power- both of which shine through in her music. She gave us the inside scoop on her life that revolves around music, horses and high school! Check it out:

Musical Beginnings

Peyton explains how she got started singing and when she decided to seriously pursue music as a career:

“I started singing in church when I was about six years old, and it’s just kind of blossomed from there. I started taking lessons in Huntsville and eventually, I started taking lessons in Nashville. I started recording, and it’s just been a snowball since then.”

– Peyton Gilliland

Family Support

Peyton’s grandmother, who is a music teacher herself, instilled a love of music into her granddaughter. Peyton’s story just goes to show that with a gorgeous voice, some hard work, and a family that doubles as the best support system, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

“When I started working with Lincoln and I kind of realized it was a job opportunity and that I could turn it into a career…It’s a lot different working with him than other people because the general people in Nashville, usually because of my age, will try to make excuses for me and stuff like that, but Lincoln does not do that. He knows what it was like to be my age and working on music, and he knows how possible it is. So, he’s always pushing me and it’s really good for me because I need something like that. He’s really great.”

– Peyton Gilliland

Motivating Mentor

Lincoln Parish, a fellow musician who started his career at a young age, saw similarities between his rise to fame and the drive he saw in Peyton. The mentor and mentee have been making music ever since. They have the same work ethic and the same understanding that you’re never too young to start following your dreams. She told us that she had been a fan of Lincoln’s band long before he became her mentor:

“I started listening to Cage the Elephant probably when I was like twelve, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. I still listen to their music. I went to their concert last summer, and it was a blast.”

– Peyton Gilliland
Photo Credit: Peyton Gilliland Music Instagram

Balancing Act

“I’m really lucky to have a school that works with me on schoolwork and absences and things like that. So, usually I just tell them in advance before I leave, and then they give me my homework to take with me, and I work on it while I’m [in Nashville].”

– Peyton Gilliland
Photo Credit: Peyton Gilliland Music


“Usually I’ll come into a write with an idea that I’ve had, so usually it’s either a song title or a few lyrics. Then I either work with Craig Wilson, John Salaway, Jason Lane and Hannah Arn…They’re so good with lyrics and melodies, but I usually come in with an idea and then they help me form the idea into a song.”

– Peyton Gilliland

Many of Peyton’s song lyrics talk about relationships and navigating one’s love life. She explains that she feels the most comfortable writing these kinds of lyrics with the people on her team who are also girls because they share the same experiences:

“I can be difficult, but it’s usually not awkward. I find it really easy to write songs like that with Hannah because she’s a girl, but it can be difficult with the guys sometimes because I feel like they don’t really understand the girl’s perspective.”

– Peyton Gilliland


“Usually, there’s some pop influences in there such as Julia Michaels, Noah Cyrus, and of course, there’s Adele, Amy Winehouse and then Cage the Elephant, always because when am I not listening to them?”

– Peyton Gilliland

Dream Team

When asked about her dream music collaboration, Peyton spoke for just about everybody in the music industry right now:

“Probably Finneas O’Connell because he’s just incredible. He’s done so many great things with so many great people.”

– Peyton Gilliland


On Peyton’s Instagram, she poses in gorgeous clothes- establishing her eye for fashion as well as her musical abilities. She told us about a new age fashion icon that she draws inspiration from. Peyton is always posing in

” data-lasso-id=”14430″>cute jackets and adorable