Take Five with rising singer-songwriter Onoleigh

Pictured: Onoleigh Photo Credit: Ann Allister
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Onoleigh, the talented singer-songwriter from Mahomet, IL, has taken the music scene by storm with her unique blend of heartfelt lyrics and captivating melodies. Her journey into the world of music began at the tender age of ten, inspired by the mesmerizing performances of the worship leader at her church. It didn’t take long for her to start strumming her first chords, and from that moment on, she knew that music would become an essential part of her life.

Currently living in the vibrant music hub of Nashville has undoubtedly influenced Onoleigh’s artistic journey. She draws inspiration from the diverse range of musical styles that surround her, constantly seeking new sounds and experiences to fuel her creativity. As she delves into her songwriting process, Onoleigh’s approach has evolved over the years. Instead of imposing rigid structures on her music, she allows her art to take shape organically, believing that the most powerful creations emerge when given the freedom to evolve naturally.

Her journey from Mahomet to Nashville has seen her perform at iconic venues like The Bluebird Cafe and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, and she’s shared the stage with notable artists like Jordan Davis and Tyler Rich. Onoleigh’s music has garnered recognition from industry experts, and her songs have been featured by CMT, Music Row, and Taste Of Country, among others. With her latest release on the horizon and a promising future ahead, Onoleigh is an artist to watch, a true musical force making waves in the industry.

Photo by Barbara Potter

Onoleigh’s most recent single, “Tightrope,” was released on October 6 and is an introspective track written about finding balance while chasing dreams. “Tightrope” is available at digital retailers everywhere here: https://onerpm.link/773735921611. Quickly attracting fans and listeners with over 279K+ streams of her music on Spotify and a viral TikTok video with over 434,000 views (watch here), “Tightrope” follows Onoleigh’s previously released singles “Why Can’t We Dance,” “Beautifully Broken,” “Make It Hurt,” and  “Ghost Stories.”

Tell us a little about your musical background; how old were you when you started playing guitar, and what inspired your musical desire?

I became interested in learning the guitar at age ten after witnessing the worship leader at our church captivate the audience with only an instrument. I begged my mom to start lessons, and just like that, once a week, she would drive me to the church to play. I feel that I even found confidence in my singing voice through strumming along, as it really helped me understand the theory behind the sounds I was making.

Where do you find the inspiration for your music?

Living in Nashville, I thankfully have access to a lot of different styles of music. With that, I find a lot of my inspiration through listening to other artists and immersing myself in their sounds. I think some of the best art comes from new experiences, so finding artists in genres completely opposite than mine always brings about new ideas.

What is your songwriting process?

My process has changed quite a bit over the years. Rather than determining what art is before it is created, I now nurture the art that emerges. I used to have a title in mind when I began, but realized by reaching for a specific “hook,” I was cutting off the potential for the art to become what it’s intended to be. I now walk in with a concept, discuss it with my cowriters, and then we begin writing.

What’s your go-to guitar for songwriting?

I would have to go with a Taylor 214e ccoustic.

Music to me is… 

Whether it is a sonic distraction or a lyrical intervention, music is what I have used to express myself, time and time again.

Connect with “Onoleigh”

You can follow my music journey @onoleigh via Instagram, Facebook & TikTok and stream my music on Spotify, YouTube, & Apple Music.


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