Teen singer pursuing Music City dream

Herald Staff Writer

WINSLOW — Payton Lynn Hulfachor has been singing since she was 2 years old with a voice that, at times, irritated her older brother and sister.


“We’d be in the car and she’d sing the whole time. The others would ask me to tell her to stop,” her mother, Vicky Hulfachor said.

“I’ve always loved to sing,” Payton said.

Now, the 14-year Winslow girl could have a bigger audience besides those confined to the back seat of the family car. She has signed a music contract with Nashville company Red Ridge Entertainment, the group recording her album through its labels, Cupit Records and Magenta Records.

Payton Lynn — she ditched her last name since it’s “a little too much to pronounce,” she said with a laugh — sings country rock, blending the two styles. Her favorite genre is straight-up country.

“I love singing country,” she said. “I feel like I can tell a story with country music.”

Payton Lynn is recording songs for her album, which the record label plans to release this spring. She will perform live Tuesday night in Nashville in a performance Red Ridge will stream live online.

“It’s crazy how time flies and how quickly things are happening,” she said. “It’s been fun working with a team who supports me. I hope to take this all the way.”

Payton Lynn has been working with musicians and writers who have worked for other famous performers: Vince Gill, Wynonna Judd, Tim McGraw. One of her song writers penned Jason Aldean’s hit song “She’s Country.”

Payton’s album will included six songs. Four are originals, one is a remake of a Fleetwood Mac tune and the other a remake of a Queen song. Since the tracks aren’t yet complete, Payton declined to reveal the names of the songs.

At home, Payton sings all the time. She loves singing Rascal Flatts and Lauren Alaina, a finalist from the 10th season of “American Idol” — and practicing her own songs.

Payton’s parents, Bill and Vicky Hulfachor, are caught in the bustle of recording music and promoting their daughter’s talent. Vicky takes Payton to Nashville about every two weeks to record music and both look for avenues for her to perform and garner company sponsors for future promotions. She will sing one of her songs on Mother’s Day at her church, Gospel Center Church in Petersburg, perform the National Anthem prior to the Fayetteville SwampDogs baseball game at J.P. Riddle Stadium in North Carolina on July 3 and sing at the Pike County 4-H Fair this summer. She’d also like to perform at other local festivals, like the Strassenfest. She has already been on stage at the Pike County fair as well as at her church and in various contests.

“Recording has been fun, but I love performing on stage,” she said. “When you’re live, there’s an energy there. And it’s not like you can do retakes.”

Her parents aren’t singers and admit their daughter didn’t get her ability from them. “It’s just a God-given talent,” Vicky said.

Payton, who is home-schooled, hadn’t grown up thinking seriously about pursuing a music career; she wanted to be a marine biologist. But an uncle in North Carolina who works with musicians got her into a recording studio when the family visited him in February.

“He said, ”˜This voice can’t stay in Indiana,’” Vicky recalled.

Two weeks after the Hulfachors returned home, the uncle encouraged the family to send the recordings to some companies in Nashville. They sent the samples to two companies and both responded. One of those was Gary Sadker, owner of Red Ridge. The Hulfachors traveled to Nashville to meet with the two companies.

“We talked to Gary and it felt right,” Payton said. “He was very helpful in explaining everything and his style seemed to fit with ours.”

Payton signed with Red Ridge in March and was recording by the end of the month.

“He has been awesome,” Payton said. “I’m so blessed that everything has seemed to fall into place.”

Her performance Tuesday night will be at The Rutledge in Nashville as part of Red Ridge Night. The event will be streamed live online at 9 p.m. EDT on the company’s Facebook page.

Payton’s family pays the cost of transporting her back and forth to Nashville, which Bill acknowledged can be expensive. But they support her dream.

“She is taking a chance, and it may not go the way we’re hoping,” Bill said. “But at least she is giving it a shot. She won’t look back on this time and wonder, ”˜What if?’”

Payton is grateful for the support.

“I’d never thought this much would happen,” she said. “If this music thing doesn’t work, that’s OK. It just wasn’t God’s plan. I’ll pursue marine biology.

“But for right now it’s music, full-force.”

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Contact Candy Neal at cneal@dcherald.com.

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