Layton Greene’s homemade video covers lead to her stardom


Bailey Wolf, Reporter

Layton Greene is a 20 year old, rising R&B singer. Rejected from both X-Factor and America’s Got Talent while still a teenager, Greene still dreamt of becoming a professional singer. Her childhood in East St. Louis was turbulent and difficult. Her mom is bipolar and struggled with addiction, forcing Greene to become homeless and crash with various relatives. This, however, never affected her positive disposition and optimistic outlook on life.

In 2017 Greene posted a remix of Kodak Black’s “Roll in Peace” that went viral on social media, she later went into the studio to record an extended version of the remix that got millions of plays on SoundCloud and got her to the Top 15 on BillBoard’s New R&B Songs Chart. Record labels reached quickly reached out and she was signed in February of 2019. Her first official single “Leave Em Alone” featuring big hip hop names like Lil Baby, City Girls, and PnB Rock, racked up over 85 million streams. 

I had never listened to Layton Greene before or ever heard of her before writing this article but I thoroughly enjoyed her new EP “Tell Your Story”.  The first song on the track “Blame On Me”starts with a high autotuned intro that is similar to most other Hip Hop songs,  very surprised when her sweet and soulful vocals shone through when the first verse started. The song with a light and catchy beat and rhymes has serious lyrics talking about the challenges in her youth that she blamed herself for originally, such as sexual abuse, homelessness, domestic abuse, and how these awful experiences led to her singing and eventually writing her own songs. 

The song “Never Knew” is a little less personal and more of a traditional love song that shows even more of her beautiful singing voice. “I Love You” tells the story of a woman scorned and lied to by her significant other, lyrics and melodies are layered on this track making this song hit deeper in the hearts of others with shared experiences. On the EP she perfectly balances her strong singing with talented rapping and catchy beats with sometimes dark lyrics. 

Greene represents her experiences in her songs as well as making them feel familiar to general audiences. Songs about love and cheating and break ups are everywhere in the music world but somehow hers manage to stand out and be better than the rest. I can understand how quickly record labels reached out after her initial viral video, she has a unique voice and lyrics but her songs catchy enough to be marketable to mainstream audiences.