‘American Idol’ Runner-Up HunterGirl Reveals Her Song, ‘Ain’t About You,’ Is What Kept Her In Nashville When She Felt Like Giving Up

“I called this song my 45-minute conversation with Jesus,” the country singer shared.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

August 11, 2023

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HunterGirl; Photo by David McClister

Two years ago, HunterGirl found herself feeling frustrated and ready to give up on her dreams, so in an attempt to counteract those dark thoughts, she let her songwriting act as a secure outlet for her emotions. Her brand-new song, “Ain’t About You,” is a product of this experience as it uncovers an authentic look into the power of prayer and patience in her personal journey. 

Throughout the dreamy melody and acoustic guitar strums, HunterGirl delivers a last-chance plea to God to guide her in the right direction in what she dubs her “45-minute conversation with Jesus.”

Story Behind The Song

“This has been my dream since I was a kid. This has been everything that I’ve been working towards and two years ago, nothing was really going on for me in Nashville,” she told Country Now. “A lot of my friends were getting deals and I was like, ‘Lord, what am I doing wrong?’ And you know just overthinking your life in the span of five minutes. I think I played a show that day and I’d written a song that day with some other people, and I got back to the house and I was like, ‘Lord, why do I feel like I need to write another song?’ I ran into my room and grabbed my guitar, and I called this song my 45-minute conversation with Jesus, and it’s the song that kept me in Nashville.”

HunterGirl - Ain't About You
HunterGirl – Ain’t About You

As it turns out, putting her journey in the hands of God ended up being just what the Tennessee native needed because in a matter of a few weeks, she was reminded of her true purpose. Suddenly, HunterGirl was pulled out of the rut and found herself winning over the hearts of America on the singing competition show, American Idol and signing a record deal with BBR Music Group.

“I just sat there with my guitar like I did whenever I was back in my hometown and just poured my heart out for 45 minutes, crying and everything,” she continued. “I was just kind of thinking about life from a different perspective and then funny enough, a week later I auditioned for American Idol and everything completely changed. It was just this moment in my life where I was thinking about giving up and just hanging on till tomorrow and everything changed.”

While reflecting on the inspiration behind the tune, HunterGirl also expressed how “terrifying” it can be to share a solo write that holds such personal and raw emotions. She admitted that writing a song on her own adds another weight onto her shoulders as she considers whether the song will be accepted or not. 

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However, despite any fear or doubt that has come with having a career in the spotlight, the rising country star has continued to work hard and put herself out there on incredibly sincere and emotionally-charged levels. As a result, she has finally started to see her dreams come true and she’s even inspired some listeners along the way. 

“You kind of get chills just thinking about these moments in your life and you kind of see the threads whenever you look back at your life. Definitely with this song, I’ve been looking back a lot more and just thinking about how crazy life is and how everything kinda lines up,” HunterGirl shared. 

She went on to say that while writing the song, there were a million thoughts running through her mind, but what rang out the loudest was the reminder that God has a plan. Although things may seem challenging, she admits she feels confident in what he has in store for her.

To emphasize her message of hopefulness, HunterGirl points to a little girl in the first chorus who “needs a song telling her she’s beautiful when the world tells her she’s wrong.” Then by the second chorus, she changes things up to bring attention to a “little boy” who “needs a safe place to cry when the whole world says to suck it up just cause he’s a guy.”

By delivering these lyrics in “Ain’t About You,” the 25-year-old’s silky vocals encourage others to continue going after their own dreams despite how daunting it may feel to offer themselves up to judgment or failure.

“I think so much of the time, we’re worried about the future and we are overthinking and especially with social media, looking at everybody’s lives and thinking we’re not doing enough or we’re not good enough. And I think anybody out there that’s thinking about giving up on their dream or giving up on something that they love, I hope they just wait, just give it some time.”

For HunterGirl, her faith also plays a big role in helping her get through difficult moments that can often be consumed with doubt. She grew up singing in Church alongside her grandfather who served as a preacher and gained a strong sense of peace in being able to lean on her prayers to God knowing, “he has my back and that everything was gonna be okay.”

“I lean on him because I never know what’s gonna happen, and his plan was way greater than I could have ever imagined for myself. Thinking about me being a kid and thinking about music, everybody wants to make it so fast and I’m so glad that all the opportunities that have happened this past year and a half didn’t happen five years ago because I wouldn’t have been ready.”

“I think that this past year and a half is greater than I could have ever imagined for myself and more than I could have ever asked for. I think just having that faith and that belief, even when you can’t see it in the moment, is super, super important,” she added. 

HunterGirl; Photo by David McClister
HunterGirl; Photo by David McClister

HunterGirl already gave fans a sneak peek of her latest release during her live shows and earned a resounding response of love. “Ain’t About You” serves as a glimpse into the next project that she’s currently in the process of choosing songs for. However, it may be some time until fans get their hands on the entire collection because she explained she’s “really taking my time to put together something I’m really proud of.”

This year, HunterGirl has been showcasing her stunning vocals on the road at fairs, festivals, and supporting dates with Luke Bryan, Parmalee, Josh Turner, and Luke Combs for his pre-show tailgate stage.

She is next slated to perform on August 11 at the Scioto County Fair in Lucasville, OH. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.