Artist of the Week: Payton Rae Quietly Eyes Fame

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Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to sheaserrano@gmail.com.

Sometimes you think and sometimes you know. With Payton Rae, the 16-year-old country singer looking stardom square in the eyes, you know.

You know she's talented.

You know she's surrounded by the right people.

You know she understands what it's going to take to make it in the music industry.

And you know that she deserves to be in the most prestigious of prestigiousy clubs: the Houston Press Artist of the Week mafia.

Listen to "Sidelines" by Payton Rae

So, we asked. And, lo and behold, she pried herself away from her 105,000+ Twitter followers and answered some questions for us. After the jump, read about Payton Manning, which cartoon character Reba McEntire most certainly is not and which loveable creature absolutely terrifies Payton.

Rocks Off: First, tell everyone everything they need to know to about Payton Rae in exactly six words.

Payton Rae: I'd say those six words are passionate, focused, loyal, open-hearted, honest and artistic.

RO: Is it true that your full name is Payton Rae Manning? If so, what was it like winning the Superbowl?

PR: That actually is not true! I really do look up to Manning though - he is an amazing quarterback and team player.

RO: Who wrote that song "Not Your Cinderella"?

PR: The writers of "Not Your Cinderella" are Steve Bogard, Catherine Britt and Brett Beavers. I had the privilege of meeting Steve, in fact -and even got to sing his song for him! It was awesome.

RO: Since you're not Cinderella, were you to liken yourself to a cartoon character, who would it be? Who would Reba McEntire be? She'd be Cruella DeVille, wouldn't she?

PR: I would probably have to say Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls. She was named for her cute and bubbly personality. She displays and is defined by innocence, playfulness and her gentle demeanor, and having a tendency to be naive, ditzy, timid and sensitive. This pretty much describes me.

And Reba is far from Cruella DeVille! She's probably the most down-to-earth singer in country music. She seems to have a heart of gold!

RO: At different points in the video for "Dare To Live," you're (a) riding a horse, (b) driving a car, (c) riding on one of those inflatable things that boats pull and (d) wakeboarding. That probably means something, right?

PR: All four of those things where pretty scary, I have to admit -especially riding a horse! Horses are one of my worst fears. I haven't had good experiences with them but it was all worth it! The whole concept of "Dare To Live" was to give a message: you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

RO: Who is the country musician that all of America's 16-year-olds are swooning over right now?

PR: Definitely Taylor Swift. I think many girls can relate to her amazing and inspirational lyrics.

RO: Anything you want to make sure gets mentioned? Go for it.

PR: USA Today is premiering my new music video "Sidelines" on Friday, December 23, 2011 in their online "Take 5" feature. Make sure you check it out!!! The song is from Dare to Live, my five-song EP that's already available on iTunes. We shot the "Sidelines" video in Nashville last month and I am so excited that we were able to put a visual to it because I co-wrote the song and it's about a real boy. Hopefully CMT and other networks will pick up on this video like they have my last few, that would be so awesome!! Make sure you guys follow me on twitter @paytonraemusic and check out all my crazy "Keeks!"

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