Growing up in a military family, Lauren Leiter and Chynna Rae followed their father across the country and lived in a variety of places before settling in Corpus Christi, Texas. All of those moves provided a diverse influence of music for the sisters, laying the groundwork for the unique blend of modern country and a fiery South Texas sound that is the heart of the duo, Lighter Ray.
Lauren and Chynna started singing together at an early age and their close connection is evident in their songwriting, performances and familial harmonies. Their family instilled in them a foundation of character, based around a love for God, nation and music and the girls have often served as worship leaders at their church, connecting with and inspiring people through music.
The girls’ parents first met while playing in a punk-rock band in the late 70’s, so there was always music at home. The girls took influence from everything they heard, from Grand Funk Railroad, to Journey and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to traditional Country. Their dad, Ray, now retired from the U.S. Navy, stays close at hand as he plays bass in the band for Chynna and Lauren. Military connections continue to run deep as Lauren’s husband is in the U.S. Coast Guard, so military and veteran’s causes are close to the girls’ hearts.
Before starting Lighter Ray, the girls performed throughout the Corpus Christi area with older sister Monica. One particular show caught the attention of Nashville’s Stokes Nielson, who has founded Stokes Tunes, a brand marketing and management company that specializes in entertainment, working with developing writers and performers, and collaborating with other Music Row firms.
After signing a management deal with Stokes Tunes, Lighter Ray hit the ground running. Chynna and Lauren perform regularly. They write together and with other notable songwriters, including Susan Gibson (“Wide Open Spaces” for the Dixie Chicks) and Jason “Slim” Gambill of Lady Antebellum. Check their website for shows near you. In Nashville, enjoy Lighter Ray on July 3rd at the Riverfront for “Let Freedom Sing!”—part of a three-day Independence Day Celebration in Music City. Later in the month, Lighter Ray will take the stage at the annual Hispanic Festival in Nashville on July 24th.
For more on Lighter Ray, visit www.lighterray.com