Members: Naomi Cooke, Hannah Mulholland, Jennifer Wayne
Current Single: “Lipstick”
Inside Scoop: With their mellifluous harmonies and dynamic melodies, Runaway June is the latest all-female trio to hit the country music scene. Their debut single, “Lipstick”—co-written by Naomi, Jennifer and Hannah with Rebecca Lynn Howard (“Forgive”), Caroline Hobby (formerly of Stealing Angels) and Elisha Hoffman—is about looking for a guy who ruins your lipstick, not your mascara. The tune has a modern sound with a traditional twist, complete with mandolin and fiddle. Residing on the East and West coasts, two from California and one from Florida, the ladies converged in Nashville to pursue their passion of music and songwriting.
Jennifer: “My grandma’s name is June, Naomi has a sister named June, Hannah went on a 25-day hike that she’d always wanted to go on in June, and we signed our record deal in June. It’s just kind of a lucky month for us. And we’re all runaways . . . we ran away from home to chase this crazy dream.”
Hannah: “Naomi’s going to be singing lead. I think it’s good to have an identifiable sound. At least that’s how we feel. It’s good to know your place and have a familiar sound throughout.”
Jennifer: “And where all of our voices are and the texture of all of our voices, hers [Naomi] sounds really good in the middle. Hannah sounds really good on the lower register and mine is good on the higher register. So it just kind of works. We feel like that’s the sweet spot for all of our voices.”
IN THE BEGINNING
Jennifer: “I was kind of the traveling child in Southern California. I grew up playing tennis. When I was 18, I joined a band. I had always wanted to be a songwriter, so I moved to Nashville. That’s how I got here, I didn’t know anyone, I just moved here.”
Naomi: “I come from a really big family, I have 10 brothers and sisters. I’m number five. There are eight girls and three boys. There’s actually seven of us here in Nashville. We kind of all congregate toward each other, I can’t get rid of them. I started seriously playing music at about 15 or 16 in the bar and restaurant circuit in the Gainesville, Florida, area. I moved to Nashville about five years ago. I started working for Tootsie’s, cleaning houses and being a na”
Hannah: “I’m originally from Los Angeles. I started writing music when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I’ve always had a love for it and have always known that’s what I wanted to do. About 2 years ago I moved to Nashville. Jen and I had met by chance about five years ago, so she was the first and only person I knew out here [Nashville]. We started writing together and she kind of plugged me in with some other writers and got me going. Once she met Naomi, that’s when we all got together.
Hannah: “Music’s always been a huge love. I was an art teacher for six years. That was what I did before moving to Nashville. I always thought that if I didn’t pursue music, I would want to open up my own art studio and teach art classes. That’s something that I was always passionate about and that I loved so much. But ever since I was kid I always knew I wanted to be a singer, I wanted to play music.”
Jennifer: “It’s always been music for me too. I love music, I don’t even care how I’m in it. I just want to be involved in music. I think the only other thing I would do is, I’m so passionate about animals, I’d love to work with a rescue group or start a shelter.”
Naomi: “I love art of all kinds. So I really love to see plays and I enjoy lots of different kinds of music. I wonder if later on down the road, if the right thing came to me, I’d like to try a little acting role. If it was the right time in my life, the right part, I would love to just see what I’m capable of there.”
THE STORY BEHIND “LIPSTICK”
Naomi: “[Singer/songwriter] Rebecca [Lynn Howard] brought the idea in [to the writing session] but it was kind of something we all heard. There are these memes that float around on Pinterest and Instagram. There is one that says, ‘Be with a guy that ruins your lipstick and not your mascara.’ So Rebecca brought that in and we were like, ‘Holy crap, there’s a big story there.’ So we jumped all over it. It went pretty fast except for the moment where we were like, ‘What are we going to rhyme with mascara?’ That kind of stumped us for a sec.”
Jennifer: “I was just joking and said ‘Sahara’ as a joke because why would you ever put Sahara in a song about mascara? But then we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s dry and it works.’”
Naomi: “It’s also like the song ‘It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere’—people have said that forever and someone thought to write it. Those kinds of things are all over the place everyday. There’s a song in everything, there’s inspiration in everything.”
Jennifer Wayne, a California native, is the granddaughter of actor John Wayne. Jennifer competed on CBS’s The Amazing Race twice, missing out on the the million dollar prize by only four seconds. She also co-wrote Eric Paslay’s ACM nominated song, “She Don’t Love You,” and has a love of dogs, her favorite breeds are Chihuahuas and Pitbulls.
Naomi, a Florida native, was raised with 10 brothers and sisters on an Amish farm, until the age of 8. At an early age, Naomi wanted to sing classical music and was a fan of classical singer, Charlotte Church. She is engaged.
Hannah Mulholland, a California native, began playing piano at the age of 5. Hannah loves to cook and started her own cooking blog, The Poor Herbivore. Her biggest inspirations are Carole King and Sheryl Crow.