Peytan Porter is unapologetically Peytan. Except, it took a bit of disassembling before getting to that point of being comfortable as an artist.

After amassing viral success on TikTok with “Therapy”, the Georgia-born singer + songwriter delivered her highly-anticipated debut album, In My Head, and divulges that things weren’t exactly like she wanted.

“I remember how lost I felt after the first project came out,” Porter tells Celeb Secrets Country writer Brianna Vacca. “That was the highest high of that year because it was iHeartAwards, CMA Fest, like the version of my life up to that point led to that summer. Then the project came out and it gutted me. It was the highest part of my life, and then by that fall, I was so lost.”

The budding songwriter is ready to show the world who she has “grown” into with her sophomore collection of the same name, which is now available on all music streaming platforms as of Friday (March 1). Grown encompasses navigating your twenties with distinctive and interchangeable lyricism and raw authenticity, and she admits to CS Country that this project is more of who she really is at heart.

Instagram: @peytanporter

“Grown is actually who I am. It narrates the story of me figuring that out. It really kind of feels like the music that comes next will be a more close glimpse of what I am actively. This is the bridge between both of those people. Grown is the coming of age and stepping into self. It’s part of the story.”

She continues, “I feel like I’m letting it all out there and not apologizing for who I am anymore, and not watering down all of the colors of who I am. It is a very isolating and challenging, and also freeing journey that I’ve chosen for myself. But it’s time to step into this and be more transparent with the way I think and see the world.”

Keep scrolling to learn more about Peytan Porter and her music and don’t forget to let us know how you feel about Grown by either leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sliding into our DMs on Instagram at @celebsecretscountry. To stay up to date on any upcoming releases and tour dates, be sure to follow @peytanporter on Instagram and @peytanporter on TikTok.

Celeb Secrets Country: You’ve mentioned that In My Head was a glimpse of you as an artist. What makes Grown different this time around?

Peytan Porter: “’In My Head’ was really kind of the culmination of the person that I thought I was supposed to be, and ‘grown’ is actually who I am. It narrates the story of me figuring that out, and it really kind of feels like the music that comes next will be a more close glimpse of who I am actively. But this is kind of the bridge between both of those people. And yeah, I think that thatgrown’ is just kind of the coming of age.”

CSC: When writing for your last projects, did you feel like you were writing to sound like someone you thought you should sound like?

PP:I feel like everything happened so quickly. I signed a publishing deal where I was supposed to write songs for a year. Then by February, I had a viral TikTok and I was getting to be an artist. I didn’t have time to really sit and work through and I got as much of the vision for myself as I thought I could in that time. But when great things are coming, you just let them come to you and you trust the opinions around you, and you ask for as many opinions as you can get. And then by the end of it, you don’t have as much of your own in it anymore, and it becomes about making everyone around you happy. I thought that making everyone around me happy would make me happy, but it didn’t at the end of the day. That was the big bummer… it came out and I loved it, and everyone loved it, but I didn’t love it as much as anybody else did. And then I was like,I can’t do that forever. If I wanna do this forever, which is what my dream is and my plans are, I’ve gotta find a more sustainable path to doing this, and that might mean taking time off and figuring out who I am and then coming back.’ So that’s what I had to do.”

CSC: You spoke of your publishing deal… did you always know you wanted to be an artist?

PP: “I definitely did. I knew I wanted to be an artist for most of my life. It went through different phases ‘cause I thought I wanted to be a worship leader, so It was a struggle of like, ‘If I wanna be in the spotlight, is that right or is that wrong? How do I navigate that?’ I was just like, ‘this is too messy. I just need to commit to the honest truth, which is I want to be an artist. I wanna be in front of people. I want it to be my name. They can go talk about Jesus at church.’ Accepting that was a lot of freedom for me, as it took me out of that spiral of deciding I wanted to be an artist. From that point on, I had kind of talked myself into thinking, ‘well if I just get to write songs, I’ll be happy too.’ To my core, I’m a songwriter. That is my strength. But once I wrote ‘Therapy,’ I was like, ‘I don’t want anyone else seeing this song.’ That was when it flipped. With the publishing agreement being, ‘let’s just develop you as a writer for a year,’ I was like, okay… I knew that at the end of the year we would start talking about being an artist.”

CSC: Let’s talk about your 2023 recap post. Are we hearing about these things you spoke about — the doomed apartment, van boy — in this EP? 

PP: “It’s funny that you mention that post because that’s just kind of a testament to the way this whole thing has put me in a different setting. I booked a flight, I was loosely seeing this guy at the end of last year, and like the second I felt like there was a lack of respect and a lack of just effort, I was out. I’ve never been that way, and I ended things with him over coffee and over a text message. By the end of brunch, I had booked a flight out west with my friend and was like, ‘Let’s just go for New Year’s. I don’t wanna be here.’ Like I needed to get out west, even though we didn’t really have any plans. So we booked a flight and she ended up getting sick… I had to move my flight. I went out early and I was riding with some random friends to Winter Park in Colorado, and I was in the backseat typing this whole thing about my New Year’s. We were talking in the car about it and I was just kind of processing everything. Then we got to the hotel and pulled some tarot cards and my reading was awesome. They were like, ‘Well how do you feel about your year?’ And I was like, ‘Funny you ask, I just wrote this all day.’”

Instagram: @peytanporter

CSC: It’s so honest. Is there ever anything you’re hesitant to share? How does vulnerability impact your songwriting?

PP: “I always had a problem growing up with people who had never experienced anything telling me what I should, shouldn’t do. That meant from like, people who’d never had a sip of alcohol telling me I’m not supposed to drink. It’s coming from a place of fear and projection. I think that after experiencing those things, it kind of gives me a reason to share it because I’m proud that I was brave enough to do something that’s stupid. A lot of people aren’t brave enough to make really bad decisions for yourself. It makes me proud. It also is like, yeah, that’s stupid. And if it had ended very differently, I probably wouldn’t be as okay with talking about it.”

CSC: How do you reel yourself in when you’re wanting to people please again?

PP:I remember how lost I felt after the first project came out. I mean, that was like the highest high that year because it was like the iHeart Awards, projects, CMA Fest… like the version of my life up to that point led to that summer. Then the project came out, and it just gutted me. It was the highest part of my life, and then by that fall, I was so lost. I had no idea where I was going. I didn’t know creatively and personally what I was doing; I just knew that I couldn’t keep doing what had been doing before that in a sense of I can’t keep dating the same kinds of people, I can’t keep allowing the same kinds of friends in my life, and I can’t keep making space for so many other people and not my own voice. So when I feel myself starting to slip back into leaning on what other people think, first of all, I have a snack. Because a lot of it comes from just like not having energy to have opinions about things. I’m like, okay, get a snack and then loop back. Then I remember that feeling and I’m like, anything to not be there again.“

CSC: Can you talk about “Lemonade” and why you chose that to be the lead single for “Grown?”

PP: “I think ‘God’s Hotel’ is so breezy, and so is ‘Georgia.’ But ‘Lemonade’ is the grit. It’s — how we call it — my Leo moon and when I get a little bit fire breathing. It pokes holes in the funny things that small town people do, like the dynamics of everybody needing to mind their own business and they don’t. It’s a funny, lighthearted way of acknowledging the idea of minding your own business before you start worrying about what other people are doing. If people need to drink or smoke or do whatever they need to do to get through their day, that’s on them. It’s not up to you.”

CSC: Why did you choose to have all of your friends and family star in the video?

PP: “As soon as we recorded the song, I was like, ‘I want to go to Dawsonville and I want to cast my family and friends; months went by, budgets changed — all kinds of stuff — and I was so happy when we ended up getting to do that. My dad, he’s a UPS driver, he sent me a message the next week and he goes, ‘This girl just asked for my autograph at the grocery store in Dawsonville.’ I said, ‘Was it awesome?’ He was like, ‘Fame is slowing me down. I’ve gotta get these boxes delivered.’ He texted me the next day and said that a girl in the coffee shop looked at him and giggled and he said, ‘I don’t know why she was looking at me and then I looked and she had on one of your shirts and I said, ‘I like your shirt.’ And she giggled even more!’ I was like, ‘Thanks for being nice to my fans, dad. I’m happy you’re famous now in Dawsonville.’”