Country Artist Onoleigh Premieres Lyric Video for “Make It Hurt”

Country artist Onoleigh has spent the past few months dedicated to writing and releasing new music, and her most recent single, “Make It Hurt,” is the powerful breakup song we have all been waiting for! Written by Maren Morris, Rhett Akins, and Chris DeStefano, the emotional single is one that begs to be screamed in the car with the windows down. Check out the exclusive first look at the lyric video below!

Can you share a bit about your journey of becoming an artist?

I started singing way before I can even recall, to be honest. Music has always been a part of my personality, but my passion has always been in the people. Deep down, I knew that I wanted to better the world from a very young age, but didn’t know the best avenue to do that right away. I got a degree in social work from the University of Missouri in 2019, but skipped out on graduation to pursue bigger stages in Music City, USA! This was by far the best decision I’ve ever made as, almost 3 years later, I am a full time original songwriter and artist touring around the country! I try to use my platform beyond just entertainment through promoting a positive social space for people, specifically children. Before graduating, I interned as a middle school guidance counselor and it really showed me the importance of setting an example for our youth to be confident, hardworking and driven individuals. I released my first single, “Ghost Stories,” in May and most recently, “Make It Hurt” in August. More music to come soon!

Which part of being an artist do you find most meaningful?

I could go on and on about every meaningful aspect as an artist, but the writers that I meet & the music that we create together is definitely up there for me. There are so many life experiences that go into writing a song and I genuinely love being able to connect with strangers on such a personal, relatable level. When people think of being an artist, they think of stages and loud music and hundreds of people, and that absolutely is a big part of it, but some of my most meaningful moments have happened with one other person in the room, a guitar, a notepad, and a pen. Then performing those songs and watching them speak to people in ways words could not is a priceless experience that I am humbled by everyday.

“Make It Hurt” was written by such influential songwriters (Maren Morris, Rhett Akins, and Chris DeStefano). What was your reaction when you learned that you would be able to call the song your own?

I was honestly in complete disbelief! My producer, Brandon Hood, sent over some songs for me to listen to and I remember hearing it and instantly falling in love with the concept and vibe before even looking at the writers. Maren Morris actually sang on the demo & I remember being like, “Wait! I know this voice!” I don’t think it really fully hit me until I went into the studio to record it as my own.

Tell us a bit about the story behind “Make It Hurt.” What does the song mean to you?

“Make it Hurt,” to me, is about never settling for anything less than your ideal. It’s about loving a person so much, but knowing that if it continues, it will lead down a path to resentment. It’s about no matter how much you want a life with them, you know it can’t make you or the other person completely happy in the long run. Sometimes you just want them to make it hurt, you know? If they’re an asshole about it, it’s a lot easier to feel good about moving on. I truly believe how someone leaves your life is a direct indicator of their character.

What experiences have you had that allowed you to relate and pour emotion into the song?

Thankfully, I can honestly say I have never truly dated a “bad” guy. Most of them have been really amazing people and treated me very well, but it was apparent over time that they just weren’t the one for me. The worst feeling is not having a reason to leave other than a deep pit feeling that it won’t last forever. Sometimes, I would wish they would be rude or do something wrong so I would have an out beyond “an internal feeling.” If they showed their true colors in the end and left on a bad note, it was always a lot easier to move forward without them…but if they were true to character and stayed respectful, it was harder to stick to my decision. I was near the end of a long term relationship when I first heard this song & it spoke straight to my heart. “I ain’t looking for closure, I just want it over!” is one of my favorite lines. He and I actually broke up only a few hours before the filming of the official music video, so there was a lot of emotion channeled that day.

Can you share any behind-the-scenes details about recording “Make It Hurt”?

It was a fantastic day all around and one I will never forget. Because it was during the pandemic, a lot of us couldn’t celebrate the holiday like normal, trying to socially distance ourselves from family members for safety reasons. It was the week before Thanksgiving so I ordered a Cracker Barrel feast for all the musicians and producers on site! We all sat outside at a giant table behind Castle Recording Studios in Franklin and just talked about the craziness of the world and the industry at the time. I remember eating too many mashed potatoes, so the song became a lot harder to sing with a full stomach! HA! I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

What inspires your music? Who are some of your influences?

I grew up listening to Neal Young, Johnny Cash, John Prine, and Bob Seger around the house, so I think naturally their storytelling- songwriting rubbed off on me over the years. My dad used to come home after work and say, “Kids! We have a guest coming to dinner tonight!” And he would turn on the same Neil Young CD every night. I can recite every word to every song on his Harvest Moon Soundtrack. I close my eyes and I’m back in my childhood home with my family around the table.

Is there someone you dream of collaborating with on a future project?

Maren Morris would obviously be a huge dream for me as she has been a major influence for me since moving to Nashville. Neil Young for obvious reasons as well (I would bring my dad to that one too!), and Adele would be wonderful. I really could think of so many!

Do you have any future projects in the works that you can share about?

My single “Beautifully Broken” is set to release at the beginning of 2022! This song is actually co-written by me and my producer, Brandon Hood. This one will be my first ever original release!

You can keep up with Onoleigh on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to stay up to date on her new music!




Award-winning journalist, author of 30 books including James Dean Died Here, Roadside Baseball; lover of music, travel, history, etc.

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Chris Epting

Chris Epting

Award-winning journalist, author of 30 books including James Dean Died Here, Roadside Baseball; lover of music, travel, history, etc.

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