IT'S NO SECRET Hollywood has its fair share of Houston inoculates. For singer and actress Renee Olstead, 28, it all began with stints in local commercials and at barbecue cook-offs. She first starred in ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and in 2015 took the silver screen by storm in the teen thriller Unfriended. This month, the first single from her third full-length studio album drops. "One great thing about Texas is that there’s so much room for music,” Olstead says, who’s also worked with renowned composer David Foster in previous projects.
The new album, to be released in full later this year, is a return to her roots and features covers of Willie Nelson and Sammi Smith, along with an equal amount of original songs written by Olstead. “I love country music. There are so many great stories, even though they almost always end with somebody dying,” she says with laughter.
Under a tight schedule, she still finds time to visit her hometown. “I love Montrose,” she says. “Agora used to be my favorite place ever, but I’m from Kingwood, so that’s where I spend most of my time. I’m either at Pappasito’s eating Mexican food or drinking a big cherry limeade from Sonic.”