Rising country music star, Mickey Guyton has been singing since a very young age. Inspired by artists like LeAnn Rimes, Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton, this Texas native has worked hard and made leaps and bounds in the music industry. After signing to Capital Records Nashville, Mickey's very first appearance was at the White House for an all-star concert...yes, that White House. Her accomplishments don't end there, Mickey was also nominated for an Academy of Country Music Award for New Female Vocalist and performed at this year’s ACM Awards.This country music star has not only performed on ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today Show but has also been featured on CBS' This Morning Gayle King twice! Billboard magazine spotlighted Mickey as one of country music’s “female game changers,” and Entertainment Weekly as one of the “new queens of country music,” just to mention a few.
Now Mickey has released a new single, “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” and has invited creatives worldwide to interpret the message in the song with an uplifting/inspirational video or moving artwork. We caught up with the busy star to ask her about the meaning behind her song, her creative process, and the best advice she has received from a fellow artist. Get inspired and have a read of Mickey's exclusive interview with us below.
TH: What was it about seeing LeeAnn Rimes singing the Star-Spangled Banner that made you want to be a singer/songwriter?
MG: I remember this moment like it was yesterday. We all stood up for the national anthem and you could hear a pin drop as soon as she started singing. She was 10 years old yet she sounded like she was 20 years old. She barely even finished the song before the whole crowd erupted into loud cheers. I knew at that very moment I wanted to be a singer. When you see it, you can be it. She was my age, so I felt like I could be that too.
TH: Once you had finished writing your first song, what was your strategy to get it noticed and produced?
MG: I was very young when I started writing so I never got it noticed or produced. I just remember my mom hearing my first and telling me it wasn’t very good. But I kept at it and my songs just got better and better.
TH: What is your creative process - does it start with the story you are trying to convey or the music?
MG: For me, the first step is figuring exactly what it is that I want to say. I ask myself, what is the message I am trying to convey. Then what does that sound like? My goal is to finish an actual record and with that, every single song is important.
TH: What inspired you to write, “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” and what does the song mean to you personally?
MG: I have been struggling to get a shot in Nashville for the last 10 years. Not only have I seen my own struggle, but I have also seen women that I love, that are so talented struggling to get a break. I’ve also dealt with a lot of unfortunate events that have happened to me because I am a woman. As I have gotten older, I have been able to see things a lot clearer and it is very clear that not much has changed for women. We still deal with discrimination in the workplace. We are still dealing with sexual assault and harassment and that is a major problem for me. I don’t have the answers but I have feelings about it. I wrote “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” from that perspective. I want to have children one day and am terrified of having a daughter because I don’t want her to go through the pain that I went through. That is where the inspiration came from.
TH: What was the best advice or tip you ever received from a fellow artist and why?
MG: The best advice I have ever received was from a writer and producer named Darrell Brown. He told me, “You are the CEO of your business. You must tell your label how to label, your A&R how to A&R, tell your business manager how to business manage, your manager how to be your manager, your producer how to produce and your writers how to write.” Darrell told me that when I first moved to Nashville and it didn’t click in my head until about 3 years ago. We as artists, know exactly who we are and often let other people's opinions deter us. Do NOT allow that to happen. Take every opinion with a grain of salt but follow your heart. And don’t be afraid to speak up and fight for your music and what you believe. Lastly, DO NOT give up.
TH: What would you say to fellow singer/songwriters out there looking to further their career in the creative space?
MG: It’s very hard out there. This is the hardest career that I have ever chosen to pursue. Often there is absolutely zero return on my investment. Music is so hard. It’s also very competitive. Really dig deep and really know what it is that you want to say. Know there is someone who will always be better and is currently working way harder than you. So don’t be afraid to put in the work and take the time to be a better artist.
TH: Music is such a social experience, so what tips can you share about how musicians can stay connected to their fans and music during this unusual time in our history?
MG: Honestly, I’m still figuring that part out. As social as I am, I am also pretty private. My home life and marriage is sacred to me and I try not to overly post about it. Instead of showing the world how great I think I am, I have really tried to focus on making real connections with real people. Music is so self-centered and it’s really nice to step outside of myself and see what other people are going through. It’s refreshing and I have met some amazing people.
Submissions for Mickey Guyton's Creative Brief close on August 3rd at 10am Pacific Time.
Want to learn more about Mickey? Check out her Instagram, Spotify and website.
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