I was really excited to get the chance to speak with Mickey Guyton. She’s one of my favorite new artists, and if you’ve heard her music, you know she’s one of the most talented people out there.
A few things come to mind after our chat. To start, she couldn’t be nicer – a total sweetheart. It also became very clear she’s a fighter and works incredibly hard at her craft (she also busted it working multiple jobs to make ends meet before her music career began). Finally, it was evident that she was real. She doesn’t sugarcoat anything, she’s honest, and has a great sense of humor.
Born in Arlington, Texas, Mickey Guyton moved around the Lone Star state as her father’s engineering job took them to Waco, Tyler, Dallas and Fort Worth. Music was a constant in her nomadic life. She began singing gospel in church when she was only five and grew up listening to a variety of artists, including Dolly Parton, LeAnn Rimes, Whitney Houston and gospel innovators BeBe and CeCe Winans. “Those were huge influences,” she says, recalling a particularly pivotal moment. “I was at a Texas Rangers baseball game and LeAnn Rimes was singing the National Anthem. This was right when she came out with ‘Blue’. I was completely mesmerized.”
Mickey knew instantly what she wanted to do with her life, and although she possesses the kind of strong, evocative voice that could succeed in any genre, Country music is her passion. “Of all the music out there, Country is the most honest, the most genuine and speaks to my heart” she says.
Here’s our chat. Meet Mickey, everyone…
Traditionally, there’s been a lack of diversity in the country music world. Once you realized you wanted to be a country singer, did you think maybe the cards were stacked against you, or did you not concern yourself with things you can’t control and just sort of put the blinders on and get to work?
I would be lying if I told you I didn’t think about that kind of stuff, because it is the reality. I didn’t grow up seeing color like that – my parents never taught us to look at things in that way. I was taught to love everyone, and that’s how I approach this whole thing. It’s different, and it’s a good thing, and I take it all on and do the very best that I can.
It seems like women are making a comeback in country music, which is great to see. Are you seeing the same thing?
I think so – it’s amazing to see and I am so excited about it. I LOVE the women of the 90’s and their big voices and all those superstars. I think it’s coming back now. The entire music industry in Nashville has been so loving and supportive of me, which is really, really, cool.
How’s it been opening for Brad Paisley? Is he really as awesome as everyone says?
I have been so spoiled – he has been so kind. He’s opened his arms wide open to me. The crew has been so supportive, they’ve made me a better performer, and everything you hear about Brad is 100% true. He is one of the most kindhearted, honorable, talented, human beings that I’ve ever met. He’s that awesome.
Did you always know you wanted to be a country singer?
I am a country singer, but I actually started in the gospel world. My mom would of loved for me to be a gospel singer, but that was not my calling (laughs). After I saw Leann Rimes sing the National Anthem I just knew. It was like, that’s it people, this is what I want to do.
When I saw her sing, that incredible voice coming out of such a young person like me I just knew instantly it was what I wanted to do.
What gets you through the tougher days? You’re grinding away out there, but there has to be something that really lifts your spirits on those bad days…
Everyday is a struggle – what really gets me through is surrounding myself around great people, having a great team that I can talk to about everything. But above all, it’s the fans. On those tougher days I get on my social media, and when I see these messages of fans showing love – that gets me going. Even people like you guys that want to know my story, that really helps.
What’s your take on social media – would you be as into it if you weren’t an artist?
As an artist, you have to be pretty narcissistic, in the funniest way (laughs). You sorta have to have that, oh look at what I’m doing, look at me, look at this, look at that.
I’m not the type of person to talk about myself or my music when I’m with my friends, unless they ask me about it. It’s a great way to communicate with the fans. There are times it can feel weird, doing a selfie here, and a selfie there (laughs). All I want to do is keep people involved and let them into my life.
A lot of people on social media are just looking to get a rise out of an artist or celebrity. What’s your take on that?
It really makes me sad, when you see that kind of negativity towards people that you know are good people. You really just need to let it go, and move on as best as you can. You know what they’re trying to do.
When were you the most nervous performing?
The White House and The Grand Ole Opry – that the most nervous I have ever been. You’re singing for the President, or on the most sacred stage.
Now, on tour with Brad, it’s a good nervous. I feel like I’m going to throw up (laughs). Once I go out there and hear the crowd I’m OK. My dad always told me, just get through the first verse, and you’ll be fine, and that’s true.
Any news on the debut album?
We’re still waiting to announce the release date, but the album is my life over the last seven years. The growing pains and everything else that has gone on, all the battles we go through growing up.
I just read the story about “Better Than You Left Me” – we really love that song.
Thank you so much! Yeah I wrote that about my ex-boyfriend and I have to tell you, it feels good.
Does it feel good to sorta shove that song in his face? It has to, right?
Oh, yeah. If you don’t want to rub it in someone’s face that broke your heart then you are not human (laughs). It feels so good to write a song that touches people’s hearts, and to know I wrote that about a time when I had my heart broken – it feels good. There’s no hatred, but forever, he will be the one that really broke my heart, and he knows it.
Are you listening to any music today that may surprise us?
I really love Kenrick Lamar. I love Taylor Swift’s new album. I actually think pop music is in a really good spot right now. That’s what I love about Spotify and Pandora and all that – there is so much good music to listen to out there.
I love Walk The Moon, too.
EDM and country are sorta working together now too – I’m digging it.
I agree. I just love where music is right now. There’s so much good stuff out there, it’s hard to keep up with it all.
Watch the music video for “Better Than You Left Me.”