Spout Podcast
Spout Podcast

Episode 6 · 1 year ago

Mickey Guyton

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Country artist Mickey Guyton has had a pioneering year. Mickey became the first Black female solo artist to be nominated for a Grammy; and she's made history once again as the first Black female co-host of the Academy of Country Music Awards.

During this episode she shares, “I have imposter syndrome and there are many nights where I don't feel like I'm worthy. I've been working behind the scenes trying to open up opportunities for black people in the Country genre."

The conversation with Mickey Guyton is led by Keiana Martin who herself is a woman of color working in a field dominated by white men.

This is the spout podcast where famous people spout off on more than what they're famous for. Here's Chiana martin County with you on the spout podcast, excited to be joined by. I like to call her a game changer. Grammy nominated, country music singer mickey guide mickey. How is it going? What's going on in your world and where are you right now? Right now? I'm at my apartment, I'm in Los Angeles right now. I am a new mom, so I'm like navigating that he's somewhere going in between breastfeeding and all of this. So I am, you know, on top of having a career on top of fighting for equality and country music. So it is, you know, a lot going on. You are a busy woman and we can start with the biggest news, which is what you just mentioned, I'm talking motherhood. So you just became a mother this past january with an adorable son because you just posted a photo, Grayson, how is this experience of motherhood been treating you? You're like smiling and glowing as I asked this. It's you know, it's a love that I've never felt before. I was looking at old pictures of me before I was a mother and like I was thinking about how I didn't have to look out for anybody. Like it was really just myself. I could hop on a plane, I could get in the shower anytime. I felt like it now I have to plan my showers and it is just, it's one of the greatest things I've ever done and I'll ever do. I love it. It looks like you are enjoying it and thank you for posting photos of little Grace because it's so fun to watch. I try not to do too many photos, but then I look at him and he does something cute and I'm just like, we all need share it, you know? Yeah. Like I want to brighten people's day because he just makes me smile all day. How have you managed to balance everything while having the success you're having in the music industry? You know, it's so wild because I've been trying to do...

...music for so long. Like this is a 10 year journey for me. Thank God Black don't crack. And I've been, you know, it's been such a struggle and to get all these blessings and to have all of this happened while we're stuck in our house. Like I'm eternally grateful. I do not take this for granted. I will still continue to fight for justice and equality. Like that is not on the back burner at all of anything. It's the front burner of all of this. And I'm just, you just make it happen. I have a village. I have an army of people. My mother, my mother in law have come out, definitely have helped. I've only been alone with the baby 10 for 10 days, so out. Um and he's been alive for six weeks now and I've had so much help. So I can't say that it was just me. I want to talk about what's been buzzing so far this year, you became the first black female country artists to perform on music's highest profile awards show, The Grammys. You saying black like me, I like to think it was the talk of the show. When you look at the reviews coming after the Grammys, your name continued to circle around the event, but recap that moment for me being on that stage and not just that also the message of that song. I performed that song a month after giving birth. So there's that and I can't say that, it was just me. We had, there was so much symbolism on that show, like we had the choir, you have a diversity on the stage, you had a guy from china playing the pedal steel, like it is showing that country music is going to be inclusive from here on out. I felt so empowered and loved in those moments like what people haven't seen was me sitting on and rehearsal with these beautiful, my beautiful black brothers and sisters in the choir and they were telling me their stories and what it took for them to get there. And so there was just so much love like we cried so much like I shouldn't even...

...worn eyelashes that day because I was crying so hard, it was so beautiful and it just goes to show and I'm sorry I'm running this long sentence. My career didn't change until I started opening that door for my black brothers and sisters, for people of color from marginalized people, whether you are in the latin community, the asian community, the lbgt Q I plus community, like it's really, really been important for me, and that's when everything turned around and that's what this moment was. Obviously, this has so much more meaning. It's not just a song, a lot of it kind of circles around what's also been going on in society as of late, it was a powerful moment, but is that what you ultimately wanted when you're going into the Grammys and you know, you're going to perform, is that what you wanted to not only pull out of, you know, the people you're there with, but also the people that are watching that feel some kind of weight watching your performance. That's exactly what I wanted to happen because with where things are in society, like it's heartbreaking as much as there's been so many amazing things that have happened to me through this pandemic. We're also in a pandemic. That alone, there's people that still can't buy food, there's people facing evictions that's been weighing heavy on my heart, all of the social injustice and not only against the black community but against the asian community and against in these active shooters and guns and all of that. Like it's been hard and I wanted a moment of hope for people for a moment. So often I'll open my instagram account, It's all about how amazing our lives are, right? We only post the best that we have. I don't know about you but my life isn't always great and colorful and happy, you know, like it's a heavy weight and you being a black woman and you're filled. I can't imagine how hard it is for you to get opportunities. So it's heavy weight and so I just wanted people to just...

...feel good and to feel seen and to feel loved and to see love and representation and all of those things on the grand stage. I love that you said that's what you wanted people to feel because I'm going to read to you some of the reactions that came from that performance, the new york Times wrote, sending a not so subtle reminder of the country music in particular about the challenges still faced by artists of color billboard. Make it deliver appointment. Um an empowering message for everyone watching variety further your stardom. I could go on and on with the list of the ones that we've heard from your performance, but just hearing that and seeing what the reaction was around the country, around the world. How did that make you feel? Not just as a country artist, but also as a black woman. I was watching the performance back and I was just so overwhelmed because it has taken me years. This hasn't been some overnight success story. I'm still struggling. I'm still fighting within my own field. They're still injustice is happening within the country, music community that aren't over. So it's been a huge heavy weight on me and I can't even their words don't necessarily don't describe how grateful and emotional it has been for me while still stuck in my apartment, taking care of a newborn. I mean, I can't tell you how many times it's just like I make, you know, I'm breastfeeding so I can't ruin address, you know, trying on dresses, you know, I hate, I mean, that's just the reality of it. You know, there's a lot of, there's just so much going on and man, I'm just so grateful looking at who you are as a musician and the ground that you have broken. Are you ever surprised at what you've been able to accomplish and with that? How accepting has the country music world been to you over...

...this last decade? Those are a lot of questions and that's a lot of answers. So, um, the country music world, it's, it's a first of all, I have imposter syndrome and there are many nights where I'm like, I don't feel like I'm worthy and it doesn't feel real to me. And it's a problem, I've got to be honest, It's a big problem for me. And, and there's a heavy heart because I've been working behind the scenes trying to open up opportunities for black people in this genre. I'm the only black woman designed to a major record label right now and I've done a year's worth of zoom sessions with all of these business professionals, letting them know how they can be better allies to the black community. And I'm saying with opportunity comes possibility a year later, I'm still the only black woman signed to a major record label. I'm not saying they're not trying, it's just taking time and that should let you know a lot of answers right there. And it's not I'm not saying that there aren't people out there that are trying their hardest. There are there are white people, I have seen them trying their hardest, putting their jobs on the line, trying to open up opportunities and that's why it's not enough that I'm the only woman, like there's got to be several women and not just black women latin women, asian women, like it's a collective effort here. So, And it's just now starting people are starting to pay attention. 10 years later, I've been, I've been in Nashville in 2011, I moved...

December 2011 to Nashville. That ought to tell you how hard it's been. And for a long time I was just trying to make it myself. I was being very selfish and only trying to make it for myself and and threatened and scared for anybody to take that away from me. And I had a lot of work. I had to do all myself and I've just got to be transparent and honest and and here we are the road. I mean, I feel like you're, you're paving your paving, paving that road just to open the door for so many people who, you know, see what you're doing. And it's, you know, I would love, I love country music, but I don't necessarily think there's an avenue for me. But uh, it's so refreshing to see you and what you've been able to do and I'll be it, it's been a decade in the making, this was not overnight. So it's been great to just watch you. Thank you. And just so people know like I will be, you can come through me, I will hold that door open for you. I want to talk about your voice and how it came to be you began singing in church if I'm not mistaken, But when and how did you gain that love for country music? So I gave that love for country music. My grandmother was a huge dolly Parton fan. So when I would go to her house and my grandmother lived in a shack in Waco tech or resold texas, I would go in there and she would have, you know the VHS tapes hanging on the back of her door and she had the roots VHS collection. And then she would have every southern movie that dali was in like, you know, and in southern movies period like fried green tomatoes and still magnolias. And then she would have all of these dolly Parton Kenny Rogers VHS tapes hanging on the back of her door and when I would go for her house, that's what I watched because she didn't have cable or cartoons. And then I discovered Leann rimes at a texas rangers baseball...

...game and she was singing the national anthem and that was the first time, like you see it, you can be it. So I saw this little girl like me singing and I was like, I want to do that. And that's when I discovered I found the love for country music, roughly What age were you when you went to that rangers game and you heard leaving? I was not, I was eight or nine, I was eight or nine, wow, so okay, we gotta talk about something else. That's a pretty big deal. A host of the 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards alongside your friend, keith Urban. When you got wind of this news, what came to mind? What were your emotions? My emotions were, what the hell am I doing? Why would you ask me to do this, first of all? Um I was just blown away. Like, I've never done something like that before, so it's so exciting, you know, I've loved country music, I love keith Urban, I have a huge connection with him because, you know, he was on the outside, he was this guy from Australia, with a huge love for country music that came and made a name for himself, you know, and and pushed through and made it and he it wasn't an overnight success for him either, so I'm just so excited, He's such a kind person, this is this is freaking Nicole Kidman's husband, Okay, Oh my God, it's a big deal, big deal, We love it. Okay, well what is next for you were enjoying falling along with your journey, but what can fans expect next? I'm finally putting out an album, like a full album after 10 years, I'm finally putting out an album and I'm so excited, these are songs that I've been writing for 10 years, like these aren't like brand new songs that you'll be hearing, these are songs that I've had that have been in my email inbox when they were sent from the producer for years and I'm finally getting the chance to to put them out.

People are finally hearing me. They're hearing like, oh, that makes sense. She's like, this is her, she's been here this whole time. Just people couldn't see me now, they can see me. And I'm so excited to be putting this music out. You don't have to give us too much. But what can we expect? What kind of feel? Um is it personal? Is it very personal? Very personal? You know, I love to write real time and right, what's going on? So there's this one song that I love called Do You Really Want to Know? And it really seems like the entrance the intro to all of this, because it talks about what's been going on with my life. Like I started going to therapy, I've tried to change from within in order to be able to put music out and be able to write music and that's on there. I also have a country traps on which I'm so excited. Yes. Yes. Yes. Like people like, you know, I I write, you know, be becoming a singing activist. It wasn't what I was planning on doing, I was just writing songs about how it's feeling at the time, but I'm actually a fun, fun loving person if people ever get me giving me the chance to show that side. So I'm really, really excited. There's all kinds of things that there's even a song about me loving my hair and, and that was something that's taken me a long time to accept. You know, I love what you're saying and I love what your music stands for. I feel like just being a black woman that it's so relatable, but with that, do you hope that someday with your music and what you represent maybe opens the door for more women of color to be more open and listen more to country music. Like listen, I can tell you I'm a big time Carrie Underwood fan like I've listened, but the vast majority is that your hope,...

That is 100 my hope. I've discovered a lot of super awesome black country singers, male and female that are so dope that if people just knew that they were here and it gives more people incentive not only to listen to pursue it, it's expanding the genre really. Something that you didn't necessarily feel that you could be accepted in. You can or at least that's my goal is to show that they can. And that is something like I put it on my instagram as often as I can. If I find someone here, they are just so you know, we're not, I'm not the only one like bring yourselves. Like honestly I'm working from the ground up to show this and that even includes helping getting interns into record labels and getting interns and people of color a part of these award shows. So there is representation. So they feel like they're part of this because black people are country, okay. You are already well on your way of kind of paving that path and opening doors that may not necessarily have been there in the past. And because of that, I personally and a lot of people who are listening to this, we thank you for your music and what you are doing and what it stands for. It is definitely not overlooked. We definitely appreciate it. And I appreciate you stopping by the spout podcast to hang out with that of course. Is that new music coming out? Do we have a time frame? We can give yes, I want to, I don't want to be like two, but in august okay, in august coming out here soon this summer, absolute pleasure. Thank you so much and we cannot wait to hear the album. Thank you so much for having me so appreciate it, appreciate it. See the full conversation at spout podcast on Youtube. Follow us at spout underscore podcast on I. G twitter and tick tock plus. Now spout podcast on clubhouse next week. Mike Posner, spouts off, I got bit by this...

...rattlesnake. I basically went to hospital. I was out for about three weeks when I was out. I decided you know when I, when I returned I have 1000 miles left on my journey and I don't want to just finish them. I want to finish them better than I was before. Be sure to listen to the next spout podcast on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast. The spout podcast is presented by Alpha Media, produced by Guerillas, sound hosted on Sounder FM and created by Phil Becker Yeah, Okay.

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