Country Music #CMchat One to Watch in 2015, Mickey Guyton, immediately caused ears to perk the first time her single “Better Than You Left Me” escaped country music fans’ speakers. “Who is this?” we wondered. “Where did this unbelievable vocalist come from?” we pondered. “Could this song be any better?” we rhetorically asked. It was those instant questions that placed Mickey on our radars. However, it is the wonderful person behind the artistry who has caused Mickey to already find a place in our hearts.
The lovely lady we have already come to know and love kickstarted her singing journey in the church where she was part of the choir. However, it wasn’t until she was in attendance at a Texas Rangers baseball game and a ten-year-old LeAnn Rimes took the field to perform the National Anthem that Mickey realized her true dream of pursuing country music.
I was eight or nine at the time, it was before “Blue” came out, and I was just mesmerized by her. . . . When I heard her and her big voice and the song coming out of her, [country music] just kind of picked me.
Country music continues to pick her every day, especially since the release of her debut single “Better Than You Left Me,” which broke the Country Aircheck record for the most radio adds during a week of impact. Even with the success of Mickey’s introductory single, the Capitol Records Nashville artist doesn’t feel like life has overwhelmingly changed for her … yet.
I don’t feel any different, but I guess I’m just busier, and it doesn’t feel real. When I think about what I’m about to do this summer. I’m like “okay, am I supposed to get a job right now?” . . . To know that this is my job. It’s just this weird, crazy, good feeling.
What’s even more special to Mickey is how quickly and extensively fans have resonated with her song, especially considering the fact that it was a project of passion and pain; one which began as a therapeutic process and is proving to be so much more meaningful.
The “Better Than You Left Me” co-write was actually Mickey’s first collaborative effort for her upcoming project, and the session happened to fall just subsequent to her last argument with her ex-boyfriend. With an abundance of new realizations dawning on her earlier that day, Mickey met her co-writers Jennifer Hanson, Jenn Schott, and Nathan Chapman with an idea in her head and an ache in her heart.
We all have that one guy or girl that just has this hold on your life, that you just don’t know why you continue to hang around for someone you know doesn’t necessarily care about you the way you care about them. And he was that person for me, so he was trying to come back into my life when he called . . . It’s so funny because before all of this started happening for me, he wanted nothing to do with me, like he always thought he was going to find something better. I played for the President, I was getting a record deal, then all of a sudden he was like “I’ve known it all along. I want to be with you.” And I was just like “No! You’re not going to come into my life after I was trying to do everything I could, chasing after you, to show you that I’m the person for you, and now, all of a sudden, it’s convenient for you to want to come back in my life?” And I told him no. . . . His final attempt to get me back, he said “don’t make me find someone else.” Literally. Verbatim. Came out of his mouth. And I said “go find someone else. I hope she makes you happy.” And that was the first time that I ever really stood up for myself with him in that sense. I was always scared of losing him, and I always thought that he was the prize in the relationship. Then I realized I’m the prize here.
Mickey entered the room on the day of the fateful writing session and told her colleagues about the situation and her newfound feelings toward it, and the song “just fell out of our mouths.” Within thirty minutes, one of the most buzzworthy songs of 2015 was born.
In regard to her Unbreakable EP, every song on the offering likewise envelopes Mickey’s emotions, good and bad, as her goal with her inaugural project was to make it one with which people can relate and recognize that feelings were poured into its creation. The title track from the EP is a song that Mickey cites as one of her favorite cuts. Gaining inspiration from a walk down memory lane by virtue of some old journals, an epiphany set the song in motion.
I usually don’t ever go back and read the stuff that I go through, but I finally just decided to read it this time, and I realized like, man, all those times I thought my life was gonna be over, like, I’m okay. You know? And it just showed that we’re strong and we are unbreakable. We just have to go through it and fight through it and we’ll be stronger people from it.
While Mickey has learned a lot about herself throughout her time preparing her EP and writing the tracks, one thing remains the same — she is “silly, goofy, a mess, clumsy” — because she is with herself and her song every day. However, the outpouring of support and positivity has touched her greatly. In fact, “surreal” is the word Mickey used to describe the feeling of knowing that people are sincerely appreciating her music, which is all she ever wanted from the onset.
I guess the best feeling I can say is I’m grateful. I’m so grateful. I’m here in California right now in the area I used to always work at, and to be sitting here just on this phone call with you and you wanting to hear about my life, I’m just grateful. I understand the struggle that so many artists go through to make it, and it’s just, man. You’re just grateful. I do not take it for granted at all.
The next big thing she is beyond grateful for is her opening slot on Brad Paisley’s Crushin’ It Tour, which will begin in May. When asked what she is most looking forward to about the experience, it was probably far from the answer you would expect . . .
Hearing about him pranking me, and I think I’ve got like a really good prank. I don’t know how I’m going to pull this off, but I’m going to freaking pull this off! I’m looking forward to that and I’m also looking forward to having my own tour bus. I’ve never had that. I’ve never even been on one. So, it’s really cool to be able to get that opportunity to be on a bus and bring my dog!
To prepare herself for the enormity of a nationwide tour, Mickey first took center stage at a venue that elicited unstoppable emotion from this beautiful artist: the Grand Ole Opry. Having recently made her debut in the circle in which many others before her have stood, Mickey explained that she was a wreck that day, unable to stop herself from almost crying off her eyelashes.
You dream of that and you’re like “I can’t wait to perform at the Grand Ole Opry,” and you wait for that moment, and then you’re there. You’re just like overwhelmed with gratefulness. And to be on that stage where so many country greats have graced the stage, it’s just, you feel like you’re in a holy, holy place. Especially after Little Jimmy Dickens passed away, and knowing that he’s such a huge part of the Grand Ole Opry and I’m standing there where I’m sure his spirit is just sitting there right above the seats looking at it. It’s just really, really freaking cool.
Surprisingly, the Opry hasn’t been the most standout performance of Mickey’s career thus far. Instead, a small theater — the Columbia Theatre — in Kelso, Washington won her heart. The show was performed with just a guitarist and a drummer, and the town of people proved to be so kind that they left a lasting impression on Mickey. What also made it a special event for her was that it was on Valentine’s Day and she was able to share the love-filled holiday with the small-town that embraced her warmly.
It isn’t just up in the northwest where people are reaching out to Mickey with open arms and welcoming her into their musical lives; the unwavering support stretches across the country and far beyond what her imagination could have ever conjured. And with the support comes a wealth of gratitude from the artist who is living out her dream, which she wished to relay to her fans reading this interview.
I am so grateful for this opportunity. I want them to know that I write these songs with them, my fans — I call them my friends — my friends in mind. And I want them to know that I’m thinking about them when I’m writing these songs and I’m here for them.
Before speaking with Mickey, our Country Music #CMchat team was wholeheartedly here for her as well, but our discussion further solidified that we will stand behind her and beside her throughout this journey. To say she is appreciative, humble, and deserving is an understatement because that is just a short list of the amazing qualities Mickey possesses. And, while Mickey Guyton became better since a man left her, I feel as though I’m better since she came into my life.