When Arlington, Texas native Mickey Guyton heard Leann Rimes sing at a Texas Rangers game when she was a young girl, she knew exactly what she wanted to be.
“I felt that I wanted to be just like her,” Guyton tells CountryMusicIsLove.
The country newcomer, who also names Dolly Parton as a huge influence, has been stomping the streets of Nashville for several years, and is ready to show everyone who she is.
Like a lot of country singers, her singing started in church when she just five years old. Not only did she sing gospel, but she grew up listening to the greats like BeBe Winans, CeCe Winans, and other legends like the late Whitney Houston.
With influences like that, and her own powerful voice, she could’ve gone into any genre. But she went with the one that she feel is the most honest.
“Of all music out there, country is the most honest, the most genuine, and speaks to my heart,” she explains.
Mickey moved to L.A. to attend Santa Monica College after high school. Determined to make her dream come true, she worked long hours at two jobs and still barely made ends meet. Thanks to a chance meeting, the light at the end of the tunnel started shining very bright.
She was introduced to producer Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell, The Wallflowers) by a friend, and Raymond was impressed immediately. He introduced her to Gary Borman and Steve Moir, whose company has helped build the careers of superstars such as Faith Hill, Keith Urban, and Lady Antebellum.
After that meeting, Guyton decided it was time to move to Nashville. In 2011, she made the move and immediately immersed herself into the vibrant songwriter community. The support she’s received form the country music world actually took her a little by surprise.
“Nashville really wants you to succeed,” she says. “And that is so cool to me.”
With that support behind her, she’s gearing up for the release of her debut single, “Better Than You Left Me.” She wrote it with one of her producers, Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum), and songwriters Jennifer Hanson and Jenn Schott. It’s a song that she didn’t even think of as a single at first.
“It was just a release of my emotions,” she explains. “And I didn’t understand what a powerful song it was until later.”
The song, inspired by a fight she had with her former boyfriend, is a ballad that does many things. Not only does the track showcase Guyton’s amazing vocals, it also provides an excellent example how the right amount of pedal-steel can be used to drive certain feelings home.
“It wasn’t until later that we realized it was my single,” she says. “It was a gift from God. Everything happened so I could write this song.”
A video for the song is on its way, but in the meantime you may be able to find a video of her performing it at the historic Ryman Auditorium during the Country Radio Seminar earlier this year which included a standing ovation. She had no idea beforehand that the audience was full of country radio programmers, which tends to be a tough crowd.
“I just thought I was singing for publishers, and friends,” she says. “I guess it’s true when they say ignorance is bliss.”
Not only does she want to connect with fans through music, but she’s also got with her own weekly YouTube series called Life & Lyrics. There are already several episodes of the series up, and there are many more to come. Guyton says that the goal of the series is to let people into her life, and help them better understand who she is.
“We are all going through life on step at a time,” she says. “And I want to let people in on that journey.”
Country music is full of Texas-born artists who have paved their unique paths throughout the genre’s long history, and Mickey Guyton is more than ready to start making hers.
Take a listen to “Better Than You Left Me” below.