Mickey Guyton: Debut Spotlight
Born in Arlington, Texas, Mickey Guyton moved around the Lone Star State as her father’s engineering job took the family 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 5 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 said, 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.”
Guyton 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.
Guyton moved to Los Angeles after high school to attend Santa Monica College. She worked long hours at two jobs, struggling to make ends meet, but held on to her dream of becoming a Country singer. A chance encounter turned everything around. A friend introduced her to producer Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell, the Wallflowers), who was immediately impressed with her. He connected her to Gary Borman and his partner Steve Moir, the company that built the careers of Faith Hill, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum from day one. Mickey moved to Nashville in 2011 to pursue her dream and has embedded herself in the town’s songwriter community the last three years.
Also in 2011, the young artist signed to Capitol Records Nashville and made her first national television appearance onstage at the White House during an all-star concert that included James Taylor, Dierks Bentley, Kris Kristofferson, The Band Perry, Darius Rucker and Lyle Lovett. The show was captured by PBS and broadcast as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series. Guyton’s riveting rendition of Patsy Cline’s classic “Crazy” was one of the highlights of the night.
Guyton released an acoustic EP, Unbreakable, in conjunction with her iTunes Festival performance in Austin last March. She is currently putting the finishing touches on her debut album with producers Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum) and Dann Huff (Faith Hill, Keith Urban, The Band Perry). Her debut single, “Better Than You Left Me,” which she wrote with Nathan Chapman, Jennifer Hanson and Jenn Schott, debuted spectacularly on Jan. 12, with 79 adds at Country radio, making it not only the most-added song of the week but also the greatest one-week add for a debut artist in Country Aircheck history.
Who are your musical heroes?
“Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston.”
Which song would you secretly love to cover?
“‘Heart Wants What It Wants,’ by Selena Gomez.”
What album tops your playlist?
“Currently Taylor Swift.”
Who is your dream duet partner?
What book is on your nightstand?
“Fifty Shades of Grey.”
What do you sing in the shower?
“My single, ‘Better Than You Left Me,’ or ‘If I Were a Boy.’”
What is your pet peeve?
What song do you wish you had written?
“A song on my upcoming debut album, called ‘Why Baby Why.’”
What phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?
“Freaking, Girrrrrlll, I cannot even!”
What mode of transportation do you prefer?
What moment in your life would you relive if you could?
“The moment I sang on the Ryman stage for the first time, at CRS 2013.”
If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?
What do you hope people will say about you when they look back on your life?
“I hope people say that I was a loving, good friend and that I treated people with love and respect.”
What would you put in your personal time capsule?
If you weren’t a musical artist, what would you be?
“I would be a vocal coach or speech pathologist.”
What was your greatest performance to date?
“I would say my performance at the Ryman at CRS 2013. It was such an honor to perform on that stage.”
What is your favorite food while on the road?
Where was your first gig?
“My first gig was singing at the White House for the President. It went absolutely amazing. I will remember that day for the rest of my life.”
What are your greatest short- and long-term challenges?
“My short-term and long-term challenges are to not be so hard on myself.”
CMA members: For more on Mickey Guyton, see the Feb/March 2015 issue of CMA Close Up magazine.
Photo credit: David McClister
“Better Than You Left Me” Official:
Go behind the scenes with “Better Than You Left Me”: