During the early part of a normal week, I face a kind of creative crossroad. This is the time when one post has published and the early planning begins for the next post. Someone once told me that at this rate I don’t really have any time to enjoy my work. In some ways that is true, possibly because I really write each post for the Weekly Music Commentary for all of you; the readers. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy reading what I write, but in the rush of the normal workflow everything moves quite fast, and I have learned to make it happen in timely fashion.
The title of this weeks’ post is an actual quotation from a young up and coming Country music star named Mickey Guyton. The 32 year old artist was born in Arlington, Texas and moved around the Lone Star state as her father’s engineering job took them to Waco, Tyler, Dallas and Fort Worth. 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. Much like so many successful singers, Mickey knew 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. Along with all of the hard work and persistence necessary to develop a music career comes that moment when someone else must also believe you possess talent. Therefore, the quote found in this weeks’ title are words most likely uttered by all successful artists at some point. There is a significance to Mickey Guyton making the statement though; an interesting footnote to her rise in the music industry.
After finishing high school, Candace Mycale “Mickey” Guyton moved to Los Angeles 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 friend introduced her to producer Julian Raymond who was immediately impressed with Mickey. He connected her to Gary Borman and his partner Steve Moir, both music marketing and management specialists. Moir Borman Entertainment is the company that built the careers of country music stars 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 ever since.
Also in 2011, Mickey signed to Capitol Records Nashville and made her first national television appearance on stage 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. Mickey’s riveting rendition of Patsy Cline’s classic “Crazy” was one of the highlights of the night.
It was after reflecting upon all of her newfound success that Mickey Guyton uttered the words used for the title of this post. “When I sang for Gary and Steve, they saw potential in me,” explains Mickey. “Now I have a record deal with Capitol Records, I’ve sung at the White House and I’m making an album. It’s very, very humbling because if you would have asked me a few years ago if I would have pictured myself being at this point, I probably would of laughed and said, ‘Yeah right!’ I’m very appreciative of it because I understand how hard it is for artists to get to this point. I feel extremely blessed.”
Another reason that Mickey Guyton might be especially grateful to Gary Borman and Steve Moir can be traced back to earlier years of her struggle for recognition. My research led me to uncover the fact that Guyton was a contestant on the season 7 edition of American Idol. Obviously she did not win, and also did not make it into the top 24 contestants. She was unceremoniously dumped from the reality music competition before the Hollywood show phase. Of course, I have written before that although I found the show interesting in the early years, it lived a little too long on television in my opinion. I made the public statement many times that as soon as several competition castoffs started to break through successfully, it would mark the end of the usefulness of the show. It has been happening for some time now, and of course it happened in the case of Mickey Guyton. Looking back at the list of season 7 finalists, I could arguably second guess the judges and say that Mickey Guyton should have at least been in the finals. However, it might be a fact that Guyton just was not ready for the limelight at that point. She also was signed to an unsuccessful developmental recording contract with Motown Records in 2005 that ultimately resulted in her release. Nevertheless, today Mickey Guyton is doing fine and enjoying the success of her new EP Mickey Guyton, and working on her album to be released down the road.
There are several compelling qualities that are readily on display as Mickey Guyton performs. As you listen to her EP I’m sure you also will be able to hear and enjoy some quality songwriting and a singer quickly on the rise. Just like Gary Borman and Steve Moir, you will see the potential in Mickey Guyton and so much more.