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Monday, December 6, 2021

Mickey Guyton on Grammy nominations: ‘I Was Right’

At the last Grammy Awards in March, country singer Mickey Guyton sang “Black Like Me,” the song that made her the first black woman ever to be nominated for a country solo performance and ultimately changed the course of her career. … And yet the trophy went to Vince Gill.

This time Guyton is back and she has increased her chances.

When nominations for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards were announced on January 31 in Los Angeles, the Texas singer-songwriter was honored in three categories – Best Country Album, Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. … – for her debut full-length album “Remember Her Name” and the title track. This puts an album of unparalleled tracks like “Different” and “Love My Hair” alongside some of the genre’s heaviest performers, including Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton.

Just flown out on Tuesday night, Guyton, who has also made a name for herself as an active activist in the notoriously secluded Nashville, discussed over the phone how her second batch of nominations differs from her first, and what exactly makes something weird. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.


[Screams] Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

How do you feel?

Of course, I found out about it on the plane. I was dealing with a sick child, so I could not process anything. Until this morning, I didn’t even know there were nominations. I was on the plane and wrote to my husband: “Do you hear anything?” “Nope.” Then all of a sudden I got all these text messages.

I just feel very – what is that word? Grateful. Relief? Because I followed my instincts. This whole album was written by me and what I thought I should release, which I never did. I have always relied on others to make these decisions for me. This time, these were my decisions. This suggests that I was right.

This should be confirmation.

This word – I can feel confirmed… Like, ugh, thank God. Because before I released this project, doubts were expressed. So now, to see the answer, I feel relieved.

At the last Grammy, you became the first black woman to be nominated for Best Country Solo Performance and appeared on Black Like Me. This time, you are again in the same category, plus two other nominations in the country field. Do you feel different the second time?

It does. All my songs are pretty socially conscious, and this one was like that too, but it was actually my own story. Another song [“Black Like Me”] was my story, but it was the story of many other people. This time everything is on me. It’s so personal. “Remember Her Name” – people tried to dissuade me even from the name of my album. Usually I would agree. But I said no, it’s called Remember her name for a reason.

You have also put yourself at the forefront of this growing Nashville movement for equality and respect for black artists, women artists, and black artists. Do you think there is progress?

I do. I really, really. I get messages not only from black women, but also from women, period, a sense of excitement – and from men! Feeling inspired to just be who they are. For so long, only this formula has existed, this box in which we all have to fit. And the reality is that the box never existed. You don’t have to kneel to the system to be successful.

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How do you balance the idea of ​​personal progress – the successes you have achieved – and broader institutional progress? Is it hard to ever try to separate the two?

Sometimes this is the case and I suffer because I have two different legs in both areas. But looking at how everything was done in the past, I realized that one country artist, one person of color is not enough to do this from time to time – every 25 years, every 5 years, every 10 years. years. It won’t hold up. There is power in numbers.

In addition to the Grammys, you’ve performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, co-hosted and been nominated for an ACM, been nominated for a CMA, and performed in the Thanksgiving Parade and Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. … Sometimes you feel like you’re everywhere except country radio. Why didn’t they catch up?

You know you have to ask them. You have to go and call them. It is truly unfortunate, but I cannot spend my nights worrying about it. This is their decision. I’ll just keep moving forward. There are other ways people can listen to me and they find me – and thank God for that.

Are you, your team and your label still making it – a breakthrough in this direction?

No, that would be beautiful. I would absolutely agree if they wanted to support me. But I’m not going to lose sleep over this. Absolutely not.

There was a slight controversy this year over the country album category when the Recording Academy’s Genre Selection Committees decided that Casey Musgraves’ new album, “Star-Crossed” did not fit and belonged to pop music. As someone whose relevance in this genre is being questioned, do you have any feelings about what makes a country album sufficient?

I don’t think our job is to define what is and what is not in the genre. If the artist tells you that this is so, I feel that this is enough, and we must accept it. Music is relative and art is art. Country music has expanded a lot. The lines are blurry. Hopefully in the future we will not be forced to make these decisions. If an artist tells you, “I’m country,” you have to take it at face value.

Morgan Wallen was completely dropped from Grammy nominations, even with one of the best-selling releases of the year and after the CMA celebrated album of the year. You were one of the first to get on your feet after he seen using racial abuseasking, “What exactly are you going to do about it. The crickets won’t work this time. Do you think this is a signal or the industry response was too mixed?

For me, the industry was very mixed. But it’s all on them. I hope Morgan is on his way to healing and doing his job. I find no satisfaction in the suffering of an artist. I hope people feel the weight of their actions, but I never want anyone to fail.

Other than country, do you have any favorite nominated albums? Who do you want to see on the show – on stage or behind the scenes?

I really liked Olivia Rodrigo’s album. I was in the air when all the nominees came, so I don’t even know everyone yet. But I’m guessing it’s Olivia Rodrigo.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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